Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Chinchilla Mascot Project

This little guy was made for a client back in 2012 to represent a new on-line book publishing service, which unfortunately has not seen the light of day yet.  They do own the copyrights to him, so please don't borrow him for your own purposes.  They also requested a "mobile" version of him, hence the car.

The client had a very specific reference image made by Becky Dreistadt, which you can see here.  She turned down my client's request to purchase the rights to her image, so they turned to me.  I wanted to use as little of her artwork as possible to avoid copyright infringements, so I offered the client several alternatives.  The chinchilla is a very cute animal, but it's practically a caricature itself, being a large, obese mouse with a bushy tail. 

In this set I was trying to  give a sense of color printing with the multiple colored tails.

Despite my efforts the client really liked the original gray color scheme.  At least I got in a hipster, slouchy stocking cap and rimmed glasses.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Arctic Shark and Quilt

"The arctic shark is living free in the coldest part of the Eastern Sea."
           ~ Lyric from the song, "Arctic Shark" by the band, Quilt

I discovered the band, Quilt, at Their featured song, "Arctic Shark", is a fantastic, trippy little tune that reminded me of my own dazed and confused Greenland (Arctic) shark character, who was part of my, "Arctic Circle" comic strip.

Back in the late 1990's and early 2000's I was obsessed by all things arctic as I worked on my comic strip submissions.  An issue of National Geographic featured the Greenland shark on the cover.  It grows up to 16 feet long (or longer!), is slow moving and nearly blind due to a parasite that lives on its eyes.  Maybe it makes up for blindness by having very large nostrils. It's meat is poisonous if not prepared properly and will cause drunken behavior in dogs if they eat it raw.  Because of it's slow speed it is believed to be primarily a scavenger, but when a diver presented it with some food it sucked it in like a vacuum!

When I started sketching its fuzzy eyes and huge nostrils he just looked stoned!  I immediately associated him with famous movie stoners like Spicoli, from "Fast Times at Ridgemount High", Bill and Ted from their Excellent Adventure and The Dude, from "The Big Lebowski".  Instead of using  lightening speed and ferocity to hunt, which is typically associated with sharks, he would use the stoner-surfer logic to convince his prey to willingly be eaten.  "Dude it's all part of big cosmic circle of life!  It's your karma!" - that type of thing.

Like many of my characters I could never come up with a good name for him.  How about Bogart?

Oh, and go listen to Quilt!

For more facts and pictures of this unusual creature check out GEERG.  Great name!

 Can you spot him in this one?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Sequencher DNA Software Ad

Here I was hired by Global Design to illustrate a skiing scientist with a trail of DNA behind him for an ad promoting Sequencher, a DNA sequencing software.  I was given the sun rays and mountains to work with.  The spray of G's, T's, A's and C's were influenced by their previous ad and are abbreviations of the nucleotides.  I had the idea of making them large rocks atop the mountains but was asked to use a GC GC sequence.  Perhaps you can tell me the significance. :)