Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tossin' the Candy Caber...

Merry Christmas you wee beasties.
I look forward to a week of being idle and reading comics. Hope it's a good one for whoever's reading this...

Let it Snow...

I was recently approached by the Toronto based design firm Hambly and Woolley to create an image for their annual Christmas card for 2010. Every year the firm donates a dozen pigs and sheep to needy families via World Vision and the image on the card relates to that gift in some fashion (which is also a visual pun on the company name-get it?). I took the whole idea in a fun and whimsical direction and was very influenced by the pond skating scene in "A Charlie Brown Christmas", which was always my favourite part.
Thanks go out to Bob Hambly at H&W for creative direction and Dominic Ayre for colour correction in the final (seen below).

Torontoist's Heroes and Villains 2010-The Baddies!!!


From the top:  1. The Imagine Concert  2. Chris Bosh 3. G20 ISU 4. Dislove of Toronto 5. Blaming Pedestrians

My first year as a Torontoist contributor is coming to a close and with that comes an opportunity to participate in the annual "Heroes and Villains" lists–one of their most popular segments, so I hear. For any non-Torontonian reading this, the series outlines a variety of different people, organizations or events that affected the city over the course of the year, for both good or bad. To end the year on a more positive note, they ran the Villains over the course of last week and are running down the heroes as I type this rambling nonsense. 
"Daley, what was going through your head while doing these?" you may ask. Great question, so I'll tell you:
1) The Imagine Concert was some large scale hippy concert being planned by one of the clowns who promoted the original Woodstock and was touted as the biggest concert to ever hit Toronto. Of course it never happened. I figured I'd take the obvious hippy image of a peace symbol and add some snakes to the fingers to show the two faced "snake" sides of the promoters' false promises.
2) Chris Bosh-the now former Toronto Raptor who left town after another lacklustre season by the team and proceeded to be less than graceful towards the city in his Tweets afterward. Hence the image of him "siccing" his evil twitter birds on Toronto. I'm not all that stout with likenesses, so I tried to keep him at a minimum in the illustration.
3) The G20 ISU- given the overreaction of too many of the police at the G20 in the summer, I interpreted them in the form of a rabid, monstrous attack dog
4) Dislove of Toronto- another simple idea using Toronto as a voodoo doll for all the negative feelings from the rest of the country, suburban dwellers and the local media, especially during our recent municipal election. The central figure was influenced by the look of Bela Lugosi in the movie "Voodoo Man"
5) Blaming Pedestrians-because sometimes the media have a tendency to blame pedestrians when they get hit by cars. As an avid walker I've encountered many a shitty driver (and cyclists) who think they own the road (although, to be fair, there are plenty of pedestrians who have no clue and think they're free to walk however they please). The image was influenced by Dr. Octopus, some sort of shadow creature and Ed Roth and is in the form of a judge to act as some sort of tribunal passing judgment on the poor sap they just flattened.

Check out the entire list here as there are plenty of great illustrations on display. I'll blab about my heroes next week...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Taddle Creek #25-Fiction Illustrations

"Stop Loss" By Kelly Ward

"Our Many-Splendoured Humanity" by Jessica Westhead

"Remember the Story"  by Stuart Ross
"Atikoken is for Lovers"  by Amy Jones

This past week saw the release of the 25th issue of Toronto literary magazine Taddle Creek. This was the third issue that featured my illustrations accompanying works of fiction and I feel my best contributions to the magazine so far. I decided to mess around quite a bit with these and loosen up at the same time, because if I can't have fun with what I'm doing, what's the point really? Notable experiments include taking a photo of the pattern on my kitchen table (as seen in the backgrounds above) and using it as the background for the "Stop Loss" illustration as well as using found wallpaper patterns for "Atikokan...". As per usual, the magazine is top notch and worth checking out either on many a Canadian newsstand or via here. Thanks once again to Mr. Conan Tobias for having me, I'm looking forward to the next go round.