March 27, 2009

Political Illustration NOT DEAD

So, just thought I would jump for joy because it turns out that political cartoons and political illustration isn't irrelevent.

This week Pat Oliphant caused a storm with his cartoon depicting a headless soldier wheeling a fanged Star of David toward a woman with the word Gaza emblazoned on her ( see Cartoon here ).

This isn't about that though. Illustration makes people think and talk about stuff, who knew?

In a time where people think that cutting back is the way to go, just think of the economy a good illustration provides. The Oliphant cartoon is only reproduced at about 3 x 4 inches. That seems pretty economical to me!

Friday Portrait: J.P. Morgan by John Mattos

Six interesting facts about John Pierpont Morgan (illustrated here by John Mattos):

  • Morgan hated being photographed and had all his personal portraits retouched.
  • His uncle composed the Christmas song "Jingle Bells".
  • Morgan bought a spot for himself on the Titanic but cancelled his trip at the last minute.
  • His was the first house in Manhattan to be lit with electricity.
  • At his death, Morgan's art collection, much of which was donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, was valued at $50 million.

These little factoids swiped from Wikipedia.

JP Morgan by John Mattos

March 26, 2009

The Making of a Book Cover at

Irene Gallo, Art Director at Tor Books, put together an informative post yesterday about the process of hatching a book cover, in this case, Canticle, book two of the series The Psalms of Isaak by Ken Scholes, illustrated by Gregory Manchess. The post includes several sketches and in-progress shots of the art, as well as commentary by the author. Check it out at

March 24, 2009

New Art : The St. Louis Tornados

Ted Wright says: "I just wanted to send you a new logo sample. [It's a] piece I did for a St. Louis minor league baseball team called the St. Louis Tornados. After doing 12 versions, they settled on this one."

That's something we like about Ted. He'll keep trying new revisions until the client's happy.

Ted Wright Tornados Logo

March 20, 2009

Friday Portrait: Grant Wood by Gary Kelley

Today's portrait, by Gary Kelley, is of American painter Grant Wood. Wood is probably most famous for the painting American Gothicmuppet-gothicyou know, the one with the pitchfork? Went a little something like this?


A proud Iowan, Wood was at his best depicting iconic scenes of rural life.

Interestingly enough he also started an artists colony in Stone City during the Great Depression. Its participants slept in out-of-use ice carts by night and painted the Iowa landscape by day.

You can see more of Grant Wood's paintings on The Stone City website. grant-wood

March 16, 2009

Today’s Inspiration

Today's Inspiration

Well, I have been helping Richard around the office for the past few weeks so I thought that I would try my hand at Blogging for the first time.

I would like to point out this very cool illustration blog called Today’s Inspiration ) put together by Leif Peng. It showcases illustration, primarily from the 50’s but encompassing all eras and genres.

It has a very simple style (as do most blogs) but has great taste. Recently he has posted articles about Austin Briggs, Murray Tinkelman, and Robert Fawcett (all relatively well know artists I guess). What I respond too mostly, is the informed articles that Leif writes. There is always good commentary and it is well illustrated with, what looks to be, his personal stash of old swipe.

I any case I thought that all of us could be inspired by it. Have fun...


March 13, 2009

Friday Portrait: The Beatles by Mark Summers

Today we bring you a group portrait of the four most lovable mop tops in music history, The Beatles. Mark Summers created this piece, freely and without commission, in order to experiment with a variation on technique. Says Mark, "I have spent the last few months experimenting with a 'soft' scratchboard look. This is where I am at right now. Hope you like it."

Take note students of illustration: successful illustrators always make time to develop and explore their craft, no matter how busy they are.

[caption id="attachment_1549" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="The Beatles by Mark Summers"]The Beatles by Mark Summers[/caption]

March 12, 2009

DreamWorks' New Movie is Chris Gall's New Book

Chris Gall’s newest children's book hasn’t even been published yet, but it’s already been optioned by DreamWorks Animation. The book is Dinotrux, a creative mix of two of kid’s favorite subjects (just guess what they are.) It remains to be seen how the concept will progress from here, but with Chris' quirky character designs we can already imagine how much fun this project will be.

Dinotrux the book will be published in April by Little, Brown. In the meantime, Chris Gall has published this tongue-in-cheek faq on his website:

March 6, 2009

Friday Portrait: Rudolph Valentino by James Bennett

Today's portrait is of Italian actor Rudolph Valentino, sex symbol of the silents. When Valentino died at the tender age of 31, female fans all over the world broke into hysterics, crying and swooning over the loss. But hey, so what. That kinda thing happens to illustrators all the time.

March 2, 2009

Redefining Visual Spaces

Richard Solomon's vision is to transform corporate and commercial environments into exciting and arresting environments through the application of large-scale art. To see more of the artists, their work and projects, go to