Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Spectacular in NY. Art by Tom White/9 Surf Studios

Christmas is being advertised all over Times Square - The Radio City Christmas Spectacular that is! Putting on a show this grand is a big undertaking. The branding for the show begins a year in advance. Tom White at 9 Surf Studios was called upon to put his creative skills to use with Jay Cooper and the folks over at SpotCo (entertainment and branding advertising agency), the agency working with MSG (owners of Radio City), to create this year's logo. Tom is a genius at branding and image design through the use of typographics and illustration. He said the preliminary design process and review was intense but produced some good work. I was personally attracted to this project, not just because I've always loved Tom's creative and marketing skills, but because as a dancer I always loved the Rockettes!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Directory of Illustration 28. Cover ART by Ken Orvidas

I started working with Ken Orvidas over 10 years ago when I had the privilege to review his portfolio in Seattle. Ken has always been aware of positioning himself in the market to gain greater recognition. He knows the economic future will be populated by the movers and shakers who are poised for success. So in his own words..."Sometimes luck goes one’s way. So it did for me earlier this year when I was asked if I would provide a color illustration and five black and white illustrations for the new Directory of Illustration #28. I was also lucky to have worked with Dave Plunkert as the art director on this one. Dave suggested we try simple imagery versus complex and busy as we address the theme for the book, “very, very visionary”. So, the concept of “eye of the tiger”, “eagle eye”, “black-eyed susan”, “eye of the storm”, etc. was born. Since the cover image is now showing up in printed collateral as well as on the DI website I am able to publish it here. To see the black and white images you’ll have to nab your own copy of the book." Advertisers have already received their copies and reprints. Directory of Illustration 28 lands on 18,000 art buyers' desks mid-January. Read what artists and art buyers have to say about the Directory of Illustration

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Directory of Illustration’s International Friends

I recently connected with my new London based illustrator friend Rod Hunt who I met at ICON6 in Pasadena last July. Rod is very pro-active illustration, just like I am. Rod is Chairman of the AOI – Association of Illustrators UK - the organization that hosted 'Images 35: Best of British Illustration'

This event is similar to the New York Society of Illustrators' awards event which celebrates excellent work that has been generated over the past year. In attendance were illustrators, AOI patrons as well as representatives from the European Illustrators Forum. EIF is an organization of national associations of illustrators in European countries who defend the rights of illustrators and promotes illustration within Europe.

Rod said, “Pleased to win an award, my 1st from Images. Done very well with all the other competitions this year too, Communication Arts, SI 53, American Illustration, 3x3, & a Clio!

Congratulations to Rod and all the Images 35 winners and thanks to the EIF for supporting illustrators’ rights!

Rod Hunt at London's Images 35 Awards event

Monday, October 24, 2011

Music and Art Meet

My rock star husband was on national TV last week - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, ending an 11 week U.S. and Canadian tour. During the tour Alan got to hang out with one of our friends – award winning illustrator Joel Nakamura who is known for his unique style: a blend of folk art and sophisticated iconography rendered in a neo-primitive technique. Joel’s artwork graced several of Alan’s CD covers.

I asked Joel for a personal piece to accompany this post. He said, “Inspiration can come from mundane things - like my son eating gummy bears. I thought I want to try and paint an Octopus made of that stuff.”

Gummy Octopus

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blissfully unaware logo design and pilfering

My friend, Directory of Illustration client and dedicated designer/illustrator Leighton Hubbell recently clued me in on his, and many other designers’, logo ‘intellectual property’ theft.  Leighton had 21 logo designs stolen and the list of infringed designers keeps growing as more people are made aware of the debacle. There are many more pieces of work on this site that designers haven’t yet discovered are theirs. Flip through this site and see if some of your work is there. Identity Designer Jeff Fisher at LogoMotives has also written a very extensive article about the whole situation.

One example of the pilfering

The AIGA, Graphic Artists Guild and a handful of other very visible designers are starting to get the word out. If you see your art there you can write a cease and desist (DMCA) letter to Logogarden’s hosting company’s legal department.
Protect your own brand. Follow Leighton’s advice: protect yourself from your own logo pilfering:
  • Keep track of your images. Have a naming convention that you can easily keep going and where they were posted.
  • Use metadata in your images. Include metadata, creation and copyright data information when saving in Photoshop or Adobe Bridge.
  • File for copyrights on your images. You can file for copyrights in groups of images, too and save some money.
  • Be careful where you post your work. Only submit to sites that you know or trust.
  • Be a good neighbor. If you see a familiar image that looks overly inspired, contact the original designer if you know who it is. If not, Tweet it.
  • Scan the image servers. Use Google Reverse Image Search or to see if anyone’s using your work.
  • Cease & Desist letters – Get a copy of a DMCA form and have it ready if you need to send it.
  • Consider digital tracking software. Services like Digimarc can label, watermark and track your digital library.
  • Turn off image links on your website. Although not a big solution, it can certainly deter the casual infringer.
  • Label your work. Let the pilferer know that they are borrowing your work should it end up beyond your reach.
If you've created logos, you should read Leighton’s very informative and well written blog.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Breakthrough judge comments on what made winner stand out

In a recent conversation, I asked one of my former clients and Breakthrough judge Joel Iskowitz, Illustrator,  what it is about the Breakthrough Contest winner Michal Dziekan's art that makes him stand out.
Joel commented, "Michal's work covers the basics of good illustration - excellent construction, composition and his technique was superb - but the extra attractiveness was his personal approach that filtered through his work to get his message across. Michal's personal vision and message was strong - his social read was very organic, his style was a natural out-growth of his own perception. It distilled his work into something very special that will appeal to the layperson as well as to the professional." Joel added his praise to Richard Solomon for this inspirational contest which he felt brought an added energy to our industry.
Rolling Stone’s Steve Charny and Eliza Sproul, Art Director / Via Agency were too busy for comment.

Joel Iskowitz's Medal of Honor design for the 2011 $5 Gold Commemorative Coin

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Directory client finishes HUGE illustration project

Recently, my Directory of Illustration client Daniel Johnson finished a huge illustration project. When he said huge, he meant huge: an exhibit image over 19 feet long. The technical challenges were daunting due to the large file size of the final image. Approval was delayed due to last minute art director size and content changes (as usual), so he didn't have much time to work on it, but KUDOS - Daniel made it on time!

Client praise came upon completion. (This is what we like to hear):  “Unbelievable, in-your-face, perfect, and a show-stopper."

Daniel is a digital illustrator working in Adobe Photoshop CS5 with an emphasis on realistic imagery and matte painting. You can read more in his recent blog post.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Breakthrough contest winner

I recently read that there are more successful artists from Poland than anywhere else in the world so I was not surprised when Artist Representative, Richard Solomon called me to announce the winner of  “Breakthough” – the contest for artists worldwide. Michal Dziekan,, a 26 year old illustrator from Warsaw, Poland (freelance illustrator for book covers, editorial/advertising illustration, t-shirt/character designs, and animation) won. He was the selection of 20 Judges, all working industry pros, over 400+ entries from 15+ countries.
We wish Michal luck when he visits NYC Art Directors this Fall and know he’ll help his country in their bid to become “European Capital of Culture 2016”.

Michal Dziekan