Friday, May 27, 2016

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

This piece was one of two images I did for Yay! LA (Magazine), and their series Yay! LED (Legends Everyday), an online showcase of several very talented artists wrapped around the themes of Fantasy, Science Fiction, Comic Books, and other Various Media (Movies/Video Games).  My first selection was Alice in Wonderland, and it was a project I had started many years ago with a simple sketch that just never came to fruition.  The initial drawing consisted of the tree with the rabbit hole, and Alice descending down the hall into Wonderland.  I decided it was time to blow the dust off this project, and make it tangible, but first I needed to decide which direction I was going to take with it since it had been some time since it's inception.  I knew that I wanted to capture the main points of Alice's story, in best the way possible that related visually to her journey.  It had been some time since I had read Lewis Carroll's novel, and having seen so many adaptations of the story, I could no longer discern fact from fiction (ironically).  I reread Carroll's classic, and annotated it as I progressed through, giving me a clearer vision of what I wanted to portray.  My intention was to capture the 'essence' of Carroll's tale by creating an illustrated narrative, and connecting the images together, one preceding to the next, in order to mimic the flow of Alice's perils. The image itself is not large, but it is extremely detailed, which can only be revealed upon close inspection.  One of my favorite things to do with narrative illustration is to included small details that the viewer has to 'work' for in order to truly appreciate.  In closing I'd like to say that this piece challenged me in many ways I haven't been before as an artist, and I think I learned quite a bit about my process, and how to tackle a piece differently.  The image is entirely digital, developed (painstakingly) in Painter, and Photoshop.

Genesis

This piece was created as a tribute to one of my favorite franchises 'Alien', was originally created in April 2016, and posted on my social media on 4/26/16 as part of the LV-426 movement.  This particular artwork was one of the quicker creations I have made, and came together rather suddenly.  Initially the plan was to create a completely different illustration, but I ditched that plan and instead decided on an inkblot-like 'face hugger' creature from the franchise, but over it's development, it took on much more.  As I worked on it, I notice, rather unintentionally, there was a gap at the top middle of the piece where the appendages were overlapping that was reminiscent of the xenomorphs facial structure.  I decided I would take advantage of this, and filled in the area with details to create an 'implied' xenomorph face.  At that point I decided that I wanted to imply different 'story' elements of the series, and included the eyes, nose, and mouth.  I did my best to capture the likeness of Sigourney Weavers features, but in order to retain the face hugger shape, I had to leave it less specific.  Overall, the image to me, portrays the 'Genesis' of the xenomorphs by representing each stage of their development (face-hugger, host, and xenomorph).  It is entirely digital, made in Painter, and Photoshop.

Food Pyramid

This image isn't so much a pun, as it is a literal interpretation of the term 'Food Pyramid'.  While the concept itself is antiquated, since the pyramid has been retired for some lame(r), version that is now a plate (food plate...serious?!!! WEAK), it is still an iconic image that is recognizable.  This particular piece was influenced due to a more personal journey I was on, in which I overhauled my personal nutrition.  The goal with this piece was to capture the essence of the 'Food Pyramid', by representing all the necessary food groups, but twisting it into a more comically expression of the pyramids you see formed by cheerleaders (afterall these foods are cheering you on to a balanced diet, right).  In order to complete the effect I even added marshmallow pom-poms onto the chocolate bar at the top of the pyramid (who's expressions are priceless).  In this piece, and many of my works, I attempted to add small bits of details that a true observer would be able to appreciate.  In the case of this work, I did my best to capture the personality of each food, or how I felt they would react in this situation. The illustration was made in March 2016, and available as a print at Wondercon 2016 in Los Angeles.  It is entirely digital, made in Illustrator, Painter, and Photoshop.

Han Solo Cup

This image was perhaps the most successful of all my pun related illustrations as the reception for it was tremendous.  I even had buttons made of it to sell during Wondercon.  In an effort to tap more into pop culture for my pun related designs, I attempted to brainstorm ideas for whatever current trend was favorable at the time, that being Star Wars.  The idea came to me at work, when I can across an iconic red solo cup, and BOOM, the rest was history...sort of.  This image did require a bit more research than most, because I wanted to make sure I captured Han Solo's clothing, demeanor, and accessories accurately.  There's nothing worse than creating art based on an extremely popular icon, and executing it poorly!  I think I capture his essence pretty well.  I had plans to continue with a whole line of Star Wars pun related images, but had to put it on hold for now.  The image itself was created in February 2016, and was sold as a print, and a button at Wondercon 2016 in Los Angeles.  It is entirely digital, made in Illustrator, Painter, and Photoshop.

Sausage Link

This is another self-explanatory image, of basically Link from the Zelda franchise.  The (obvious) pun here is that 'Link' is another term for a meat product, specifically sausage.  I create a connection between the two (meat and beloved video game character), by dressing the 'sausage', in 'Link's' iconic green garb and accessories.  I also took it a step further and gave him a companion 'Chairy', or a cherry with fairy wings.  The biggest challenge I had with this image was capturing the pose I wanted.  The image itself was created in March 2016, and available as a print at Wondercon 2016 in Los Angeles. It is entirely digital, made in Illustrator, Painter, and Photoshop.

