Thursday, July 28, 2011

The process behind an illustration

This is the process behind my most recent book cover.
The art director's comments are above each sketch.

The book was originally called The Heart Wish.
The main character lives in Manhattan and works as a seamstress for a high end clothier.
She goes ice skating in Central Park one night and meets some special.

I choose to focus on the first point and drew some seamstresses.
(I draw the sketches by hand and then scan into the computer and alter in photoshop)

"We like seamstress 2.
Can you add a snooty customer and the title?"

Whoops -
The editor has decided we should concentrate on the Skating in Central park.
Can you draw some skaters?

We like 3.
Can you crop it more?

The title has been changed to "I wished for you"! Please change.
Also the heroine has a cat... Please add a cat.

Good. Go to colour.

After a few more colour tweeks the art director Justinia adds the author's name and pull quote.
Here is the final cover. (As you can see the cat didn't make it!)

Book Launch with Misha Glouberman + Sheila Heti

Sheila Heti + Misha Glouberman at last night's launch at the Garrison

Last night's book launch of The chairs are where the people go was very entertaining. I found Misha Glouberman to be insightful, hilariously self deprecating and instantly likable. Sheila Heti was charming, articulate and rocking her librarian chic style as usual.
Here are some favourite lines from the Q + A:

Q: How did the book come about?
Sheila: I just sat down and typed what Misha said. Lucky for me he speaks in fully formed paragraphs.

Q: Is there a main theme to your approach?
Misha: Well I don't wanna say something trite like "flattening of hierarchies' but I guess the answer is hmm... flattening of hierarchies!

Q: What are American Audiences like?
Misha: They used to be very taken with Canada. They'd often ask "Is it true that every Canadian smokes pot and is married to a gay person?!!" That's all changed now that they have a good president and we have bad prime minister.

Q: What would this book be like if it was illustrated?
Misha: It would not be illustrated! It's a book for grown ups! (Said very tongue in cheek)
Uh oh.... I'm gonna be beat up by a graphic novelist as soon as I get off this stage.

Quite great.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

If you love libraries....

.....Please sign this petition.

"Libraries - a thousand universes in a single place. If that isn't value for money, what is?"
Margaret Atwood

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Book Cover

Last fall I worked on a book cover for Penguin Ireland + today it was released in North America.
It's the second in a series by Amy Huberman.
Below was the first in the series.

The art director for both covers was Justinia Baird - Murray of Head Design in the UK and in both cases I did both the illustration and hand lettering.
Tomorrow I'll do a post about the process behind the assignment.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Book Launch this Wednesday

Book Launch for
'THE CHAIRS ARE WHERE THE PEOPLE GO: How to Live, Work, and Play in the City'
by Sheila Heti +Misha Glouberman

The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St. West , Toronto
Wednesday, July 27, 2011, 7 pm

See you there.

Inspiration: Jennifer Egan

My sweet neighbour Jen (who works at the IFOA) recommended A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan to me and I have been savouring every word of it this month. Last night listened to a fantastic interview with her on Writers and Co. She explains that the novel explores the concept of time and how our perception of it has changed drastically since the internet. She also expressed a concern for a lack of solitude in today's buzzed out society which she feels is critical to the creative process. Highly recommended.
ps. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize. ooh ahh.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Inspiration: I'm Comic Sans Asshole

Really love this video by Joe Hollier that my friend Graeme sent along to me.
In it Comic Sans, (the most hated of typefaces) gets anthropomorphized + bad-assified.
Love the line "Sorry I'm standing in way of of your minimialist bauhausesque fascist snooze fest" and also "I’m the best thing to happen to typography since Johannes fucking Gutenberg."
The monologue was written by Mike Lacher’s and originally appeared in McSweeney’s.
So funny + inventive.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Back in the studio: Screening a 2nd edition of my small iron

My small iron print is almost sold out so this week I screened a 2nd edition of it.
Below a few shots of the process.

Inking the screen with grey ink for layer 1
The clear bottle is retarder which is added to the ink to slow down the drying process.

Layer 1.
Just looks like a ill defined blob!

Retaping the screen so that the 2nd layer shows through.

After applying black ink...

Ta da.

A close up.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Illustration for LA Confidential

This is an illustration I did for Los Angeles Confidential for an article on the phenomenon of LA make up artists as prime keepers of celebrity secrets. Note the arched eye brow!
Art director: Rebecca Perez.

Page One: Inside the New York Times

Last night I went to see Page One: Inside the New York Times by filmmaker Andrew Rossi.

Through footage of the Times' story-pitch meetings, newsroom deliberations, journalist profiles + various interviews — all shot over 14 months starting in November 2009 — the doc profiles the paper as it tries to stay vital, financially sound and evolve.

The film is filled with many great characters such as the salty David Carr - but my favourite NYT staffer was media desk editor Bruce Headlam (above) who comes across as the kind of guy who cares deeply about his work and stays at the office way too late. I found him adorably earnest.
Fun fact: he's Canadian and originally worked at the now defunct Saturday night magazine.

Journalism geeks will love the fly on the wall insider footage and design geeks will appreciate getting a peek at the both the exterior + interior of the NYT's building. (Don'tcha love those intense red walls?)

Anybody interested in the changing landscape of media + the future of print should see this doc.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Coming soon to a TV near you

This week a crew from Holiday Films came by and rented several of my prints plus my inspiration board above for a tv commercial.

