Tag Archive for 'Holiday'

Post It Posts R Back!

That’s right folks…read it and rejoice…just as it states above…Post It Posts are back! Now even though I’ve been posting lately, the Post It Note drawings have been MIA. Below are the first of many to come so prepare for the onslaught.

So one of my New Year’s Resolutions this year was to draw and create more personal artwork for myself. I want to up my production and be the Stephen King of the art world when it comes to prolificness that is. So far I’ve been pretty successful, but there’s still more that I could be doing. This past Christmas and as well as my Birthday, I received a number of pre-made blank canvases as presents. People were trying to tell me something…don’t you think. However, approaching a painting can be daunting to say the least. The glaring white void of a blank canvas screams to have pigment smeared and lathered on it’s surface…that I have yet to accomplish this year. I will definitely have completed a painting, at least one, by the time 2010 comes screaming into existence…FO SHO! Painting is time consuming for me, but it’s worth it when I’ve finish covering my massive canvas and stand back to take admire my handy work. It’s at that point that I realize that I’ve just created something, no matter how good it is, that will out live me long after I am simply dust in the wind.

So my “Artzee Fartzee” Post It Note drawings today are about just that, putting my nose to the grindstone, buckling down, (insert your own cliched phrase here), and just get at it while the getting’s good! So until next time, I’m back off to my art table to bang out another drawing.

Snowball Fight

In my last Post I showed you my card design from this past Christmas. I thought you might like to see another of my past “Artzee Fartzee” cards that I did. So jump into your DeLorean suped up with a Flux Capacitor, Time Circuits, and a well fed Mr. Fusion, floor it to 88 and screech it to a halt at your holiday destination of yesteryear…2005!

The concept was a snowball fight between me and my wife. Below is the Original Concept Sketch that I did that includes an additional drawing of an unused concept for the back of the card. I nixed the idea of using the bottom sketch in favor of a thrown snowball illustration.

From the above sketch to the Final Pencil Drawing, not much changed. I enlarged the sketch and redraw the illustration much cleaner and tighter.

After the drawing was completed I scanned it into the computer, cleaned it up, and passed it through the Photoshop blender where I mixed in some color. So I pressed the puree button, waited for it to spin and whirl, then poured it out. Presto…Color! The color not lining up was intentional. I wanted it to be offset. I’m happy with the results.

I placed the artwork into a rectangular envelope shaped layout and added snowballs I had drawn separately. The back of the card was basically the Holiday Greeting, which my wife and I signed before stuffing them into envelopes and mailing them off.

Click the artwork above the view it larger if you’d like. I was overall happy with the illustration and design of the card. Had I to do it over again, the only thing that I’d do differently would be to have designed an envelope with it to mail it out in.

Wow, it’s almost Feburary and I’m still talking about the Holidays…go figure!

2008 Christmas Card

Each year I Design and Illustrate a new Christmas Card to send out to a majority of my friends and family to celebrate the Holiday Season. The last couple of card designs I’ve done have featured my “Artzee Fartzee” characters based on my wife and me, so this past Christmas I ran with that idea again. The card’s final layout differed from the original concept that my wife and I discussed. She said, “Hey why don’t we make a card this year that’s shaped like an ornament and it opens to reveal the card.” So with my wife’s suggestion in mind, I did just that and began drawing our new card.

I wanted the gag to be that when the card is folded you think that Troy is holding the Mistletoe over the head of the character based off of my wife, but when you open the card…SURPRISE! So the punchline is revealed when you open the card. After I finished the pencil drawing I took it into the computer and colored it in Photoshop. I stuck to the original Ornament design and worked it up that way initially.

However, after I had printed and mocked a version up…it didn’t fold and stay closed the way that I had intended. That, and the cut and folding time was a bit more than I wanted to spend on it. Christmas was fast approaching so my deadline to get all of our cards printed, addressed, and sent out via the United Postal Service was looming. Below is a video of how the card was to look and be opened. Click on the video below and enjoy!

