Big Bang Big Boom

I stumbled across this video over the weekend of a massive stop-motion animated mural by the Italian artist Blu. You need to set aside 10 good minutes to see the whole thing, but I tell you it's worth it. I found myself watching open-mouthed in awe. Enjoy!

Illustration Friday: Sneaky

This week's Illustration Friday post. We have a lot of our neighbourhood. Sneaky, sneaky critters.

By land, by air, and by sea.

A little project I just finished for a friend of mine. Here was the brief: "Me, with a bear's head, discovering America by land, by air, and by sea." Gouache and I got along this time to make this one go smoothly. So much fun!

20 things I learned

Have you seen this yet? It's called 20 Things I Learned About Browsers and The Web and it's a very comprehensive and, yes, fun guide about all things related to, well, browsers and the web. Not only is it informative, but it's well-laid out, easy to read, and it's charmingly illustrated by Christoph Niemann.

I'm always fascinated by illustrations that quickly and cleverly communicate a concept - and these are great examples. I struggle sometimes with editorial-style illustrations because I seem to always want to fall back to using text in the image.

But these illustrations could definitely stand alone and still be clear and concise in the message they're trying to get across. Fishing for fingerprints? Phishing! Genius.

I also really liked the mix of a very tech-savvy topic (web code, software, applications) and what appear to be very non-digital (ie. hand-drawn) illustrations. It warms my heart a little to see the combination. I highly encourage you to check it out, and I hope you enjoy flipping through the pages of this web book as much I as did.
(All images by Christoph Neimann).

Vegas Fonts

Well, I'm back from Vegas, and I have to say it was something else. Disneyland for grownups, Sin City, what-have-you, all of the nicknames are apt. My friends and I weren't much for gambling, but we did find two fabulous restaurants - and an In 'n' Out burger - that kept us occupied. And the buildings! Oh, the buildings - theme parks each in their own right. I was fascinated by the signs and, as you can see above, the Vegas fonts.

So now it's back to work. But that's good - I've got a few exciting projects coming up, a magazine cover in the works, some commissions for Christmas, and then I've just booked a trip to Spain and Portugal in January. Until then, I'll dreaming of millions of lights and the ringing of slot machines...

Vegas baby

I'm leaving this afternoon for a weekend trip to Las Vegas with five of my girlfriends. My roommate is right now blaring the Rat Pack from her bedroom, our carry-ons are packed, and we're waiting for a giant yellow SUV to come pick us up for the airport.

Now, I'll be honest, Vegas was never on my top-ten-places-to-see-before-you-die list, but with every bit of research I've done, I've been coming around. I feel like I could easily give over to the glitz, the excess, the BIGness of it all. At least until Monday, when I have to fly back to reality.

Six girls, one weekend, one CSI Experience (oh yes, we'll be solving some crimes while we're there). I. Can't. Wait.

See you Tuesday!

Illustration Friday: Burning

It's not that I'm easily distracted (really I'm not!) but I will say that I have ruined more than one pot by boiling something completely dry. Let's just say that a part of me...empathizes...with this IF topic.

The Happiness Industry

This image is a reworking of this post - I decided to actually include one of the people they mentioned in the newspaper article, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I don't really have anything against Oprah - I don't watch her show - but I'm hoping that the idea of her as a cheerleader for happiness is pretty accurate.

Christmas Cards for sale!

I'm so excited to share that I've posted some original illustrated cards for sale on! There are the four birds you see above in the proofs, as well a card with all four of the designs.

The thing that's great about Zazzle is that there is no minimum order - you can buy as few (or as many!) as you like. And they have good volume discounts, too - even an order of 10 cards (and they don't have to be 10 of the same card, either) is eligible for a discount.

The cards are blank inside and printed on bright white quality paper, perfect for sending holiday greetings!
You can visit the store here!

You're the art director now.

Over the weekend I read this piece in the Globe and Mail titled "Does Our Obsession with Happiness Bring us Closer To It?" and took that as the jumping-off point for this project. In it, the author talks about the "happiness industry" - experts and celebrities telling us how to live our happiest, most fulfilled life - and the hours of work that we're expected to put into "finding" our happiness. And, that if we don't achieve it, we only have ourselves to blame.

In an early sketch, I had the woman above holding magazines and books that are mentioned in the article, and a small bluebird of happiness off to one side looking bewildered. Then I made the leap to the unobtainable bluebird balloons you see here.

What do you think? You be the art director and let me know: does this communicate the theme? Is it clear?

Illustration Friday: Afterwards

I've been drawing in such a consistent style recently that this may seem strange, but I had an impulse to do something completely different. I remember hearing an interview on the Escape From Illustration Island podcast where an art director talked about style, and how having a consistent "look" to your artwork helps an art director know what to expect from an artist, especially in a project with a quick turnaround. A big shift in an illustrator's style might in fact make them less employable. On the other hand, don't illustrators need to be able to grow, develop new ways of doing things or else risk becoming stale?

Do you struggle with "finding a style"? Have you ever been through a style change? I'd love to hear your thoughts about style and consistency.

The Bird's Revenge

I have a neighbour across the street who has upwards of six or seven cats. They are always up on the roofs of houses, balance-beam-walking across fences, and sleeping under parked cars. A few weeks ago I caught one streaking past me with something in its mouth, and I realized that a few of the cats were sneaking into my backyard to catch the birds that usually congregate in the trees there. Sneaky buggers. So that inspired this little drawing - a bird's revenge.


Happy November 1st. I was shocked and appalled to see snow falling (and staying!) here in the city where my parents live. I guess these wallpapers are appropriate, though, in their grayness. Time to get ready for winter!