Archive for the ‘design’ Category
Artist Sanna Annukka is a designer and printmaker. Her distinctive style of bold color and pattern is influenced by her childhood summers spent in northern Finland. For her first book project – just hitting shelves – she illustrates Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale, The Fir Tree. Cloth-bound in rich forest green, with gold foil embellishments, The Fir Tree is a unique work of art.
Focus Features is offering a copy of the book Drawings From the Film Beginners By Mike Mills plus a copy of the soundtrack from the film for one lucky Illustration Friday reader!
Leave a comment on this post to enter your name in the drawing. We’ll pick a random number on Friday, June 24th to choose the winning comment!
Mike Mills’ films and design work have dominated the visual landscape of the past two decades, through record covers and music videos for bands like Air, Blonde Redhead and Sonic Youth, movies such as The Architecture of Reassurance (2000) and Paperboys (2001) and his first feature-length film, Thumbsucker (2004), starring Keanu Reeves and Tilda Swinton.
2011 sees the release of Mills’ new feature film, Beginners, starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer. McGregor plays a character who, as Mills describes, “shares some things with me: we both do graphic design, we both often figure out what we’re thinking by drawing, we both have dogs and we both did record covers for a very real band named The Sads.
This book contains all the drawings which Mike Mills drew, and that Oliver (played by Ewan) works with in the film. Oliver has the unfortunate idea of creating an illustrated ‘History of Sadness’ as a record cover for the The Sads, including such episodes as: Neanderthal man realizes he’s outclassed by homo sapiens man, the pilgrims, industrialization, birth of the novel, pets in general and many more.” This volume also features a new series of drawings: an illustrated History Of Love which includes such chapters as: the first butt to attract, great lovers in film, flappers, free love’s not so easy, internal V.S. external problems and many more.
Here’s a sampling. But you should read the whole thing.
20. Be careful to take risks.
The work you produce today will create your future.
33. Take field trips.
The bandwidth of the world is greater than that of your TV set, or the Internet, or even a totally immersive, interactive, dynamically rendered, object-oriented, real-time, computer graphic–simulated environment.
A studio is a place of study. Use the necessity of production as an excuse to study. Everyone will benefit.
Netdiver has always made a special effort to recognize the work of female creators. There are so many talented women blazing trails in design, sometimes it’s easy to forget that women are still severely underrepresented in many areas of the industry. Netdiver’s Powagirrrls section helps target this inequity through its focus on “women who rock the design scene…with more than pink design!”
Check out the work of some wonderful female creators:
This one comes from Art Director, Nadja Lossgott from TBWA Hunt Lascaris, Johannesburg.
On the streets of Africa, from Cape Town to Kinshasa, from Lagos to Mombasa, the true measure of fame is having a haircut named after you on a barbershop sign. The streets are full of ‘The Obama’, ‘The Oprah’ and ‘The Denzel.’
This ubiquitous barbershop signage is an African art form or African graphic art with its naïve renderings and pragmatic use of wood, metal and any material that is close at hand.
To celebrate the Confederation’s Cup being played for the first time on African soil, adidas commissioned a series of ‘barbershop’ artworks that honour their galaxy of stars like Gerrard, Messi, Kaka and Pienaar.
A ‘cut’ was created for each player according to their skill. So, ‘The Kaka’ is all about dribbling skills while ‘The Gerrard’ is about powerful strikes.
The word Kopanya is a South African word for ‘together’, which effectively makes this artwork an African interpretation of adidas’ global advertising position of “together I am strong.” Kopanya is also the name of the official adidas ball, that will be used at the Confed Cup.
Check them out:
If you are an indie music fan like myself, no doubt you already own Red Hot‘s latest compilation, “Dark Was The Night.” As a visual artist it is highly likely that you also fell in love with this brilliant double CD’s packaging as I did. Not only is it gorgeously-designed, but it features classic illustrations from 19th century french engraver Gustave DorÃ©‘s “Paradise Lost.”