So with the layout of the card not working exactly as I had envisioned it, I quickly decided to go with a much simpler square design. Not only was it easier to cut, but it also had less fold line to have to deal with. I think the Final layout works much better, even though the original concept was a bit more fun. I may revisit the ornament design in a future Christmas Card but I’ll have to tweak it to make it work a bit better than it did. Below is the Final layout.

I also did an alternative “Happy Holidays” version to send to our Jewish friends. They were the only ones who got this version, so they should consider it a Collector’s Item. One day…some day…maybe…possibly…it might just be worth something on eBay.

Below is a video of how the Final card looked when it was opened. Click on the video below and enjoy!

So there you go, that was my Christmas Card this past Holiday Season. Now I’ve only got less then 365 days until I’ve got to come up with yet another one drawn, printed, cut, folded, signed, stuffed, addressed, stamped, and sent out. I could start now planning for it or…put it off ’til this November…I’ll see what I can do, but until then…Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

Norb & Doris Wedding Portrait

One of the things that I really enjoy doing but have not done that many of are Wedding Portraits. I’ve drawn a few for various friends and family members over the last couple of years, but I tend to shy away from tackling them because they do require a bit more time to accomplish. Not that I don’t enjoy the challenge, I do, it’s just that you need to have the time to set aside to devote solely to the creation of the piece. The challenge comes from capturing the couples likeness, if you fail to do this, the portrait obviously ceases to be a portrait at that point.

Last year I finally decided to give my parents the treatment, having never drawn them before I thought that it was high time that I did so. After having completed that drawing the plan was already set in motion for me to pick up pencil once again and take on the task of doing one for my In-Laws. So this Christmas I found myself doing just that. However, unlike all of the previous drawings that I had done for others in which I had very specific photographic references to follow, I didn’t necessarily have this with my In-Law’s portrait. My wife’s parents didn’t have many photos from their wedding day that I could use to compose the piece, and the ones that they did have were a bit blurry. What I ended up having to do was I had to cannibalize other photos of them from around the same time period, alter their appearance (i.e. hair styles, glasses, their clothing) to match as closely to their look in their wedding photos. When working on portraits I like to work with photos that are as crisp and clean as possible, the more you tend to change and alter photos, the less likely you are to capture their true likeness. So on this piece, I had two mountains to climb: blurry photos and pics I had to alter significantly. Even though I was nervous to begin this portrait, and believe me…my nerves did force me to delay beginning it several times (hell…it was for my In-Laws) the time crunch of having to get the drawing done before Christmas propelled my forward to tackle it and drove me on through til it’s completion. Below is the fruits of my labor.

Below are Close-up photos of the final portrait for you to see the detail, Click on them to Enlarge the images.

So I will admit that it really was down to the wire with this one. I finished the last of the flower and leaf renderings on Christmas Eve and ended up matting and framing the artwork in the early AM the following morning. My wife and I saved the portrait as the last present that they opened on Christmas morning. They seemed pretty surprised when they tore into the gift wrapping and were confronted with the final drawing. I hope they enjoy the piece as much as I did drawing it.

And here is the final portrait framed and matted with a blue matte. Just in case you were wondering, that is me reflected in the glass of the picture frame.

Finally, throughout the process of drawing my In-Laws I took photos of it at various stages of completion. I thought that it’d be fun to show you the process I go through when I drew the piece. So here is a Video Progression of the Portrait from start to finish. Some of the photos of the drawings did not line up perfectly and I promise that if I proceed to do these type of videos in the future, I’ll work on fixing that. Click on the video below and Enjoy!

Wedding Portrait-Norb & Doris (VIDEO PROGRESSION)

Santa and Friends

In my ongoing attempt to present you guys with all that I drew this holiday season, here goes another dose of Post Holiday fun! In this Post It Post, I thought I’d show you yet another tribute to all things Rankin & Bass and more specifically, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” No, I have not drawn the Scarlet Nosed individual again to display here, if you wanna see my take on good ole blinky, read my previous Post on him. Instead I thought I’d draw some of his North Poleian friends.

