Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hypno-Punch

JAMES - my lastest gig is with Bold Life magazine, a WNC monthly mag. they're very cool people and the magazine is very neat and supportive of local arts and culture.
so my assignment was to re-design the Bold Life logo and illustrate a cool cover, all within a week before going to press. i handled the logo first (egg before the chicken), which process i won't detail here. long story short, i handed in about 9 design ideas, they loved one, and i refined it, back and forth back and forth, till it was perfect. it's the one you see on the final cover up top.


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the lead article was about the local Roller Girl team, and i felt like someone just handed me the keys to a Ferrari, cuz i knew this would be a fun and exciting cover to do. i handed in some rough sketches (above) and they liked the first two the most, then finally settled on the second one.

i worked big, about 150% of the print size. i wanted a tight illo with an open background where i could drop a big color swirl and have room for text and the logo. but i wanted lots of action, so trusty speed lines and lots of wavy hair and stuff. i kept the pencils tighter than usual - i wanted the inks to loosen it up, but really not too much. and i laid off using templates for things like the wheels and stuff cuz i wanted them to look wobbly from the speed of her.
inks were the usual trusty #3 brush (actually not so trusty, it's starting to split), "Dr. Martin's Black Star" ink, a Tachikawa No. 99 pen nib for the speed lines, and a Sakura Graphic 1 marker for the punch-burst and lettering on her jersey. finally a little white FW Acrylic Ink for touch-ups and it was time to scan.
coloring was all done in Photoshop (still rockin version 6.0!) - tons of layers. the final version is 1200dpi, but i laid out the basic colors in 400dpi to make it faster, then up-sampled and spruced it up (the linework was always 1200dpi to keep it perfect). my intentions were clear from the get-go, i wanted her to be mostly purple/pink/fushia and the background to be golden yellow. the blue in her eyes and the reds in her hair, shirt and wheels break it up nicely and help the eyes move with the action. (my favorite part originally was a mistake - i was going to make the speed lines have either white or nothing at all between them, but i accidentally had some red from the wheels bleed into them, and it looked so cool i decided to just have the speed lines drag out whatever color they were coming from.) after all that, i added the logo and text, optimized the overall color, did some back and forth with the publishers to make it perfect, and it was done - two days before deadline.
i just got the call this morning that they were delivered and i picked up some copies - the final print is perfect, all the colors, blends and effects transferred exactly how i intended. everyone's psyched with it. i've seen the possible lead articles for next month, and looks to be more fun - stay tuned.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Screen Printing Week #2

















































JAMES - This was a tuff post to assemble, sorry it took so long. The week that i did all these seems like forever ago (i think the week of March 5th), and since then, alot has happened. The two previous posters sold very well at the shows - the Of Montreal poster is officially SOLD OUT! The Walkmen poster can be gotten at gigposters.com.
Anyway, concerning the posters in this post...the Moaners was the easiest - from concept to finished ink drawing was maybe 3hours. At the last minute before printing it, i decided to make the linework a dark blue instead of black. I think it worked out well. The piece is titled "Not Britney", since coincidentally a day after i drew it the pop tart buzzed her head. funny, huh?
The Sharon Jones poster was the hardest. i went thru at least 5 fully fleshed-out concepts, and as you can see in one of the pics, one went as far as a finished ink drawing which was scanned and ready to print, until the last minute I decided to scrap it. The illo is good enough, but the poster wasn't doing anything for me, conceptually or compositionally, and adding color to it was a nightmare. After more concepts and heavy sketching, i came to the 3-D idea. Thank god for google & wikipedia - the next morning i read up on the concepts of 3-D images and how to achieve the effect with Cyan/Red (long story short: RRR = red right receding). The illustration had to be done in 3 separate parts to achieve a convincing three-tier 3-D image.
The two Antibalas posters were definitely the most fun to do. Most times i do coloring in the computer, since it's mostly filling in areas boardered by my black ink lines. But for the Lion poster, i wanted the red color to be 'illustrated', so i laid a piece of tracing paper over the finished inks and painted the red where i wanted it, just so. This way i wouldn't have to do any color separations in the computer. I also used alot of dry-brush technique on the black ink drawing and both that and the reddish color translated perfectly in the final prints. The Zebra poster is my favorite one so far - i'm most proud of the composition. And it's very interpretive (could be an active volcano with red lava letters, or the intended zebra head, etc) and exciting, even though it's incredibly simple.
All in all, i say the prints were a raging success. The rest of the shows begin this weekend, so hopefully they'll sell well (gotta drive 4 hours to get to two of the shows, bummer).

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Screen Printing Week #1














































JAMES - Luckily & thankfully, i've gotten myself 7 poster assignments, all for shows coming up in the next month, mostly in the NC/Asheville area. The jobs started coming in around Feb 15, and the next week i dedicated to illustrating and scanning in all the posters (or as many as possible) - Tom's teacher recommeded something similar. Drawing 8 hours or more a day for a week is something i've never had the chance to do, and it was an amazing development of ideas, skill, instinct and frustration.

The following week (week before last) was dedicated to scanning everything in, doing the color and film separations, and screen printing the first two posters (i also did a b&w poster for a local band that didn't require screen printing).
The first two are the ones you see up top - Walkmen and Of Montreal. I'm very happy with how they turned out and how well the original concepts transformed into the final product. They're both 18x24 - the Walkmen is two colors on tan paper, Of Montreal is 4 colors on white paper. Next i'll post the 4 posters i did last week.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Dirty Laundry

JAMES - back in NY, the class i was in at the Art Students League had a project where we had to take some piece of clothing and make some art out of it. the idea being that all the submissions would be hung on a clothes line in the school gallery. i completed this my last week in NY (i actually did the illustration part when i was herein NC the week before we moved) and it will be exhibited next week from monday to friday.
there's not much to say about the piece - it's pretty self explanitory. it's very different kinda 'art & crafts' thing for me, but it was fun. the shorts are my own (clean), the red stuff is just tissue paper, and the illustration part is, as always, Black Star ink on Vellum Bristol with a #3 brush, and a little red FW ink.