Cows & Waffles

lodging_badapples_wpdetailMy latest illustration for Lodging Magazine is for an article about hotels keeping their dining areas germ-free. It delves into some of the nastier problems that hotel managers have to deal with – foodborne illnesses, sanitation laws and damage control responses. Not a lot of pretty images came to mind for my illustration, so I decided to go wacky with it.

The article begins by stating how people often like to get away to hotels where there are lovely bucolic scenes out the window, cows grazing and sheep frolicking nearby – but the visitors don’t realize that the flies around livestock are one of the most common ways for germs to spread. While flies buzzing around a dining area seemed off-putting to me, I thought some barnyard animals would be funnier and less openly icky. I sketched a cow and sheep in line at a hotel breakfast buffet.

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Whenever I’ve been at a hotel for breakfast, the most entertaining thing is watching people use the waffle machine, so I drew the cow using that. The editor asked me to include a bowl of apples in the drawing, since the article’s title is ‘Bad Apples.’ She approved the sketch so I painted it – acrylic paints, prisma pencil on illustration board.

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Magazine Illustration: Hotels & College Towns

My newest illustration assignment for Lodging Magazine accompanies an article aimed at developers in the hospitality industry, about some key points to keep in mind when choosing locations for new hotel.

The article explains that many chains realize the value of bringing hotels to college towns, since the football season brings so many out-of-towners that need accommodations; but there are other considerations before the developer should seal the deal, which the article describes more in depth. For the illustration I pitched a few ideas to the editor, involving cheerleaders, graduates in caps and gowns, and college fairs. Then I was talking to my son Tom, who does improv comedy several nights a week in NYC at Reckless Theatre, about the topic and asked him if there was some funnier angle to it – and he quickly hit on the best image of all – college football team mascots.

When I suggested this to the editor she immediately liked it, so I got onto the sketch.  I googled images of college mascots and chose several that looked distinctly different, then sketched them barging into a hotel developers’ office, begging her to pick their town.

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and a color markered sketch, where I added in a pennant & megaphone to reinforce the college idea:

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The editor approved it with a few gestural changes, and so I painted the final:

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I sincerely thank my son for his idea! By doing improv he has developed skills that lead him to generate really fast, funny, visual scenarios!

 

 

 

Poodle Posse Picture Book

Author Chrysa Smith has written a prequel to her stories of the Poodle Posse, books that are geared to grades 2 to 4, and this one will be a picture book for younger children.  I love the title – Once upon a Poodle. Since I’m just in the sketch-tightening stage I can’t show much yet. but here’s one spread that’s pretty much complete.

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I’ll post updates as we move the book along. The other Poodle Posse books, and info about Chrysa’s school visit programs, are on her site http://www.wellbredbook.net/ .

And allow me just to again plug our Bucks County Illustrators Society book Fantasy Tales, which includes terrific art and stories by 19 illustrators, available on my Store page here.

 

New Illustration for Lodging Magazine

My latest illustration for hospitality industry magazine Lodging involved one of those vague ideas that’s a bit hard to picture at first: delegating. The editor sent me parts of the article but it was not complete – it explained how hotels should focus foremost on their ‘hoteling’ responsibilities (great service and amenities for their customers) and hand off lesser duties if at all possible to businesses that specialize in those particular services. This delegating can help hotels accomplish key tasks without overwhelming their current systems and still providing excellent customer service.

I jotted down a few metaphors for delegating and sent them to the editor: I thought of a traffic cop directing traffic in a hotel lobby; a truck driver unloading packages to waiting deliverymen; and a football coach explaining a play to the team.  The editor liked the football idea, so I sketched it out roughly.

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The editor approve this and suggested a few more props in the hands of the players, and to have everyone in golf shirts instead of padding, which I added in the color marker sketch.

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This met with approval, so I traced the drawing onto illustration board and drew it in prisma pencil, then painted with acrylic paints, watered down to washes. The finished art:

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Announcing ‘Fantasy Tales,’ a Bucks County Illustrators Society Showcase

bcisfantasytalespromophotoI’m thrilled to be part of a unique publication of The Bucks County Illustrators Society – a showcase of the talent of the Society’s members, a full color book with text and illustrations entitled Fantasy Tales.  As a co-founder of BCiS, I am especially pleased to see the work of so many of my friends in the arts highlighted together.

