Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Not so Furrrr-iendly.

Meet the Parents
8" x 10"

This illustration done for my thesis centers around the fur-trade industry. I wanted to sort of "humanize" the animals who live and die for the industry by illustrating a raccoon dog whose 'parents' -are now little more than fur trim on winter coats.

The fur industry hits a certain sensitive note with me, which is why I decided it would be the subject of my most recent illustration. It's hard to imagine that animals are raised simply for the skin on their backs... This illustration is probably seen as a bit of a downer again, but fur is an issue I feel that people sadly do not know the reality of.

I have mixed feelings on the outcome of this piece, although I do feel that I was partly successful in keeping the "brutality" of this piece subtle while allowing it's message to be to the point, without being too harsh/graphic on the eyes.

I'm excited about the near future as I have come across a really great opportunity for some freelance work. I was recently contacted by the band Boo Hoo, and if things go smoothly - I may soon be starting work on a cd sleeve design for them. If you have a free moment and would like to check out some new music, head to their website to listen up!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Something Worth Knowing...

A Plastic Problem
8" x 7"

The above is my second piece done this semester for my Illustraton Thesis class. This semester, I chose to center my illustrations around the topic(s) of environmental issues, and animal welfare. Both are subjects I am deeply concerned with, and would like to help bring awareness to. My way of coping with these disturbing world issues, and finding a way to feel less helpless in my position to stop them, is to speak about them through my illustrations. For anyone who knows me, they know I always have some kind of shocking article, or documentary I've seen to talk about. I have really become all about opening my eyes to the hidden, dirty secrets of the world.

What I have learned is that the Northern Pacific Gyre "Garbage Patch" (an area in the ocean, 30 metres deep, full of a sort of plastic 'soup' that is 2 1/2 times the size of Texas) is possibly one of the world's dirtiest secrets.

Plastic is all around us, many of us throw it away every day, and what I think most of us don't realize is that it never is fully gone when we throw it away. Plastic does not biodegrade. Plastic either ends up in landfills, or in the ocean, where birds like the albatross, mistake it for food and feed it to their young. During the summer, my Dad showed me an article in the Globe and Mail about the Garbage Patch, it was something I had never heard of and upon knowing of it, became overwhelmed. For my illustration I decided to focus on the effect the Garbage Patch has on animal life.

Albatross are large seabirds who spend 6 months raising their young, and in recent years researchers have started to discover that nearly half of Albatross chicks die from being fed plastic accidentally by their parents. I find this absolutely devastating... But it isn't only the albatross who are affected by this, it is the entire food chain, and soon it will soon be us.

It's depressing stuff, I know... But, please take a step toward change, and become aware by watching the below...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Numero Uno.

AVENUE, Guide To Going Green on Valentine's Day
10" x 19.5"

I guess I sort of bailed on my last attempt to have a blog but here I am trying again. I will try to be more faithful to the updating process this time. Life is hectic and busier than I expected as in my final year of illustration, at Sheridan and I barely have enough time to breathe let alone commit to updating a blog... but! I feel like blogs can play an integral role in motivating someone to keep producing new work because their old work will always be up on their blog to reflect on. With that said, I hope you like the newest illustration I have posted for you above. It is an info graphic (with not a lot of info graphics, because I couldn't see how graphs or charts would apply to the topic I chose) designed as a proposal for the National Post's AVENUE page.

I decided to choose the topic of "going green", as it seems to be a prevalent, and popular topic in the news and in entertainment today. I combined the idea of being eco-friendly with the upcoming wasteful yet widely celebrated "holiday" of Valentine's Day, and then of course - the above was born. I really enjoyed this project and being able to blend design and illustration into a final product. I really have begun to feel that just as much as illustration is a passion of mine, so is design... As cheesy as it does sound, in a way, both have my heart.