Sep 24, 2009
"Bandito" illustration. (Click Image to View Larger)
This artwork was originally created for a sticker set I designed for a power tool manufacturer. And you can read about that creative process here. But like a good digital artist with an entrepreneurial spirit I'm re-purposing my creativity.
"Bandito" t-shirt design.
Let the fabled south of the border Bandito inspire your wardrobe with his hot pepper personality. View and or order a shirt here.
"Bandito" sticker design.
Badges? You don't need no stinking badges! You need this stinking sticker!
My client requested an illustration of a Mexican Bandito. Of course the first thing to pop into my mind was a favorite childhood cartoon mascot called Frito Bandito.
And as the rabbit trails of my mind work I had that theme song stuck in my head the whole week, humming it as I drew my art. But I digress.
The client actually sent me one of the tools and like they do on American Chopper I had to create a custom die for the sticker based on the tools casing. My creative challenge was to provide the requested theme in a very restrictive format, so I drew out my art with the final shape of the sticker as my guide.
Usually I draw and redraw until I get exactly what I want to build. I don't like leaving a lot of guess work in the build stage of my creative process. It just wastes time. Since this art is symmetrical I only have to draw half of it. Digital FTW.
Once I scan in my refined sketch I simply start building my vector shapes. For more about vector build methods and plugins that make it easier just visit my tutorial web site and you'll find all kinds of information on how to control your bezier curves like a pro.
I draw all my art out before I hit the computer. If you can get into a good creative habit of working this way you'll see a huge improvement in your work and it'll prevent you from becoming a Tooler.
With all my shapes built and fused together via the Pathfinder Palette I'm ready to work out how I'll model my art with more details.
I'm a digital artist but my creative process goes back and forth between digital and analog. So when it comes to shading I print out my base art and grab a pencil. 2B or not 2B, that is the pencil!
Building the Shading.
Once I've drawn out how I want the shading and highlights to be handled. I scan it back in and use it as my guide to build the vector shapes.
Details of Illustration.
Once I have the shading resolved I visually study the art and determine other areas to drop in darker shades and highlights to create depth and focus attention within my design. I also start to balance my color palette and experiment with tonal values until it feels right.
It's not always a visual thing, sometimes it just has to feel right. Call it a creative intuition but I depend on it a lot. It's the one intangible aspect of my creative process that is hard to define.
Art in Context.
This is the actual tool the sticker will be applied too. It'll wrap the front of the casing. During the process I'm printing the art out and if time permits putting it aside and looking at it with fresh eyes later and making any necessary changes that improve the art.
This shows the final art for the Tool a little larger. You can see this art re-purposed for other usages here.
Sep 23, 2009
Photo from Tillamook Air Museum.
After posting about the Graphic Eye BookI started looking through some of my other photos from the past few months and pulled a handful to share on my blog. Some are creative, some are pedestrian, but they all combine to form a side order of my life.
Tropical plant detail.
Even though I live in the Pacific Northwest, land of Bigfoot, UFO's, and the Green Mermaid, our specific zone allows us to have lush tropical plants as well so my backyard is turning into a tropical eco-system with a pond, koi fish, frogs, dragon flies and an assortment of tropical flora.
Altered states of Bean.
World class illustrator Michael Bast and myself admiring "The Chicago Bean" at the wonderful Millennium Park in downtown Chicago.
Nikon CoolPix P5100
As you can see I shot all these pictures with my Nikon CoolPix P5100. It's easy to use and gives me a whopping 12.1 mega pixels to work with
Vanilla cappuccino artwork.
I love it when baristas get artsy with their coffee.
I love cool organic shots like this. I'm now using this image in my desktop organizer.
Reflecting on Impressionism.
I took my daughters to a feed some ducks one night and thought the reflections on the pond looked very Claude Monet in appearance.
The one thing I admire the most about old school architecture is the attention to artistic detail they put into seemingly mundane things like an elevator gate. You just don't see this type of craftsmanship or art in new buildings being constructed now.
The Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art has a whole exhibit of rescued pieces like this from building that were demolished in order to construct new ones.
To stand mere inches away from an American classic like this is a bit surreal. I had no idea it was in the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art until I walked around the corner and there it was. I was a little surprised by the condition of the frame, it looks like old barn wood.
Friends original art.
Sometimes I help friends out who can't really draw. Such was the case here. He had put together the image above which captured the emotion he desired but it lacked that professional quality.
I used his art as the foundational framework for my artistic make-over.