I originally intended to post “Santa” with my Christmas/Birthday List Post…it seemed more fitting since Troy is asking him to pretty much explain his unforgivable behavior of not getting him everything off of his wish list. How dare Father Jolly not succumb to the will of his list and fulfill it’s every want and desire…how dare he! You tell him Troy, you make him pay for his gross oversight.Instead of posting it then I wait til now because I thought it’d be better to keep him with a fellow “Rudolph” cast mate.

With “Sam the Snowman,” I simply just got Troy’s Canine Pal to ask of Sam a query that has been boggling my noggin for some time now. Hopefully, he’ll be able to get some sort of a legitament and accurate response from the Wintry White one himself. Fortunately for us, we might get him to answer it in a song. Keep your fingers crossed.

I still have a few Christmas items left in my stocking for all to see, so expect a couple more soon on the subject.

Kaitlin’s Christmas Present

Another one of the Christmas presents that I did this year was a drawing for my niece Kaitlin. Like Megan’s drawing I talked about in the previous post, I also did it in my “Artzee Fartzee” style. Unlike Megan’s however, I did not have to do several sketches to try and capture her likeness because I had done so previousily about a couple years ago for a separate drawing and fortunately for me…it still had all of Kaitlin’s flavor. I of course updated the design a bit, since she had aged a couple of years since I last doodled her. But for the most part, her design remained intact from the original. The thumbnail process on this drawing was not much of a process at all…I only did one…the one posted below. As you can see from the two images, both the Concept Sketch and the Final Piece are pretty much identical. There are some very minor differences, such as instead of holding the Doodlebug it’s now wrapped around one of her fingers, but other than that it is what it is.

My niece Kaitlin is completely in love with all things bug and bug-like. She never met a Doodlebug (“Rollie Pollie” to some) that she did not like. I swear, if she could spin herself a cocoon and then emerge a couple days later with a big bright pair of colorful butterfly wings, I think she would. It would make shopping for clothes difficult but I think she’d be up for the challenge.

Besides Kaitlin, also featured in the drawing is our pet Hermit Crab named Monster. My wife got him from a friend of her’s one summer a few years back after their trip to Destin, Florida. We just assume it’s a “he,” because if it were a “she” we’d have to rename it to something more appropriate like “Ladybug” or “Flower” or “Bananarama” or something like that…and I’ve grown found of the name “Monster.”

She was definitely happy to get the final drawing. The only thing better would have been if my wife and I told she could have Monster…since that’s not going to happen, she’ll have to make due with a drawing of him and her instead.

I hope you enjoy it Kaitlin.

2008 Christmas/Birthday List

Okay, I’m gonna let you guys in on a little secret of mine…even though I’m 33…I still write a Christmas List. No, I don’t send the letter North via the Post Office to Santa to take a gander at and hopefully, if I’ve been lucky enough not to be on the “Naughty List,” for him to delivery me all the goodies I’ve asked for. My list is strictly for friends and family, and now for the first time, I’m sharing the list with the rest of you. So every year I write my Christmas/Birthday Wish List. Since New Year’s Eve is my Birthday, I just combine the two into one complete dossier. My thought is, if someone’s going to get you a gift, you might as well let them know what you want and need. Over the years it’s become some what of an annual tradition of sorts. Now I don’t want you thinking that I’m greedy. I don’t expect to get everything on the list or to even get anything off of it. It’s really more of a goof then anything else. I enjoy putting it together and seeing people’s reactions when the printed copy gets passed around. Funny thing is, this year my 13 year old niece even took it to school and showed it off to some of her friends…unfortunately, they did not get me a gift this year…maybe next.

In this Post It Post I wanted to show you some of the Post It drawings that I used when I put together the 2007 edition and a sample of what the final pages looked like. However, first I didn’t want my Birthday to pass without me making some mention of it. I turned 33 this year and in honor of that I wanted to ask Frosty the Snowman for a very special birthday wish.

As a side note, The Frosty Post It note drawing was the last drawing that I did in ’08. The latter three drawings were sketched up while at work during several of my much talked about moments of boredom. When it came time that year to start composing my Christmas/Birthday List, I had to look no further than my little yellow stickies.

