Archives for category: Illustration

When independent game developer John Nelson Rose approached me about branding, marketing, and designing the user interface for his new puzzle game, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. The task granted me the opportunity to combine my skills in graphic design with interactivity while challenging me in ways I had never imagined.

I started the process by thinking about names for the game. It was important to the developer that the title be simple, relatively short, and very descriptive of the game play itself. The central game mechanic is moving columns and rows of colored circles left and right, up and down to make two-by-two (or larger) squares. The name “Circle Squared” seemed the most fitting.

Once the name had been settled upon, I moved forward with designing the look and feel of the game. Inspired by a mid-century, minimalist design aesthetic, I settled upon using the font Century Gothic in white against black, all lower case with certain of the round spaces filled in with coordinating colored circles. The resulting menu and in-game screens are minimalist and very bold.

Establishing a color story that was pleasing to the eye and true to the branding of the game proved to be a bit of a trial and error process. In addition to coordinating beautiful colors that showed well against a saturated black background, I also had to make sure that the order in which the colors appeared in progressing difficulty levels was finely-tuned to avoid certain combinations. The resulting palette of plum, canary yellow, salmon pink, avocado green, cool red, warm baby blue, tangerine, and denim blue has been universally praised by those who have played the game.  If you don’t believe me, download the game and see for yourself.

While it’s a small start, I’m so excited to have officially launched my “indie” game career and I look forward to future collaborations.  Check out John’s website for details on upcoming title releases.

-Jayme Catalano

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German artist Catrin Welz-Stein creates her works by digitally collaging old illustrations and photographs.   She combines, divides, removes, fills and retouches elements in Adobe Photoshop to produce digital images that explore the worlds of fantasy and fairy tale.  She says her images, “speak from inner feelings which we often hide in our daily life.”  A former professional graphic art designer, she feels free from the rules and compromises she felt in creating art for clients.  She now enjoys “creating art that does not explain itself from the beginning.”  Based in Malaysia, she says “a large part of my work is the search for license-free images, illustrations or photophos, for which the copyright has long expired.  Old books, magazines and the Internet are my primary resources for that.  Once I have found a fitting image, I break it into pieces, until the original image is no longer recognizable and an entirely new image is created.”  Visit her website to see more of her images or purchase the artwork at Redbubble.

Summer Dreaming by Catrin Welz-Stein

Summer Dreaming by Catrin Welz-Stein

Bye Bye Butterfly by Catrin Welz-Stein

Bye Bye Butterfly by Catrin Welz-Stein

Frau Holle by Catrin Welz-Stein

Frau Holle by Catrin Welz-Stein

She Took Her Wings and Walked by Catrin Welz-Stein

She Took Her Wings and Walked by Catrin Welz-Stein

Her Garden by Catrin Welz-Stein

Her Garden by Catrin Welz-Stein

Peacock by Catrin Welz-Stein

Peacock by Catrin Welz-Stein

Autumn by Catrin Welz-Stein

Autumn by Catrin Welz-Stein

-Jayme Catalano

Americans get a little bit nostalgic this time of year, clinging to traditions from their own childhoods and creating new traditions to carve out some sense of ritual in an ever modern world.  We look to the illustrations of Norman Rockwell, with their sweet coating of cane sugar and gender roles served on sterling silver plates, and mourn for the loss of our collective innocence.  What we don’t realize as we’re looking at these savory slices of Americana is that many of them were based upon photograph that sometimes tell a very different story than the resulting painting.  In one photograph, a man and woman sit in a marriage counselor’s office; the woman sits next to her angry husband with the expression and posture of a woman begging forgiveness.  In the illustration, the man has a black eye and the woman wears a teasing, sly, proud expression.  The photograph, though devoid of any evidence of domestic violence, is nonetheless chilling in its implication of male power.  In another series of photographs, three little girls are shot from the same angle wearing the same dress.  He used the reference image to create one of his most well-known works:  The Problem We all Live With.  The photographs behind the paintings, nearly 20,000 in all, are often works of art in their own right, and do much to inform the illustrations, adding depth and historical context.  Ron Schick has collected a selection of the photographs and their resulting illustrations in a book called Norman Rockwell:  Behind the Camera, available for purchase here.

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Photograph taken in 1963

Marriage Counselor by Norman Rockwell, 1963

Marriage Counselor by Norman Rockwell, 1963

Photograph taken in 1964

Photograph taken in 1964

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The Problem We All Live With by Norman Rockwell, 1964

Photograph taken in 1948

Photograph taken in 1948

Breakfast Table Political Argument by Norman Rockwell, 1948

Breakfast Table Political Argument by Norman Rockwell, 1948

-Jayme Catalano

Nick Cann began his career as a set illustrator at MGM Studios during the Golden Age of cinema, later branching out to set and credit designs for television and film.  Using Sharpie markers and pens, Cann creates whimsical worlds with a unique style reminiscent of Naiad and Walter Einsel or Aubrey Beardsley.  Cann, perfecting his art for more than sixty years, says “I like to draw.  I have been drawing for as long as I can remember.  My interests are fantasy people and detailed architectural confections.”    Based in Napa, California, his works are available for sale through his website.

