I did a whole bunch of work last year, most of which I didn’t blog about here. So here is a roundup of some of the good stuff that came out of my brain in twenty-twelve.
Though I spent most of January & February in India, I was also working on The Sarcastic Voyage Guide to Monster and Also Robots, a print book put out by the good folks at the Sarcastic Voyage podcast.
In addition to the graphic design, I did several illustrations for the entries themselves, including this thing we came to call the FishMummy.
It was a pleasure to work on, even though with a vacation smack dab in the middle the deadlines went haywire. Still, we got it done on time. Though it was created especially for their appearance at the Emerald City Comic Con in March, you can still purchase a copy (or ebook) here.
With the book off to the printers, at the end of February I blew off some steam by colouring in this drawing I’d done the previous year for Today’s Doodle. It is neither the greatest of drawings nor the greatest colouring job, but it was good practice.
I also made a timelapse video of the colouring process. Working in inkscape is time-consuming, but quite nice for a ‘animation’ look like this.
In March, I continued doodling, with fairly successful results now and then, which I would take the extra hour or two to colour. This one was for the topic ‘Supervillain’.
And then I had literally fifteen minutes to design a business card for my father. This is what I came up with, and I’m still quite happy with it.
Perhaps emboldened by the work I did on the Monster Guide, perhaps just from sheer practice, I started to stretch my legs a little with the doodles and go for something a bit more ambitious each time. This one, for the topic ‘Necromancer’ was one of the more successful attempts.
Sometime in march my friend @tantanoo commission this illustration for a short story. My brief was to have a man surrounded by werevolves that were generally ignoring him. I don’t think this party situation was anything like what goes on in the story, but not having read it this was the first thing my mind leaped to. I don’t think he’s ever put up the story anywhere, but I got tired of waiting to show this piece off. 😀
By the start of April I had created something of a mini-series of illustrations on Today’s Doodle, all featuring an elf and her winged companion. This was for the topic ‘Train Station’.
There’s something of a gentleman’s agreement between myself and the Post Atomic Horror podcast (for which I also designed the logo) that I will, if possible, do the cover art for every ‘supplemental’ episode they do between reviewing series of Star Trek. It’s allowed me to create artwork on one of my favourite subjects (I don’t usually do a lot of fan art. I never really have).
Given the irreverent tone of the show I decided to make this a cover for a gossip magazine, inserting (hee hee) as many bad jokes into it as possible. They’d just finished reviewing the series of Next Generation with Dr. Pulaski, and I like to stay somewhat relevant to what has come before.
Another avenue for fanart is, of course, the occasional Today’s Doodle topic. I try not to do too many (since I set the topics myself), but a few every month are fun pursuits. This drawing is for a quasi Trek-related topic ‘redshirt’.
I spent much of May testing out my colouring skills with the graphics tablet, and seeing how I could do fully coloured illustrations quickly. This Today’s Doodle entry is for the TV show The Avengers.
Near the end of the month my internet router conked off, and instead of going out and buying one, I waited a few days while I worked almost exclusively on this image. That the drawing was probably the best I’ve done (yet) compelled me to spend the time time to colour it, and away from the net’s distractions I was able to concentrate on it and learn many, many things about both drawing & colouring.
This is a cover for an episode of the Sarcastic Voyage podcast. They always give me crazy & fun ideas to do, and I like to stretch my legs a bit from the usual drawing or logo/web design work to scratch some pure design itches.
In June, the excellent chaps at the Dr. Who podcast, Drunken Time Travel, put out a call for cover art for their upcoming episodes, and of course I leaped at the chance to draw some vintage Dr. Who. As luck would have it, I chose the one episode where the Doctor himself doesn’t appear! But anywhoo, I managed to squeeze him in there, and got to draw a bunch of bizarre looking aliens.
My, those Star Trek seasons go by quick! Literally the day before I left for another trip to India, I did this Post Atomic Horror podcast cover. Continuing with the theme of a magazine cover, this one featured Picard, who was assimilated by the Borg in the episode The Best of Both Worlds that ended the previous season.
Not a lot happened between then and November that I was truly happy with, but after a lot of frustrating dead ends on my part, I finally came up with this graphic for the Sarcastic Voyage’s new fan club. It has its origins in a warm-up sketch I did in the corner of a page, believe it or not.
This graphic will be on everything from badges to lunchboxes in a few months. I think it looks swell, and not just because I drew it.
(Well, okay, mostly because I drew it. I’m vain that way.)
(I mean, look, this is basically a long post that’s all, “LOOK AT ME I AM AWESOME” isn’t it?)
In the middle of November another Trek season ended. All those months the hosts had been referring to Dr. Crusher as ‘Bevers’ so I knew it just had to be her on this one.
A lot of work ended up coming from that month of frustration as I kept plugging away on the Sarcasteers image. Ideas that didn’t make it to the final but that all of us involved liked a lot. So to go with the old-timey Sarcasteers, I did this new brand identity for the Sarcastic Voyage podcast itself.
With all the combinations of elements, there were ultimately twenty-four final logo files. I don’t really subscribe to the ‘single logo’ school of thought any more than I do a multiple combination style such as this. Each has its place and uses, and I’ve learned to go with what feels right for the project.
At the end of November, the Post Atomic Horror podcast and Drunken Time Travel had a crossover episode. I had claimed the cover art duties the second I’d heard of their plans.
My plans, however, were quite ambitious, and I could not complete my ‘Plan A’ in time. So this was Plan B, which went up on the PAH side of things.
Since I couldn’t decide on one backup, I also presented this — Plan C if you will — but they didn’t know which to choose from, so we ended up going with both. DTT used this one.
A final logo came out of the Sarcasteers work: this logo for the new More Bits podcast, a solo project by Ron ‘AAlgar’ Watt, the co-host of Sarcastic Voyage.
(I have drawn a lot of guys holding microphones this year.)
The DTT+PAH crossover’s second part released near the end of the year, and even then I was
too lazy mauled by a mechalion so couldn’t execute my Plan A fully.
Ah, but more on that in a few weeks…
Last but not least, this logo was commissioned by a dear friend of mine to put on an apron for another dear friend of mine. I kinda wish it was being used for more than a Christmas present, but hope springs eternal.
2012 was not the most productive year of my life, nor the most lucrative, but I had a lot of fun & felt fulfilled by most of the work I ended up doing. Here’s hoping that in 2013 I have a lot more to show.