Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fresh Pots!!!!

This piece was a commission in which the statement provided was to be included in the illustration of a coffee pot.  In order to keep the design clean, I created a calligram out of the words to tie (or flow), into the illustration.  The piece first started as a sketch, which was scanned, and then digitally hand traced in Painter, and manipulated in Photoshop.



Pan's Labyrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno)

This particular illustration was done as part of a collective online gallery show, paying homage to the horror genre.  The project was called YayHMAD (Horror Movie A Day), as currated by Yay! LA Magazine in which several artists from around the world participated in this year, as an ongoing annual project.  Each artist was given the opportunity to select a movie from a list provided, and provide a representation of said film through the medium of their choosing.  It was an amazing, and rewarding project that I was very proud to have participated in.  Below is the excerpt I included with the piece to Yay! LA Magazine when the work was unveiled during the last week of October.

Pan’s Laybrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno)
Medium:  Digital (Corel Painter)

I’ve always been a fan of fairytales since early childhood, having been raised on a healthy dose of Disney, and  it wasn’t until adolescence that I was introduced to the workings of the literary masters, The Brothers Grimm.  It was then, that I realized these tales were not for the faint of heart, and many of the morals were missing from their commercialized counterparts.  These tales were never meant for children, and up until Guillermo Del Toro deliver us Pan’s Labyrinth, their representation in modern film had been all but absent.  In true homage to his predecessor, Del Toro delicately paints a picture with his signature style, in which he represents an ongoing display of humanity at its extremes, and ultimately tells a story, in which not all things end happily ever after…or do they?  With this piece I wanted to capture the essence of the film, by portraying Ofelia’s journey into a fantastical world that is ultimately,  both a dream and a reality. 



Eckmann Typeface Educational Poster

This poster was used in a classroom setting in order to demonstrate, and illustrate, the infamous Art Nouveau font Eckmann. The poster outlines the history of it's development by fine artist turned graphic artist Otto Eckmann, and also highlights Eckmann's inspirational source.  The poster reflects the art movement popular during the typesets implementation, in addition to its structural design.  The poster was created entirely in Illustrator. 


Gentrification

This book cover design was part of a larger project based on Gentrification, and the influences that affluent individuals have had on urban communities.  The concept was to visually demonstrate the influences through parody, but using a highly recognizable design.  In this case the parody was based on the game of Monopoly, in which board sections were replaced by places or objects that have been influenced by the gentrification process (in this case, rent inflation, and the craft brew phenomenon).  The book itself consists of several additional pages (10 in total), that represent gentrification through different design approaches.



Fork it Over

This particular poster was designed as a commentary on the mass marketing done during the holiday seasons.  Each 'fork' represents (quite literally), it's respective celebratory occasion with the portrayal of a consumable that would be present during each said event.  The forks themselves were illustrated by hand, and then scanned, in order to give the overall design a more 'crafty' or 'pintrest' style.  The piece is done mostly in Illustrator with some adjustments made in Photoshop, and additional elements done in Painter.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Silvanus

IF (Illustration Friday) 7/24/15, the topic was Nature.  It's been a while since I've posted anything, and not from lack of effort.  I've decided to take on more detailed projects, so I have still been keeping tabs on the IF topics (since they are great for stimulating ideas, and new projects), but I wanted to attempt a different direction this year with my work.  I decided to take a break from the more detailed piece I was working on, and simply make it my goal to bring something more 'simple' to completion (completion being the key word here).  This particular piece I did was based on an sketch I had come across in an old sketchbook while I was looking for a different forgotten project.  The concept was initially for a story I was tinkering with formulating, and was inspired by a character from a 'Forgotten Realms' novel I had read in my youth.  The character was that of Silvanus, an Elder God of Nature, who ironically was adapted from Celtic Mythology (if my research is on point).  In the novel, Silvanus appeared as a stag to one of his acolytes, in response to her prayers to heal a withering forest.  In my portrayal I gave Silvanus ethereal eyes (to convey his divinity), and added the multi-seasonal leaves (to depict his influence over nature).  The image is entirely digital, done in Painter.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Nostalgia/Fascination