My Alphabet legs + Big Brogue shoe print which will appear in the commercial.

The spot was shot by Director Lena Beug (you can see her fantastic demo reel here)
with art direction by the talented Greg Keen + prop styling by the lovely Nancy Machel.
It was great to work with all of them.

I'll post a video of the commercial when it's released.

Eddie Izzard's formula for writing comedy

Take High brow content + talk about it in a Low brow way
or Low brow content + talk about in a High brow way

What he calls Inversion
A formula he readily admits he stole from Monty Python.

I thot very interesting.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Inspiration: Eddie Izzard

Comedian Eddie Izzard was on Q this morning. He's been studying french for the past couple years so that he can now perform his act in Paris + Quebec entirely en francais! (Impressive) His advice:
"You've got one life: Live it. Push the boundaries and find out where the edges are."

Friday, July 8, 2011

Illustration: Wedding Bells Magazine

This is an illustration I did for Wedding Bells Magazine.
I love drawing lingerie + dangley earrings as both provide an opportunity for squiggly lines.

The workroom's New Online Shop

The workroom launched their new online shop today. A few of my small sewing related prints are for sale in the artwork section.
More prints are coming soon - and that's a promise!)

The shop is full of many other lovely things. Here are two of my favourites:

1. Colette Patterns.
Look at that blouse! So very 1940s methinks.

Colette patterns Bralet and knickers. Great.

Colette Patterns makes gorgeous, vintagey patterns and is based in Portland Oregon. Ofcourse it is.
The owner Sarai Mitnick seems really interesting and also writes a lovely blog.
These patterns really make me wish I could sew better.

2. Selvedge Magazine.

What can I say. This magazine is so delicious + dense with inspiration I can usually only read 5 pages per sitting! As Karyn Valino said "Even the ads in the back are really interesting!"
Highly recommended - even if you don't sew.

Juicy pinks

I've got pink on my mind this week.
First this gorgeous ad from Madeline Weinrib resurfaced in my inspiration pile.

I just love the mix of ikat, zig zags and dots - all in varying shades of pink. So juicy.

Then I saw this freshly painted column in a friend's house. It added such dimension to the room + provided such a nice background for the artwork.

Then I found this great hallway in an issue of House Beautiful entirely dedicated to pink!
The paint colour is Ben Moore Razzle Dazzle.

I think pink might be the perfect colour for my kitchen wall. It'll join my other zingy shades of lime green + red which pop off the Chelsea grey in the hallway so nicely.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Best use of 1.98 in a very long time

These are my 2 songs of Summer 2011:
Stardust by Hoagy Carmichael and
At the River by Groove Armada
Thanks M.

Monday, July 4, 2011

News: Oliver Yaphe Shop

Oliver Yaphe's Website
Love the clean + contemporary look.

This is Skinny - my fave Oliver Yaphe Rug
Very sophisticated colour combo- especially that limey green against the beige!

Starting today my prints will be sold through Oliver's Yaphe's online shop
under the "Stuff we Love" tag

My prints share space with this gorgeous leather tote bag by Clare Vivier.
I feel it quietly announces "I'm all grown up now" and I think I need it. :-)

I'm happy to announce that starting today my prints will be sold through Oliver Yaphe's new online shop. Oliver Yaphe is a beautiful rug company run by owner + designer Katherine Yaphe. The company also has a great blog which is full of stunning interiors + gorgeous furniture ideas - many from Europe + Asia with a decidedly minimalist bent. Katherine started the shop this month to share her enthusiasm with products which she really believes in.
My prints can be found under the "Stuff we love" Tag. I'm thrilled to be sharing space with
Mater Stools from Copenhagen, Books by Phaidon, + Bags by Clare Vivier amongst many other gorgeous items.

Must Order

J Crew's Retro Dot Underwire Tank
Swimming Pool Here I Come.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Beginners by Director/Graphic Designer Mike Mills

I went to see the film Beginners last night.

Was attracted to the film initially because of this great lettering in the poster (which I suspected was done by one of my all time fave illustrators Eric Hanson.)

Turns out it was done by the writer/director of the film Mike Mills who began his career as a graphic designer. (!) Mike graduated from Cooper Union and then went on to work at M + Co. with Tibor Kalman. Coincidenza.

The film is very autobiographical with Ewan McGregor playing the main character of Oliver who - yes - works as a graphic designer. (yay)
I adored the drawings in the film which were all done by Mike Mills.

Below Oliver sketches "A History of Ex-girlfriends". Adorable.

Love the Princess Leia hairdo and Mill's broken line.

I think this ex girlfriend did alotta drugs.

Was excited to discover that a book has been published with the drawings from the film.
Add to cart. :-)

This Poster is from an earlier film by Mike Mills Thumbsucker.
Isn't it great?
ps. I am honking.

The film was wonderful in many ways - the performances of Christopher Plummer + Ewan McGregor are note perfect + heartbreaking... but for me Mill's entirely fresh + inventive direction is the big deal of this movie. For insight into it you can read a great interview with the director on the AIGA website here.
Strongly recommended - especially if you're designer/ illustrator sort.

ps. Fun fact: Michael Mills is married to Miranda July.
I think that = Mr. + Mrs. Quirky USA.