Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I love it when a group of artists are given a broad theme and then have to each interpret that theme according to his or her own style. It is fascinating to see what each artist comes up with! This year, MB Artists is having their annual fall party for artists and art directors. The agency wanted each illustrator to create 2 small (printed at 1 inch x 1 inch!) pieces of line art based on the theme of transportation to be used on the invitation and other promotional give-away items. Working so small can be a challenge, because there is only so much detail that can be successfully included without cluttering up the work.

For my first piece, I wanted to highlight my favorite subject matter to draw - children. I did not want to picture any traditional form of transportation, and tried to think of something unusual, but recognizable. In the end, I decided on the segue, since kids are so embracing of new technology and the future. Plus, it's a really cool machine! For my second piece, I wanted to show that I can draw animals. Here, I wanted to get a little more playful. Because I love the porcupine from one of my portfolio pieces, I decided to experiment with his character a bit more in this assignment.

I wish I could see what all of the other artists created for their "transportation" line art. I am sure there are some really clever illustrations in the mix! I guess I'll just have to wait until September to see them all!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Expanding the Porfolio

Ah, freelance. You're either working until the wee hours of the night, or not at all! I'm in a bit of a lull right now, and while I am looking hopefully towards the horizon for the next project, I'm also enjoying the opportunity to build my portfolio with some personal pieces. Sometimes, it is more of a challenge to create concepts and illustrations out of thin air than to illustrate with a manuscript! So, I have been drawing inspiration from my own childhood memories and fantasies.

One of my favorite memories was of growing up in Boston. My brother, sister and I would spend so many weekends at the beach, perfecting the art of sand castle building, and digging deep moats to protect our creations from the tide. (The ocean always won out, by the way). One particular sand castle stood out. It was as tall as me (well, the 6 year old me), and we decorated it with all the shells we could find. It was magnificent. Looking back at photos, our castle was really just a very very large embellished pile of sand, but that does not seem to taint the vision that I still have in my mind. So, I painted "The Grand Castle" in honor of our childhood architectural achievement.

Like most kids, I went through a phase where I was obsessed with dinosaurs. I loved to explore the field across the street, and imagine that all of the rocks I collected were fossils. Of course, no 4 year old palentologist should exlore alone, so Dad would take me "trail blazing" across the uncharted territory of the field behind the middle school. I never did find a real dinosaur back there, but you never know where they could have been hiding. Perhaps during my next trip out to Boston, I'll stop by my field and take a look, just in case. Until then, my new "Trail Blazing" piece will keep the fantasy alive.

For my next trick, I will be working on some pieces with more unusual perspectives. I just need to play with some concepts and thumbnails. Stay tuned!