Friday, January 18, 2008

Illustration VS Design VS the DC Sniper

Somewhere out in Montana, there's a little sporting event called "Dirt-bag Day." It's an all day skiing/snowboarding event in which all the contestants come dressed as dirty as they possibly can. There's competitions and prizes for the biggest Dirt-bag as well as prizes for best in either skiing or snowboarding event.

I was so excited to do a poster for this event. I had a few ideas that i sketched out before i came up with what would be my final draft.

I finally got out the coffee and tea stains and started messing around in my sketch book until i got what i wanted. A dirt bag.

So after brushing n drying and waving my book in the air like an idiot and blowing on certain places so it would dry faster i finally got my dirt bag. You see; as a fine artist or illustrator first, borders and 'the grid' and negative space sort of don't come to mind. Composition whatever the artist's eye may see as fit. In complete contrast to a designer, yes, but this why this is an art, and art is liberal.

Now after my dirtbag is done, i need a frame to set him in.

And that's what i did. I got out the tempura black paint, because i needed something done quick so i could scan it. And it's not like i never use this frame ever again, i stock pile these textures in my computer and bring them out over and over again. This adds so much to a piece; because not only are you arranging it compositionally but it's got your 'hands-on' feel to it, which is what every artist strives to do.

So for this piece i combined coffee, tea and a cheesy 'rubber stamp' font that i downloaded off the web to make this piece. The background was really tricky tho and unfortunately i don't have any pics of the original image that i used for the background. But what i did was i took a cookie tray and put a couple sheets of watercolor paper on them and i poured coffee in the tray (saving enough for a cup of my own) and i put the tray in the oven and baked it. For about 5mins and then i pulled the tray out. This makes the paper start to ripple a little bit, but just enough so when i pull the tray out and spill off the rest of the remaining coffee and put it back in to bake; this leaves room for more gracious imperfections to bake into the paper.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sometimes i am 5 inches tall

This is one of my first design pieces while in college. Our assignment was very open. My design was to be introducing a new line of candy or chocolates. This is supposed to be something you would see in a magazine. The age group on this would be teenage to young adult. Witty, almost smart humor is the main theme to this piece.
My amateur design, coupled with my raw artwork has certainly produced work that i find myself constantly criticizing. Now trying to find my strengths in design has been the most violent dispute with myself. But on occasion i find when i put my illustration into my design work, a satisfying piece can be created.
Yep, this is totally not a real company. The coffee's real, the idea behind it and the image are certainly real. But for those of you looking for a credible, professional piece, in which i accumulated money or atleast a monetary compensation for a design such as this...look elsewhere, for this is not one of those pieces.

**But i will tell you how this was accomplished because the process is the same in the professional world as it is in the amateur graphic artists mind. (hate to disappoint those discriminating professionals out there who may be reading this)**

Kona coffee; as many late night creatives will tell you; is a Hawaiian grown coffee. Its the same as any coffee though. It's black, it stains, is served hot and has caffeine.
-I obviously went 'vector-crazy' on this piece. But it was a very good exercise to go from the sketch pad
immediately to illustrator.
-Obviously this was an assignment given while in college. I sketched like crazy for a few hours or so, getting nothing accomplished as to what the final piece was going to look like. So i went to the nearby Genardi's grocery store and got the cheapest bag of coffee i could find. I opened it up at the seams and put all the beans in a plastic bag.
-Then i took the measurements for all of the seams and creases on the bag that i had just dissected, and made a grid on the computer.

-This dissection of the bag of coffee really is a good example of what my brain does when it is handed an assignment such as this. Dissection, experimentation, whatever you want to call it. Just getting your hands dirty can really make the difference between an accomplished piece and a very dry or lacking piece.

***This is kinda cool, i just found these thumbnails i was messing around with before i came up with the actual idea for the Kona coffee thing. Enjoy.***