Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wild Waterfall...

This summer was a first for me as I had the opportunity to design characters for an iPhone app promoting milk for the Dairy Farmers of Canada. I've really enjoyed their series of 10 second ads that feature amazingly wacky animation, so when I was approached to do this I didn't even hesitate. It made for a nice change from my usual editorial grind as well. The team at Twist Image, who put the game together, were quite easy to work with and encouraged fairly wacky ideas, even though we had a short turn around.

Opening Screens
Game Play and End Screen
I'm afraid I don't have any proper screen caps as of yet, so above is the best I can show for how it looks. My wife's iPhone was used and she has some sort of mirror screen cover, so it's hard to capture with a camera.
Here are the original designs of what was used:

Above: The main lumberjack character. Final screen "victorious" image + 2 views of him riding in his log. I didn't really stray that much from my sketches (below), except that they wanted me to make him less squat/fat looking. I also tried a character that was more of a "white water" type, but since lumberjacks are much better, I'm glad this was the route we took.
Lumberjack Sketches
The twist of the game, if you will, is that the "waterfall" in the title is actually a little girl drinking milk. If you lose, you get swallowed in the torrent, if you win, you escape and bounce on her growing bicep. There wasn't a huge variation between the final rendering and early sketches, but I tried a separate look for a variation that didn't work quite as well...

Lastly, here's all the little details I rendered. Variations on the paddle, the various bubbles you have to either avoid or pick up and different takes on the waves. Certain bubble types weren't used and the final colours of the waves were changed to look less like water and more like milk.

So there you have it, my first, and hopefully not last, sojourn into the world of games and animation by proxy. You can download the game for free here, or at the iTunes store, but if you don't have an iPhone you can watch the lumberjack bob up and down in the waves for kicks. You can also run through some of the TV spots at the site as well.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Year of Years


Above are some pieces I recently provided for the September 2010 issue of Avenue Magazine (link), which is a Calgary centered lifestyle magazine.  The article was centered around the boom in lifestyle books that chronicle a year in the life of the particular subject and the way that they drastically changed their lives. The book in focus was Gretchen Rubin's "The Happiness Project" which was her chronicle of developing a more "posi" lifestyle (I've got the PMA!!), and that's what influenced the splash page (top). I based the design on a solar calendar and chronicled the central subject's year from a depressed "baby new year" type through to being a happy "old man" at year's end. The themes for the  accompanying spot illustrations are both about the voyeuristic nature of reading these types of books and how some people treat them almost as some sort of guru as to how they can live their lives. 
Here's the final results in print:


Sketchbook Detritus 21/09/10

Last night I went to a panel discussion moderated by my wife, who helped present it as editor of Broken Pencil magazine. The title of the talk was "Are Zines History?" and the panel debated and discussed the relevance of creating small press zines in the age of the internet. At one point I decided to pull out my sketchbook and do some doodle portraits of the panelists. These were done on a knock off moleskin (the choice of hipsters everywhere) using a Copic Multiliner pen with a 0.35 nib.

(L-R) Ian Sullivan Cant, Megan Speers, Chris Landry

I will admit that attending kind of made me want to try my hand at doing a zine just for the sake of fun and getting weird ideas out that don't necessarily need a full render. We shall see...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Back in the saddle again....

Good day to you all and a very happy first day of autumn! The day I've been feverishly awaiting since the first humid spell of late May. As is obvious, I'm no fan of summer and the heat and I find myself coming out of hibernation when the fall rolls around, hence this post out of nowhere after a month of inactivity. What have I been up to, you may ask? Aside from prolific bouts of comic reading and sitting in dark rooms with the shades drawn and AC cranked, I'm going to use this week to get up to speed with some of my late summer art based shenanigans.
One thing common to summer are weddings and this year my wife and I had our fair share, all within a span of two weeks (including two in one day). I sometimes like to give friends a piece as a wedding gift and when our friends Lisa and Kenny legitimized their coupling, they were the lucky recipients of the following:

"Game" FC Giclee Print, 18" x 24"

Both are avid video game types, so I decided to update a piece I'd created a few years earlier for a group show based around video games (see below). It was something I was never 100% happy with and feel that the "mark two" version of makes a bit more sense, even though it's a bit more abstract/absurd.

"Zap" 2 Colour Letterpress Print, 5.75" x 8.75". 2006

I used the above as my initial template in the sketches, but as I messed about with the final, I came to the realization (with some input from my wife) that it worked better if the head was actually an arcade game as opposed to having a guy with one strapped to him. And from there a shining new piece for the walls of newlyweds. I just hope it doesn't scare the crap out of their son....

Bonus sketches!