deep roots

oh man, i don’t know how i forgot to post this!

i’m in love with my pattern- i plan to use it for the end pages of my portfolio and maybe for wrapping paper or in future hand-made books.


isn’t it cute??

(sorry to post at such an overwhleming size- but i love it)


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the secret ingredient

hey blog,

here ‘s my final submission for the portfolio day mailer.  it wasn’t chosen- but i get why, and it doesn’t change how much i like the piece- which is a lot.  this was just a really nice piece to just bang out over two days, it went incredibly fast, and i’m really happy with how it came out.  the problem fundamentally is that the piece doesn’t work without the incredibly cheesy tagline (looking for that secret ingredient?), so better to just drop it and have a good piece without a lot of concept.

i’m ok with not being generic enough to speak for an entire senior class of illustrators- i’m big on selective humor, not everybody needs to get what i’m doing, or find it funny.  but i know there’s someone out there who can relate.

seriously, i don’t know about you- but this exactly what happens everytime i set foot in the kitchen:


literally, i look at the stove and the smoke detector goes off.

oh and about that secret ingredient- it doesn’t exist.

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under the stars

this is the third piece of my senior thesis- the poster for Stars.

it ended up being my favourite of the four pieces, i think, because it was the smoothest sailing, and is my favourite colour scheme.  so i think that’s how it weaseled it’s way up to the first place spot.  although- there is still a warm spot for the first piece and how much work i put into that type.

first, the initial thumbnail sketch and revised sketch:


big changes right?  yeah, i’m not sure what was going on with the first one (i kind of hated this piece during the sketching phase) but once i redid it a couple of times i started to like it more.

now with value and color:


and then i moved right along to the final:


and yeah- this one was really a breeze compared to the others.  but i don’t think that’s the only reason i like it so much- i really am pleased with how it came out.  this was one of those rare cases where clarity came in the crunch, and things just fell into place.

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continuing the reveal of my senior thesis projects is the poster for feist.

this piece was so awful to do- i’m glad it turned out as well as it did.

bear with me, this will be a long post as i take you through the whole process in order to stress the importance of good preliminary sketches and planning.  i’m glad that my lesson learned didn’t affect my ability to finish all four on time.  (did i mention i was actually done a few days early?  unheard of!)

so initially it was just that i had chosen such an awkward angle that sketching proved to be very difficult- as is evidenced by the quality of my earlier sketches and color study:


and i never did get adequate reference since it’s basically an anitomically impossible pose.   (the first of many annoying problems during the process of this piece)   i ended up having to redraw the main figure after the final full size lineart was critted (this is before):


awkward, right?  i know.  so she was almost completely overhauled, and this is what i turned in before winterbreak:


the only reason i’m posting this version is because of how much more amazing the final version looks by comparison.

the first important crit for this piece was that i had to redo the lineart to match how i had done it for the first piece.  it was a completely experimental process involving frosted mylar and watercolor pencils- but it really stuck with ralph and he insisted i do everything that way from now on.  (post-ely the method hasn’t lasted very long, it’s pretty time consuming- but i’ll keep it around for special occasions).

it’s also  important to note at this point that the video card in my laptop up and dies (literally moments before i had planned to back-up my files- another lesson learned the heart-attack way).   fortunately for me, my files were easily recovered, unfortunately my laptop was sent out to apple and i lost all of my swatches and presets, and was banished to the uncalibrated studio computer.  which was only available to me during open school hours (which is super inconvenient when i work until 10pm all weekend).

not to whine (because i know several students worked that way the entire semester) but having to do 3 of 4 elys on the schools computers was extremely frustrating.

in spite of all that- i finished, it’s done, and i’m still very proud:


we all had problems, some more than others, but congratulations to everyone who finished on time.

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senior thesis

now that the first milestone due date is imminent i feel pretty comfortable posting these in their “finished” state.

the elys have been printed, matted, and i am so relieved.  i know there will be changes and reprints, and even if they don’t make me, i will probably reprint at least one for my own satisfaction.

it’s just very weird to me that this thing that was once so out of reach is suddenly kind of over.  i thought i would never finish, let alone with time to spare.

granted, i did spend almost 60 hours straight in front of computer screen (which i’m sure has done some kind of irreparable damage to my already poor vision, not to mention my brain), but it’s done.  i did it.  i am finally a little proud of myself.

anyway, enough self-reflection.

here is a tight sketch and value study for ely #1:


it’s “tight”, but still pretty far off from the final.  i was looking to post more of a transition from thumbnail to sketch, to tight sketch- but i guess the really early sketches never made it to the scanner.

and as you can see in the sketch i was so lost on the type- but by the final things were beginning to fall into place:


i’m in love with the band name (out of all the elys, that is the part i am most proud of), but i’m a little ambivalent towards the rest of the type.  but by the last one, i was really pleased with all of the type- so, while i’m really happy with this one, i consider it to be the jumping off point for the type on later pieces.

tomorrow, ely #2!

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a little anxious for spring

it’s true- i am.  not that i don’t love the bitter cold or anything, but no really, i am not ready for the single digits tomorrow night that i am going to have to bike home from work in.

another page from my little sketchbook, that i did when i was particularly nostalgic for the warm.


did i mention that i’m really not into the whole school being closed on monday thing.  i know it’s an important holiday, and i appreciate that it pushes class back a day- but i really need to get in that building!  i’ve gotten to the point where almost everything i need to do has to happen at school.

i don’t really have space to work full size at home, and i definitely don’t have an old Vandercook printing press hanging around.

damn break is no break at all.

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oh! i meant to post this back when i did it, you know, months ago- but that was during one of my distracted phases.

these are some likenesses that i did for a stamp project- they are my favourite npr personalities: terry gross, dan savage, and ira glass


this is actually one of the few pieces from this past semester that i was really into and was really proud of right when i finished them.  i think that was because i did it back near the beginning of the semester, back when i really liked what i was doing.

but i have high hopes for this next semester, and am very optimistic.

i’ve been trying to get my head back in the right place, and i’m getting really close.  now i just need to work on this internet fixation i have- it is just so distracting.

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