Below are three sample pages from the 2007 list. The items on the list have been blurred out due to the fact that the info is now outdated.

I liked how the list came out so for 2008, I decided to keep the basic layout, add new art, and update the items on the list and PRESTO…the latest edition to be read and enjoyed by all!

Now you are at no obligation to buy me a belated Christmas or Birthday gift, but…if you somehow feel compelled to do so, either out of a last moment burp of Christmas Spirit or out of a strong desire to congratulate a 33 year old for his day of birth…there are still plenty of items on the list to choose from. As you can see, there are also quite a few outrageous items at the end of the list as well to take a look at.

Enjoy and look forward to the 2009 Christmas/Birthday List later this year…being that it’s January…much later this year!

Happy New Year!

So here we are, a New Year, a New Post, and lots of new stuff to show you guys out there. I’ve been real busy as of late with the holidays and churning out new artwork. Now that I’m finally getting back into the swing of things and am coming down from my Christmas high, I can finally share with you the fruits of my labor. First thing first, I hope that everyone had a wonderful Ho Ho Day and a Very Happy New Year! So to usher in the New Year and celebrate the passing of the last, here we are with the first Post It Post of 2009!

As I’ve said in previous Posts, I love the “Rankin & Bass” Holiday specials. Love ’em, gotta watch ’em, wish there were more of ’em. So while over the holiday break, I drew up a couple more of my mini tributes to these beloved television specials. First up, again, in honor of the New Year…my Post It Post on “Rudolph’s Shiny New Year.”

In the first Post It drawing, Troy attempts to get Baby New Year to make him a promise for 2009. This last year was eventful…good and bad…but it seemed that the bad tipped the scales in ’08, unfortunately. All we can do is hope that with the changing of the calendar, that mostly good will come from it. Think of it as a reboot for the world, and hopefully with a reboot, it fixes all the problems…if not all of them, then maybe, if we’re lucky…most of them.

I don’t really know what I’m trying to say about the New Year with Troy’s Canine Pal’s conversation with Father Time. I guess I just wanted to doodle Father Time. It took me a while to fully get into the Christmas spirit this year and once I got into it, it’s been hard to let it go. So expect a few more drawings of Merriment to come your way over the course of the next couple of Post It Posts.

Happy New Year everyone…I truly hope that when we look back at this year we can say, “Boy, that wasn’t half bad!” Hello ’09…farewell ’08.

AIGA 2008 Design Summit

As you’ll notice from the drawings below, neither of them really have much to do, if anything to do with the subject of this, my 17th Post It Post. I’ll get to the drawings a little bit later…but first, let’s talk about the AIGA 2008 Design Summit.

The AIGA is an organization for Graphic Artist and Designers. This past Tuesday, December 16th, the New Orleans chapter hosted a Design Summit at Loyola University. It basically was a 3 hour panel discussion about what we as a community of Graphic Artists could do to help with the recovery of New Orleans in this Post-Katrina environment. The panel was made up of several of the founders of some of New Orleans’ leading design firms. Many of them discussed their personal and professional experiences dealing with Katrina and the state of Graphic Arts now here after the big storm.

As someone who has felt like he’s not really been part of any type of Design or Illustration Community, it was an excellent experience for me to be surrounded by like minded individuals. At my previous job, I was pretty much isolated from the community as a whole. For the longest time it was only me designing and drawing in an office by myself until they eventually hired someone else on full-time. So for all of my time there, we were pretty much an island to ourselves. Now as my situation has changed, I want to make an effort to become part of that world that I had felt like I had been denied previously.  I’m still contemplating joining the AIGA, I’m leaning towards it. I’m also going to look into if their are any organization in New Orleans like the AIGA but for Illustrators and Traditional artists. The thing is that I’m both a Graphic Designer and an Illustrator…I’m a Graphic Illustrator so to speak. No matter what I decide about membership, I definitely plan to attend future AIGA events that are open to the public.

So hearing each of the panelist speak, I definitely got a feeling for them, and hope to be able to interact with many of them here in the near future. New Orleans is a great town, despite all the negative images and stories that are put out there…it’s something worth saving and making strong once again…if not better.

