Sunday, February 14, 2010

Intensely overdue massive update

Hiya folks! Alright, so this post is dedicated to posting alllllll of the commissions I've been too lazy to post!! I decided it would be better to get this stuff up and have minimal descriptions that to not have it up at all! So here it is:

Adolescence Simplifiée, illustrations for book published by Québecor

Ok, so this is easily the most exciting thing that has happened for my career as a self-taught illustrator so far!! Five of my illustrations were commissioned and published in an ACTUAL book! I know to many this is probably the least exciting thing in the world (especially to Anglophones who have never heard of Québecor)... But the reality is that Québecor is a HUGE publishing company and it is so exciting to know that I have illustrations in a book that will be in bookstores throughout Quebec. The five illustrations you see above were each meant to be the image at the beginning of a chapter. The five chapters each had a theme and the author had a clear idea of what she wanted, which made my job super easy! I love it when people know exactly what they want and all I have to do is execute their vision.
Interesting things to note: the woman in the second picture was inspired by the years of soccer coaching my mom did for my sister's soccer team and the woman even looks like my mom. Also, in the first picture of the second row, the man was inspired by my dad... And the toll I must have had on his heart when he was teaching me to drive. So yah, if you want to see these close-up just head to any francophone bookstore!

California CD, artwork, layout & custom font

Finish What You Started Records (Ska Jeezy!) and Little Heart Records are putting out the 7" for California, a pop-punk band from upstate New York. The guys in the band didn't know what they wanted for the artwork and pretty much just asked me to come up with something based on the lyrics. Since all the songs had to do with break-up type stuff I figured the artwork should also reflect this. Anyway, this is what came of it. I used watercolour and ink for the artwork and title/song titles. I put most of it together in Photoshop (except the cover--that's nothin' but glue, paper, ink and watercolour). I'm really into the way the watercolour gave a sort of marble effect. You can see the 7" label and back of the record below. The cover and insert is essentially the same as with the CD so I didn't post it twice.
California, 7"

New Teeth CD. masks, layout & custom font (Photos by Robyn Riley)

Lucas from New Teeth approached me a little while ago asking me if I'd be up for helping their band out artistically. They wanted me to help them out by painting teeth onto paper bags. That's pretty much all they knew at that point.. Namely, what the outcome would be was still undetermined. So I finally met up with Lucas and we chatted about what he wanted the design to be like. He said he was down with bright colours and I went from there. I also asked the guys from New Teeth to send me pictures of their own teeth for me to work with.. I figured it would make it more personalized and kind of funny.
Since we had delayed meeting for so long, I now had only about 3 days to get everything done. I experimented ALOT to try and find a style that would work well in photographs AND be cohesive. I was surprised that it took me so long to finally come up with the right look (ask my boyfriend.. he got to witness my frustration!). Anyway, I ended up realizing that less is more and a simpler design would be best. So there it is, I ended up sticking with a Cyan/Baby blue, Magenta/Red and Yellow/Ochre colour scheme and somewhat psychedelic pattern.
I was SO pleased with the way they turned out in the pictures, which is largely thanks to the photographer, Robyn Riley.

Anyhow, I ended up not just doing the masks, but doing the entire layout, t-shirt designs, and a custom font to boot! The font is found on the front and back of the CD (i.e. band name, title, and song titles). Oh AND all of this was done in just over a week! Talk about delivery!
I have included the shirt design below. The black one is the design they have printed, and the yellow one next to it was used for a poster. I'm really happy with the final result! Everything looks great and the band's CD release party on February 12th was PACKED!! I see a bright future for these guys and wish them the best of luck.

New Teeth, t-shirt design ( and poster design)

Critical Convictions, 7"

I was stoked when my friend Maxx from Critical Convictions asked me to do the artwork for their 7". Everyone in that band is amazing and I was super happy to be a part of this. Maxx (the vocalist) showed me the lyrics and I went from there for the design. There were a number of recurring themes throughout the lyrics, and I decided to bring together three references within the cover: Hobbes' Leviathan, the sci-fi movie Metropolis, and Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish. I told myself I would keep explanations short today, so I won't go into as much detail as I could, but basically: the image consists of an ultimate ruler with his scepter looking down from the sky (an image from Hobbes' Leviathan) onto a society made up of individuals whom--according to Hobbes--are "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short". Behind him are two copies of the panopticon--an idea originally put forward by Jeremy Bentham but taken up by Foucault to describe the way structures in society are built in a way that promote social control, obedience and self-regulation. Finally, the city itself is futuristic, dark and practically lifeless. Overall, the image was meant to evoke the combination of a technologically advanced metropolis with images of modern social control and 17th century conceptions of legitimate government and social contract theory.

Leatherface show poster

I was inspired by Leatherface's song "Springtime" for this poster. The song is all about remembering a time before life became complicated. So I wanted to create an image that put the sense of childhood, freedom and carelessness in contrast with the reality of cruelty and war. I also wanted the image to include some kind of punk element, preferably skateboarding. So I was stoked when I found the image of two kids on their "sidewalk surf boards" with no shoes on, having a blast. I worked with that image and superimposed it onto an image of prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay. I was really excited about making this poster for the simple reason that Leatherface is amazing and has been around forever. Plus, I was really excited about finding just the right images to convey what I wanted.

Humanities Formal poster

The theme of the formal this year is film noir and my friend asked me to make a poster that resembled a typical film noir movie poster. Instead of having random individuals I decided to photoshop the faces of Nietzsche, Marx, Plato and Artistotle since we study their works in the program. We also have a big reproduction of Raphael's The School of Athens in the hallway where Plato and Aristotle are featured. In other words, their faces are pretty iconic in terms of the Humanities experience. In any case, I have been getting so much more familiar with photoshop, and I've got to say it's winning me over! I was pretty proud of this poster in particular because I got to try out the photoshop skills I've been acquiring.. For example. the "F" of formal was originally an L (check out the original poster here). I also had a field day finding awesome film noir style fonts. All in all had a great time making this poster!