illustration

The Bike Comics Show

If you’re experiencing Artcrank withdraw never fear! Durring the month of June you can immerse yourself in bike art down at the Black Dog Cafe. The Bike Comics Show will feature the work of three great local illustrators: Ken Avidor, Roger Lootine and Andy Singer. To get the full effect, and to celebrate Bike to Work Week ride on over to the opening reception at 7pm, Friday, June 8th, 2012. (Each of the artists has contributed his own self-portrait to the flyer below.).

Simple Talk for Tough Times

Congratulations to Marcia Carlson for being recognized by the Minnesota Hospital Association as the 2011 Caregiver of the Year for her creation of the book Simple Talk for Tough Times. This book, already in its second printing, is being distributed throughout the Allina Health System. Marcia’s background in social work and long experience with healing environments among other things helped guide her authorship of a simple book that helps adults diagnosed with cancer talk to the children in their lives about “the elephant in the room” in a way that kids can understand and learn to accept. Kudos to the rest of the team as well: Sandy Herrala, Connie Fiebiger, Melissa Berggren, Adrian Lewis and John Dailey. I am very pleased to have been included on the team as the illustrator.

The Illusionist – Classic Animation

Computer generated animation has come a long way but there’s still something about old-school, hand rendered, animation that takes me back to my earliest movie-going days. Having partially nurtured a love for drawing I can’t help but gape at the mind boggling effort and skill required to create a feature length animated film. If, like me, you grew up when Disney was better known for Bambi than for Bieber then take a look at the trailer for The Illusionist. If you like what you see you’re in luck. The Illusionist is currently playing in Minneapolis at the Riverview Theater. Granted it’s showing at 4:00 p.m. but admission is only 2 bucks. So, call in sick, gather some loose change from around the house and go pretend you’re a little kid with imagination gears that mesh perfectly at 24 frames per second.

Pyramids and Totems

I looked out over Pyramid Lake.

Todd did a little airplane concepting.

Surely the trip to California for work and good family fun will be inspirational if this was just the beginning.

Illustrator Casey Anderson

Recently graduated from Northwestern College local illustrator Casey Anderson is ready to unleash her work on the Twin Cities. Check out her website for more of her endearing and whimsical work. There is something optimistic and personal coursing through her portfolio that (particularly if you have been recently bombared with dark political negativity) will brighten your day. Expressions of simple joys. Now that’s something we could use more of. If you need a double dose check out Casey’s blog Imitation of Life for more. Better yet drop her a line via LinkedIn and hook her up with some work.

Temps est un Cadeau

Feeling swirled by the windy fall and rush of the pre-pre-holiday season, I was cursing the pace of life the other day. In my wishing for more time, I was reminded of a poignant and beautiful video we found a number of years ago. Thankfully the intergoogles worked and I found it again. Le Cadeau du Temps was created by illustrator, Corey Godbey, and set to a tune by Map. It needs no preamble; just watch, enjoy, and if your wish for more time comes true, I highly recommend you share it. <<click the image to see the video>>

Sanna Annukka

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I stumbled upon Sanna Annukka’s wooden birds this past winter and I’m still groovin’ on her gorgeous style. I’ve been trying to figure out what it is about her work that compels me to go to her website nearly every week to see if there is something new to find. She has mentioned Nordic folklore, and spending summers in Finland as inspiration for her work, and I think the gravitational pull has to do with seeing a story in every one of her prints. In this one below, my mind’s eye sees little girls running and dancing and exploring a vast land full of fjords and forests.

design_sanna annukka_02Certainly that’s what I did as a young girl in Hawaii.

And her fennofolk below…the detail is delicious. The middle one, I like pretending her name is Annika and she’s what I’d look like in two dimensional form.

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Check out her website or commercial portfolio for more. Perhaps you already have a few of of her designs she did for Marimekko or the band Keane. Some day her work will grace our studio walls but for now, I’ll just continue to visit her website for weekly fjord dreaming.

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Mouse and Elephant

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I recently had the opportunity to do some illustrations for Allina Hospitals (specifically Unity and Mercy in Anoka County) to support a book they are producing. The book provides guidance to adults who are newly diagnosed with cancer with strategies and understand to aid them in talking about their condition with the children in there lives. As such I hope you never get to see this book – I wish no one needed to. But I’m glad to have contributed a little to helping those in such a difficult situation.

In the illustrations the idea of the cancer present in a loved one is represented by the elephant while the child is represented by the mouse. The flower offered by the elephant is eventually accepted by the mouse as the series progresses and symbolizes an acceptance of the idea of the cancer which leads to an ability to begin to understand it. At first the mouse does not want to let the elephant into its life. Once it does it is confused by its nature. As the two attempt to come to terms they grapple with barriers to understanding but eventually persistence pays off and a relationship is possible. So, a happy ending at least.

3 Z’s… as in Zebra

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There’s something special about having a name that clings to the very last letter of the alphabet. Something daring about the idea that every other letter was somehow not quite a bold enough choice and that you caught hold of the “Z” just in the nick of time before you were forced to start your name with a number or a favorite piece of punctuation. Last in line. Always having to say “…as in Zebra” to the unimaginative drone working behind the counter with a name tag that reads “Anderson” as if proclaiming his compulsive surrender of vision at having jumped at the first letter available. Those of us who share the letter Z also share a sense of solidarity born of these experiences.

So it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to Zara Gonzalez. Three Z’s bolder than most, and fully aware that there is no “Z” in surrender. She has recently launched a bevy of websites in service of her varied creative exploits including interactive projects, illustrations, posters and and unending stream of mindless monsters on post-it notes. One of my favorite things is her recent post on her blog seven color days about how her efforts to share her work led her to greater insight about herself (something that is much harder than it sounds). Give it a read, check out all the fantastic work and links to inspirations and enjoy all the interesting stuff that happens at the end of the line.

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