February 28, 2010

Stunning Steampunk Sculptures - Oh my!

When I came across these I was simply blown away. I've only known about the whole steampunk movement for about a year so the whole universe is very new to me. I was instantly taken with the idea of a steam driven world, and I've been keeping an eye out for new steampunk curiosities. When I found these sculptures I got all giddy and excited. They're made by French illustrator Stephane Halleux and the details are to die for! He uses all kinds of different materials such as leather, metal and different recycled objects. I'd love to have one of these in my livingroom but I doubt they'll be for sale any time soon. If you want a closer look at Stephane's imaginative creations, then visit his website where you'll find all his sculptures seen from different angles and in close-ups for a full view of the gorgeous details. It was very difficult to decide which ones to show you so I decided to add a whole bunch. Enjoy!

Organic meets tech with the iWood

I love organic materials and textures such as grass, wood, moss etc. so when I came across this wonderful iPhone cover I saw the opportunity to add a little nature to my beloved phone. I got my iPhone for Christmas from my boyfriend and I don't know how I was ever able to live without it. It is not only my on-the-road access to the world but also an important fashion accessory. That's why I want it to look it's best and right now I'm drooling over the iWood iPhone cover from Miniot. You can get it in all kinds of wood such as Oak, Cherry, Walnut and Mahogany, and they've recently launced the iWood Cobra which is made from two different sorts of wood. Best thing though is you can have it completely customized with your logo or monogram, and they also make them for iPods.


So sorry for my lack of updates. Work has been piling up so I needed to get it all sorted and I've also had the flu. I'm better now and will start on some new exciting posts tomorrow. I've been saving lots of goodies to share with you so check back tomorrow for some inspirational posts.


February 14, 2010

Interview with illustrator Steve Mack

Today I have a very special post for you all! One of my absolute favorite illustrators is Steve Mack, so I'm very excited that my very first blog interview is with this wonderful creative talent. Steve Mack is mostly known for his greeting card work for American Greetings and Hallmark, but he also works on other wonderful projects such as children's books. I've talked to Steve about his work and I'm glad to share his words of wisdom with you here.

Me: First off, why did you decide to become an illustrator in the first place?

Steve: Just before graduating from Design School I found a book by Bob Staake in the library called “The Complete Book of Humorous Art” I've always related more to illustration than design and this book opened my eye's to the fact that one could make a very good living drawing fun illustrations. After reading that book my goals were set on that target. I used my design education to land design jobs until I had built up my illustration career to the point where I no longer needed a day job as a support net. I've never looked back since!

Me: So how did you develop your specific illustration style?

Steve: My style been something that has just evolved over time. I take a lot of style from illustrators I like from the 1950's – 60's and try and incorporate that into my work.

Me: How did you get into designing greeting cards?

Steve: I was very lucky that a greeting card company called Paramount Greetings found me on the internet. They were a great buyer of my illustration and I really built my portfolio on the work I did with them. Unfortunately, they closed their business and I thought it was all over for me! Luckily, right after Paramount shut down I got calls and work from the big two card companies Hallmark and American Greetings. Since that time I've worked under contract to American Greetings and even moved from Canada to Cleveland Ohio to work in-house for a year in the Design Studio for AG. I've since moved back to Canada and I still work with Hallmark and American Greetings as well as many other card companies like Gartner Studios, PK Press, Marian Heath , Up With paper and Designer Greetings. I love doing greeting card illustration!

Me: You also do children's book illustration. How did you get into that?

Steve: After leaving American Greetings in Cleveland to move back to Canada I was introduced to a great illustration agent at Painted Words. I wanted to grow as an illustrator and try my hand at children's publishing as well. My agent has been great and I've really got my foot in the door thanks to her knowledge and help. I am now working on books that I am writing as well as illustrating and working on other authors books too! Publishing is very exciting for me.

Me: What are you most passionate about when it comes to design?

Steve: I don't know if I could pin it down. Quality of line, texture, scale and form are my 4 main areas of concern when I do an illustration. I think if you hit those four on the head you'll come up with something fun to look at.

Me: Your work is wonderfully textured, how do you achieve that?

Steve: The base of my work is all vector illustration in Adobe Illustrator CS4 mixed with real world textures I have created. I like the versatility of a digital file but I like the look of handcrafted work. I create all my own textures and scan them and save them in a big digital archive to use in my illustrations.

Me: Do you use other mediums than your computer?

Steve: Nothing I use professionally. Have recently bought a silk screening 4 colour press as I've wanted to start working on some handcrafted personal illustrations. It's nice to get away from the computer for a little while!

Me: What is your process when designing a greeting card?

Steve: It's a little different with each company. But every company sends me a general outline or a sentiment for the card and I then come up with imagery in my style to suit the occasion.

Me: How do you come up with all those cute characters?

Steve: I just try and do stuff that I think is fun to look at and hope others will like it too.

Me: Any advice for young designers who wants to get into the illustration business?

Steve: Get your name out there on the internet. Develope a strong style and put together a comprehensive portfolio for the specific illustration market you want to go after. For me it was children's publishing and all my work is built around that goal. There are of course other big markets. Editorial, comics, fashion and humour to name a few. Find out which you like best and focus on that.

