Here's a logo design I finished before the holidays but plum forgot to post.  The two versions are for two different marketing uses - blue for the t-shirts, orange/red for everything else. The Bellows is a volunteer-run theatre community resource-slash-mixer that hopefully gets going soon.  This recent weather is keeping us all inside our dens like grumpy, grumpy badgers!

Jillian Tamaki's FAQ Page is fantastic

It seems funny to say that.  I mean, her illustrations are brilliant, beautiful, evocative.  (I just finished and loved reading Skim, a graphic novel of hers that came out in 2008) But her FAQ page - which is aimed at the inquisitive and eager student who is hungry for the "key" to an illustrator's success - is filled with thoughtful, commonsensical support and advice.

Take this, for example:
What does it take for a young illustrator to be successful today?
There are 2 main things, I think.
The first is my blunt opinion: you have to be good. Don't waste your time if you don't have the talent and/or motivation. No amount of promos, websites, mailers, new items in your portfolio will do you any good if the work is not up to snuff.
That said. You don’t need to be the Second Coming of illustration. You just have to be able to make something someone can use. Many people are tripped up by never putting their work out into the world because they are crippled by fear. Which doesn’t make sense because if you thought your chances of success were low before, they are most definitely ZERO now. But I suppose that’s the point. You can’t really “fail” if you never try… that’s a very common attitude.
 It is well worth reading.

Jillian Tamaki's website is here.  And her blog is here.  Both are great, but on her blog you can see her experimenting with things outside of her usual "style," which is fascinating.  Plus you can look at her quilts.  (Quilts!)

In other news, I just learned about a (relatively) new and ostensibly fun lecture series here in Toronto called Nerd Nite - tonight's topics are (1) microchips and (2) how America's history was influenced by bars.  It could be promising...?  Anyone here in Toronto want to come with?

Whimsical Illusion

I saw this post on Colossal and just loved it. (Though to be entirely honest it took a few minutes for me to realize exactly what I was looking at.) This is street art meets optical illusion - and I'm heartily for anything that helps adults feel like kids again - even if just for a moment.

This is in Paris (but of course) as part of an exhibition called In_Perceptions at Le 104.

Colossal has a wealth of beautiful images.  Go look at them. Go!

Sketchbook Project Mail-by Date Draws Near...

Yep, it's that time of year again, the Sketchbook Project's "you must have your sketchbook postmarked by this date in order for it to be included in our library" date.  It's a few days away, and I've only got a few pages left to fill on my theme this year: Travel With Me.

Some may remember my submission last year. I thumbed through my old sketchbook just the other day (online! Because the Brooklyn Art Library is cool like that and every sketchbook has been digitized and uploaded and browseable) and I though, well, huh.  It's so....monochromatic.  Why oh why did I only draw in pencil?

So, this year, I'm breaking out the watercolours.  I'm getting the pages sopping wet with colour.  And I'm having a whole paintbox full of fun on these pages.  And it is awesome.

(Also, I've already signed up for the 2012 Sketchbook Project Limited Edition - you know, the one where some of your sketchbook will be included in an art book they're creating. No big deal.)

Craft beer + good design = yes, please

This website is great. It's for (if you can't tell already) the Austin Beerworks brewery, from the creative peeps behind the fantastic Helms Workshop and Source.  It's clean, it's colourful, and the brewmasters' personalities shine through.  You especially should see the "How Beer is Made" info-graphic that references unicorns and narwhals.  (Really!).  

Dear Austin Beerworks, will you please start delivering to Canada? 

New website!

I am thrilled to finally launch my new professional website:  It's been a long time coming - but in a way I don't think I could have done it any earlier.  I was still working on finding a coherent, consistent style, and amassing a portfolio of work that I was really proud to showcase. And, slowly, it's coming together.  (This quote rings truer and truer each day.)

This website is just the beginning for this new year: I also plan on leaving theatre behind.  I've given myself one year after my final contract, which ends in April 2012.  And after that...? We'll just have to see....