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.
I probably shouldn't be telling you this, but I'm kind of buddies with Santa Clause. A while back, he was nice enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to pose for some reference photos to be used for illustrations. It was a crazy shoot that involved live rabbits, chickens, a puppy, and some very excited young children. Santa wasn't aware of what he was walking into that evening, but being his jolly old self, he modeled like a pro. Many thanks to all who helped.
It's December here in the studio and things are hopping! I've found my role as the family Santa has turned more into that of a late-night online ordering elf as brown paper boxes begin arriving at my doorstep on a semi-regular basis, Today, though, one of those big brown mystery boxes arrived that wasn't another secret kid gift. Instead, it held a pile of brand new puzzles from Bits and Pieces. Most likely this bird scene was painted in the heat of August but finally now seems OK to post. Take a look!:
I know, I know... An illustrator should not have too many styles. It confuses people. Although this advice has always made sense, it has also always alluded me. Eating the same food or watching the same movies over and over has never been my thing... nor sticking with one form of art. It's a bit of a sickness really. I try... really try to keep my portfolio down to just a couple of looks, but before I know it, I'm veering off into something totally new and different. I love learning new things- especially illustration styles that are challenging. This year, of all things, it's been digital paintings of sweet happy scenes for cards and puzzles, prompted at the request of a rep I work with. I have to admit, I feel a little weird doing them sometimes- the subject matter is really sappy! But for some reason I find them incredibly relaxing. Maybe because, in the light of sad news out there, it's just nice to imagine a world where dogs, cats and horses can share their pumpkins...