Monday, December 26, 2005

Finally, one style...

Over the years, I have developed many styles for various projects, and when trying to sell my illustration services, I think it was likely a bit of a drawback, not having one style that is identified with me.

Well, I finally developed a style that allows me to use all the different styles I have developed, and feels like my style. It's a collage based style, a bit battered, and a bit retro that will eventually be available on tees, journals, cards and such.

I liked it enough to recreate the header for the shop and the blog in the new style, and eventually the style drive the new look of

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

More from the vault...

Around the same time that I was developing my MondoBrat collection, I started a smaller collection, Punchinello.

What started as a little illustration of a hand puppet version of the character, Punch, from Punch and Judy, grew into a collection of 100 images. About 43 of those seemed suitable for merchandising, and those are the basis for our new Punchinello line. The first 9 designs are online, with more to come shortly.

Punchinello has a folksy feel, like a primitive woodcut, and covers subjects from jet packs to accordians.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Mondo what?

Way back in the day, I designed a line of image fonts, fonts with pictures instead of letterforms. They are still available from under the Ampersand Digital Foundry name.

Around that time, I began to develop some clip art collections as well, but I never did anything with them.

MondoBrat is one of those series, and it has found new life with my CafePress® shop. Images in this series are somewhat squat and definitely rough around the edges. A select few of the over 300 images are available now...

What are these Quelstar Tin Toys?

After several series of robot art, I became interested in the packaging of tin toy robots from science fiction's Golden Age. Since I could not recreate actual artwork from actual robots of that era, I needed to come up with my own robot designs. And there had to be a company that makes them. That led to rayguns, rockets and spaceships.

Eventually that led to the development of characters, from which some of these robots, rayguns and spaceships would have come.

Where it began....

When I was 11 or 12 years old, I began to play around with block printing. With the help of my mother, an artist herself, I created a block print of a sailboat and and one of a surfer. I sold them in my mom's gallery, and eventually sold every print that I made. I don't know if any still exist.

By the time I was 14, I was a bit tired of block prints, and created a series of the North Carolina lighthouses. These were pen and ink drawings of the 7 lighthouses, which we reproduced, and then hand tinted with watercolor.

I later moved on to photography and to acrylic painting to oil painting and to sculpture and to watercolor and to gouache and eventually to computer-based illustration. My niche has been trying to recreat traditional media digitally.

After 20 years of selling the original lighthouse series, I felt the need to revisit the subject matter to show that I have progressed a bit since the age of 14. So, I created a new series of the NC lighthouses, in a style reminiscient of 1930s travel posters. It's sort of a "coming full circle" for me, to revisit some of my earliest subject matter, and I have since begun to turn my attention to other states. A series of the South Carolina lighthouses is underway, and I am gathering reference for every lighthouse in the US.

What's behind the curtain...

Thought I might take a moment to explain a little bit about what drives me to create the work I do. Certains things just strike my fancy, like robots and the Golden age of Science Fiction. I am a bit of a collector, and I love kitsch, and I tend to yearn for times past, when more people were polite and helpful.

Being a graphic designer by trade, it has fallen to me many times in my past to have to recreate a graphic look from a bygone era, and that has translated into many illustration styles for me. I have had the opportunity to work at the international level with some great designers, and you can't spend time with those people without gaining new insight into art and design. I picked up a few new interests from them, too.

I will use this blog to tell a little bit about each design or series of designs I do, and to announce new ones. I hope you will return often, and that you will find this insight interesting.