Tuesday, August 31, 2010

wall mural job... if interested

Hey everyone,

We were contacted about doing a wall mural on the attached wall of the attached logo. To much for our plate right now so if anyone is interested contact me and I will give you the contact info.
No pricing has been discussed so it's all up to you.

Anything Airbrushed plus

This Week's Illustrators Lunch: 9-1-2010

I am going to do a blog post each week with the location of lunch in case anyone needs to quick reference. (It is usually on the calendar too.)

September 1st; lunch at 11:30:

Parkers Blue Ash Grill

4200 Cooper Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45242

(513) 891-8300

If this is your first lunch, give me a heads up so we can look for you. Also ask the hostess where we (the illustrators lunch group) are seated.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Just Some Stuff...

I just wanted to share some of my quick sketches from observation. Mostly when I sketch like this, I know I don't have much time, so I focus less on complete accuracy (though the desire to be accurate is there and I still seek to achieve it) but on maintaining the essence of what I am looking at. I think alot about continuous line drawing when I do these. If I have time I will worry more about exact relationships and refine the drawing more as I go until I am finished. These, however, are mostly just quick sketches while out at restaurants or coffee houses.

I'm always sure to carry a pen with me, whether that's a Micron or a ballpoint or some other permanent ink tool. In these cases I like to make myself take my time. I sit there and closely observe everything I am looking at and do my best to make every line count. each one should say something the best way it can, since I can't erase it (but this is only the case when I want to achieve as much of an accurate result, when compared to nature, as I can). I closely observe the shadows and light areas, doing my best to think how to simplify some of them while choosing others to help me accentuate certain areas or help support the focal point. Since I haven't been to the meetings recently, this is some of what I've been up to...

John Maggard: Books by the Banks Poster

John is super busy so he had me post his magnificent poster for Books by the Banks:

Books by the Banks poster signing: Organizers of Books by the Banks: Cincinnati USA Book Festival are proud to present the 2010 Poster Debut Kickoff event on Wednesday, Sept. 1 at 7pm, at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Rookwood Pavilion. Acclaimed illustrators John Maggard, Ryan Ostrander, C.F. Payne, and Will Hillenbrand will discuss their work and the illustrations they created exclusively for the annual Books by the Banks posters.

UPDATE: Article about the poster in the Northern Kentucky paper: http://nky.cincinnati.com/article/AB/20100830/LIFE/8300302/Books-by-Banks-poster-shifts-focus

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Map of Lands Unknown

My brother side-tracked me with a request for a map for a Pathfinder game he wants to run for our group. I accepted the challenge, but was a bit dismayed by the fact that, since I'm going to be a player, I couldn't add in all the cool bits, like castles and place names. It's pretty much just an empty map (which he detailed for me beforehand in a rough outline/sketch) so he can fill it in later. My diabolical plan is to make my character a cartographer/wizard/scholar so I can have an excuse to make this "his map" so I can detail it as we discover things >:D muahhahahaahaaa! I had to do something noodly, so I added the neat little ship there in the water. This was also an excuse to try something, making the water a black/negative mass. I'd seen it done in a couple other maps and liked the effect. It makes the other white areas pop. I also had to leave out a lot of detail, which, I think, makes the land features battle with the ship since it's a white shape on a huge black shape, making it dominant by contrast. But that's what you have to do with these things. As the map becomes more detailed through exploration, the land-mass, itself, and its features, will become more dominant through the sheer amount of activity going on due to lettering and further drawing of towns and cities. It was a quick thing that satisfied my world-making urges :P, so I don't feel TOO too (he he, I said tu tu :P) bad about leaving all the noodly stuff out...

Bat-tastic T-Shirts

I am going to be at the 4th Annual Indiana Bat Festival with my book Little Red Bat and did these shirt designs both for selling and to wear at signings (Books By the Banks, Blue Manatee, Bat Fest, etc.).

It is going to be a batty fall. HabitatSpy, the book I am finishing the illustratons for now, features a spread on caves with Mexican Freetail Bats so I get to illustrate quite the range... It will be out in spring 2011.

The next book children's book up is a biography with only *gasp* people in the paintings.