Upon scanning the liner notes I found the cover packaging was designed by NYC illustrator/designer Ryan Feerer, and the inner booklet by John Giordani. The common thread between Ryan, John, Red Hot and “Dark Was The Night” is interactive agency Funny Garbage, which was started by Red Hot’s founder John Carlin, and designer Peter Girardi. In following this chain of hot creative links I landed on Ryan’s website and poked around his portfolio. Inspired, I contacted Ryan and picked his brain, and was rewarded with bits of news and interesting facts about his solo and agency work.
First off, Ryan shared that he is currently churning out a series of illustrations that will grace the walls of NYC’s Ace Hotel. This musician-friendly location not only features original illustration in all its rooms, but it also provides guests with unusual sonic bonuses such as turntables, guitars and amps. How cool is that?
Ryan’s design work is very illustrative, and his illustration work well-composed and designedâ??something I admire and have been trying to achieve in my own work. I asked for his thoughts on the marriage of the two:
“I often have difficulty separating illustration from design. They work together in most of my work so combining them becomes second nature to me. For example, while creating the design for Red Hot’s Dark Was The Night compilation I was given Gustave DorÃ©’s image of the fallen angel from Milton’s Paradise Lost. This was the one image the packaging had to revolve around. If you’re familiar with this image you know how beautiful and powerful it is. The mysterious winged figure floating down past stars and clouds through space towards what seems to be earth. When you have to design around such a magnificent piece of art, you have to take precautions. You can’t just slap some type onto the illustration because the original piece of art is so much more beautiful than anything you could possibly do, most likely. Keeping this in mind, I created the cover image and typography using DorÃ©’s illustration as texture and detail. This was an introduction to the rest of the packaging. As you open the packaging the (almost) full DorÃ© illustration is revealed. I think that is where the whole wow factor comes in. You’re able to make the visual connection with the cover without compromising the powerful and original artwork from the interior. Taking details from the existing artwork and using them as accents throughout the design created a strong consistency throughout the packaging. I think its a good example of how to create designs and illustrations using existing illustrations.”
On his illustration background:
“I’ve been drawing as far back as I can remember. My father is a preacher so I grew up going to church several times a week. I was stuck on a church pew for hours at a time with nothing but blank membership cards and pencils attached to the back of the pew in front of me. So, I did what most children do, I picked up the pencil and cards and started doodling. I would draw Biblical characters or other religious imagery pertaining to my father’s sermons. There are only so many Biblical figures a kid can draw, so when I was tired of drawing religious imagery I would start to pull things from my own imagination and draw, and draw, and draw. Although my passion for illustration started long ago, still to this day, when I sit down at church on Sunday morning I have to have my sketchbook and pen in hand. “
On his work space:
“I’m sure there are a thousand people that have a more interesting or quirky work-style, but I guess everyone is unique in their own way. In an ideal world I’d do all my work in a small wooden shack of a studio floating in the middle of a foggy lake surrounded by a thick forest. Unfortunately I don’t have that option. Most of my work is done in a small office space in my New York City apartment with a tiny window behind me facing a brick wall which voids my desk of any natural light. It’s definitely not an ideal situation, but its nothing a little Will Oldham and a cold beverage can’t fix.
On his process:
Although my designs and illustrations work together in most of my work, the process of starting a design is quite different than starting an illustration. Design is a lot more structured for me. There are a lot more restrictions and particular problems to solve. I love everything design encompasses but its nice to be able to escape and do what makes me happy. When it comes to illustration, I like to let my mood and music guide my hands. I tend to draw places where wish I could be, a situation I wish I could be in, or a person or thing I wish I could be. Iâ??m obsessed with some of the things that linger in my mind. The stories within it and the things I see have always kept me entertained.
When I was a kid I used to imagine this fantasy world that I could only get to through a small door hidden in my bathroom closet. The world inside was dark and strange. Humid and cold. It resembled what seemed to be a rainforest and inside that forest was a village where strange creatures lurked. That little world that lay within the depths of my bathroom closet has become an ongoing project I started back in grad school called Thy Old Murkville Forest. Murkville encompasses pictures, stories, music, as well as it’s own language. It is my dream world. Throughout the process of creating that imaginary world [I have been able to] view things from a different perspective. It’s like seeing my work from the inside which helps me create something thats more appropriate for what I’m doing. There is so much freedom in illustration. I can delve into my own world and live there as I create my work. It’s a wonderful place to be.”
