Thursday, May 7, 2015

Love Bug...Bug

My roomie's mama is getting her husband of 30 years! They never had a real ceremony, and now that they've got so much to celebrate, they're doing it in style this summer!

I was commissioned to make the illustration for the wedding program. This little guy--a "bug bug"--has a story. The two met while carpooling to med school in an old yellow Volkswagen Beetle. Thus, the love bug. The wedding is grapefruit-colored, so I did some color tweaking in PS for two versions.
And because cute is always good, she asked me to add some little buggy details like wings and teensy legs. Yay! Anthropomorphism!

Oh, and this is my first ever foray into the territory of gouache, which was MIND BLOWING! So flippin' hard to blend, but once I gave up on gradients, I really got into the groove. I can see gouache being excellent for shape-based, UPA-style tv animation BG's and the like. Also for Brittney-Lee style illustrations. Excited for the future!


More Weddings! So Why not some Penguins?

Because seriously, why not?

A friend of mine is getting married and made a VERY wise top her cake with penguins--birds who mate for life and ALSO happen to slay when it comes to cuteness.
I didn't put too much time into the sketch for this guy, I knew off the bat that they should be fat and round (two qualities that are always desirable!) and then I lit into the sculpey.

Finding some tulle at the dollar store to top her with was the finishing touch.

Miniature Murals and Garden Graffiti

I've always dreamed about doing murals, especially on the sides of whatever house I currently inhabit (to the chagrin of my fellow inhabitants, at times). Never have I made good on those threats, until now. However, my first mural is on a much different scale than I ever expected, being completely contained within a tiny 7" concrete cube.

The cube is technically a planter. It is soon to be planted with all manner of tiny succulents to the cumulative effect of a miniature urban garden. I'll post pics, of course.
Can you imagine this filled with itsy flora as if lovingly cultivated by bitsy gardeners?

It belongs to a dear friend of mine, who requested a graffiti mural to complete the 'urban rooftop' vibe of the future ecosystem, and every component of the mural is personally significant to him--from the characters, patterns, colors, and graffiti tags laid in on top. Each element tells a story which is known to him and a few of his closest.

One of my favorite parts was playing with the metallic gold acrylic over the concrete. It has a beautiful effect, and I'm sure you've seen many DIY-ers playing with metallic on concrete all over the internet.

 One of the other fun spots was creating an adventure-time themed medallion design to wrap around a corner. Having never seen the show, I had to do my fair share of research to make sure I properly captured the characters.

I also have always loved Katsushika Hokusai's image of Mount Fuji and the Great Wave, so when my friend asked me to incorporate ocean themes, I got right to work taking that iconic image and tweaking it to utilize the bold colors and natural concrete texture I was working with.

For the graffiti piece, I wanted to attempt something along the lines of one of my favorite graffiti artist, an Angelino who goes by Cre8. He works in Koreatown, teaching art classes and graffiti techniques to kids in some of the worst schools of LA.

I liked this "muscle beach" piece he did in Santa Monica, and sketched up a piece in a similar style.

After doing my first "graffiti", I'm chomping the bit to try more...maybe with actual spray paint instead of a teensy tiny filbert paintbrush!

Anyone got a boring house that needs a little personality?

Butterfly Madness...enabled by Martha Stewart and an excess of free time

Two friends of mine have shown me an undeserved and illogical amount of generosity over the last three years, and I wanted to create something to show them my gratitude.

I recently went through a phase of exploring uses for paper butterflies in interior decorating, and landed on a piece of wall art that utilized their delicate, 3D forms to create a larger story.

This piece is about how what they gave on my behalf was instrumental in my own personal growth and recovery from deep anxiety and depression--in a way, the "life they laid down" led to an abundance of life within me.
Hopefully the shape evoked by this crowd of butterflies, as well as the gradient of saturation and their crescendo of elevation from the canvas can communicate something to that effect.

If not, who doesn't love butterflies?
Done in oranges to complement their light blue living room wall.

The first butterflies are directly on the canvas, but then they start poking out on wires as they fly farther. Like an idiot, I thought I was going to individually cut each one. Ha. Ha. Ha.
Then I found out Martha Stewart (my spirit animal) makes a nice butterfly paper punch. Which saved my life.

The wires were punched through the canvas and hot-glued to the back, which was REALLY time-consuming. Sooo instead of glueing each butterfly onto the free end, I resorted to tape. Good 'ol Scotch tape. Which worked just fine--they're so light it was more than enough adhesive. And it took MUCH less time...

Due to the nature of the piece, in the stage before adding the butterflies, things began to get quite...hairy. This thing below was sitting in our room for about a week looking like it really needed a shave. Ew.