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.