All good things...

So, in whats become a bit of an annual tradition for me, its my 2010 "thank you" post.
This year has been incredible. I'm really enjoying living downtown Toronto, and love spending time in my work and living space more and more (for better or worse) ha. I've been super fortunate to work with some really amazing clients this year, and for that I am super thankful. I feel incredibly grateful every time I'm selected for a project and try my best to make a good image with each opportunity. Thank you, everyone who has hired me. Not only do you feed my body and pay my bills, but you give me a sense of purpose and complete happiness. I owe you all a high five. I've made some good work this year, and some pieces not so great - but i learn with each one, and always approach new commissions with a spirit of adventure. I think this is why I hold onto working in a traditional manner. Its a bit difficult to explain, but for me, working traditionally is more about the exploration than the destination. Im not replicating a process, in most cases I'm wrestling with it. Desiring a particular texture or "look" requires figuring out how to physically make it. its sometimes slow, and often clumsy but im holding onto it with a mechanics grip. Im proud of many fo my 2010 projects.
Each year I meet great new designers and illustrators, and this year was no exception. People in this industry are so good to each other. The folks I've gotten' to know, or know better have totally inspired me and humbled me with their skill and friendship. The list would take forever, but to all my friends - thanks for this year. To all the industry vets who's work and careers I admire so much I wish you continued success and thank you for the inspiration and for forging the path.
Thanks Fish and Mark for helping me get Nonslick back on track - and thanks to everyone who reads the interviews we post. I really care about that blog and really see the value of asking questions and sharing experience. I appreciate the support people show it.
Thanks Jill for sharing a workspace with me. i look forward to listening to records and This American Life along side you every day when I wake up. I'm lucky I get to spend so much time with you. Thanks to my family and loved ones - your support and encouragement will always have a home with me. Finally thanks to everyone the checks out my work, leaves comments, sends me emails or supports me in any way - its appreciated more than you can imagine. Making images for a living can provide a healthy amount of self doubt. I'm trying my best with every piece I make, so having people give a shit is really really validating. Seriously, Thank you.
Finally a bit of advice that I try to remember everyday:
Work hard(er), Stay Humble (always) and Be Thankful (for everything).

I'm going to be an uncle in 2011 - so the year is already shaping up to be a new favorite.


You down with OPC? YEAH, YOU KNOW ME!!!

Heres a few fun spots I did for the Ontario Principals Council magazine.
The first one (and idea i've been waiting to use for a dogs age) was about ontario principals setting and reaching new standards. obviously principals wear orange sweaters...
next one was about kids bringing their home education practices with them to school
the last one was a movie review of the film "waiting for superman" - the reviewer takes a very critical look at a film taking a critical look at schools. thanks for stopping by. i love you.


license to pill

Painted this for a feature story on Thursday for the LATimes - it was about how drugs designed to help curb obesity keep being held back by the FDA. Got to work with Joey Santos on this one, and he was awesome! In the roughs I tried to play with the idea of blocking and denying. here are a few below - Oh, and it ran BIG - like 8.5 x 11


Shot through the heart...

Heres a cover I did for Westword about a man who's wife shot him in the face and blinded him. It's actually super sad - he was sleeping at the time. He even supported his wife for a while through the trial - must have been a really confusing time. Anyway, This idea seemed too good to be true - in fact there were a bunch of easy solutions. heres the final with some mock text and without, and some roughs.


cheap - er by the dozen

last week or the week before i got a call around 3:30 to see if i could do a small spot for the next day for the WSJ - roughs by 5:15. the article just had a blurb at the time, but would be about all the cheap holiday gift deals going down over Thanksgiving. lots of savings to be found! i got excited and put my thinking cap on (aka an old beer hat i wear for no real reason other than it makes me look slightly homeless) - I had lots of fun brainstorming for this - even for just a small amount of time.
the illustration also need to fit a completely different set of dimensions, so i painted everything separately and fit them back together in the final process
thanks for stopping by!!


Pie not

for an article about disabilities effect on the bottom line. one of those solutions i cartwheeled over. always need to remind myself to keep things simple. whether its in my ideas or my execution - my best stuff comes when i dont over work it.
hey, my first illo using a pie chart :)


this, and that...

So, I was fortunate enough to do some spots for this months issue of WIRED - this one in particular was about dreams - specifically "nightmare on elmstreet" and Freddy ruining peoples sleep. grab the issue if you wanna see more - theres a fun series. Im pretty sure they werent all used, in print atleast but i'll post those sometime soon too.

I also had some good news that i had a piece included in this years SOI annual. so thats nice.


hands up, baby hands up...