This is the final context of the artwork.
Sep 18, 2009
"The Graphic Eye" by Stefan G. Bucher
Stefan G. Bucher is one of those unique creative types that's always thinking, always creating, and that type of mojo produces inspiring work like his latest book "The Graphic Eye: Photographs by Graphic Designers from around the Globe"
This book isn't your everyday coffee table photo gallery of landscapes or boudoir photography, it's uniquely creative images captured by graphic designers and they are anything but mainstream.
I was honored to be asked to participate in this new book and each designer was asked to submit "10" images and Stefan picked which one would appear in the book.
The below photo was the image of mine he chose to appear in the book. And this post contains all "10" I had submitted and the story behind each. I've always enjoyed photography, so I hope you enjoy the read.
"Zimbabwe Elder" photograph
I captured the above image when I traveled to Israel. I met this guy one afternoon in Nazereth. He was from Zimbabwe Africa and was a really nice man. I thought he would make for a good picture too!
"Bug Out" photograph
I caught this caterpillar doing chin-ups near a water fall in the Oregon woods.
While exploring a local junk yard I discovered this distressed chemical barrel.
"Kaibeto Canyon" photograph
A couple years ago I spent two weeks on the Navajo Nation reservation in Arizona helping with a children's ministry and this image was from a local canyon we hiked into.
"Knock Knock" photograph
Curb appeal is strictly an American fascination. This ancient door located in Old Jerusalem has wonderfully decrepit character.
"Mr. Pinchy" photograph
This Oregon local hangs out at the local tide pool. If you blow in his face he'll get really mad and start foaming at the mouth.
"Narrow Road" photograph
This first century walk way in Old Jerusalem might have been walked on by Jesus? The second law of thermal dynamics really creates some heavenly textures!
"Temple Mount" photograph
An Arab man reads early in the morning. You don't need Starbucks to hang out and read a good book.
"Xerox Poop" photograph
My printer eats glorified crayons. Expensive crayons. So when my printer goes to the bathroom this is what it looks like. It's good to be creatively curious, that's why I still have this wax toner on my desk, it's too cool looking to throw away.
"Box Car Neuvo" photograph
Colorful and abandoned. Mundane and beautiful. Only a color blind hobo would not appreciate this box car.
Be sure to check out Stefans new book here.
Sep 4, 2009
My fish art stolen and sold on VectorStock.com
Like millions of other people the first thing I do most days is check my email. I sit down with a cup of coffee and read through my inbox early in the morning, respond to anything waiting my attention and put out any necessary fires.
My least favorite email subjects to read in the morning are ones that say:
"Is this your artwork?"
I dread opening them (But I do appreciate people point them out too), because I often find an attachment showcasing another infringement or a link to a web page that has my art displayed on it, or worse selling it.
These emails are always a double-edged sword for me. One one hand I appreciate people watching out for me, but each time always ends up taking at least an hour of my time to respond and there is no way to recoup that loss. On the other hand I've spent about a hundred hours this year alone getting to know the copyright laws in and out.
Well I got one of these emails today and it informed me that a nebulous user going by the screen name of "TuNiSaNo003" had posted my art as his own on VectorStock.com (It's now been removed)
A Growing Problem
As I write this post I have had over "50" separate cases of copyright infringement so far in 2009. I just settled a matter that happened four months ago which I had to get my copyright lawyer involved in, but thankfully most I can handle using my DMCA formatted infringement letter.
Such was the case with this most recent example of stolen art.
I really wish Google would buyout a company like Tineye.com and make it really useful with their infinite database. They could offer it much like Google Analytics and I'd even be willing to pay an annual fee to track my art.
Come on Google Spiders sniff out this post and put it in front of you acquisition board.
My original doodle wall art.
I created this art as part of a creative experiment I did a few years ago. I'm not sure if the weasel pulled the image from this post or if he got it from my corresponding tutorial?
IllustrationClass.com tutorial "Doodle Book Worm."
I'm guessing the culprit pulled this image from my tutorial on IllustrationClass.com since it has a larger jpeg in it of the same artwork?.
Either way VectorStock.com responded to my infringement letter and removed my artwork and shut down the users account in a very reasonable time I may add.
Copyright Infringement Letter
As a creative our work will exist online for the duration of our career in one way or another. So at some point you'll have to deal with those who have no scruples taking your work without permission and using it. I hope this pre-formatted letter will help you deal with the situation a lot easier.
View/Download Copyright Infringement Letter.