Tuesday, December 23, 2008


This has been a wonderful week… hectic but rewarding in so many ways. I had all kinds of ideas for this week's topic and had planned to have it done over the weekend… but plans change… and change… and… you guessed it… change… and so did the idea I had for the illustration… and so, I opened the sketch book and started… and this morning I had it all figured out… but things change… and while the idea is still there… the rest has been lost with the hustle and bustle of the day… the illo gives voice to our most treasured loved ones… the ones who must endure what we believe is right as parents… and while we have the benefit of hindsight… we do often close our ears and minds to the voices of our children… often with terrible consequences…

This thought recurred over and over this weekend… and culminated in the movie I watched last night sitting next to one of those I most cherish in this world…

Friday, December 19, 2008

Winter Is Coming

A Game of Thrones is the first book of George R.R. Martin's masterpiece, fantasy epic. The good news for those familiar with this series (no A Dance with Dragons is not yet finished) is that the series is being brought to the small screen by HBO. If you are a fan of Rome or the Arthurian legends keep your eyes and ears open.

For the last year I have been living without cable, but I will once again be swimming in the deep end when this amazing work is brought to life. Like much of the other series on HBO, this will be a story for mature viewers. It is a story of hard living in a kingdom very much resembling England during the Wars of the Roses. There is a touch of fantasy but it is not heavy handed. The main characters are all human insofar as they are from the human species (at least so far). Another difference is that this story is not the standard Good vs. Evil. It is a human story and in that sense it is a contemporary tale.

If you want to stay current on what is flowing from George R.R. Martin's pen he has an informative website and a blog. If you want to stay current on what is happening with the HBO series read the blog A Winter is Coming.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rambunctious - Illustration Friday

Since this week has been one of those weeks… I am going to have to dig something up from the old sketch book. I do have all manner of rambunctious children and critters drawn and doodles in the stacks of books, but this logo caught my eye.

I worked on this project over a two-year period, first for Downtown Vision where I developed a direct mail and an online marketing campaign. The following year, the City of Jacksonville took the event over and as they were already a client, gave me a call to work on a new project of theirs. It is funny how things just seemed destined to be. We continued producing the direct mail pieces but the online component was scrapped. Luckily they did want to redesign the existing logo and after filling page after page after page with thumbnails, I came up with the award-winning logo that you see here. It even graced the cover of one of David Carter's logo books! Unfortunately, funding went away and so did the project but it was fun while it lasted. Their new agency liked my photography so much that they lifted one of my photos to use on the Downtown Vision's new site. Lucky me!!

Hopefully, I will have more time to get back to creating new work next week. Happy holidays to those of you lucky enough to be starting early.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Ideo CEO Tim Brown talks about the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play. One of the points that struck me in his talk at the 2008 Serious Play conference was that rules make for better creativity. I guess that makes sense. As a designer going into a new project, I do need information and parameters. And the more I know, the better the solution. When I taught at the local college my students would ask me why they had to learn the history and the rules. And usually my answer was so you know where you came from and why things are done. And then I told them that when they knew the rules it was easier to break them.

Take a look if you have the time and visit the TED site. They do have an amazing catalog of high powered speakers at various conferences on many different topics.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Who Keeps the Fish?

Coudal Partners is a great design, advertising and interactive studio in Chicago. Their site is packed with great information. Periodically the post a logic puzzler on their site. Over the Thanksgiving holiday I spent a few hours on this one. And yes, I am 1 in 121,348,731!

This brainteaser, reportedly written by Einstein as a child. It is also sometimes attributed to Lewis Carroll however, there is no known evidence for Einstein's or Carroll's authorship. The first known publication in Life International magazine on December 17, 1962. It is difficult and Einstein said that 98% of the people in the world could not figure it out. Which percentage are you in?

There are five houses in a row in different colors. In each house lives a person with a different nationality. The five owners drink a different drink, smoke a different brand of cigar and keep a different pet, one of which is a Walleye Pike.

The question is-- who owns the fish?

1. The Brit lives in the red house.
2. The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
3. The Dane drinks tea.
4. The green house is on the left of the white house.
5. The green house owner drinks coffee.
6. The person who smokes Pall Malls keeps birds.
7. The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhills.
8. The man living in the house right in the center drinks milk.
9. The man who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats.
10. The Norwegian lives in the first house.
11. The man who keeps horses lives next to the one who smokes Dunhills.
12. The owner who smokes Bluemasters drinks beer.
13. The German smokes Princes.
14. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
15. The man who smokes Blends has a neighbor who drinks water.

There are no tricks, pure logic will get you the correct answer. And yes, there is enough information to arrive at the one and only correct answer.

If you get the correct answer, congratulations, you are one of the exclusive group of 121,348,731 people in the world who can.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A holiday trip

If you get a chance, take a trip over to Dot's blog "Dabbled". She is having a little competition called the "Holiday Art Card Challenge". There is some great work ther and all I can say is "Vote for Me!" … "Vote for Me!"

You may have seen this a few years back. If not, you can see it on her blog. It was another self-promo.

Happy Holidays!


This is a drawing that I may use in a self-promo to interest new clients or get some new work. The idea is similar to something I did a few years back when I was freelancing full time. This time, instead of trying to get the agency to add a new elf to their staff, I am offering my services with their elf troubles.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Balloon - Illustration Friday


Once upon a time time had no meaning…
and no one knows why or how it came to happen…
yet it moved onward and ever on…
through the days and nights to only God knew where…
and still it moved without sound…

Once upon a time, a man opened his eyes and truly saw,
stepped through the door to a life not fully imagined,
not once looking back… always now, tomorrow and next year…
yet still remembering the beginning and the before…
and the only sound to be heard… a single heartbeat…

Once upon a time time stood waiting…
now I drink coffee on Saturday morning, in bed…
quiet time but for a brief moment, before the day begins,
and sometimes, sometimes I will roll back over,
smiling and know that…

Once upon a time is now forever…

An anniversary poem for my wife.