Ponoko is a very cool service from New Zealand that takes your designs and laser cuts them on demand into a variety of materials like acrylic, felt, wood, and cardboard. I decided to try out the service with some images from public domain books available on the web to make a variety of acrylic jewelry, keychains, and hair sticks (hey, hair sticks are infinitely useful. You can poke people with them in addition to keeping your hair tied back).
I downloaded their templates for Inkscape, a free vector graphics program that creates .svg files. Then I found a public domain book called Rambles of an Archaeologist Among Old Books and in Old Places by Frederick William Fairholt that had beautiful engravings of old jewelry designs, including a fascinating little Memento Mori ring that I thought would do quite nicely for Halloween.
I figured since I was paying for a full sheet of acrylic, I should probably cram it full of stuff. Plus, it gave me a chance to test the different engraving thicknesses as well as the exactness of sizing – ring sizes are precise to the millimeter, so I created three versions of the Memento Mori ring in ladies’ size 4, 5 and 6 to test. Then I added some images from L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz series because I thought it would be super cool to have an Oz ornament hanging from our Christmas tree this year.
I uploaded my designs to my Ponoko account, then chose my materials – in this case, white frosted acrylic. The interface of the Ponoko site just makes this process that much more fun. I finalized my order, then sat back to wait for the results.
I certainly wasn’t disappointed! The package showed up five days after my order was completed, and I was very very happy with what arrived – everything was exactly as I’d specified, even the mistake I made on the Oz ornament was fully intact. I quickly tried on the rings, then checked them against a sizing chart, and they were perfect. The engravings are a bit difficult to see on the material I chose, but I brushed India ink over one of the rings to “antique” it and it looks awesome.
Now my head is full of ideas for truly 3D creations, like picture frames and puzzles and lampshades. They’ve added a variety of new materials in the last week, like bamboo, and they have a GREAT blog with links to designers experimenting with laser cutters and custom manufactory.
Since I used public domain images for my designs, I made the .svg files I created available under the same (non) license, so you can download them for free at Ponoko and do whatever you like with them. If you make something with Ponoko, let me know, I’d love to see your work!
Here’s some things we (Editors -at- illustrationfriday.com) have been told about recently and enjoyed:
- Polish up your Spanish and check out Anika Burton’s free-form sketch blog.
- Fancypantsrodgers.co.uk has a clever picture-framed portfolio design, as well as some greeting cards you might like.
- Erin Green is just finishing up her ultra-cute kid’s book, Usyou, with nifty found-object photographic illustrations, and has added a downloadable PDF of the whole thing!
- Eva-Lena Rehnmark is giving away a georgeous painting in a georgeous gesture in support of giving and the 29-day Giving Challenge.
- Dan Swartz is a vector expert with an impressive gallery.
A reminder: If you’re interested in joining the ad rotation over there on the right, we’ll need a “skyscraper” image 160 pixels wide by 600 pixels high. Then we can feature your work (at our entire discretion) occasionally/sporadically in the ad space. (See Brianna‘s original idea in this post for more information.)
Did you know you can sell ready made designs of your work through MOO? Here’s what they tell us about how to get started:
“Right now at MOO, we’re starting to get ready for the Holidays, so we’re on the lookout for new MOO Designers who have beautiful designs and illustrations for the season. We’re looking for artwork that would look great on MOO Greeting Cards and would make fantastic Christmas, Chanukah, Winter, New Years and Season’s Greeting cards.
We are looking at all types of content;
- traditional illustration and design
- modern/quirky illustration and design
- text based
We don’t need exclusive rights to the work, so you can continue to use these images anywhere else you like, and of course you’ll get a percentage of every pack of cards that we sell, that feature your designs. (This is usually the biggest time of sales, which makes it a great time for you to start selling your designs with us!)
If you are interested in becoming a MOO Designer and have work that you think MOO customers would like to buy, please submit a link to your work to us!”