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Thursday
Nov162017

Robots on the go

Finished this piece for Wall Street Journal's investment report - retirees test drive robo-advisors. I really love drawing robots and I created a wheeled bubble bot for this piece. Thanks to art director Orlie Kraus for the call on this assignment!

Another recent assignment for German magazine Okonomie about drone deliveries in urban areas. Apparently, there is a model for suspending distribution centers by airships and using drones for short hauls to customers in cities. The future is unfolding faster than you can order a pair of toe socks online.

One more image, although this one isn't about robots or drones but it is about technology - the Equifax data breach had far-reaching implications for millions of people.

Senator Ted Stevens called the internet a series of tubes, so I played with that showing how security systems can fail. Unfortunately, another reason to lie awake at night.

Wednesday
Jul262017

Signal Brewing Company

Corbyville sits on the Moira river north of Belleville. Corbyville was once a thriving centre of industry, it produced whiskey and spirits for over 100 years. Sadly, the plant closed in the 1990's and most of the complex was destroyed by fire.

In several buildings that remain on the site, there has been a rebirth of sorts. Richard Courneyea purchase the old excise building and pumphouse, close to the river and has spent the better part of a year building a brewery on the site. I worked with Richard and his team on the concept, identity and branding. Signal Brewery opened it's doors this week.

It's a challenge to find the right image for a brewery, with so much history and craftsmanship to take into account, so I worked with Richard to refine the image, to find the right balance. We went through multiple iterations and designs until we came up with a simple, strong central image.

The site is beautiful, and the beer is also excellent. So thrilled to see all of the hard work pay off, and to have been a part of this from the start.

The brewery is developing a full range of craft beers, so we worked together to pair my illustrations and type with different brewing styles. Here is a sampling of three new labels. More brands and labels will be released down the road.

 

Easy drinking pilsner, anchor brand:

 

Full bodied (and very juicy) pale ale:

 

Hoppy and intoxicating:

 

I was inspired by Richard's dedication and work ethic to provide some of the finishing touches on site. I have a few pictures of the medallion I painted on the floor and the tasting room in the brewery, using a hand-cut stencil.

 

 

The event room has a stage space backed by reclaimed, rusted barn siding. I projected the image on to the wall and worked the rusty parts into the sign, to give it a weathered look. It's great to work big!

 

The motto of Signal is 'History Made Again'. Looking forward to many years with tasty beers for Belleville!

Follow/like Signal Beer on Facebook:

Signal Beer

Better yet, drop by the brewery, pick up a t-shirt and sample some pints. Signal's website will be up soon.

 Here's an amazing aerial shot of the site:

Wednesday
Jul052017

5 Days in July

Blue Rodeo is an iconic Canadian band that has established itself as part of the musical landscape. I was contacted by Polaris - the Slaight Family Heritage Prize and commissioned to create a poster for the album 'Five Days in July'. Since it's the fifth of July, I thought it would be a good time to talk a bit about the project and show the artwork.

The album was recorded at Greg Keelor's farm in rural Southeastern Ontario, not far from where I live way back in 2008. The countryside is rolling, with farms and trees and rivers. There is a strength and integrity in the music, as most of it was recorded in one take from the floor. I wanted to capture that feeling, and the title of the album in the image. I used to walk to a spot in the fields behind our old house and there was a beautiful tree standing alone. I was always drawn to that spot and it was the inspiration for this image.

Silkscreen poster - 18" x 24", 4 colour printed by Kid Icarus. I chose sunny summer colours to capture the feeling of a hot hazy July day.

The Heritage Prize selected eight classic Canadian albums and awarded prizes for this year's event. Each of the posters is limited to an edition of 49. You can order a print online here. I worked with designer Vanda Marasan, and was super excited to be included in this event. Here's a shot of Jim Cuddy accepting the award, the band loved the image.

 

You can read a more in-depth article on all of the posters and comments by the artists in this article on Passport 2017: Walls of Sound - Eight new posters by eight Canadian artists, made for the Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize, celebrate the best of Canadian music’s past

 

Thursday
Dec292016

Hello 2017

Let me quote a little Dickens to kick things off:

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…"

Here's a personal piece called 'Disruptor', about the unpredictability of technology and politics, the feeling of seismic shifts beneath our feet.

This year felt like some kind of reallignment, or hiccup, or catastrophe, depending on your viewpoint or politics. I am hopeful for a new beginning in 2017, but frightened by the pace of change. 

Having said that, I have to put together some images from the fall. I've been super busy the past few months, always thinking about posting some work, so my first resolution for the year is right here, read on.

Here's a piece for Reader's Digest about understanding and treating Migraines. It's an interesting article and my son suffers from them, so I could really connect with the subject matter. Scientists are working on new strategies, getting a better understanding of triggers and brain physiology in the hunt for new insights and treatments.

I got a little lost in the details on this illustration for Watershed magazine about perils and peculiarities of pipelines.

Pour This Story Down Your Pipeline by Orland French.

Terry Gilliam was a huge influence on me when I was growing up, I always loved his animated work and connecting all these pipes and random elements made me think of the great things he did when he was starting out. I had a lot of fun pulling this together.

 

Tuesday
Sep202016

Big Data

Squeaking this update in on the last day of summer.

Things ramped up quickly this September, I have some exciting news I am waiting to announce on a national poster campaign. More to come on that in the coming months!

I started teaching again this semester at Sheridan, I work with third and fourth year students on courses related to information-based illustration. I have asked my fourth year students to consider where art and science intersect, and the workshop has been dubbed 'big data'.

We are surrounded by big data and live in an age of information. Understanding and being able to communicate knowledge and ideas visually is critical in business and media. This workshop explores illustration, science, observation, and data visualization through a series of research-driven exercises. Students are encouraged to foster creativity and curiosity, defined accurately and effectively through different media.

I took it upon myself to illustrate some technology-driven collages. How do we relate to our digital devices? How does it serve us and/or control us? All of our likes, searches, purchases and comments are tracked and quantified, packaged and traded. At what point does social media reward us for our patience and commitment? More and more, the fruits of our labour feels tainted. The new iPhone 7 was launched while I was working on these. Not much of a wave, or movement, or ripple. Just another costly upgrade.

Here are some images from the series.

'Status Update'

This piece is about digital surveillance.

'Interface'

'User Persona'

Here's a little doodle that summed things up nicely: Concept Engine