Friday, November 30, 2012

New Drawings

A few exploratory drawings for a new series of paintings I'm working on (apologies for the subpar scans):

Celestial Boa

Ouroboros Sketch 1Ouroboros Sketch 2

Thursday, November 29, 2012



I've re-committed myself to reading more real actual books lately. I'd become increasingly lazy about it over the past couple years, reading books here and there but devouring the majority of my reading material online and from a few choice magazines (Nat Geo, Smithsonian, etc). I think this is an easy trap to fall into for a primarily non-fiction reader like myself. With that said, I'm also challenging myself to read more fiction.

I have decided to share some books as I finish them here on my blog. My intake of reading material ranges from loosely related to highly influential on what comes out in my artwork, so I think it's relevant. Or, at least it might be something to spark conversation amongst those of us who have some overlap in reading interests.

As science fiction is my favorite genre in film and TV, of course it's the first place I've turned to for book choices in the realm of fiction. So, here's the falling-apart paperback copy of Neuromancer, the classic cyberpunk novel from 1984, that I finished up a couple weeks ago. It was recommended by my husband who read it for one of his college courses a few years ago. I enjoyed it. I'm unfamiliar with and newly learning about the origins of cyberpunk; it seems that Neuromancer, and apparently William Gibson's work in general, has been hugely influential on the genre and sci-fi at large. The Matrix movies came to mind repeatedly as I was reading it (the use of "Zion" especially caught my attention). There were times when it strongly reminded me of Blade Runner (which predates this novel), though more loosely in the sense of mixing sci-fi with elements of crime noir (if I can use that term). I also thought of the Ghost in the Shell movies/Stand Alone Complex quite a bit. And I'm sure there are plenty of other books, movies, and series I'm as yet unfamiliar with that it applies to as well.

There are two more novels after this one that complete William Gibson's Sprawl trilogy. I'll be on the lookout for them in the future. You know, the dystopian near-future. For now, I'm already deep into my next read - you might be able to guess what it is based on a highly anticipated movie coming out next month.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Flying Messages of Yore

Siouxland PigeonGram

A recent news headline captured my imagination and sent me on a mission learning about the history of carrier pigeons. The relationships throughout history between humans and service/working animals has always been fascinating to me, but I'd only really considered equines and dogs for the most part, and elephants, dolphins and falcons to a lesser extent. For whatever reason, carrier pigeons have almost completely escaped my awareness until now.

Naturally, I immediately began working out plans for my future company, Siouxland PigeonGram. If there's one thing missing in the Sioux Falls area, clearly it's the option of having a message carried over the city and plains by an avian master of navigation.* According to my calculations, I'm confident this will be a highly lucrative business move.**

Siouxland PigeonGram is tentatively set to open on May 1st, 2025 (weather permitting).

*Oh sure, you laugh now. When the zombie apocalypse hits and all modern communication methods are rendered useless, you'll be begging to utilize my pigeon post services.

**I absolutely do know how to perform relevant calculations regarding bird-based business plans.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Eli's Camel Rides

Here's one of my favorite client-based projects I worked on over the summer. How does a little startup designer like myself meet someone from an Oklahoma based camel ride company who needs a new logo? Well, apparently by the luck of proximity and word-of-mouth: working at my summer job at the zoo and having some wonderful coworkers who recommended me.

Eli's Camel Rides Logo

The looming challenge this logo presented me with was, of course, the overwhelming association between any camel illustrations/images and Camel Cigarettes. I created a huge number of preliminary logo sketches that were very far removed from the side view of a camel in an attempt to cut ties with those associations as much as possible. However, the client was intent on having a realistic image of a walking camel and so I gathered a library of reference photos, drew up a number of walking camels, and we eventually decided on the one in the final logo you see here. (Here's the main reference photo I used.)

The client's instructions also included containing the logo within a box shape, which was another whole challenge in itself. The type was completely up to me, with the simple direction that the logo look more on the side of timeless or classic, as opposed to trendy. A combination of Bulmer (for its classic elegance - that capital 'R' is to die for!) and Univers (for its solid simplicity) were our ultimate choice. I created the logo in both the square knockout form and as a free-standing logo, as I was concerned that the square could be problematic in some usages. The client may never end up using the non-square logo, but at least the option is there if needed.

Eli's Camel Rides Business Cards

The business cards are one-sided and are printed on a recycled off-white stock. Creating the pattern was fun for me but is also a serious step for setting the feel of the business identity. The same pattern can now be used across any of the company's print or web materials to give everything a cohesive/professional look.

I noticed that the website has been down for several days now, but visit in the future for more information about the company and the camels. The two dromedary camels I got to know over the summer were named Cletus and Cam. If you ever get a chance to ride on a camel, DO IT. It's surprisingly different from riding a a slightly scary way if you're a little afraid of heights like I am!

Cosmic Doodles

Cosmic Doodles