These illustrations were for a recent group show I did at The Comic Book Hideout in Down Town Fullerton.  The show was themed around the works of Marvel, primarily those pertaining to the recent films, and the Inifinity Stones. 
For these works I chose 'Guardians of the Galaxy' as my inspiration.  The film was great, and straddled a fine line between being futuristic but also reminiscent of the past.  Since the film itself was propelled not only by story, but also the music, I wanted to capture the spirit as much as possible.  The idea I had early on was pretty simple, and carried all the way through to the finished product (which for me is rare but I had a clear idea with this one).  I wanted to create 'posters' similar to the iTunes series with the silhouettes wearing headphone, and dancing with their iPods in hand.  For my composition though I utilized Star Lord's walkman instead of an iPod or iPhone, and wanted to include a few things that pertained to both characters in their pieces. 
For Starlord ('Nostalgia'), originally I wanted to have him flipping the bird, but scrapped that and instead painstakingly recreated his elemental gun in his opposing hand.  In order to fill in the empty space to the right, I did some research to see if Star Lord had an insignia or symbol that I could include (much like the Apple Logo on their iTunes cards or products).  I found a few different symbols, and then referenced the movie for authenticity.   I decided that since Star Lord was from an earlier era (one that he arguably never grew out of), I wanted to distress his poster, and used the color scheme from the soundtrack that was released to tie it all together. 
For Gamora ('Fascination'), I had a more difficult time including elements that would identify her character to an onlooker.  I decided that, being an alien (or non-human), and having really no home of her own, I would make her background celestial (which is retro-ish as well I suppose).  I had the walkman attached to her belt instead of holding it, and placed her signature sword in one hand, while the other presses the earphone towards her ear.  For the empty space on Gamora's poster, I couldn't find anything that really worked well to fill it, and being unfamiliar with her character outside of the film made the task even more difficult.  I ultimately decided on doing a graphic depiction of the Orb of Power that she was seeking in the film, and in order to link the pieces together, utilized the same bands from the Star Lord piece on Gamora's, and unified it's color scheme but using the same color as the Orb.  I originally intended on making Gamora's silhouette a gradient of green, but it just didn't look right.  I also was going to distress her poster, but it didn't seem to work as well on her piece as Star Lord's.  The other reason I discarded the idea was because, seeing as she's from space, it really didn't make sense to use that same strategy (as her personality is also different from that of Star Lord's).
Both works are entirely digital, done in Painter with some adjustments made in Photoshop and Illustrator.


Geas

This particular piece was one I did for the Rankin-Bass Group Show at Creature Features in Burbank California.  The show was themed around the works of the legendary Claymation/Animation producers Arthur Rankin Jr., and Julie Bass who's huge library of work was to be represented in the group show "The Enchanted World of Rankin-Bass".  The show took place in December of 2014, and ran until January 2015.
For my contribution to the show I selected on of their adaptation of Peter S. Beagle's "The Last Unicorn" (of which Beagle was heavily involved).  In my piece, my intention was to capture the essence of the story, and also depict a color gradient by transitioning from one sequence of events in the story to the next in succession.   I had always wanted to do a piece depicting the story, having seen it as a child, it had left a lasting impression on me with it's handling of mortality, sacrifice, and identity.  Originally I was intending on only depicting Almathea (the lead protagonist), in both forms, and make the piece reversible.  I still kept the concept, but instead filled it with the events from the film, kept the outline, incorporated the color transition, and also the ability for it to be displayed in two different ways. 
I've often been asked about the title of this particular piece.  It took me a while to come up with it, as is the usual for me.  I always like to give my piece interesting titles, that may have either multiple meanings, a play on words, or carrying some kind of significance pertaining to the work, or it's subject matter.  The term 'Geas' is one I lifted from my experience in youth playing Dungeons & Dragons.  In the campaign setting there are spells for varying character classes.  The spell of 'Geas' (from the Irish word Geis), or 'Quest' (as I believe it's called now), was a higher level ability of Clerics or Priests.  The spell itself was a type of curse for lack of a better term, in which the victim was compelled to perform some kind of task, quest, or command, which was to be completed by a specific deadline.  If the 'Geased' recipient did not fulfill the terms within the time frame, they would die. 
In the story of 'The Last Unicorn', Almathea (a unicorn), discovers she is the last of her kind, and sets off from the safety of her forest home to unravel the mysterious disappearance of her kin.  Along her travels Almathea meets a variety of characters, most of which she appears to as a normal mare, and only those gifted with magic can see her horn.  Early on she meets Schemdrick, a Novice Magician who accompanies her on the quest, and in an attempt to protect her, accidentally transforms her into a human.  Schemdrick's attempts to undo his spell are unsuccessful, and eventually concedes that, when Almathea has accomplished the task she needs to, the spell will lift on it's on.
The piece is entirely digital, done in Painter with some additional manipulation done in Photoshop.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Forest Spirit

