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.
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.
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!
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...