Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Koi Survived



My koi had a rough go of it this year. They became ill from a parasite infection combined with early season cold damp weather. With the help of a biologist, a koi health expert, a veterinarian and someone very knowledgeable about water quality  I brought them back from near death. They are now in the pond  after being quarantined in a makeshift fish hospital on deck for the past couple months. A lot of plants did not survived the salt treatments in the pond.

What a season it has been. Everything finally is getting back to normal in the garden.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Concept Sketching 101


Concept sketching is where it all begins with a lettering treatment. There is no magic computer button to press that automatically generates concept sketches. Clients want to see ideas and quick little rough sketches I refer to as "quickies" are the first step. After client review a direction for final art will be chosen or more quickies will be requested. Eventually vector art will be produced for final.

No matter how long digital tools have been available there will always be individuals who believe if  lettering is produced with digital methods the lettering will be total crap with no human input. Little do they realize the computer is not creating the lettering. It all starts with marks placed on a sheet of paper. There are no shortcuts in the process and no magical lettering software program exists. A pen and sheet of paper are the most valuable tools of the trade. Impossible to letter without them.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Bits & Pieces


A quick lettering study I started a while back. Perhaps 6 months ago. Had to stop back then as I hit a dead end with Pieces make Sense. I had lost the letterform flow by thinking too much about the shapes. When I looked at the file earlier this evening it was no problem to finish drawing live while looking at the underlay image.

The more I letter  natural to my handwriting and personality the less I want to think about it. Just let it happen.


The letterform shapes change as the piece progresses. However the basic information I need is all there. It will be impossible to letter quickly in vector format if the underlay template did not exist. I am basically refining what I see no different than if I was inking on illustration board. For this particular lettering piece both the underlay and refined vector shapes belong together.

Digital ain't legit


A few years ago I encountered a situation in which digital lettering was not allowed to be shown in an international lettering exhibit. This lettering piece is my thought about that particular point in time.