IF (Illustration Friday) 3/27/15, the topic was Outside.  It's been a while since I've finished an IF topic, or at least brought it all the way to completion.  I have several pending, but alas, time is a luxury.  For this topic I struggled as to what I wanted to do.  I wanted to keep it relatively simple, but I also wanted it to be something that I felt related to the topic, and satisfied my interests.  I finally settled on portraying the 'Forest Spirit' from one of my favorite Hayao  Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli films, Princess Mononoke.  In the film there is a deer-like creature that guards the forest (the main source of conflict for the story), and ultimately becomes an unwitting pawn in the story.  I wanted to depict my interpretation of the Guardian, which was more heavily influenced by the European Myth of the 'White Stag'.  I tried to keep the form solid while making the Stag itself appear ghostly, and mystical.  The piece is entirely digital done in Painter.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Paragon...But Not Forgotten

IF (Illustration Friday) 2/20/15, the topic was Metropolis.  The only thing that came to mind with this topic was the last son of Krypton (that or the Fritz Lang movie of the same name).  I opted for the material I was more familiar with, and had a good idea for a layout already in mind.  I wanted to capture the duality of Kal-El, who he was, and who he has become.  I found some good reference since he's been around for ages, and tried to capture him as best as possible while interjecting my own take.  I did a lot research to make sure I captured the primarily elements of him, and his background appropriately.  This piece is late, and I didn't make it in time to submit it for IF, but I wanted to finish it as I have so many works that I am backlogged on now.  I'm really happy with how this one turned out as well, and I think I've made a lot of adjustments in my normal approach to make this a successful piece. The piece is entirely digital done in Painter.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

White Noise

IF (Illustration Friday) 2/6/14, the topic was Noise.  This topic much like some of the other sound related ones, was a bit more difficult for me to pin down visually.  The idea for this piece came when the new trailer for the 'Poltergeist' remake was released earlier last week.  While I have never seen the original all the way to the end, I have seen enough of it to rekindle the anxiety the it created as a child.  It was probably the first really scary movie I had ever seen (most of that is).  I decided to depict the scene that I found rather terrifying (which also related to this weeks topic), in which Carol Anne Freeling makes contact with the other side.  The moment for me was a haunting one, especially when I learned later that the actress who played her (Heather O'Rourke), had died tragically at a very young age shortly after filming the final installment of the series. The piece is entirely digital done in Painter. 


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Placebo

IF (Illustration Friday) 1/30/15, the topic was Jagged.  The subject matter for this piece came to me pretty quickly.  I'm struggling to keep up with the topics, mostly because I end up picking concepts that require more time than I have.  I've missed several topics over the last few weeks, although I have diligently been trying to complete them when time permits.  For jagged the first thing that came to mind was 'Jagged Little Pill', Alanis Morissette's titular album which debuted in 1995.  I wanted to depict a universally recognizable pill bottle, and literally represent the 'jagged' pill associated with the album's title.  I had a hard time finding resource material that represented something jagged, especially in pill form, because most representations just looked like broken pills instead a jagged one.  I ended up choosing a triangular shape since it had edges which in some ways could be considered jagged.  The piece is entirely digital done in Painter.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Premonition

IF (Illustration Friday) 1/9/15, the topic was Nefarious.  Coming up with an idea for this topic was a bit of a struggle for me.  I was toying with working on something from an older concept that was never realized, but it just didn't seem right for this particular topic.  I ended choosing another Marvel character to illustrate, and went through several different layout formats before finalizing it.  I wanted to capture the essence of one of my favorite X-men characters Jean Grey, and what many will recognize as her pivotal story arc (both on film and in the comic series).  For this illustration I wanted to reference who she was, is, and what she would eventually become.  I also wanted the illustration to be somewhat surreal, and was able to utilize one of Jean's older costume pieces (her mask as Marvel Girl before her identity became public), to frame the work, and to accentuate her eyes that capture her 'vision' of the Phoenix.  This work was also heavily inspired by the extremely talented Mikey Mayhew imagining of Jean. The piece is entirely digital done in Painter.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Jaded

IF (Illustration Friday) 1/2/15, the topic was Invention.  The idea for this one came quickly, but it was the overall layout I had trouble with capturing.  After several sketches, and some time researching which led me to several tangents, I came up with the final product.  I decided to depict the transformation of fictitious physicist Dr. Bruce Banner into the infamous Hulk.  Originally I wanted to illustrated the Hulk's face using background elements and an explosion, but that became too difficult, eventually I came upon an image of a mushroom cloud that looked like there was a face in, and that became my inspiration.  The piece is entirely digital done in Painter, with some manipulations done in Photoshop.