And now for the Post It drawings.

I’m a big fan of the classic Rankin & Bass Christmas specials. I must watch them all every season. Without them, the Holidays just aren’t the same. Of course the granddaddy of them all is “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” So I couldn’t let the season pass without having Troy and friends confront some of the North Pole’s favorite Misfits. So enjoy Troy’s confusion with Rudolph’s ability and His Canine Pal’s frank discussion with Charlie and his Box. So as you can see, they definitely don’t have anything to do with the subject of today’s post, but I had fun drawing them.

Post It Post #13

Last night my wife and I continued our holiday tradition of watching our ever growing DVD collection of Christmas themed movies and specials.  Whether it be a classic Rankin and Bass AniMagic or something a little more non-traditional, we try to get through a majority of them before December 25th rolls around. After Christmas has come and gone and the tinsel has fallen from the tree, we tend to lose interest in such viewing pleasures until the season rolls around 12 months later. After a couple of “Frosty’s” and a “Polar Express,” we followed it up with another holiday goody…“Gremlins!”


Okay…so Gizmo and Company aren’t traditionally thought of as holiday fare but in my household…a Mogwai is right up there with Rudolph, the Heat Miser, and the Winter Warlock. Hell…I even consider “Die Hard” and “Die Hard 2: Die Harder” holiday fun. Now if John McClane were dressed like Santa riding on top of an ass kickin’ Rudolph while fighting off a Gremlin infestation at the Nakatomi Plaza…that…that would be a great Holiday event flick. Throw in a couple of talking snowmen with German accents and a gun toting Charlie in the Box…you got yourself Christmas gold baby…GOLD I tell ya.

So I don’t really have anything in particular to say about each of the Post It Note drawings in this Post It Post, except that I got inspired by the movie last night and really wanted to draw Gizmo. As for the “Snowflake” drawing, I guess I really want it to snow here in New Orleans this winter…real snow, not ice or sleet…but REAL White Winter Fun!

So what about a “Gremlins 3,” well…who knows whenever that little gem may happen. Hell, it’s been 18 years and counting since “The New Batch” was released. Until that glorious day…enjoy the two videos I found on YouTube, the links are below. If you’re a fan of these green little monsters, you’ll love these two little Gremlins tidbits:

Peter Jones BT Business “Gremlins” Commercial

“Gremlins” Fan Film by Sacha Feiner

Post It Post #12

In this Post It Post I thought that I’d give you a little bit of Thanksgiving Leftovers. A couple of scraps of turkey and maybe a single spoonful of stuffing left to devour before we move on to the Christmas season.

With at least one of the Post It Note drawings below, I wanted to make sure that you saw it before it got too late and I had to wait an entire year for the Holiday season to roll back around to post it.


Last year I draw “Pilgrim Troy” while sitting at my desk at work. With Thanksgiving but a couple of days away, I was definitely looking forward to the Holiday break and my days off. As the end of the year would approach at work, things always got a lot more hectic, especially as we geared up to finalize designs and begin laying out our next catalog. So a mini break was always a welcome event.

Okay, so what I didn’t tell you about this year’s “Black Friday” is that I was sick. I woke up with a slight fever, the glands in my throat swollen, and not being able to swallow much without my right ear in some serious pain. Boy talk about fun. At least I missed Thanksgiving by a day, had I felt this way the day before…I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy turkey festivities. So the pain made shopping in the AM on Friday more of a chore than I would have liked but my wife really wanted to experience it so I didn’t want her to miss out. You know, trying to get a doctor’s appointment with your regular doctor the day after a holiday is next to impossible…well, there’s nothing “NEXT” to it…it “IS” completely impossible! It wasn’t until the next day that my wife suggested that we go to the urgent care facility nearest us to get checked out and overhauled. Turns out that I had a little infection, non-contagious, in one of the glands in my throat. After some antibiotics and rest…I don’t feel green anymore…hurray to modern medicine! Now if they could only figure out this aging think, I’d buy the doctors a Blueberry Muffin…until then…no Muffin!