With summer approaching, travel and being outdoors is in the air. This is a snippet from a client project I am currently working on. The New Yorker has a great article about living and working out of a van in the latest issue. I love reading about people that are working remotely. A couple of years ago, I worked with a couple of web developers that were living and working out of their van (I imagine this would also be a real test of any romantic relationship). As a person that has been working for a long time, I love seeing how work is changing and how people are trying to find alternatives to the 9 to 5 office job (not that there is anything wrong with that - office jobs offer a lot of perks that those of us on our own wish we had). There are a lot of freelancers living and working from the road now, and while I am sure like everything in life there are downsides, it looks fun. Enjoy the article!
Working on illustrations for the Rally Pizza Kids' Menu/Coloring Page and having so much fun. I love doing work like this. I colored it in a bit, need to do the whole thing this weekend when I have more time. I am taking motion graphics classes this spring and I have plans for those parachuting marsh mellows.
Over the weekend the sun came out in Portland. It has been so long, I think many of us forgot what it actually looks like. Needless to say, a lot of Portlanders are getting really excited to be outdoors again. There is so much to explore. The Japanese Garden has been expanding and will soon have a gorgeous tea room (incidentally, my mom has a photo in their 2017 calendar, go mom!). Many of us are fantasizing about hikes in Forest Park. This drawing is for the coloring book I am working on and is inspired by a hike in Forest Park that overlooks the St. John's Bridge. Since everything I am doing is black and white lately, I had to add some spring color.
One indoor fun thing to do right now - check out this show at Land Gallery on N.Mississippi if you are local. I have three studio mates that have pieces in the show. I
I was cleaning my folders today and was looking over some of the other design options for Rally Pizza. It was down to this design and the current branding. I was having fun with this race car track shape that was also reflected in the type face of the logo. Ultimately I think the branding that was chosen was the right choice for the restaurant. It feels like it matches with the food and the decor and the overall vibe. Have you eaten there yet? It's delicious. I went last week and have been craving the pizza ever since.
Like most people, I was having trouble getting back into the swing of things today so I forced myself to listen to happy music and drew this guy. Food Carts! Portland food carts produce some of the best food in this town. We have everything from sushi burrito's to home made ice cream. We are so lucky to live in a town full of great chefs and people that love to cook (and eat).
Have you checked out the new women who draw directory? It's pretty cool! And it's full at the moment - darn. I spent the other day thinking about what woman I would draw for my directory listing (when it takes submissions again :)) and I immediately thought of the film "Orlando" with Tilda Swinton (yes, it's also a book by Virginia Woolf). It is a beautiful movie and I am a sucker for period pieces. But it's also a beautiful story about gender roles. I also thought of trying to get away with a submission of David Bowie in drag, but I don't know if I could get away with that. Incidentally, I know this doesn't really look like Tilda Swinton - she is really hard to draw. Her face is exquisite and it's difficult to capture. Here is the sketch that I started with on the left, and on the right, the result after I inked it and added digital color.
Fun new project in the works with Graphic Arts Books. Here is a sneak peak.
I just finished the design of the 2016 Alumni Magazine for Catlin Gabel. It features an interview with one of their well known alums, and one of my favorite directors, Gus Van Sant! These photos aren't that great, I'll post digital images soon.
This map turned out pretty cute. This was a commissioned map for a wedding that my client had printed on tote bags. They are going to fill them with goodies for guests. Such a great idea.
Congratulations to Little Green Pickle for doing an amazing job on the site. Branding and Illustrations by moi. It looks great!
I have spent the last week doing the dessert menu chalkboards for Rally Pizza . It's been so much fun and I definitely want to do more work like this. I would love to tackle a mural project at some point as well. But, I don't want to get ahead of myself. The restaurant is about to open. I went in today and it looks awesome. The owners have a great eye for design and color. It's so pretty! I am feeling a little sad that the project is wrapping up, it's been such a huge part of my life this past summer. sniff sniff. It's been fun to work with Shan and Alan and I know it's going to be a huge success.