Cracked Out

This pun is a simple one, and doesn't require a whole lot of explanation (I hope).  The concept was to imply that the egg had 'Cracked Out' of his shell due to extenuating circumstances.  The term itself is one more situational, in which a person is 'cracked out', when they are exhausted, overwhelmed, or have been overindulging in recreational habits.  The image was created in February 2016, and sold as a print at Wondercon 2016 in Los Angeles.  It is entirely digital, made in Illustrator, Painter, and Photoshop.

Children of the Candy Corn

This illustration is another favorite of mine, more so for the sake of the joke than the actual imagery, but I am glad I was able to pull off my 'vision' of this one successfully.  This image is basically a riff on the 'Children of the Corn', and classic (short) story by Stephen King, and a full blown series of horror movies made on it's premise.  The premise is, that the children are all live in the mid-west somewhere (where cars tend to break down near corn fields, so beware), where they live in an agricultural-quasi Amish existence devoid of any parental figures (or more importantly, anyone over the age of 18 I believe).  In this society, they worship some kind of 'God', only referred to as 'He Who Walks Behind the Rows', that lives within the surrounding corn-fields.  Any visitor, or member of the clan over the age of 17, are systematically sacrificed to this diety. WHEW!!!  Okay, so with this illustration I took the basic characteristics of the typical 'children', and applied them to candy corn.  This design was a little more challenging than the rest since it required a background for full effect, and I couldn't just rely upon the candy corn to deliver the pun.  The image was created in March 2016, and was sold as a print at Wondercon 2016 in Los Angeles.  It is entirely digital, made in Illustrator, Painter, and Photoshop.

Sour Note

This design was fun, yet simple, and basically illustrates my commentary on the necessary evils of having to set an alarm to get up to go just about anywhere.  It sucks, not because I have to leave the house, but because it interrupts the natural sleep pattern abruptly instead of allowing us to wake up naturally when our body is ready.  The modernization of society is both a boon and a blessing I suppose.  Initially the music note was twisted and warped, but it just wasn't 'reading' right, so I decided to go back and swap it for a more recognizable standard image.  Humorously enough though I did find it interesting that while the image of an alarm clock is still an iconic and recognizable one, yet little to no one actually uses them anymore since the wide use of smart phones. The illustration was available as a print at Wondercon 2016 in Los Angeles, and was made in February 2016. It is entirely digital, made in Illustrator, Painter, and Photoshop.

HIgh As A Kite

This particular illustration was probably the most simple of all the designs in the series.  This is another image that honestly, does not need to be explained, and if an explanation is required, google it.  The image was created in March 2016, and was sold as a print at Wondercon 2016 in Los Angeles. It is entirely digital, made in Illustrator, Painter, and Photoshop.

Soap Box

Another illustration in the series that I feel needs little to no explanation (because I did a damn good job of setting up the joke here...right)!!!  For those clueless individuals, or those who don't get the implication (so sad), basically it's a bar of soap standing on a box, with a megaphone.  The concept here was to illustrate the action of the term "Soap Box", which in essence is when someone who is deeply passionate about a cause basically forcibly informs an audience (willing or unwilling), about their subject of importance.  The image was created in February 2016, and was sold as a print at Wondercon 2016 in Los Angeles.  It is entirely digital, made in Illustrator, Painter, and Photoshop.

Coal-Hearted

This image was made in effort to cover the bases of some more pertinent Holidays.  I'm not sure how successful the image itself was in relaying the pun, or perhaps, my intention of how the pun was to be interpreted, but it is complete nevertheless.  The concept originally was to have the coal sticking out of a stocking, but the image itself just wasn't reading right, so I ditched that idea, and instead decided to still maintain the original intention (coal as a gift for Christmas for those naughty children), by placing a Santa Hat on his head instead.  I felt in order to imply the nature of how mean spirited the concept of getting coal in ones stocking is, to give the coal a very demented attitude.  To imply this I gave him a book of matches, and an unstruck match stick.  The intention here wasn't to imply his was suicidal, but more to imply that he was slightly 'off', than anything.  The image was created in February of 2016, and was sold as a print at Wondercon 2016 in Los Angeles. It is entirely digital, made in Illustrator, Painter, and Photoshop.

Milk, Milk, Lemonade...

Ah, yes...potty humor...well it was bound to happen eventually, and honestly, this one is probably the most pun-tastic of the lot, it still makes me laugh.  Much like many of these illustrations, this one came to me suddenly, I think while I was talking on the phone to a friend if I recall correctly.  I sketched it out, and actually asked the person I was on the phone with if it was inappropriate or not, and we decided it was funny, so...screw sensitivity!!!  This image did pose some challenges though in terms of layout, it would have made more sense to do it vertically, but in the end, there was more space visually on a horizontal formation.  As much as I would like to explain this image...I'm not going to.  Google the title if you can't figure it out, and your welcome.  The image was originally created in March 2016, and was sold as a print at Wondercon 2016 in Los Angeles.  It is entirely digital, made in Illustrator, Painter, and Photoshop.

Perspective

This image, while not my favorite, was definitely one of the more simple and poignant designs of the series.  It is basically my commentary on the whole philosophy of a glass being "half-empty", or "half-full".  It is, in my opinion, a matter of perspective depending on ones mood, or even the subject at hand, making it essentially subjective, and in no way a black or white issue that is definitive.  Associating a glass as either full or empty should not in my opinion constitute someone to be labeled as positive or negative, because it can be perceived as either.  While emptiness may to some imply loss, it could also imply accomplishment, just as fullness could be implied as a task ahead.  That's my commentary on the image, something that many artists in my experience don't bother to clarify, I suppose out of fear that it takes something away from the mysterious nature of the creation process.  The image was created in January 2016, was for sale as a print at Wondercon 2016, and is entirely digital, made in Illustrator, Painter, and Photoshop.


Olive U

This particular design came to me rather suddenly, and was one of the more simplistic designs I made in the series.  The image itself is pretty self explanatory, it's an olive, holding a heart with the letter U on it.  Another successful pun, and popular design at Wondercon 2016 in Los Angeles.  It is entirely digital, made in Illustrator, Painter, and Photoshop.

Caff-Fiend

So most people in my circle are a slave to caffeine, or more specifically...coffee (hence the title).  This illustration was deeply personally for me, and I wanted to capture the vile nature that is coffee and how he lords his power over all his victims (even though I do love him oh so much...so much so, I'm drinking some now...probably even whenever your reading this...yes it's a problem I know)!!  Initially this guy started as a sketch, and was the first of the Dementibles to be fully realized, but he didn't get the full treatment until much later down the line of the manifestation process. He's more detailed than most of his solo counterparts, but it was necessary to illustrate the countertop in order for the coffee scrawled words to be visible. This particular creation (made in January 2016), was also one of the more popular prints I had available at Wondercon 2016 in Los Angeles.  The image is entirely digital, made in Illustrator, Painter, and Photoshop.

Fifty-Fifty

They say no parent has a favorite child, but as a creator I do...this one is probably one of most precious, because the pun is just too good (yes I laugh at my own jokes, get over it)!!!  This particular illustration started first as an ink-line drawing as part of Inktober (2015 I believe).  I enjoyed it so much that it started me down the path (sadly some might say), in creating these adorably demented little anthropormorphic creatures.  Basically to explain (if you need an explanation that is), I created the origins of a Peanut Butter cup who is Fify percent chocolate, and Fifty percent peanut butter, so naturally his parents would need to be a peanut, and bar of chocolate. I had a lot of fun with this one, and it was also sold at Wondercon 2016 in Los Angeles as a print.  The image was created in February 2016, and it is entirely digital, made in Illustrator, Painter, and Photoshop.

Nutjob

Oh when will the puns ever end...not for some time....my friend...sorry... ;0)
This little Nut-job was created rather quickly, as he was a bit more simplistic, but just as punny as his siblings.  My goal here was to illustrate the pun, by personifying the nut (in this case an almond), with the attributes of the modern businessman with all the typical accessories including a Starbucks-ish looking cup.  This guy is all business (heh), including his very serious expression (which could be caused by his massive caffeine consumption).  This image was originally created in January of 2016 and was also for sale as a print at Wondercon that same year in Los Angeles, and is entirely digital, made in Illustrator, Painter, and Photoshop.

Chilly Beans

This pun came from more of a play on words, and as opposed to calling them 'Chili', I replaced it with 'Chilly'.  In order to take the image a step in that pun filled direction, I dressed the beans in winter clothes, and had them all warming themselves on top of a skillet over a trash can style fire, that I designed to resemble a Campbell's Soup can.  This image was much more detailed than many of the other more simplistic Dementibles I had created, but was well received, and a lot of fun.
The illustration was originally made in January of 2016, as part of a series that I made to sell at Wondercon in Los Angeles of that same year.  It is entirely digital, made in Illustrator, Painter, and Photoshop.

Peurh Zen

This image (originally created in December of 2015), was the first of a series (I called Dementibles for lack of a better word), of whimsical designs I created in order to capture my love for puns.  The goal here for me was to create a tea bag that represented the 'zen-like' nature, that tea has come to acquire (as a calming agent).  As in this image and the many more preceding it, I personified the object of the tea bag, and gave it the features of someone achieving 'zen' by putting it into a meditative position.  I made sure that the tea bag's resting area also went along with the theme, by making it appear as a lotus flower.  The image was for sale as a print at Wondercon 2016 in Los Angeles.  It is entirely digital, made in Illustrator, Painter, and Photoshop.


Sweet Life

This logo was originally created in an attempt to illustrate in classroom setting the importance of modernization in order to maintain relevancy with today's sophisticated market.  The logo example was that of Granny's Donuts, a donut franchise who's logo consists of a somewhat antiquated font, and image of an eldery woman.  Here's the images were combined in order to modernize and streamline it's look, eliminating the need for text by creating a more iconic brand image.