The book includes art by me as well as James Bennett, Deb Hoeffner, Gil Cohen, Dot Bunn, Joe DeVito, Ponder Goembel, Rich Harrington,Monika Hinterwaldner, Becca Klein, Glenn Zimmer, Marie Thresher,Joe Kulka,  Rebecca Rhodin, Pam HamiltonSandy Bender, Kim Kurki, Seth Robinson and Kathryn Maxwell. Each illustrator chose a story or excerpt from a story that has elements of fairy tale, supernatural or fantastical events, and created an illustration to accompany the story.

In conjunction with this publication, we are mounting a show of Fantasy Tales artwork by our members, with many of the pieces in the book displayed as original art in the exhibit. The exhibit will be at the Scatter Joy Center for the Arts gallery, running from June 24 to July 20, at 305 Horsham Road, Horsham, PA. The public is invited to the opening reception on June 24 from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm, to meet the artists and enjoy light refreshments. Copies of the book Fantasy Tales: A Bucks County Illustrators Society Showcase will be available for purchase at the opening.

The artwork in Fantasy Tales encompasses a wide range of illustration styles among BCiS illustrators, and varies from traditional media to digital to combinations of both. The stories chosen span classic Fairy Tales like Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella to a Native American Folk Tale to the epic King Kong saga. Each illustrator’s biography is also included in the book.

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I invite all my friends, and any fans of illustration or fantasy art to come to our opening or visit the gallery during June and July. In Fantasy Tales the Bucks County Illustrators Society also thanks three institutions with whom we have special friendships: the Philadelphia Sketch Club, whose history of supporting artists and mounting exciting exhibits stretches back to 1860; Phoenix Art Supplies and Framing, a vital resource in Bucks County helping artists find the best supplies; and the Scatter Joy Center for the Arts, founded by artist Kathy Davis, which regularly hosts changing gallery shows and art, craft and music classes for adults and children.

Regarding parking for the opening reception, the Scatter Joy Center for the Arts, where our exhibit will be held, is in a beautifully renovated stone farmhouse on the northwest corner of Dresher and Horsham Roads, in a shopping plaza called ‘The Elements,’ which has ample parking.

Data Mining Illustration

My monthly illustration for Lodging Magazine was for an article about ‘data mining’ – how those in the hospitality industry can learn to better track and interpret social media referring to their brand, in order to improve their services to their targeted audiences. I pitched a few written ideas to the editor, involving visual imagery of hunting down information, and she liked one with miners in a cave.

I’m certainly no expert on mining procedures so I researched photos online to see uniforms and props. I sketched a very loose pencil rough of coworkers finding gold among the rocks, with one worker recording the info on a laptop –

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and then tightened it up before sending it in, adding the good & bad social media topics the editor suggested –

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After approval I did a quick color pencil sketch to work from for the finish, then retraced it on illustration board and started painting.

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The finished art:

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Brand Design for a Service Company

I was contacted by Jim Hardy, who owns James A. Hardy Professional Services, to help rebrand the promotional materials for his Advanced Carpet Cleaning service.  When I met with Jim I told him, as a consumer, I like it when companies include the owner’s name in the company title – it might be an old-fashioned thing, but to me it connotes pride in ownership and a value for reputation, because no one wants their name associated with a company that does less than its best. When Jim told me his story of building his company on word-of-mouth recommendations and jobs well done, I could tell that it’s his philosophy too.

taurinobcwpJim had seen a caricature I’d drawn years ago for a mutual friend, Dave Taurino, of Taurino’s Painting. Jim wanted a similar representation of himself in his new logo, using his commercial carpet cleaning equipment, because he wanted the image to be instantly recognizable as relating to carpet cleaning. He also wanted the image to be bright and colorful so it would look great on a new commercial truck he is planning to acquire.

I started by drawing a caricature of Jim (not a very exaggerated form of caricature, just a general likeness) and putting a colorful graphic shape behind him.  Jim sent me photos of the type of cleaning equipment to include, and he noted that he wanted to add “and the Carpet Guys” to the title of the company.

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After some tweaks and with Jim’s input, we developed his business card – below is the initial version on the left and the final version on the right. I’ll write more about Jim’s other branded promotional pieces soon.

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