September Dr. Sketchy Cincinnati with Captain Jack Sparrow

AAArrrgh you ready!
September 9th for Dr. Sketchy Cincinnati, it's the return of everyones favorite pirate at Dr. Sketchy Cincinnati. Captain Jack Sparrow!!
Captain Jack Sparrow has traveled far and wide, to come to this sketching event to pose for artist and other fellow pirates.
This event is open to everyone over 18!! You could be a super talented artist, a timid beginner or just an observer who likes to mingle while drinking and steal glances of others work! So tell friends and other pirate lovers to join us!
Only at Leapin Lizard Gallery.
726 Main Street
Covington, KY 41011

Doors open at 7:30, sketching begins at 8:00pm. $5.00 cover at door.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Under the Hood: "Lady Soul"

This piece, "Lady Soul," is a birthday gift for a friend. Several of you saw this when I brought it to last week's Illustrators' Lunch.

To give a look "under the hood," I am posting the page of color experimentation that preceded this piece. Getting a blue, a yellow, and two mixed browns to balance took a good bit of patience and paint, as you'll see.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chris Sickels: ICON 6 Illustration Conference Report

Review by Chris Sickels:

ICON 6 Pasadena CA July 14-17 2010

go here for some great interstitial videos made by Jason Holley:

there are some video recordings uploaded on EFII:
Escape From Illustration Island – Illustration Resources and Community

In the past I have had some mixed feelings about the illustration conferences, I attended ICON2, 4 and most recently 6.

When I went to ICON2 in Santa Fe I had been free-lancing since 1995 and working part time to supplement income. I went to the conference expecting lots of black and white answers and advice on how to take my work to the next level. I attended all of the talks and presentations by the greats, determined to find out what made the industry tick and get what I needed to take my work to the next level. What I came away with was that there are no clear answers, even the best illustrators have trouble being completely open about their work, and how they handle clients and jobs. There is no clear cut way to handle situations, you have to be flexible, nimble all the while having a tough as nails hide to take criticisms and revisions and still come out on the other end with a good visual solution.

Four years later, I was asked to give a little presentation at ICON4 along with Molly Zakrajsek, Esther Pearl Watson and Mark Todd. I decided that what I would show would be all of my screw ups and failures. I figured that is what would I could offer to show folks that it doesn't always go as planned, but that if you don't take risks and fall on your ass, your work won't grow to its full potential. I attended the conference as well, but its content is a little foggy, as I mostly sat sweating, dreading getting up in front of peers and idols and talking about my failures. I remember sitting in a cab with Seymour Chwast and Molly Zakrajsek, when I told Mr. Chwast how nervous i was he said (something to the extent of) that he doesn't get nervous anymore, he probably should be more nervous about presentations but figures that worrying wastes his time. There is something to be said for that 'Worrying wastes your time.' Man, to this day I kick myself for not asking him more questions in that short cab ride.

Another four year later I attend ICON6. I decided that I would be going to mainly meet up with fellow illustrators that I hadnt seen in years, to hear good stories share some stories, and have some stories to tell. It just happened that one of the common threads through the conference was just that, storytelling. Illustrators are storytellers, we need to embrace and run with that strength.

The conference kicked off with a conversation about print and the ipad. Wired magazine and Adobe showcased how they have reinvented the magazine into an interactive journey on the ipad, with layered stories, graphics that beg for the viewer to explore, twist and dive right in and 'play' as opposed to just being a passive consumer of information. The Wired Tablet App: A Video Demonstration | Epicenter | Wired.com That session sparked a dialogue that lasted the whole conference, about the what illustrators should be prepared to offer in light of this new interaction with images and graphics. Should we focus on the strength and power of the single image or should we make our work move/animate?

here is my little list of highlights:

Melinda Beck melinda beck studio told her story of how she occasionally does work for little or no charge for events and organizations she is passionate about and when Google Chrome tried to strong arm her into doing work for them for free, she showed how passionate she can be about standing up for her rights as an image maker and making her case for saying no (in a big way) to big clients that have their work ethics all bassackwards.

Todd Oldham WELCOME - TODD OLDHAM - ANNOUNCING OUR NEWEST BOOKS KID MADE MODERN AND JOAN JETT gave a little Cincinnati shout out when he spoke about his time with Charley Harper and the books and projects that came from that relationship.

Artist Wayne White AMMO BOOKS gave a rousing talk about his work as a puppeteer on PeeWee's Playhouse, his word paintings and his enormous tribute to country singer George Jones.

Tim Biskup Tim Biskup spoke of his attempts to get the 'art' world to take his work seriously and then realizing that he needed to stay true to himself and trust his gut and not worry about trying to get other people to like or accept his work.

Sally Morrow, Creative Director of Sandstrom Partners, Irene Gallo, Art Director, Tor, Forge, & Starscape Books and SooJin Buzelli, Creative Director, Asset International all spoke of how they passionately use illustration to connect with their respective audiences. These creative directors really get what we do and hearing them speak assures me that the 'dream' clients and project do exist.

John Hendrix John Hendrix talked about the tough 6 year road he took to create a children's book about John Brown.

Fernanda Cohen Fernanda Cohen and Yuko Shimizu +++ YUKO SHIMIZU online portfolio +++ talked about not waiting to get your work out there, to pursue with passion your own projects and to not just sit back and think work will come to you.

There were some good presentations from the animation world, how color can tells stories, how drawing cant be faked in animation. The conference was closed with a talk by Kathy Altieri from Dreamworks she talked about passion, hard work and what it is like working as a small cog inside a large animation machine. Here is a quote by Martha Graham that she mentioned : "There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost."
Yeah, the hotel was nice albeit a bit pricey, but literally bumping into art directors and illustrators for 3 days is pretty cool.

If you go to the next ICON will you get something out of it?

You will get a hefty pile of receipts for tax deduction.

You will make some connections, probably more on a peer level than a client level.

You will see people sketching prolifically (everywhere) that either will make you want to draw more to catch up or make you feel like you need to go back to school.

You will see lots of recent students that are hungry and will show you that the competition is only going to get harder.

You won't get any clear answers, but if you keep asking around you'll start to hear a general consensus.

You will see that most everyone is willing to talk and share with you, even if they are a little drunk.

Clouds and Waves

I suppose this drawing is mostly about the colors and the line treatment. It's probably the most stock-art looking thing I think I've ever done. I added the birds because they make me laugh when I think about drawing as a child... Everyone's birds were V's. Or upside down V's for variety.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Jerry Dowling: News Portraits for Restaurant: The Whole Gang

From Jerry: There are 16 of these done for a new restaurant in West Chester called Grand Ole Pub, an American style mid-class place with a historic and political theme, going from the beginning of the country to now. All the presidents are up and framed in one room, and all these Fox news personalities have another wall. There is a small Statue of Liberty in front of a lit mirror.

I'll be doing more of these later. Newt Gingrich is one, possibly Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Just call me Banksy.

Day 2 of trial & error with spray painting T-shirts..... I'll post more when we complete them all tomorrow!

Some Sketches

Hey, guys, I've been kinda sporadic in my internet usage lately. I've also been short of funds, hence my lack of attendance at the meetings. I'll be coming back regularly soon. This is such a great community, you guys are all so awesome.

To fill you all in, since I've not been at the meetings much lately:

I have two jobs currently that are right in the direction I want to go in. A guy I met through the Celtic Myth Podshow, a writer, has been in regular correspondence with me over the past year and a half. We've been planning a dummy book and some images for a picture book that will precede a longer epic narrative. It's a more adult story that functions as a Childrens' Book, as well. The images here are some of the sketches I've done for character design. I'll only post a few since I don't want to give too much away :P

A woman called me out of the blue the other day offering me some work for a book she's working on, a fantasy. She lives in Texas and saw me from my website, which is the first job I've received from my website... AWESOME! :) It's a fantasy she's writing, which is excellent, and her message is one I very much believe in. She wants me to do some concept work for her. These are such great opportunities and they're coming at a really good time for me.

Hope you're all doing very well :)


Thursday, August 19, 2010

New to the Blog- Hi!

Hi! My name is Stephanie Smith and I'm a graphic designer working in Cincinnati.

