Friday, May 28, 2010

Mexican Restaurant likes the signage

I finished the first of several signs I'll be working on for a Mexican Restaurant located inside Westmoreland Mall. Their name is Madres Mexican, and they specialize in build-your-own orders.

This one will be 96"x30" when it's biggie-sized. Yeah. Pretty big file.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gris Grimly's Frankenstein in progress

I've been keeping track of Gris Grimly's career since I happened to find his book Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery and Madness in our local Barnes & Noble a few years back. He's a prolific illustrator. I'm not sure how else to describe his work. He's incredibly gifted and has determined ideas of how his books should look.

I'm terribly envious of his abilities. Can you tell?

Last July he started a blog to share progression of his new book, Frankenstein. He's been uploading images both in-progress and complete, and keeping his readers up-to-date with meetings with his editor and art director. In his latest entry, he posted a page that he wasn't satisfied with and also the pages he illustrated to replace it. I saved both images so I could compare the differences side-by-side, and the subtle detail changes are stunning. To me, anyway.

He's changed the color dramatically, which he mentions in the post, but he also made other, more subtle changes to hand positions, compositions and faces that have me taking a step back.

When I look at the original page, I see nothing wrong with it. As an illustrator, I would have been happy with the result, considered it finished, and moved on to the next page.

Maybe that's why he has the book deal. I'm not sure I have that extra "something" to boost my illustrations from self-promotion to an actual contract. I'd like to think working harder might do the trick, but I'm not sure how much harder I can work. Working harder doesn't give you that "something," and if I don't have it by now, I doubt I'll ever have it.

I am looking forward to Frankenstein; I've loved all his books. They're very enjoyable, as long as I look at them without comparing my own work to the talent in front of me.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Bear scat?

I'm thinking this wasn't the neighbor's cat.

We found two similar piles within a few yards of each other in our front yard. The second one was close to a line of empty (except for the leftover dirt) potted plant containers which were lined up along a wall of our small outdoor building. A couple of the containers had been tipped over, and one was broken in half.

I know, I know, this probably isn't what you typically expect to see on a blog, but we weren't sure what neighbor left this for us. We've done some research, and we're thinking black bear. We checked around the property and didn't find any kind of territory markings on the trees, but we've found bark scraped off before. We're thinking he was looking for grubs behind the pots.

The bright circle toward the bottom center is a quarter I put in for size comparison. I think the droppings are pretty impressive, no matter what left them.

And now that I think about it, I haven't seen the neighbor's cat around lately.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Newsletter coming this month

As you may have seen at the top of this blog, I'll be changing over to a professional newsletter generator beginning this month. When I first started sending newsletters, I used the generator that CafePress made available to shop owners, but over the past year or so I've gotten a little fed up with their system. Using their interface was more of a hassle than it was worth, and the end results never looked all that great anyway. So I decided to jump ship.

I've signed up with MailChimp to send future newsletters, and so far the experience has been better than expected. I'm able to control the graphics, the fonts and the layout which I wasn't able to do before, and I have to say, it looks a whole lot better. I'm working on the Spring edition right now, and I'll be sending it out sometime over the next few weeks.

If you would like to subscribe or if you were a subscriber with the CafePress version of the newsletter and need to re-subscribe, use this link. Newsletters go out quarterly, so I won't be inundating your inbox. You always have the option to remove your name from the mailing list at the bottom of each newsletter edition, on the "Newsletter" page of my site or through this link.