...and some more Christmas Card Illustrations!

It's pretty much Christmas year-round here at the studio.  There's been many a summer day where the AC was cranking along with the sounds of Bing Crosby as a new Santa or Snowman image was being created.   I say "new" lightly because let's be honest... these illustrations are about as nostalgic and traditional as they come.   Nothing "new" about them.  I like it that way though.  Just sentimental I guess.

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Christmas Market Barn-shaped Puzzle

Finally!!!!  The Christmas art that gets worked on here year-round can be posted online without fear of angry mobs running me out of town for posting out of season!  (made that mistake before!!)  Prepare ye for a slew of posts this December!!!   There's a pile of Santas, Snowmen, and Christmas cheer laying around here that has been patiently waiting for many, many months.  I figured a puzzle image of happy people looking forward to the big day would be a good place to start...

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Baltimore Ravens/ Maryland Lottery Storyboards

A strange thing happens to me from time to time...  One of my long-standing sources of income has been drawing storyboards for television commercials.   They are usually very quick turn-around jobs and are pretty much forgotten once they leave the studio.   I'm not much of a tv watcher, but occasionally I'll sit down to catch a piece of a football game this time of year.  Last night that strange experience came up where a commercial I had never seen before came on, followed by a very weird deja-vu feeling... and then I remembered "Hey-  I drew that!"   This time it's an ad for the Maryland lottery.  Here are some of the frames below that were drawn many months ago:

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Puzzle illustration: "Hide and Seek"

The theme of this puzzle series is young animals playing games together.  (Awwwwwww!!)  Puzzle illustrations in this cute and somewhat realistic style have a been an ongoing thing around here for the past couple years.  At first it seemed kind of an odd direction for me as my artistic tastes are mostly in the wild in wacky realm, but after a while I found myself really enjoying making these sweet innocent images.  I'm actually really starting to love it..  Its hard to have a bad day when you're painting kittens and puppies.

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"LIbraries Rock!" Posters and Spots

Every year I have the pleasure of creating a series of posters and spots for the Public Library system.  One of the reasons this particular job is so much fun is that I get to work in a different style every time!   This year's flavor was concocted from a combination of tattoo art influence and a bit of 60s rock album cover art.  The nice thing is that this is basically how I doodle all the time anyway!   Please take a moment to pop over to my site and check out all the styles I currently work in.  I'm still cooking with a lot of pots, which is how I like it!   I'd love to cook up something for you!

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Baltimore Ravens themed Lottery Illustration

Quick overnight spot illustration for Baltimore Ravens-themed Maryland Lottery tickets and billboards. Digitally painted in Photoshop. This was one of those fairly normal advertising agency situations where the assignment was given to me many weeks in advance but was put on "hold", and then one afternoon a frantic email shows up saying "It's a go- We need it by tomorrow morning!!!" Fortunately, it went pretty quickly and I was able to go to bed on time. Thank you internet for multiple references shots!

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Which Two Are the Same?...

Also... for the same Highlights Puzzlemania issue, this was an additional game illustrated to go along with the "differences" puzzle.   It was made for little kids, but how fast can YOU figure it out?...  

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Cover and Interior Illustration for Highlights Puzzlemania Book

So... every now and then the little kid in me gets all giddy because I get to work for one of the companies I grew up with.   Many a dentist's office visit I spent searching for hidden pictures in a Highlights magazine.  Here's a recent cover I got to create for an issue of a Highlights Puzzlemania book. The illustration also appears on the inside with a nearly identical version next to it with 20 differences to find.  Check out the pics below in case you're stuck in a dentist's office with nothing to do.

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 Find twenty differences on the next picture...

Find twenty differences on the next picture...

 Find 20 differences from the previous pic!

Find 20 differences from the previous pic!

 Here's the original sketch with cropped areas indicated for cover and interior activity pages.

Here's the original sketch with cropped areas indicated for cover and interior activity pages.

"Scurry Up and Read" Illustrations

Well, I’ve always said it-  Nothing encourages little kids to read more… than hamsters in sweatpants!   I used to own a hamster or two and one thing I knew for sure is that you never store books you care about in an active hamster cage… nor do you try to dress them in work-out clothes.   But hey- we’re living in the 21st century now and hamsters can do whatever the heck they want to.  Anyway, these friendly little fur-balls were illustrated for an educational company who has kept me very busy for over 15 years now.   Thanks to them, I find myself drawing lots of books and lots of animals in weird clothes.

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Kitschy Vintage Style Cocktail Tray Illustrations

This one was a gas, Daddy-O!!!  The scene was to create illustrations with a mock 1950s/60s barware vibe to be arranged and printed onto a old-style black metal cocktail tray.  A combination of many things made this one a blast!...  Whimsical character designs, mimicking an old retro look, the puzzle solving aspects of creating elements that could stand alone or in formation with each other, playing with lighting that works against a black background, and incorporating nostalgic text.   The client is a cool connoisseur of cocktail concoctions who runs a site called “Mr. Booze”.com.   I’ve done quite a bit of really fun work for him over the years- one of my favorites being the Mr. Booze logo itself.   This tray was my kind of kitsch!  Can’t wait to get my mitts on this baby!

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