Recently I've been drawing a lot–though by a lot, I mean one or maybe two drawings a week. I am having an absolutely fantastic time and would love to share some drawings here. I've been following this blog for a while and have really enjoyed seeing all of the inspiring images and talent that is clearly abundant in Cincinnati.

So this is my hello and here are a couple of drawings to start. I've been enjoying working in pen & ink (India ink pens) and coloring the pieces in Photoshop. The graphic designer in me loves the manipulation freedom of a digital file. Hope you enjoy! –Stephanie Smith

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Help with this Thrift Store find.

Howdy Folks,
I imagine that a lot of people wonder why I like to wander into thrift stores. Well this is the reason I found this wonderful ceramic figurine of an Asian female child in this boxing pose with pads on. There are no identifying marks except for the chinese characters at the bottom. Does anyone know where I might find someone who can read these characters?

Monday, August 16, 2010

C F Payne: Show at Evendale Art Center

From Chris: Just wanted to let you know of a show of my work this weekend at the Evendale Art Center at the corner of Glendale-Milford Rd. and Reading Road in Evendale from Friday the 20th to Sunday the 22nd.

Friday evening is the opening from 6PM - 8 PM and is catered by GoldStar Chili and serving Heudepohl beer.

Should be about 25 originals there.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ken Henson: Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators L.A. Conference Review

Illustrator and Professor at the Art Academy Ken Henson went to the SCBWI Summer Conference in LA. Here is his blog entry about it:

If you've read all the books on illustrating and writing picture books, it all starts to sound cursory and you might find yourself clambering to find the next tier of information. These conferences are the place to get that information. Current trends, the kinds of projects specific editors are currently hungry for, and strategies for moving past their personal slush piles--all this was made readily available.

There were about 100 faculty members giving workshops and personal manuscript and portfolio critiques at this year's conference. Talent on the faculty included E. B. Lewis (who is as super nice as he is talented), Mac McCool, Jon Scieszka, Dan Santat, Bruce Hale, Marion Dane Bauer, and Cincinnati's own Loren Long. Faculty also included industry heavyweights Arthur A. Levine (Harry Potter editor), Cecilia Yung (Art Director and VP at Penguin Young Readers Group, and Justin Chanda (VP and Publisher at Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers). I enjoyed having my portfolio critiqued by Richard Jesse Watson, who's version of The Night Before Christmas was a New York Times Bestseller.

The conference was particularly helpful for illustrators because of the portfolio review. All of the editors, art directors, and agents attending the conference look at all of the portfolios on display. With only 150 or so portfolios on display, it offers a great opportunity to break through the noise.

Ken Henson

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Illustration Directory at Half Price Books

Stopped in Half Price Books and found 4 large displays of illustration directories. Glad we're invested ten of thousands of dollars over the years in these books to wow art buyers.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Couple Items

Two things came up at lunch that I thought I would share.

1. The Cincinnati Comic Expo is September 18. Details are available at their site.

2. If you are looking for a great price on poster prints and have a Sams Club membership, they produce pretty good results on a thick paper for only $9. (and that is a 20x30 print AND it was a one hour turnaround). Only issue is they don't do full bleed so you will get a white border.

The Family Vermin

Since postings on this blog seem to be generating fewer and fewer comments - which may mean we're all busy, yay! - I'm experimenting with no longer announcing new "Shermin the Vermin" strips on this blog. I don't want to offend you people. Nor clients - he may be removed from my portfolio Web site.

Those who like Shermin know his Web address. If not, ask me. I'll even e-mail you when a new one's posted.

However, on those days when Shermin is NOT terribly disgusting, I'll post his strip here at Cincy Ill Blog.. In fact, today's strip is so wholesome I should have employed "Billy" from "The Family Circus."

50 Best Illustration Blogs and a Little Art Thrown In

Recently, there have been some links on various illustration sites to a site featuring the 50 best illustration blogs. Since we were talking about favorite blogs and websites recently I thought I would post it: http://webdesigndegree.com/50-best-illustration-blogs-on-the-web/

There are some really good links like this one I had not seen before and it is really cool: http://animationbackgrounds.blogspot.com/

Below is a painting I did a couple years ago for a flag. I have not posted anything in a while and this is summery-makes me want a mint julip...