Me: Any advice on how to develop your own illustration style?

Steve: It's not something that comes easy. Style is always evolving but do what comes natural to you.

Me: Last question. What is your workspace like?

Steve: Ha ha, under-construction! We are remodelling an old house that is on my farm to be my studio. It's from 1908 and it presents a lot of “artistic” challenges.

You can see more of Steve Mack's work on his website or his blog and you can also follow him on Twitter. 

February 13, 2010

Character design - Boonies

I haven't had time to post much this week. I've been working on the VIP version of our in-game pet called a Boonie. This character was developed by me, to be the pet of the game avatars we have. It's supposed to be a kind of alien race and it's very cute. It has 4 different stages so you don't immediately know what it will look like and it hatches from a big polka dotted egg. It's animated so you can feed it and pet it. Here are a couple of examples of the Boonie designs I've worked on this week.

February 12, 2010

RIP Alexander McQueen

You've all probably heard about the untimely death of fashion designer Alexander McQueen. I was on the train today on my way to Sweden for a little adventure, when I noticed the headline on a newspaper someone had left on the seat next to me. It was in Swedish but I understood it well enough to know that the fashion industry as well as McQueen's family and friends, have suffered a great loss. So I'd like to take just a moment to remember and honor Alexander McQueen and his imaginative and creative life. RIP.

February 10, 2010

018 - Panda

I drew this Panda for my boyfriend. He loves pandas and wanted a drawing so I made him one. This is just a quick scan of it.

017 - My Flower

I keep having busy days so I haven't been able to draw for a while. Well, I've sketched but I'll add those later. My upload today will be a photo I took of some very pretty flowers. Enjoy.

February 07, 2010

Get organized with Action Method

This Christmas my boyfriend gave me an iPhone 3GS and it's turned out to be the most wonderful present. One thing that always takes up a lot of my time is trying to organize everything and staying up to date on current trends in my business. I read lots of blogs, write dozens of lists, and I'm active in various social media communities such as Twitter and Facebook. Besides that I'm a blogger and this is a big priority for me. I do however tend to get disorganized when I'm juggling too many things at once. This is where my iPhone comes in. I've discovered Action Method, the most wonderful free application to help me stay organized and manage my time better. It's online as well so you can keep your computer and iPhone in sync. Action Method not only helps you organize all of your own projects, it also works with collaborations which means you can send and recieve tasks to and from your co-workers and friends. You can divide your tasks into groups and projects and you can choose to focus on one action at a time. There are a lot of different options so go read more on the website. To sum it up, this is a great time management tool that I'd recommend to all with a busy schedule and multiple tasks to organize.

February 05, 2010

Art and Ghosts - Haunting Artwork by Louise Robinson

I recently happened to stumble upon the wonderful artwork of UK based artist Louise Robinson. Her work is almost dreamy, like a glimpse of a world you're not supposed to see when you're awake. I hope you'll enjoy her work as much as I do. She also has a wonderful home and I'd love a workspace like hers - light and cozy, full of cute trinkets and soft lights. I've added a picture of it below. And on her website she writes a little about her work and process:

"The majority of my works are created digitally, via the use of a Wacom tablet and Photoshop 7. Prior to 2008, most of my endeavors involved digital collage, the merging of photography with hand drawn illustration. Since then, I have concentrated mostly upon pure, digital painting, which I have more recently begun to combine with watercolour and acrylic painting, pencil sketching and hand drawn text. My most significant influences are drawn from fairytales, mythology, dolls, spectres, dreams and nature."

And above is Louise's wonderful workspace.

February 04, 2010

Space Girl

This is the main costume I worked on today. For the boys I'm making a Death costume. Very freaky.

016 - Silly Creature

I was in the middle of work and suddenly saw this little mischievious guy in my mind. So I drew a quick sketch of him so I wont forget him. I think I'll call him Jinx.

Cute illustrations by Katie Rice

I've been following Katie for about three years now. I'm not exactly sure why I haven't written about her before, but I'm making up for that now. Katie has worked with the amazing John K which is very evident in her style. It's very fluent and her cute girls are never generic. They have great quirky expressions and poses, and all her drawings just seem so natural. She also illustrates for a cute web comic called Dumm Comics. And she's also nice enough to share some of her drawing tips and tricks on her blog!

And check out all the Star Trek Original Series Post-It babes below! Love!

February 03, 2010

015 - Tony Soprano

Today I found myself missing the Sopranos, especially Tony. The last two months I watched all seasons of the show and think it's the best series I've ever seen without exception. It never got boring and the character gallery was amazing. And you never knew what would happen so everything was always a surprise and sometimes the suspense was unbearable. So today I decided to send my boyfriend a quick little Tony sketch on MSN Messenger. I love the fact that you can draw in the messenger window. It's not a perfect likeness or anything but it got the message across.

Costume Design

A Danish holiday called Fastelavn is coming up. It's kinda like Halloween, only less spooky. Kids dress up in all kinds of costumes and eat special baked goods called Fastelavnsboller. It's like rolls filled with cream. So naturally I'm making new costumes for the game I work on. I'm nowhere near done but it's a lot of fun to do something other than regular fashion. Here are some examples: