Post by James
Kai Ti Hsu was born in Taiwan. His editorial illustration emphasizes strong, clear communication, simple composition and a gift for visual metaphor.
You can see more of Kai Ti Hsu’s work on his website.
I discovered Jon Contino by following the work of Jessica Hische and Drew Melton (the typography world is very small). The first two things that resonated with me was the fact that he, like me, didn’t go to art school, and that he also used his musicianship as a passageway to his passion for design. As much as I’ve grown to love digital illustration and type design, I’m always the most drawn to analog aesthetics–and Jon prioritizes them in his work.
Jon Contino is an award-winning designer, illustrator, art director and self-professed alphastructaesthetitologist. His style is strongly inspired by contemporary street art, his native stomping grounds of New York, and the grit of hand-drawn type. He’s worked with clients like Ogilvy, Nike, Whole Foods, McSweeney’s, Target and The New York Times. He’s also an ADC Young Gun 9 winner to boot, and happens to possess a heartwarming Long Island-born accent.
Jon cites his family as being vital in governing his design and illustration aesthetic. His mother and grandmother happened to be artists, both supporting and assisting in his pursuit of his craft by bringing home reams of butcher paper and instructional drawing books (more about this in the wonderful Shoptalk interview here). He discovered that the lettering he was seeing in movie posters and baseball adverts still counted as typography–even at a very early age. It took me much longer to figure out that illustration and beautifully drawn words weren’t just for books–the marks of our handiwork can truly be found anywhere, if you just slow down and take the time to look.
As a teenager, Jon got his freelancer chops very early on. As a designer geek and drummer in a hardcore band, he was constantly relied upon by his band (and friends’ bands) to supply flyer designs, gig posters and the like. Soon enough, he realized that he could actually “make money at this thing,” and he was preparing invoices and freelancing by the ripe old age of 15.
In 2006, after working for a few different companies and design houses, he opened his own creative studio and has been working for himself ever since. He’s constantly turning pet projects into mini-businesses–most recently, he started up Contino Brand. And even amidst his successes, he’s learned the art of saying no for the sake of self-preservation.
Jon has spoken about how his preference for modern minimalism and his hand-drawn gritty aesthetic meets with a clash. That clash has governed a unique vision that brings the best of clean design and true-to-form drawing together. I’m enthralled by this intersection, and so clearly see the passion and determination that stands solidly behind Jon’s work. His personal history only continues to illuminate it.
Do you make enough time to draw? Some of us doodle at any opportunity we get. Yet there are also times when we get so swept up in daily doings that we don’t quite draw as much as we’d like to for fun and enjoyment. Taking more time to doodle will not only keep your creative idea’s flowing , fill your sketchbooks with beautiful things but also make drawing fun feeling less like work. So here are afew places you can sketch with ease, seize the opportunity pick up that pencil and draw!
Places you can draw:
- On the bus
- On the train
- In the car
- On a rainy day
- On the phone
- In bed
- At the park
- In the garden
- On your lunch break
Remeber, you should draw because the more you do draw the more those amazing ideas in your creative mind will meet the page for all to see.
Image by Illustrator Chuck Groenink you can find out more about his work here .
It’s always refreshing to find an Illustrator who takes such a bold approach to their work as Victoria Topping, and the result is a continually evolving body of work that always holds plenty of surprises for the viewer.
Change can take a long time to happen. The mainstream comics market is no exception, but there have been some recent encouraging signs. Case in point, the newly redesigned, Doc Marten/iPhone sporting Batgirl by forward thinking creator Cameron Stewart, who co-writes, and sketches story breakdowns for the series. Stewart, a Canadian native, has been drawing comics for over a decade, and has worked with some of the most celebrated comics writers out there, including Grant Morrison, Ed Brubaker, and Jason Aaron.
In addition to the monthly Batgirl, he’s currently working on a comics sequel to Fight Club with writer Chuck Palahniuk, which he’s described as a dream project to be a part of.
Cameron Stewart won both an Eisner(2010) & Shuster(2009) award for his web comic Sin Titulo. You can find a lot more artwork to drool over at his website here.
For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com - Andy Yates