Monday, March 18, 2013

Can you dig it?

Here's a piece for The Chronicle of Higher Education. It was the lead piece in the Views section, and the story focuses on the need for colleges to get on board with the sustainable food movement, i.e. growing their own food, or at least getting as much as possible from local sources, etc.

The article is titled "Fire Your Food Service and Grow Your Own," and much of it details the way most colleges, despite their commitment to many other hot issues, are very much dependent on Big Agribusiness for their food needs. With my first set of sketches, I was focused on "getting big business out of the food," and also on the idea that so much of the food comes from very, very far away. My favorite was the "registered trademark" symbol being plucked out of the bunch of grapes:

Well, missed the boat on that one... The editor replied that they wanted to focus more on agriculture, and the connection between colleges and the growing aspect. So, back to the drawing board, and ended up with the solution you see above, combining the "university column" with the idea of gardening, by way of a spading fork. You can also see Brian Taylor's "Zombie Marathon" at the top of the page. Sweet! Thank you again, Ellen!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

It takes two to tango

This "L.A. Affairs" illustration for the L.A. Times ran this past Sunday. The essay described a recent experience of the author's during a ballroom dance lesson. The fact that her dance partner and fiancee is also a woman seemed to complicate things. In dancing, as well as everyday life, neither woman was used to letting the other lead. As they both struggled to make the other follow, they realized that instead of competing, partners need to work together. In dancing, as well as everyday life.

 While researching ballroom dancing, I came across images of dance steps. I've never been a dancer, never taken a lesson, and the numbers and footprints and arrows looked intimidating to me. So I exaggerated them to make the steps look as complicated as possible, to compare dancing to the complexities of any relationship. Here's the full page (minus the advertisement at the bottom):

Thank you to Wes! This was a really fun piece to work on! Read the article here.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

For 5280 Magazine

This piece is out now, in the current issue of 5280 Magazine. The essay explains the author's decision to make her kids attend school the Friday before Winter break (one week after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary). Although she grants her daughter's request that she visit the school and eat lunch with her, she tells them that even during tragedies like Newtown, it's important to have the courage to press on and live our lives.

With my sketches I was really focusing more on the idea of the author getting past the tragedy, represented by a flag at half mast. None were really relating to school enough though, or even referencing it at all, aside from #6.

Dave, the A.D., liked the inclusion of the school crosswalk sign in #6, and wondered if that could be more central to the composition, given that it was so graphic, with maybe the flag at half mast in the background. After playing with the sketch a little more, I suggested combining the sign with the flag, and including a mother with the two kids normally on the sign (referencing the fact that the author has two kids, and went to school with them for lunch). It worked well tying into the story, as well as suggesting the idea of getting on with every day life, in spite of constant tragedy.

Thanks so much, Dave!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Thank you, SID!

As I noted in my previous post, I went up to Colorado State University yesterday to speak to the AIGA Student Chapter, Students In Design, about my work, my influences and my experience as an illustrator. I wasn't sure how many graphic design students to expect, me being an illustrator, but the students at CSU get a good foundation during their time there, including learning principles of illustration, and there was a good turnout. Even those that aren't planning on being illustrators seemed to have a genuine interest in what I had to say, and I thank them for bearing with me as I nervously gave my spiel. A special thank you to Kacey, who got in touch with me a few weeks ago, and invited me up for the talk. And thank you to all the students, for your warm welcome and hospitality.