Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Sweetest Book (aka: too many calories to count)

To see all my illustration portfolio samples, visit my web site. 

In 1951, the Little Golden Book classic, Pantaloon, was first printed by Simon & Schuster... In 2010 the new version of that children's picture book classic will be released by Random House, the present day owners of all the Golden Book titles. 

I had the very fortunate opportunity to be selected to re-illustrate this new version of the book, and yesterday received an advance copy of the completed book. The reproduction of the art looks terrific. It is such a satisfying feeling to finally have the actual printed book in your hands, after the many months of doing all the preliminary sketches and the numerous finished illustrations! All these illustrations were finished in the late winter of 2009... and the book will be released nationwide sometime in the spring of 2010... 

The story is about an energetic poodle who is determined to become the Baker's new assistant, and will stop at nothing to to so... People who have seen the illustrations already, have all commented on how delicious and tempting all the pies, cakes, breads, cookies and pastries seen throughout look. Out of curiosity, I just did a quick count of how many tasty items I actually illustrated... counting everything seen on the cover, endpapers, inside illustrations, etc... I think there are about 490 food items! After reading this book, one will definitely head straight for the nearest bakery to pick up a chocolate eclair (or three). How many pounds did I gain while working on the visual research for the book you ask? I'm not telling... but let's just say that I hope my next children's book project is about a kid who spends a lot of time in the gym. 

All the illustrations were painted with Winsor & Newton gouaches on Arches hot press watercolor papers...then scanned into Photoshop, where I did some additional digital enhancements, especially with much of the "pastry" work.

Posted here is the half-title page art (box of pastries), and an illustration from one the the opening pages where Pantaloon and the Baker first meet...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

...Socks Are SO Sexy! (aka: the GoldToe ad project)

To see all my illustration portfolio samples, visit my web site. 

A while ago I created a series of prints ads for the international sock company, GoldToe. The new campaign, was conceived and motivated by their VP and Creative Director, Charles Moretz... as a push to direct a younger consumer toward their quality line of footwear products. (...kind of a "it's not your dad's Oldsmobile anymore" campaign) A renewal process which all large established companies must go through at some point or another to capture a younger generation who may not be as fully aware of the brand as could be. Charles defined the simple tactic: to use illustration for the new ad campaign "For All Walks of Life," to stand out from the competition and in contrast to the sea of photography omnipresent with everything fashion. 

It was a wonderful experience to be in the series of meetings with Charles, to learn about the company, where they are heading, etc... and together direct my imaging, relative to their target audience, to be memorable print ads. There was also talk of possibly using my illustrations for their in-store wall graphics, signs, displays, kiosks, etc... to extend the impact of the ad campaign to the maximum in terms of capturing the attention of the younger audience. (see posted mock-photo of my images used in a store/boutique setting) 

Posted here are three of the ads from the series... the man and woman are kind of visual companions, to give a bit of a romantic story or spin the the ads... Just their legs and feet are seen in the third ad with all the walkers. I also created the hand-lettering for the ad title, “For All Walks of Life.” The ad copy text is positioned in the white space at the bottom. These posted images are too small for you to see, but in the female scene, she has financial data on her hand held device, and in the male scene, there are flowers on his hand held device (the same flowers as in the female scene) to suggest that the two are connected. Also posted at the bottom are a few samples of preliminary "test textures" I created, representing different characteristics of product categories, which may be incorporated into their "in-store" graphics look.

There has been a delay in the release of theses ads nationwide, obviously due to the economy. GoldToe is evaluating when the correct timing to do so will be best, but hopefully it will not be a long delay. So, in the meanwhile, if you are looking for terrific socks, think "gold toe."