This months cover of IN Toronto magazine! For for Paul Gallant’s article about LGBT corporate leadership.
Category Archives: Assignments
Here’s a little job I did about phishing, for the government of Canada. You can click on this one for a larger view.
I recently created a bunch of city maps for a travel and food feature. Little inset drawings of food and drink indicate what to eat and where to find it in Glasgow, Cape Town, Graz, Hong Kong and Kansas City. What am I eating in Scotland? Nothing!
The Sound of Music bus tour brought me to Austria several dozen years ago. The Australian tour guide introduced me to Mélange – a whipped cream covered coffee beverage that helped me stay awake for the nightly screenings of the film at the Sound of Music Youth Hostel.
The Haunted Hillbilly
Montréal’s Centaur Theatre
May 8 – June 3, 2012
The award-winning musical based on
the novel by Derek McCormack.
Produced by Sidemart.
I saw it 3 times last summer in Toronto at Theatre Passe Muraille!
Featuring all-original music by Matthew Barber, this season’s production launches the soundtrack on both vinyl and CD. The album includes twelve songs from the play and has guest appearances by Doug Paisley, Justin Rutledge, Oh Susanna, Julie Fader and of course, Matthew Barber (and others!). The album will be exclusively available at the theatre during the run of the show and will have a wider release in June.
Matthew asked me to design the cover for him — such an honour!
I wanted to keep the same character I used on the original book cover and poster – the skeleton in a cowboy hat, playing guitar. I found this old photo at a flea market and altered the person’s face to resemble a skull.
This doesn’t have the impact I was looking for. Dropping the photo and
updating the illustration I came up with something more effective:
Something closer to the original poster could work. I used a
typeface that is easier to read at smaller sizes, but the type and the
cowboy are competing for attention — more revisions!
Thinking of bats, some snapshots I took at the South
End Cemetery in East Hampton came to mind:
I’ve always liked those little angels on tombstones. They remind me of bats.
Changing one angel wing to a bat wing and adding cowboy hats,
I came up with this new design:
I wanted to keep the new cowboy so used him elsewhere:
I really liked the leather and denim colours on the design, but we
decided something warmer and more colourful would
be better. It’s more musical, more sideshow, more carnival.
The final design:
An interesting assignment from IN Toronto magazine.
The Supreme Court of Canada is deliberating over the case of Bill Whatcott, a fundamentalist Christian convicted by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission for violating hate speech provisions of the human rights code. Whatcott distributed hurtful literature claiming the existence of a homosexual conspiracy to corrupt youth. Read the story here.
How to approach this topic? I wanted to do something a little bit vague and humourous—without providing an answer to the dilemna—should gay men and lesbians defend people who incite hatred towards them? When exactly is someone crossing over the line from presenting a point of view, to actually causing pain or inciting hate?
Here are a couple of other rough sketches:
Too apocalyptic, not as humourous, as the final piece…
A popular print, available from my online store:
This is something I designed while working on a book project with Green Candy Press. The title alone suggested I pursue something pulpy and sci-fi. Research into the genre led to my discovery of the work of Alex Schomberg. It seems I already knew him: I have a very small collection of titles with his illustrations gracing the covers.
This is one I found:
It seemed right that I pay homage to Mr. Schomberg: co-incidentally, my partner is named Alexx and my dog is from a little town called Schomberg, near Barrie Ontario.
Adventure seemed appropriate for the title font. Designed by Neale Davidson, it is based on the logo for the Indiana Jones series of films.
If you like the subject matter and want to learn more, I suggest a visit to Sci Fi Ruminations.
To finish off this post, an assignment from a few years ago. This time not science fiction, but real science. This spot was for an article about Pluto’s loss of planet status:
I was recently commissioned to do the cover of Marketing Magazine’s annual Marketers of the Year issue. The art director, Peter Zaver, wanted to see a cityscape with the logos of 10 marketers incorporated into the illustration. He suggested a couple of ideas — an Andy Warhol style soup can for Campbell’s, and a car for Volkswagen — this was going to be an extra fun job!
This was a really fun project.
I even managed to get my dog Fancy into this illustration!
My friends Elissa and Homero recently asked me to design a logo and CD cover for their band, Los Estéticos.
Homero sent me a bunch of pictures of Pico de Orizaba, a dormant volcano, and the highest peak in all of Mexico. They suggested that an image of the mountain would represent their sound and their region, Xalapa, Veracruz.
The photos reminded me of the Shochiku film company logo that you see at the beginning of Ozu Yasujiro movies… I thought of Sound of The Mountain (one of Ozu’s more famous films)….
Elissa is a film historian (she wrote the book on Women Filmmakers of Mexico) and I wondered if she might like the logo positioned to further resemble the Shochiku logo.
The composition needed one more element. Elissa’s daughter’s name means “Rain of Flowers” so I thought I would add a flower from the region. I found one referred to by the name of the mountain… I placed it in the same position as the yellow crest in the Shochiku logo.
After much consensus between the musicians, a simpler version of the design was chosen:
This looks more like an album cover, no? Revolution red!
And a screaming mountain! Now they just need to finish recording!