Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lanee wallpaper

When I drew this I knew I was going to want to make a vector version of it and make a wallpaper. I was originally going to do it all in Illustrator but I saw this fantastic wallpaper on Pixelgirl Presents and so it went in a different direction. Kind of experimental.

wide: 1920x12001680x10501440x9001280x800
full: 1600x12001280x9601152x8641024x768

Technical: Illustration by me, based on a photo I took. LiveTraced the illustration in Illustrator with minor cleanup. Texture by me, courtesy of the office fire (smoke damaged file folders = yay). The text is Norwegian, meaning "Let your sorrows rest at sea • Somewhere between north and south". It was chosen randomly - I was listening to the new Leaves' Eyes album Njord (they are a Norwegian group) and I thought some foreign text might look good in there, and since its easy to verify the translation on lyrics I went with that. Its a line from the song "Ankomst", used without permission, of course.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Color ad Illustrations

As promised, here are some color ad illustrations I've done (see previous post for background details).

These two vertical ads were "ads that never were" - the client switched to a smaller square shape like the winter ads below. I thought I'd share them here for variety.

The sledding piece is a draft for a website banner image. A similar version was done with the canoe for summer; the canoe piece here was the front of a mailer card. We re-use a lot of the illustrations for all kinds of applications.

These three winter images are all in draft stage and are for web. The sleddog team is an example of where an illustration was kept super simple for newsprint and left simple because it is going to be small on the web. The larger images linked here are larger than they will be when finished. Again, we do all our web ads large scale because it will inevitably be used later for print somehow.

Black & White Ad illustrations

I currently work for Whittington-Evans Communications. Its a great place to work because my boss has, over time, increasingly used my illustration skills more and more to replace photography in the ads and other pieces we do for the Mat-Su Convention & Visitor Bureau (MSCVB), one of our more ad-prolific clients. It all started when Chris noted that one of my digital illustration styles feels kind of WPA, a style both he and I like. It tied in with this postal/travel style we were developing for the MSCVB one year and it took off from there and I've had a lot of fun working with this style. Because this style features my illustration work I thought I should share it with you here.

We originally began this style in black and white newspaper ads. Because we were working with newsprint, the designs had to be very simple, much more basic than my usual style. Later I had to adapt all of the illustrations into color. For the most part they converted well but there were a few that required added detail or a change in shading scheme. I did a TON of research, primarily by digging through the Library of Congress' web collection here. It also took some doing to find some WPA-esque fonts in our collection here at work. Our results aren't strictly true to the WPA genre but I think they have enough retro flair to make them eye-catching compared to what you see for ads around the rest of Alaska.

These ads here are just some of my favorites. The RV "Hit the Road" ad was the very first one I did back in 2007. The fishing and glacier ads were also from that year while the "Trail Mix" ad was actually much more recent and was originally color - you can see the evolution in detail as well. In earlier illustrations I tried to keep the people very basic. In actual WPA art a lot of human figures were very stylized since the posters they were going on were done with silkscreen. We also took a different direction with the typography in newer ads, as evidenced on the "Trail Mix" ad.

Working in this style influenced my own art I do for fun and I've since tried simplifying the shapes I draw in Illustrator for a "less is more" look. This is highlighted by this poster I did for a contest.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Sharpie, August 2009

Another portrait I did while out at the lodge, also based on a photo I took of a co-worker. The photo came out horrible, most of her facial features were blown out. But as I got to looking at it, I thought it would make a cool stylized illustration. Results shown here. ;)