Saturday, November 5, 2011

Nemo matte painting/book cover

Here's a bit of an experiment - part digital painting, part photo composite, kind of a book cover, kind of just a pretty picture. To the left is a closeup of the figure that would appear on the cover if it was a cover. I was imagining a Little Nemo in Slumberland-meets-Labyrinth tale about a young woman's adventure in a dream kingdom. Below is the full composition, vaguely planned as a hardcover dust jacket - the sun's on the spine, the two mountains are the flaps.
click images to enlarge

Friday, October 28, 2011

Nick Cave album designs

This is a project I really enjoyed - redesigning Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' album Murder Ballads. It's a fine album but the album art (left) is fairly bizarre. Was Thomas Kinkaide involved? The album redesigns below date back to last autumn, when my now well-worn Intuos tablet was shiny and new. I tried out three different concepts - hit the jump to see two additional designs.

click images to enlarge

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


The long-awaited story of my internship: I've been volunteering at Heartside Ministry for coming up on three months. After emailing one day without a clear idea of how I could help, I was first assigned to tutor in the GED center and liaison with the Public Library - a big part of Heartside Ministry is connecting downtown Neighbors to outside resources, which is also the Library's mission: "Connecting people to the transforming power of knowledge."

I was also introduced to the Heartside Gallery, a fabulous gallery and free drop-in studio. There is a generally-2d studio upstairs and woodworking, pottery, and fabric arts downstairs. Some of our artists are homeless, disabled, or have mental health problems, others are just down on their luck or lack another creative environment. More than the Library ever could, the studio helps protect and cultivate self-identity: through creation, our artists demonstrate that they are so much more than a litany of half-met needs. Many of the art supplies are donated and volunteers facilitate and keep things organized. I started out as a studio volunteer and was invited by the art director, Sarah, to upgrade to "Marketing and Design Intern" while still volunteering in the studio and GED center. It's perhaps slightly unusual since I'm not interning through KCAD, just helpin' out as I'm able. (More type and two drawings after the jump.)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Spanish Children's Book

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Four drawings I knocked out very quickly last week for a coworker - she needed illustrations for a Spanish children's book and was considering using Bratz doll clipart. Nothing is more repugnant than Bratz doll clipart, so I quickly sketched, scanned, inked and colored these four drawings in the span of an afternoon in the name of childhood innocence. The story is about a young girl who helps out in her father's restaurant. I tried to shoot for a Bratz doll style while avoiding the Jodie Foster circa 1976 look.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Copper Pot

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Here's a logo and menu design for a restaurant proposal that I really hope takes off, because the menu sounds more and more delicious the longer you stare at it and no one has stared at it longer than me. The Copper Pot would be part of the proposed Grand Rapids farmer's market/food Mecca (read more here) that other downtown residents and I are impatiently eagerly awaiting. At least the Fulton St Farmer's Market is opening soon, ending months of fevered dreams of Lubbers Farm's baked goods.

My boy Tim spearheaded the project, acting as menu composer and art director. Our friend Devon (Tim keeps it in the family) created interior and exterior renderings - the restaurant will have a quite cool '50s retro design that she captured beautifully. Below are both sides of the summer menu, click for sizes big enough to read and salivate over.

click to enlarge images

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor

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In an odd coincidence, I did this little study of Liz Taylor from a photo a few days before her death. It's one of the more complete drawings I'd done in some time, but in hindsight I wish the focus was on her face more than her arms (the interesting part of the photo.) While I haven't seen many of her films, I've long admired Ms Taylor's attitude and beauty. The library where I work had a large photo book of her extraordinary jewelery collection with the often funny story behind each piece printed alongside - when reshelving in the same section, I frequently sought it out to read a few pages and imagine the kind of spirit required to wear jewelery of that scale. The book vanished a few years ago (probably discarded and sold), but I saved a few other photos from a biography destined for the shred bin, including the shot from A Place in the Sun used for the above sketch.