I had the extreme pleasure of sharing a magazine for the second time with Juan Solon. This time, RBC Dexia (the magazine put out by my bank) (royal bank). my job was to illustrate 3 articles, and by God, i did just that - first was about smaller, alternative investments reinventing themselves as a good investment rather than certain debt. the second, about finding the select opportunities within the asian marketplace and the third about china opening up to currency trade with canada.
after handing this in I hear back from the AD that they wanted to change the canadian currency to the Euro - i was a bit bummed because i liked the portrait i painted - they needed it soon, so i decided i would use PHOTOSHOP!!!!!! it was a pretty easy, graphic bill - and i think it looks pretty good!now for roughs. i had a million roughs for these. i'll post a few randomly - lots focused on developing industry:


take it or leave it

This image was / maybe still is going to be used for a winter postcard. the thing is, im not sure if i like it, or hate it. this is ALWAYS the way i feel about promos - i usually make about 6 a year, and usually only end up mailing 2. the idea behind it is that i still work traditionally, and im trying to spin this a a good thing. you know, have some fun with the concept of digital images. like most promos, this was a rejected rough from months and months ago. so, yeah or neah?


snakes on a plane

I feel like i painted this piece ages ago, happy to be posting it. This was for Harvard Business Review (a real dream client of mine) about the dangers of the internet. Yes, there are some...lots in fact. This was a real bitch to paint, and about three times i started over on the same piece. you may notice in areas that the texture is pretty whack (like the scales area). when i finally got it looking the way i wanted i decided to keep all the imperfection in, i think it looks better this way. moral of the story, all the frustration was worth it, at least for me. read the article here if you like, its good. heres a few of the many ideas that didnt make the cut...
this one isnt drawn out amazing - but i think its a really cool idea - having the navigation arrows circling around the kid like sharksi also went a bit sci fi with a few ideas, which for me is somewhat of a long shot - but fun to throw out there anyway :)
thanks for stopping by


Angles in the outfield...

Im actually kind of proud of that title. So, time for something a bit different. Last week I was asked by Wes at the LATimes to do a large piece for the envelope section about the movie Inception. Its been about a year of working with the LATimes and Wes throws a lot of assignments my way, so I set out to really knock this out of the park. Basically, they were running a quiz about the movie and my job was to do my best capturing the spirit of the film. Daunting. After lots of roughs I set upon a very ambitios task. So many of the films aspects seemed inspired by, and reminded me of amazing artist MC Escher. Escher had an wonderful way of showing the sureal, in a way that is believable - I decided to do my research on his work, and on optical illusions. images that show a reality that could never really exist.
Inspired by this image and others I sent Wes a load of roughs and really tried to sell my favourite idea - Using this image as a template I set out to re-create this world of weird angles and numerious realities but infuse it with elements from inception - eg. water rushing in windows, mountaintops, a van going over the edge, explosions, a cafe like enviroment, a safe, an elevator, and lots of people fighting, or, just hanging out.Wes went for it. Shit. I had bitten off more than i could chew, as it was due in 3 days, along with a smaller spot image. I buried my head and started planning, drawing and painting. Days came and went, but i didnt leave my desk (except maybe to get coffee)
- i have more process pictures but they wont load for some reason :(
anyway, i tried to draw it out so it could be viewed from multiple angles - heres twoThere was also a spot - which is a little nod at Leo's totem in the film, with a mix of the surreal i was talking about earlier.finally, I submitted a LOT of roughs for this, heres one i was sad didnt make the final cut:Thanks Wes! This was a great project!! Its in todays paper - go pick it up if you can!!
thanks for reading :)


Sea Quest

For the last couple months I was doing a regular spot for MoneyWise in the UK. it was for an ongoing feature about first time investors, and following them all the way up to experienced investors. The AD wanted to continue with a nautical theme - guy in boat, etc. sometimes these illustrations are great opportunities to make a well traveled metaphors a bit more fun with the way you draw. We decided to go with the (reoccurring) character happily trekking across a sea of ticker tape. As much as i love super clever conceptual solutions, Im learning to love making more fun, narrative work too.
Heres a couple of roughs - there were a bunch of nautical themed ones, these focus a bit more on mixing in varried amount of new investments and investment growthIt was a great pleasure working with you Mark - thanks for the fun!!


The rule of thirds...

apparently I like to draw people in 3's. so be it.
Quick piece I did for HR Magazine about cuts across the board.
basically at a certain State University, rather than firing workers HR had the genius idea to just implement miniature, unpaid leaves of absence - super miniature - maybe just a few hours once a week. these were also tiered so that it had the greatest effect on the highest paid employees - that way, everyone could afford the cutback. basically everyone sacrifices so that no jobs are lost.
Good of the University to want to keep its employees - from bottom to top
heres some roughs.