Sunday, March 22, 2009

SuperSimonSunday: SNAKES!

Here's something Si got into a few months ago. He did a few of these amazing pages of snakes!

Some of these really blow me away. This happy couple is my favourite.

But I love all the variations he achieved with what is really a very basic premise for a character: a profile view of a tube with an eyeball and a mouth.

I was hoping Si would finish colouring this piece... but he got bored and moved on.

It makes me sad!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Super Simon *Schoolbook* Sunday

When I was picking out what to scan for Super Simon Sunday a few weeks ago, Si casually mentioned that the best stuff wasn't even in his sketchbooks -- it was the stuff he doodled in his school notebooks. No kidding!

So I snuck one of his binders out of his knapsack and bingo! Paydirt!

Here are just a few of the brilliant drawings my little genius did when he should have been paying attention in class. God love him... he's definitely an artist.

So he caught me while I was scanning these. "What th'-! You're going through my stuff?!" Yes, I'm going through your stuff... you said that this was where the good stuff was and you weren't kidding.

For the record, Si says he hates this drawing below, but I think its awesome. If you agree... leave a comment and let him know!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

From Mary Blair >>to Paige Pooler >>to Me!

Here are two hand washing safety posters I did last month for a client in Toronto. These are intended for use in kindergarten classrooms. Black and white versions that kids can colour will also be distributed.

Notice how they changed from the sketch stage to the final.

My initial inspiration for these was Mary Blair... but I must tip my hat to the amazing Paige Pooler, who's work always inspires me when I have to do cutey-pie artwork.

I get a little frustrated with what seem like arbitrary client changes...

... like the simplifying of the table legs and lettering on the hand sanitizer bottle. Why? I thought those touches added some charm. And they didn't understand my stylized sun "rays" (which I lifted from an old 1950's Golden Book).

... but that's the ad biz for ya!

* More colour book-type art by me.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

SuperSimonSunday: BIG PINK DOODLE SHEET!!!

One day Simon brought this home... a massive fluorescent pink sheet of bristol board - 22 by 28 inches - covered in tiny doodles!

Turns out he'd been working on it off and on for about a year down in the basement of my mom's gift boutique, where Simon works part-time on Saturday mornings. Yeah - while he's being paid by his Omi to work for her, this is what he does!

Clicking on the image above and spend some time enjoying all the crazy characters... I pulled out a few of my favourites... tell us which ones you like best!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The End of an Era?

U.S. Steel purchased our iconic hometown steel company, Stelco, just about a year ago. This week they announced they are shutting it down because of the current world financial crisis. In a hundred years, Stelco's furnaces have never stopped running, not even during the Great Depression. 2,000 people will lose their jobs.

My friend Aviva Boxer, Business Editor at our local paper, The Hamilton Spectator, commissioned me to do this piece at the time of the takeover. Steel has always been the foundation of industry in Hamilton -- and a point of pride for Hamiltonians that it was a Canadian-owned and operated business. When the steel industry went through a consolidation in recent years, reducing it to just a few world-wide players, it became inevitable that we would be bought out by foreign owners. It seemed like the end of an era. For reasons I'm not really sure of, the illustration was never used... but now, with the shutdown of the mill, it really is particularly poignant.

I'm glad this piece is finally seeing print... I just wish it weren't under such unfortunate circumstances.

You can read the related Hamilton Spectator article here.

The whole thing was done in Corel Painter. The figure was rendered using the scratchboard rake tool.

* More examples of my editorial artwork here.