Last February, I worked on a project for Igloo Books– a reward pack and wall chart activity book for children.
Reward charts are apparently a thing nowadays– they’re progress charts you use with your child to reward him/her of good behavior– such as doing their chores, eating their vegetables, doing their homework, etc. Whenever the child progresses towards a goal in the chart, they get a star or a sticker as a reward, akin to the stamps we got in preschool for a job well done.
Igloo commissioned me to illustrate some 50+ spot illustrations for this project– scenes showing various good behavior. Some sketches:
Some of the 50+ spots I illustrated:
I also illustrated the reward pack cover. Some process shots:
Initial rough sketches
Color draft 1
Color draft 2. The client had me change some of the character’s poses and colors.
They also had me illustrate a scene for a wall chart:
The entire project took me about three weeks from start to finish– a rush project considering I had to make 50+ illustrations in that span of time. I barely slept while working on this project as I was immersed in other projects at the same time. Despite the timetable though, it’s one of my favorite projects to date, given the subject matter (anthropomorphic animals wearing clothes!).
I received the published copy of the reward chart in the mail a few weeks ago:
Big thanks to my agents at Bright for getting me this gig with Igloo!
Some snippets of new work I’ve made over the past several months:
A mock pirate boy dress-up game:
A couple of packaging design mockups:
Just mockups for now, not actual products. But to have my work on packaging (food packaging, especially) is on my project wishlist.
I really enjoyed working on these exploratory Bible character designs for a company that makes storybook apps:
I was given a very open brief with a lot of room to play and explore, and I had to provide just sketches (for now). Shh, don’t tell the client, but doing these didn’t feel like work at all, and getting paid was just a bonus ;P
A peek at a small sampling of Christmas work I did in August:
And a few scenes for an educational book publisher:
These are snippets from projects I’ve worked on in the past two months alone, aside from a ton of work on a project I can’t show, so I’ve been busy. Busy is good (to a certain extent– you don’t want to be TOO busy). Busy means blessed, and for that, I’m grateful. Every now and then though, I unplug and take time off, whether it’s to do nothing or to do something else entirely (read a book / watch a movie / take three naps in one day BECAUSE BED WEATHER), which is just as important to recharge the creative mind.
I’ll be unplugging this weekend and hieing off to an impromptu trip I said yes to. It’s nice to reboot the computer and the brain sometimes 🙂
It’s Surtex season for a lot of artists, illustrators, and surface designers all over! Surtex (SURface and TEXtile) is an annual trade show held in New York every May, and this year it happens this Sunday, May 18. It’s a B2B (business to business) trade show attracting wholesellers, manufacturers, and buyers to buy and license original art to put on products– journals, gift wrap, greeting cards, home decor, party plates, tabletop accessories, and other gift ware. My agents at Bright Art Licensing will be bringing my work to the show:
(This Surtex flyer was posted on one of my favorite design blogs, Print and Pattern)
I have a good amount of new/recent work. Here’s a (very) small sampling of what’s available:
Everyday and birthday
If you’re in the industry and you’re off to Surtex, look for Bright’s booth (#631) and request to see more.
I’m hoping that by Surtex 2015, it’s not just my work that will be there, but that I’ll be physically present there myself! Fingers, toes, and eyes crossed!
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I haven’t been blogging because aside from working on a secret project I can never share with anyone, ever (damn these NDA’s!), I’ve also been busy developing new work for my primary/secondary educational portfolio for my agents at Bright, for the children’s division. I used to avoid drawing people (preferring anthromorphized animals doing human stuff instead) but the more I draw human figures, the less scared I am of the challenge and the easier it gets, little by little 🙂
I was approached earlier this year by the guys at Munkee Apps to design a sticker pack for InstaSize, an app that lets you fit your photos on Instagram without cropping (among other things). I’ve never heard of InstaSize up until that point, but apparently it’s a very popular app across the iOS and Android platforms and I do notice my Instagram friends using it. InstaSize not only lets you fit photos; it can collage, add labels, filters, and backgrounds to your images as well. I was using 4 or 5 other apps to do these things prior to learning about InstaSize, so it was a relief to ditch the other apps in favor of one app that can do it all.
Now InstaSize has just come out with an iOS update that includes adding sticker overlays to your photos and that’s where my involvement comes in. Remember my pet project, Pusspins? No? That’s ok, I haven’t been able to devote as much time to it as I should. Anyway, I came up with 30 stickers for a Pusspins sticker pack available for download within InstaSize.
A closer look:
InstaSize is available for free on the App Store. Look for InstaSize – Post Entire Photos on Instagram (developer: Munkee Apps). Once downloaded, open the app, take a photo or load an existing one from your gallery, and scroll to the right to get to the stickers.
The Pusspins sticker pack is $1.99.
The stickers in action:
My cats, Tiger and Sushi
Having my illustrations be available as stickers is a dream project of mine so it’s great to have been given the chance to do just that. Thanks to the team at Munkee Apps for making it happen!
Instasize on the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/instasize/id576649830
Pusspins website: http://www.pusspins.com
So much for trying to post regularly. It’s hard to find things to share when you have nothing to show since your projects are still unreleased / under NDA (non-disclosure agreement).
This one I can show you though. I’m working on a nautical-themed collection. I already made one last year:
I’m not really happy with it, though. The color palette is all over the place. So I decided to start from scratch and make a new version with a more thought-out, more cohesive, and less primary color palette.
See what a more structured color palette can do? It instantly changes and dictates the art’s intended audience. If the old nautical collection looks more suited for K-Mart (SM Department Store if local), this new one gives more of a The Land of Nod vibe (Hobbes and Landes may be the closest local counterpart). I hope. Haha.
You will see I reused some elements from the old collection and changed a few things. I noticed my style has been subtly changing and evolving lately (which is good! You don’t want to stagnate). I’m simplifying my technique and going for a more casual, hand-drawn look, even if it is still vector.
Patterns, old and new:
May 2013. Ick. Too many colors.
What a difference 10 months make. I’m constantly learning and growing and I love that it shows in my work 🙂
To make good on my promise a few posts ago about more frequent show and tell of work, here’s what I’m currently working on.
I’m trying to veer away from the bright colors I usually use to make my work a little more sophisticated in terms of intended retail audience. Less Walmart, and more Paperchase. Or to put it in a local context, less Baclaran and more Greenbelt. Haha what.
One of my goals this year is to update more regularly on this blog. I wish I could be more like some of my favorite illustrators who can get away with just posting pictures of what they’re working on and pass it off as a blog entry with hardly any text. But I’m a bit of a blabbermouth online and it’s always nice to have things in context, hence my lengthy blog entries (with weeks going by in between updates). Quality over quantity, I say.
But here’s my attempt at (hopefully) regular show and tell of new/recent/ongoing work. I’ll still have my occasional lengthy entries every now and then, but with more posts like this in between.
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I’ve recently finished working on a London-themed collection for a couple of trade shows. Here are a few snippets from the collection: