The other day, I couldn’t bare to look at my computer screen for one more second. Not one. I blame early spring. I was feeling burned out. So, reluctantly I gave myself permission to go on a field trip. It was 10AM on a Tuesday — very much out of the norm for ABD.
I grabbed my sketchbook and headed down to the local aquarium. It’s an amazing place and their slogan is “Cheaper than a therapist!” Okay it’s not, but it should be.
I lucked out — no screaming kids. For the next couple of hours, I roamed the exhibits, sketched out various creatures that caught my eye and generally tried not to look like the creepy bearded guy by himself. It was a great afternoon and very relaxing.
Here’s some scans from my sketchbook:
Fast forward: a few weeks later when I was looking back through my drawings all these ideas just started flowing. I scanned in my drawings and made a short illustrated series for fun.
Then a few days after that, I ran out of business cards. Time was short so I grabbed my fishy friends and turned them into some new business cards. Take a look:
The moral of the story: sometimes it’s okay to give yourself permission to do something out of the ordinary. You never know what kind of creative ideas a little “me time” will spark. Try that on your boss and let me know how it goes.
Have a great week,
PS – I really want to do some creative work for the Aquarium so if you’re reading this, SC Aquarium, swipe right.
Every year I mail out a New Year’s Card. It’s one of my favorite annual projects. Check out previous year’s designs here and here.
For 2017, I wanted to take it to the next level. I also wanted to tie the theme back to Charleston history. At some point during the brainstorming process, my fascination with the lapel pin craze and the Charleston Hatman coalesced into an idea that I was really excited about.
I was riding high until the realization that this project would be double or triple my budget. By this time, I was emotionally attached to my hatman mailer so I reached out to some partners to collaborate. Kimberly Hopkins from RR Donnelly printed the mailer and Michelle Harris from Karst Promo handled the enamel lapel pin. We all serve similar customers and used this opportunity for cross promotion. It was a win win… win.
Here’s how the project turned out:
BONUS – Watch a time-lapse video of the making of the Hatman vector artwork:
I was super pleased with the final product.
To summarize – need something printed? Call Kim. Need a customized lapel pin (or anything promotional)? Tell Michelle. Need some graphic design love? Nothing rhymes with Andrew. 😢 But here’s my number – 843.882.7627.
Have a great week,
This year, I participated in an art challenge called Inktober. What’s Inktober?
Inktober is a time when artists draw an image a day using traditional inking tools (biro, marker, ink wash, etc.) throughout the month of October.
For my theme, I chose isometric architectural and landscape drawings. For more information on what that means, check out isometric projection. That’s pretty boring stuff, but you may recognize the isometric perspective from video games like Simcity 2000.
In keeping with inktober, I stuck with black ink and gray markers. Here’s a few examples of what I drew everyday:
After a few days, I put 9 of these “tiles” together to form a little scene.
As we approached October 31st, I even created a Halloween themed scene.
At the end of the month, I finished 31 isometric ink drawings. It was a great challenge. It was a great fun! You can see them all on my instagram feed. You may need to scroll down a bit. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #inktober2016 to find all the other great artwork that was being created too.
One last thing, if you’re interested to see how these were created, I recorded some of the process. Check it out here:
Have a great week,
Like many artists and designers, I felt compelled to create something after the tragedy. I made these within 24 hours of the shooting while still trying to process what had happened.
I needed to brush up on my sushi names and practice my watercolors. Enjoy!
Generally inspired by Patrick O’Brian’s wonderful Aubrey/Maturin series.
Maps are fun. I love the process and the finished product. But like most worthwhile projects, in the middle they can be challenging.
A map must precisely reflect reality so there’s not a lot of wiggle room regarding structure. That said, after establishing the framework, it’s amazing how much character can be added with design and illustration. To see what I mean, check out two of my recent map projects.
Camp Greystone is a magical camp located up in the mountains of western North Carolina. Click the map to enlarge.
SEWE / Downtown Charleston
SEWE updated their map for the 2013 show. Jonathan Miller, author of the Sammy Dog Books series, provided some awesome illustrations. Click the map to enlarge.