February 28th 2013

Last month I posted an illustration I'd done for Spirit Magazine, Southwest Airlines' inflight magazine of CEO and co-founder of Geomagic, Ping Fu.

This one, published in February, was of Ed Whitacre, former Chairman and CEO of General Motors.

I've been having a lot of fun with all of the portrait work I've been getting lately, and I'm looking forward to doing these monthly for their business section.

February 26th 2013

Okay!  Time to play a little catch-up!

I've been busy working on a few things at the same time lately, and I have a very brief reprieve from everything to catch up on what's been happening.

For today, I'll show a couple of the New York Times Magazine pieces I've been doing.

The first was published back at the beginning of February for the Eat section of the magazine.  I was very excited to get a chance to illustrate a portrait of a remarkable woman; Claudia Roden.  I love The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York, and have been meaning to pick up A Middle Eastern Feast, mostly because it has the most incredible cover, and I'm a sucker for that sort of thing.

I love doing the sketches for jobs.  Sometimes I almost prefer the loose look of them to tighter, finished illustrations, but this particular illustration proved to test me a little.  Usually it takes one polished sketch, and I'm off to the races, but it took me a few tries to get this one right!  I thought it would be easy, because Roden is a gorgeous woman and I was looking forward to painting her.  Perhaps that was the problem; I assumed it would be easy!  The first couple ended up looking quite masculine!  I was debating showing the first couple of sketches, but they're actually a bit too terrible to show to the public!  Instead I'll just show the finished illustration:

Here is a link to the article, A Time Before Tabbouleh.

I love working on black and white portraits.  I've done a few of these for the Times now, and they're always a lot of fun to do, and look better printed in the small scale they're set in.  A couple of previous ones are here: Chef Juanjo López and Chef Julie Sahni.  I've also been doing a number of them in colour for Southwest Airline's inflight magazine, Spirit, and I'll post those later this week.

The other illustration I did recently for NYTimes was for an article titled, Azerbaijan Is Rich. Now It Wants to Be Famous.  This article looked fantastic in print, because the designer, Caleb Bennett, used the title of the article in vertical format to create a soaring skyline.  He asked me to create a collection of tiny palm trees to sit at the base of the skyline, that could be spread throughout the article.

I had no idea it would be so complicated to paint a bunch of tiny palm trees, but to make them look realistic was really tough!  I'm so happy with the way they turned out though, and how they look in the finished layout.

February 13th 2013

I'm so swamped with work lately that I haven't given much thought to keeping my blog updated; so my apologies for that.  I have loads of work to update with, and will get to it in a couple of weeks when things settle down again.

I may be feeling a little sappy due to a certain special day coming up tomorrow, but a thought caught in my head today and reminded me of something that I've been saving, (for sentiment's sake), for years now.

Years ago, when Chris and I first started dating, we were living in different cities.  We'd gone to school together in Oakville, but didn't start dating until he'd graduated and moved to Toronto.  So we'd sometimes send little packages to each other.  He was a professional parcel-sender; sometimes even constructing the boxes that housed the little presents he'd send.

This little beauty was one of my favourites.

He'd used sections of paper towel rolls to hold a small box in the centre of the package in place.  In each side of the tubes, he'd cut out tiny pink giraffes that I didn't see until I'd removed the box.  (For reference; the giraffes are probably less than 2 centimetres tall).  The little box was the first toy I ever got from the newly opened Magic Pony.  It was a tiny deer figurine from Japan that had to be assembled.  Also housed inside this parcel was a hot pink pencil crayon.  (I'd been going through a hot pink phase in my sketchbooks, haha!).

Receiving these parcels was such a treat.  I was in my final year at school, under a lot of stress, and those little treats did wonders to lift my spirits.  It's been years since I received this surprise package in the mail, and I've held on to it all this time as a reminder of the early days of our courtship.