It's been a while since I was feeling excited about a personal project. Sometimes it's hard to find the time, especially in the summertime in Oregon when everyone is cramming in as much sun and socializing before the rain starts. Recently, I started getting into the history of the Titanic. It was sparked by reading a book about the Lusitania and going to Victoria Bar a lot, which has the most beautiful painting of The Titanic on the back wall (sorry, I don't know the artist's name and apparently he doesn't have a website, but if you are in Portland go to this bar, it's a work of art). So many famous people were lost on this ship. I think the stories of class and money from this sinking are especially relevant in these times. I had no idea the Astor's made their money here in Oregon as fur traders (booooo). Astor, Astoria, I don't why I didn't put it together before. Anyway, please follow along as I post more drawings and nerdy history facts over the next few weeks in between client work (which comes first :)).
I am so happy with the way the printed business cards turned out for Rally Pizza (the menus will have a similar look to these cards). When my clients said they wanted me to throw in some illustration work to the branding, that was music to my ears. Yesterday we all gathered, (staff, PR/Social Media firm Little Green Pickle) to sample the pizzas and the cocktails for the soon to open restaurant. I am going to have to buy some stretchy pants because I am going to be eating at Rally a lot this winter. They make a pizza with smoked jalapeños that was one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. Congratulations to Shan and Alan! It's going to be great.
Any time I am stuck on a project I realize it's because I haven't taken the time to get off the computer and do enough by hand. I think we forget sometimes that the computer is just a tool, the real design is often done by hand elsewhere where an idea was sparked. I recently picked up "Typography Sketchbooks" by Steven Heller and Lita Talarico, I highly recommend it. It's fun to see people's process or stuff they draw when they are just free to create. I have hundreds of sketches in my studio, a lot of them on random pieces of paper that are now in a giant pile on top of my book case. I can't part with them, they are almost a diary of sorts. Here are just a few.
Lots of fun projects in the works right now, but so pleased to see this one printed and bottled. I can't take credit for the lightbulb illustration, that is the work of the very talented Grady Mcferrin. I worked with Patrick McNeil to turn this into a clean black/white/silver/gold label design. And it was our first opportunity to apply the new branding for Patrick McNeil Wines that we have been working on for several months. Really loving this one!
I recently created this 'map' of Paris as part of a proposal for a coloring book. I am thinking of selling individual coloring book pages of cities like this or creating a calendar.
I have been working with Catlin Gabel to redesign all of their collateral so that it looks consistent, on brand (and fun). I recently designed their alumni magazine, The Caller. We decided to use the back spread for old photos of students and ask people to call or email the school if they recognized people in the photos. A woman contacted the school after she recognized herself as a child in a photo from 1968. It made her day, and ours.
I just finished drawing this type poster of the lyrics from Ziggy Stardust's (David Bowie) "Moonage Daydream". The plan is to start my membership at IPRC here in Portland and make screen prints out of this (thinking gold ink on black). It's funny, I had someone ask me how I got into hand drawn type after I posted this on social media and there are a few answers. First off, when I was in design school, I struggled with typography. I went to school with some seriously talented people that made it look effortless. Seeing it as my weak spot, I started doing it by hand to help me start seeing the letters as shapes. The second answer is that when I started working for myself 3+ years ago I was too broke to buy fonts! So this was a way to get around that. And then I just fell in love with doing it by hand. I think I could have been happy as a monk working on the Book of Kells in a past life. Did anyone watch the David Bowie documentary on PBS over the weekend? It was wonderful, what an imagination, what a curator of popular culture. I can't believe he is gone.
January is already over and it feels like Spring is approaching (um, isn't it weird that stuff is starting to bloom and I have seen humming birds fly around?). The holidays seem like a distant memory. I started the year with a health scare - I am fine - but spent a month generally freaking out and discovering that I am not very stoic. It's too bad that only through times like this are we reminded of what's important. I don't want to get too heavy or personal - the point is I thought of how much I like my work and was so sad to think I might not have long to accomplish the things I want to, to continue to grow, take on fun projects, fun clients, get better at what I do, etc.. So here's to doing what you love and getting better at it and the good people in your life.
Speaking of, look at these fun cards I did for pdxgreenteam.com. Darcie and Hilary are kick ass realtors here in Portland. They commissioned me to illustrate these cards to send out to their clients. I highly recommend them if you are buying or selling.