Listen my children and I’ll tell you of an age when there were no computers. It was a happy, simpler time when talented illustrators existed and thrived using such archaic tools as brushes and charcoal sticks. I have found evidence these magical creatures, these pre-digital forms of human artists actually existed.
If you would like to study the work of this age gone by, you’ll have more than you can shake a mouse at in this flickr collection assembled by illustrator Leif Peng. I was astounded at the sheer volume of sets he’s collected. Lots of great retro inspiration to be had there for both illustrators and designers alike. Be prepared to spend some time there.
Collection: Classic Illustrators by Name
Just ran across this Photoshop Tutorial site today and added it to my site list. A lot of useful info for digital artists particularly if you’re interested in painting in Photoshop
A new t-shirt design I did for fun to show support for the troops (Marines specifically). More about that and my Cafe Press shop.
I actually found myself going to the Post Office for something I didn’t need. I bought a pane of these cool Star Wars stamps commemorating the 30th anniversary of the movie release. It’s a fun design and they even used famed movie and Star Wars illustrator Drew Struzan, a favorite of mine. Rumor has it that post offices in some cities are having trouble keeping these in stock. The Postal Service asked people to vote on their favorite stamp (Yoda won by the way) which will get its own singles sheet. Not bad marketing. Way to go postal dudes.
I recently designed this logo for a business consulting firm and it was a joy to do. While I know nautical themes aren’t new, imagery that is out of the mainstream of a particular industry is interesting and fun. Don’t we have enough business consulting logos that have bar chart stair steps or law firms with the scales of justice? Don’t you tire of seeing doctors logos with snakes on sticks or realtors with little roofs over their name? Oh sure I’ve done plenty of that predictable stuff too. Its often unavoidable. But what about a chicken for a copywriter or some fish for an ecommerce consultant or a cat and mouse for a design firm (all real examples I’ve seen). This company just happens to have a cool name which led to a creative, elegant solution not usually associated with business consultants. The added value of memorable imagery is a boost to their brand.
Interesting post about what has changed on the web in the last 8 years. I knew there was some good reason I spent a week training on CSS layout prior to my last web design assigment.
Tables - With the advent of CSS the web just got more cleaner. There are still some people who refuse to give up using tables to design a web layout, and then there are those that you are just left asking yourself - Why? Pixel perfect positioning with a lightweight web page are just some of the benefits of using CSS to build your websites.
I love working with clients that allow me to walk beside them in their growth and development, sometimes growing from modest beginnings to impressive size and scope. DeVita and Associates is just such a client. Frank DeVita and I worked together on his first real logo some 10 years ago. I’ve seen Frank’s business grow substantially as he expanded his facilities, added divisions and services and, most recently, opened a new office in India; for which he employed me to supply the logo design. I count it a privilege to work with him, but more than that I think we both realize the win-win scenario that develops in a long term business relationship; a factor that has made him so successful with his own clients. Over the years I have gotten to know his business and he has become familiar with my work and style. Efficiencies develop in the process, not to mention insight that allows me to provide a design that we are both proud of. Thanks Frank!
Shown here is the first logo I designed for him around 10 years ago, and the most recent logo done for his new office in India.
I’m realizing (more slowly than most artists probably) that outstanding art, design and illustration is a function of personal passion and devoted style, not merely people pleasing popularity (say that 5 time fast). To execute art seething with remarkable qualities takes passion and devotion to your personal taste and style. Success in a business model means you only need enough takers to make you profitable not necessarily popular. If your art is popular thats cool, but if popularity is your inspiration and driving force, then what you produce is probably going to be mediocre at best.
In marketing design we artists are often forced into molds and directions not of our choosing, and pleasing the masses becomes more necessary and critical. But our own visual style, that which we are most passionate about, can and should still come through because if it does the end product will be a better product.
Seth Godin perhaps says it best. The dilemma is one of deciding between the electable vs. the marketable. This is brilliant thinking and words to live by as an artist.