By the way, I plan to redo my website soon. Does anyone have any recommendations for good sites to look at for ideas?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Spot Illo's.

Well hello! Here are 4 of 6 spot illustrations I've just completed for Cleveland Magazine. It's for an article discussing private schools, and places where learning actually takes place.
This one is "The Great Outdoors."

"At School." I tried to keep these pretty simple, as they'll be printed somewhat small...

"Beyond Borders."

"In the Workplace."

Después de pasar

Inspired by a passage from a poem by Federico García Lorca.
In English, the passage reads:

The lamps are put out.
Some blind girls
ask questions of the moon
and spirals of weeping
rise through the air.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Art in the Park

Hey, guys!
I just turned in my application for Art in the Park in Bellevue, KY! The show is coming up this September....1 more month to prepare! I hope to see you all there :~)

PS: Did anyone else catch last night's talk by Red Nose Studio's Chris Sickels at Manifest Gallery?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Opening Reception: Comfortably Constipated

I will be having an opening reception called Comfortably Constipated on Saturday, August 14th from 7–11 p.m.
Please join me for this installment of my artwork at Fabricate in Northside. Located at 4012 Hamilton Ave. Northside Cincinnati, 45223

As a first solo show of my work I will have a variety of pieces ranging from collages, illustrations, paintings and assemblage found objects that collectively tell a story of past and present culture, which is completed with some humor attached. ...Hence forth the title is presenting a subject range that is purposefully opening your mind to being curious to what makes Brennan Bradford's work unique, if not a little odd fun to the mix.

I am presented this great opportunity to show my work at this awesome store residing in Northside, owned and operated by Aileen McGrath and Christina Salley. Fabricate has made a great addition to the community in Northside, that sells a great range of handmade products of stitched robots, silk screened t-shirts, prints, handmade jewelry, and many many more. Added to that as well are my handmade wallets, handmade papers and prints of my illustrations .

I hope you will all join me and the folks from Fabricate for the reception.


Fabricate's show will accompanied by PROJECTMILL DJ’s and potable beverages.
Afterwards, follow everyone down to Mayday for the Fabricate after-party featuring You, You’re Awesome and Moon Pool & Dead Band (Detroit, MI).

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New "Shermin the Vermin"

I am - finally - back. And so happy to be here. I look forward to seeing you all soon.

As I've promised, "Shermin the Vermin" is on-schedule and will keep - er - coming out. "Unsafe for any audience."

Link: Shermin the Vermin 

Mammoth Cave

This is a T-shirt design I created last month for my cousin's Boy Scout troop.
I had a lot of fun with it, so I posted it on my blog, along with unused sketches like the one below, and far too many details about how the design came to be.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

airbrush seminar/workshop

Hey everyone,

Every year at this time and thru the winter I offer these one day seminars. I thought I would
post it here especially for all the teachers out there who might want to mention it to
their students since most schools will be going back in the next couple of weeks.

You can access the full size image here...
if you want to print it out and hang it up.

San Diego Comic Con 2010 in Review

I know this blog is all about the pretty pictures so here's a few from con and if anybody had any specific questions
about it just throw 'em at me.

If anybody is so inclined to mess with all those long winded words
you can read my con review here: An Exercise in Perseverance.

I will also be at Gen Con Saturday and Sunday in the Bawidmann booth for those attending.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Thanks Grandma!

During my career at Gibson Greetings I was occasionally assigned cards created to be sent to little kids. I did not enjoy these. Here is a prime offender illustrated by yours truly. Who in the hell comes up with this stuff?

Because you're a Special Grandson you get this lame-ass Robot Rabbit card with a Space Commander's badge! (Inside of card below...)
And now the capper. Check out the badge!

This paper has no sticky backing. You would have to pin it to your clothes.
What kind of goofball kid would wear a paper badge pinned to him that says,"Member Of Robot Rabbit's Space Command?"

I'll tell you what kind. The kind of kid who gets his ass kicked before school, after school and twice at recess!