Nick Cann

Nick Cann

Nick Cann

Nick Cann

Nick Cann

-Jayme Catalano

Trained in landscape architecture and urban planning and a self-taught screen printer, Todd Stewart works by printing identical images many times withing a given space until a composition emerges.  The pieces are built “by exposing the control and precision of illustration to the unpredictability and chance inherent to the printmaking process.”  His Cityscape series explores the landscape of both well-known and obscure cities; most are places Stewart has not physically visited.  “I am acutely aware of how construction -with regards to both structure and meaning-informs my work.  These abstract land and cityscapes embody both serenity and instability, resulting in dreamlike tension from which subjective narratives can be born.  Working from a base of imagery culled internally-from memory, dreams, past experience-and externally-from my immediate surroundings-I create pieces that consciously allow for open interpretation and multiple perspectives.”  The works “reflect a search for meaning in unfamiliar landscapes.”  Stewart’s work is available online at his Etsy shop.

Bogota by Todd Stewart

Accra by Todd Stewart

Moscow by Todd Stewart

For more information on the artist, visit his website or his Etsy store.

-Jayme Catalano

 

Chris Buzelli is something of a modern day Hieronymus Bosch.  His paintings and illustrations often depict a future where the hubris and self-destructive tendencies of civilization have ruinous results.  Bosch warned against sexual immorality and sin and its devastating consequences in the afterlife in his colorful, whimsical, and horrific paintings.  Buzelli is more concerned with the environmental and social consequences of our actions.  In an illustration called “China’s Ignorance” for Global Brief Magazine, Buzelli takes on the topic of over-fishing and the consumption of resources; in another illustration called “Toxic Secrets,” a demon is depicted as having a smog-spewing factory for a head.  Like Bosch, his colorful palette and playful characters belie the dark messages being conveyed.  Buzelli’s work can be seen in exhibitions, publications, books, and advertisements throughout the world.

Children Shall Inherit the Earth by Chris Buzelli

M-44 Wolves by Chris Buzelli

China's Ignorance by Chris Buzelli

Harbinger by Chris Buzelli

Click here to see more of Buzelli’s work.  For more information on Bosch, visit this website.

-Jayme Catalano

 

“We could go on and on about the Faber Castell Artist Pen’s precision and control, but we thought we’d just show you.”  Pen company Faber Castell hired the agency of Ogilvy and Mather Singapore to re-create masterpieces by Vermeer, Van Gogh, and Da Vinci using their Artist Pen.  The remarkable thing about the publicity stunt is that artist Chan Hwee Chong drew each image with a single, unbroken line.  See the video at the bottom to see how he did it.

Chan Hwee Chong for Faber Castell

Detail

Chan Hwee Chong for Faber Castell

-Jayme Catalano

 

Steven Womack creates bold graphic prints that evoke the vibrancy of nature in motion.  He has partnered with Society6 to offer his work as skins and covers for iPhones, iPads, and laptops.  The images are also available in more traditional printed formats.

Circular Motion by Steven Womack

Scales by Steven Womack

Visit Womack’s website for more information on the artist.  Visit Society6 for more information on purchasing.

-Jayme Catalano

Evelin Kasikov is a woman moving backward in time, combining cutting edge digital design with the old-fashioned and historically feminine pursuit of embroidery.  Trained as a graphic designer, Kasikov’s work challenges preconceived notions of embroidery and handicraft.  Deeply analytical, her approach to needlework uses typography, design techniques, and grid systems to create her embroidered illustrations.  Her stitching commission have included The Guardian, WIRED, and the New York Times.

CMYK Colour Chart by Evelin Kasikov

Blateration by Evelin Kasikov

You may purchase an original embroidered print at Evelin Kasikov’s website.

-Jayme Catalano

Illustrator John W. Tomac is inspired by the future that wasn’t:  specifically the mid-century, science fictional future where everyone would drive a flying car or personal rocket and own a robot.  We know now that flying cars and rockets are incredibly fuel inefficient and robots are useless and overpriced.  Tomac’s artwork is a whimsical reminder of our grandparents hopeful naivete.

Dude, Where's My Flying Car? by John W. Tomac

Rocket Man by John W. Tomac

Visit Tomac’s website for more information.
-Jayme Catalano