Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Illustrations of Biblical Proportions

I just wrapped up a good sized project for New Spring Church. And let me tell ya, it was fun. It was a lot of work, but fun. This project met my creative goals I have had for a while now, and helped me see it through. 

The style is something I have been playing with for some time, but in black and white. A loose inky look. And prior to that, it was a solid, hard outline style. So I created a comic strip to exercise my creative muscles and see what else I could do. It felt good to work in a very loose brush look. I loved the contrast. And I started to get requests from clients that wanted that look, so I pushed it. 

Mars Hill Church had gave me the opportunity to use the inky look. It was faster and  and enjoyable to work in. And I could see it going to the next level. If only it was in color. Through that work, and posting samples on dribbble, New Spring Church hired me to work on a series of Biblical work for their kids ministry. Yes please!  The art director was great about letting artists explore the space and do what we what we want. So inky outlines, color and texture it is! 

This project wasn't only exciting on a personal level, but artistically as well. With just over 20 illustrations, it was interesting to see the growth of the style. While I really like each illustration, some I adore. I jumped from chapter to chapter, not working in order. Attempting to put off the more difficult concepts till later. The easy pages I was working on let me iron out the style more and more. But since I had to go back and do the hard illustrations, it helped stagger the growth. You can see the style get more polished as it went. But since the page order was mixed, it worked as a visual buffer. If I started with illustration "one", and worked in order till the end, you would see that growth chronologically. I did had to go back over some to make sure they were consistent with the look and feel, even though there was that growth. 

Working on this project, I also new that it would give me the chance to play with backgrounds. I am a freak for character development. But all my characters exist in white space. Now I had to put Jesus, Moses and Noah all in backgrounds!  I didn't realize it till I was done, but that was another element that helped me take this body of work to the next level. Lots of art directors in publishing look for art that has something going on, not just a mascot. So, all in all, I am very happy with the results. Got a very kind worded letter of recommendation as well. And to top it off, I realized even more my desire to kid related work. My original artistic goal was to do work for an older audience. I shy away from saying adult as not to give the wrong impression. But I wanted to make art that I thought was more mature and business oriented. My style lends itself to a kid friendly look, even when I apply it to boring Human Resources related work. If you are looking for a fun style for your next project, I would love to help out. For more samples of my work, check out portfolio!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mars Hill Kids book Vol2 Samples

I recently did a bunch of kid related illustrations for Mars Hill Church here in Seattle. MH has several campuses, and this series is part of a Sunday School curriculum for all the MH the campuses. The art staff at MH is extremely creative and talented, so I'm artistically encouraged to be a part of some of their kids projects.

The first book consisted mainly of head shots. And the second, has lots of body shots. What I am most excited about is the style. As simple as this style looks, I work hard at crafting each line. When I have a little time, I plan on to exploring this and apply color and textures. Talking with some of my illustrator pals, we all agree that this style has a nice sense of style and marketability. But most important, it is FUN. Evolution of technique is a strange thing. I am very pleased with my body of work, and typically work in bold, thick outlines. So this is a nice challenge.

I hope the kids enjoy the work!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Emmaus Road (Mars Hill Kids illo)

One more sample Jesus appears on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-34). Having nailed down the style and inking technique, I can mover forward. Thanks to the Mars Hill art staff for letting me post samples along the way.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Mars Hill Kids vol2 book illustrations

I know roughly how many illustrations I am doing, but am afraid to take an actual count. LOTS. But this project is exciting, as I am pushing this new inky style a bit more. The previous book was almost all head shots. But this time around, I get to do body and group shots. Very fun, and I am trying to take the work to the next level. They will run in black and white only, but I may take one or two and color and run some texture through. My ultimate illustration goal is to do kid literature. This is the next step towards that goal, and I can't thank the art staff at Mars Hill Church enough for letting me  explore the space!

I'm a huge fan of the absurd. Wonky noses and noodle limbs kill me. Attempting two in one styles. The old timey Bible days art has one feel, while the modern day has another. Yet, the feel.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

More Mars Hill Kids stuff!

This weekend was the launch of the Mars Hill Kids new curriculum. I'm VERY happy to have been a part of it. Both as a Christian and as an illustrator. Seeing stuff "live" still blows me away. Many of my projects get sent off and all I can do is hope they turn out well. Attending Mars Hill I get to see it first hand. 

A while ago, I created a bunch of art including the MHK logo. It was developed as a coloring book. And as MH started to decorate the kids rooms with giant versions of my art, I was in awe. Standing next to them was very exciting as I eye balled every line to see if I made any mistakes. That big, it would show! And the contrast of a fat, old tattooed guy with cute art still cracks me up. 

Recently, the AD in the art department asked me to help with the first curriculum book illos. It was a tight turn around, and they let me play with a new style that helped meet the deadline. I really like the majority of the work I cranked out over those few days, but could nit pick it all to no end. I wanted every little line to work perfect and could have spent many hours on each one. However, there is something special about having a deadline. That something I love in the sketch stage that often gets lost. The rawness of the art. Sketches have soul. The finals themselves can be great, but there is that "something" factor that I tried hard to keep that in this series. And I feel it's there.

This project was another step in the right direction for me. I want to get into Kid lit art. As much as I like business editorial, I love, LOVE, LOVE kid art.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Jesus Project: Part two. Markers

Since starting this project, I have been using digital illustration. But I wanted to try it with traditional materials. I don't feel like my hand drawn work is my strongest, so I don't do it much. I do however, LOVE the organic feel and raw nature of it. That alone covers my feeling of inadequacy over it.

My marker style was picked up mentally over 25 years ago. I never did any marker work back then, but was so enthused by Vaughn Bodes work in underground comics that it made an imprint on my brain. It was never my intention to rob the style, but  I do feel like I "made it my own" though. Vaughn was a master.

So, I got it out of me. I did it traditionally. I like it and hope you do. If I were to do more in markers, I would want to work bigger. The size I am working at now is too small for some of the markers, and it shows off the bleeding ink that gets absorbed. I never felt more confident in my work than with the computer, but again, love the specialness that hand hewn work can produce.

I'm also thinking beyond the Jesus Project. I can see doing a few more of the illustrations, but the entire Bible has so much to offer. How cool would it be to do a kids Bible? VERY.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Jesus Project: Part one

The Jesus Project. A series based on Jesus, for kids, but I'm hoping people of all ages will like it. At this point, I have NO direction. Just starting out with a character development of Jesus. Originally, I wanted to have Jesus skipping rocks as he walked across the Sea of Galilee. And I may go back to that, but wanted to nail down a style.

A. Basic clean, bold line work. With this work, I feel like I can add more personality. It would also make for a great coloring book if I turned off the color layers.

B. I love the warm, friendly feeling of the line work here. Not as much detail, but the inky line work looks old. It, could be interesting to have old world treatments to the line work and place that on parchment/scroll paper... and wow.

Again, no direction aside from, make Cute Jesus art. Once I get a few pictures done, I will see where this takes me.