Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Profit magazine

Illustration for Profit magazine, for a series entitled, "Your Next Big Thing". This is a socio/eco-conscious Gen-Yer.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

How to Succeed as a Freelance Illustrator: Part Two


Don't be shy. Go out and meet people. Show your work around and try to strike alliances and rapport with ad agencies, graphic design studios and other illustrators. Seek out informal and formal media networking events. Always carry business cards with you when you leave the house! ... something I often fail to do, and later regret.

Find a mentor. Find multiple mentors.

Reach out to fellow illustrators and ask questions. We're generally a friendly bunch. Most, if not all, chose this career for ourselves. I don't think many people fall into illustration by accident. You'll find most are happy to talk about their experiences and relate advice.

Promote your work.

Send out emails, postcards, portfolios and samples - and be creative! to stand out from the glut they receive every day.
They'll get back to you if they like what they see, but it's wise to send a follow-up email.

I personally don't make cold calls, but some artists, such as Luc Latulippe, advocate it. In the past, I've found it to be a waste of time, and I fear that I'll come across as a pest. Art directors are usually insanely busy people, and it's rare that you'll catch them with time enough to chat... it's more likely that your call will be breaking their stride.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Alpine Max Beer

I recently created a series of illustrations for Max Alpine beer with Extreme Group in Halifax. Apparently the illustrations appear along with a feature on EG in the latest issue of Strategy magazine... I have yet to get my hands on a copy!


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

New York magazine

I'm hitting NYC at the end of the month! It's been a while... any recommendations???

Monday, October 15, 2007

Kellylee Evans poster illustration

If you're in the Ottawa area, go check out this amazing performer on November 4th! If you're not, check her website to see when she's coming to a city near you.

Friday, August 31, 2007

How to Succeed as a Freelance Illustrator: Part One

Aside from the occasional curious client, I believe it's usually other illustrators that scope out illustrator blogs. Considering that, I've decided to post some freelancing advice that I've passed on from time to time. I'm passionate about the topic of freelance illustration, and am happy to discuss my experiences, when asked. In that vein, I'm going to begin a series of writings on the topic, and I invite your feedback!

Without further ado...

Get Used to Criticism.

Prepare to have your artwork verbally ripped to shreds after pouring hours of blood, sweat and coffee into it. Nothing is beyond reproach, and you need to develop a thick skin. If you see any illustration as "your baby" then you'll come to dread dealing with clients.
Furthermore, if it makes you uncomfortable receiving criticism and direction, the art director will sense it. An awkward or difficult exchange won't make them want to work with you again.

Refine your portfolio, put it online. Refine some more.

Display the kind of work you want to do, not necessarily the type of work you are getting. It's difficult to establish your style, and sometimes you need to take the jobs that are willing to pay, especially when you're starting out. That doesn't mean that work should go in your portfolio. Dress the part. Don't include work that doesn't reflect the projects you want. Student assignments often (but not always) looks like student assignments. Don't include pencil drawings of your cat/dog. You might be thinking, "This shows that I am multi-talented, and can handle styles of many varieties and difficulty" - but it sends the incorrect message that you are seeking pencil-drawing, animal subject-matter assignments.

The printed portfolio is still relevant, but I believe it is dying. Creating a user-friendly, simple website portfolio is essential to reaching art directors that don't have more than a few moments to look at your work. Keep it simple and easy to navigate. Overblown, high-concept Flash sites are often confusing, and can take forever to load.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


We're back from Europe and getting settled into our new property in Westboro. Life is good!

Here's a recent illustration reflecting 25 years of Madonna, for Chatelaine.

Monday, April 16, 2007

David Suzuki

Cover for the upcoming Thursday edition of the Ottawa XPress.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Original Art: eBay Auctions

I thought I'd try something new, and see if there's interest in my original inked drawings for the Ottawa X Press. As a trial, today I've listed 4 drawings for auction. If it goes well, you can expect to see more...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Vector Art: My Process

1. Scan sketch into Photoshop. Save as jpeg. Receive approval from client. In this case, ChickaDEE magazine.

2. "Ink" the sketch using the brush tool in Adobe Illustrator. Wacom tablet required.

3. On a lower layer, placed beneath my "Ink" layer (so that said layer is visible), I create polygon shapes with the pen and pencil tool to block in the colour. This is what those shapes look like with the Ink layer not visible.

4. Save file. Send via email. Invoice client.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Kellylee Evans

new poster design...
She's amazing - check out her website for a sampling of her songs.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Studio: Life Drawing

Last night I finally made it to the Sandy Hill Community centre for one of their Wednesday night figure drawing sessions. I had been struggling with a project, and had to get out of the house. I was so glad I went - great to be in a class-like atmosphere again. It only took me a year to get around to going, after finding out about it from Matthew Stewart. Thanks, Matt!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Two tone

One way I enjoy sketching is to employ 2 different shades of pencil crayon. Example: