Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dainty Project Designs

Here are a few character designs for a character named "JJ" (he's Dainty's dog).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New LCRI Poster

So, if you check in on this blog regularly, you may or may not have noticed a bit of a lag in posts as of late. This can be mainly attributed to the most recent project, a new poster for Lewis-Clark Recycling, Inc. The first poster was completed back in June. Although the previous poster (I'll include it in this post for reference) was well-received by the client, but I had reservations about it (mostly the usual neurotic, hyper-critical kind).

Well, I think this poster far exceeds the previous poster in almost all respects. The rendering itself (the overwhelming majority of which was done by hand with only a few digital alterations to the background), the information portrayed along with the manner in which it's presented, the amount of visual interest, and the overall mood of the new poster are all stronger. Only in terms of composition do I think the first poster bests the second. But, given the amount of information in the second poster (visual and text-based), I thought this perspective would be most advantageous.

As always, I'll wait to see what the client thinks. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they'll be as satisfied with the final product as I am.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ahhh, feedback!

Remember that cartoon I drew about the Vandals? I just talked to someone today who said, "Nobody got it. Nobody." The statement 'nobody got it' would probably have been enough of an affirmation, but bookending the statement with the word 'nobody' really gets the message across.

To be honest, I wondered if the reference wouldn't be too obscure. I also wondered if it wouldn't be difficult to tell the character labeled "Vandals" is supposed to represent Helen Keller, who is blind and deaf. In the end, though, I figured people would recognize Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller and subsequently put the two together. Oh, well. Would people have understood a more contemporary reference, or was it the execution of the reference that made the cartoon difficult to follow?

Oddly enough, this doesn't really bother me. It would have back when I was attempting to make a living at political cartoons. I suppose that's partially because I don't have much investment in cartooning anymore (I'm not bothered by that, either). Ok, back to illustrating. Cheers.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Last Minute Programs and People Illustration

On Friday, I was contacted by the magazine "Programs and People" with a request to do one additional illustration for the water issue (due today). I'm just about to turn in the result. I accepted because I love working for this magazine and I'm always up for a challenge. I'm happy I did. However, given the relatively short amount of working time, I'm faced with those all-too-familiar anxieties about whether or not this is as good a product as it could be. I suppose, however, that one of the blessings of these shorter deadlines is that the same time constraints make it difficult for me to over-analyze the result. In short, what's done is done.

The light source in this one is different than the source(s) I typically use and it really seems to punch up the drama of the piece. Hopefully, this is offset by the humor in the characters' faces (otherwise the piece risks being overly serious and might not fit in as well with the other illustrations for this story). I suppose I'd give this piece a six out of seven on my own personal scale. This number, however, is subject to change as time passes.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Political Cartoons light the corners of my mind...

This is the first political cartoon I've drawn in a long time. It's not even really political, which is one of the reasons I felt fine revisiting this format. The Vandal football team has undergone a truly remarkable change under the command of coach Robb Akey. Being UI alum myself, it's great to see the team do well. I've criticized the Vandals in the past for many reasons, but it's also important to give credit where credit is due. And it's due here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Brian Final Version

Project Q character "Brian" is now complete. Here's the result. Personally, I like it a lot. I'm sure I've met this man before and not liked him, which I think is the point. I think what makes this character successful is the detail. "God is in the details", according to Meis Van der Rohe. Though it's hard to imagine God being in a beer belly, tattered cargo shorts and a pink argyle golf shirt, I think these facets make the character look-worthy nonetheless.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dainty Outfit Concepts

Here's a set of potential Dainty outfits I'll be presenting to the client. Overall, I'm happy with the result of these. I have to keep telling myself, however, that they're just concepts and the little troubling details will be ironed out in the final version.

I can't get no....

Near the end of September, I posted a set of face concepts for a children's book character named Dainty. One of the faces was selected by the client and I've been working steadily since then on what she'll be wearing. It's been a process, to say the least. I haven't been particularly satisfied with the results until very recently (and there's still some coloring to be done). This post is the rejects. I can't say exactly what the problem was with these, only that the more I looked at them, the more they bothered me.

At some point, I think I'll have to address whether or not this is a problem. Here's the issue: dissatisfaction goads me into producing higher quality work. However, I'm still only in the concept phase of this project. Even a rough sketch should be enough to relate the visual ideas needed to advance decisions about a character. Even those concepts, however, are subject to the same level of scrutiny as a piece ready to go to print. This effort at this level could be seen as being counter productive (or at least inefficient time wise), and it behooves me to find a medium between my own perfectionism and a productive/efficient timeline for concept drawings.

Second Character Concept Set

This set of concepts is again for Project Q. The character's name is inexplicably "Gumbo".

Project Q Concepts!

Here are some body sketches for one of the Project Q characters. Earlier versions of the face can be seen in a previous blog post. The clients thought the first set of faces were too realistic and asked me to give them more options. I'm glad they did. I think the new set of faces is far superior to the first. The possibilities for expression are greater and the character seems to have much more personality. They chose the version in the upper left corner.

The body designs also turned out well. I haven't shown these to the clients yet, but I think they'll be well received. As you might have been able to ascertain, the character is a stoner (hence the accouterments). In the interest of COA, I will say we here at Kroese Illustration do not in any way condone the use or sale of illegal substances. That aside (minus the fur and army helmet), this character looks a lot like some guys I went to college with. There was this one'll save that story for another post.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Project Q Update

Here's the latest character concept set for Project Q. This character's name is Brian. The character is an obnoxious fraternity member. I think this is captured fairly accurately (based on my own limited interactions with some of the more stereotypical frat boys), particularly in the affectations of the full body poses. I wouldn't even want to ride in an elevator with any of these characters, which makes me think I did my job pretty well. We'll see what the client says about it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Decagon Logo Revisions

Here's a collection of logo redesigns for Decagon. Technically, they've already chosen the one they like, but this work was already done by the time they made their decision. I'll at least run this set by them and see what they think.

Project Q Concepts: Vinny

Here's the latest set of concepts for a character named Vinny. I'll also include some print mockups for previous characters in this project.