How I fell in love with cartoon illustration

I grew up with artists. Two of my grand parents were fine artists. My grandfather had made a business of it. I remember as a small child seeing his large canvases, and smelling the oil paint. His house was full of his paintings. I remember one of them to be in the living room. It was larger than life. We used to visit at least twice a week. When we visited, my grandfather would give me paper and pens and I would spend hours drawing and painting. By age six, I had decided that I would make art for a header                                                                  Here are two pictures of my grandfather’s paintings.

I spent hours copying drawings and paintings. I became a chronic doodler. When I was a teenager I attended an art class at a place called the Johannesburg Art Foundation. I developed my love of drawing there. The teacher encouraged me to audition for the Johannesburg school of Art Ballet Drama and Music. It was a high school in which the students specialized in art subjects. To my absolute joy I made it into the school. Whilst all of my old friends were studying accountancy and maths, I was studying graphics and photography. It seemed too good to be true.

I wanted to be one of the masters. Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo, … and then I discovered Mad magazine.

From that moment onwards I wanted to draw cartoons. I copied Don Martin and eventually decided I wanted to be Jack Davis. Jack Davis illustrations have raw energy oozing out of them. I wanted to be able to put that same energy into my illustrations. I’m not sure I have the same raw energy in my work, but I am not really a raw energy kind of guy. I still love Jack’s work though.

The story carries on. I am now running my own illustrated logo and mascot design business. I’m still madly inspired by great illustration. As a result I’m always trying to improve my craft. Also the family art tradition carries on. My seven year old daughter decided she wants to be an artist too.Inking with brush


Hope you enjoyed my story. What inspires you? Let me know in the comments below.

A powerful company mascot needs a strong silhouette

me masco sil

In this post I want to discuss something essential to good mascot design. It is extremely important that a company mascot is instantly recognizable. It should make an immediate impact on the viewer.

Look at the mascot design above. Notice how it doesn’t take that much imagination to know what the character looks like without details.

One way to achieve impact is to make sure that your company mascot has a good silhouette. This simply means that if the mascot had no details at all, the viewer would still know exactly what it is. The silhouette should be so good, that the entire mood and personality should be apparent without any detail. If the mascot designer did a good job creating a great silhouette, the visual impact will be there the first second the viewer sees it. After that, the viewer will then scan the image for details. This means the details enhance the impact created by the silhouette.
Think of silhouette as the foundations for a strong building. If the foundations are not strong, the building will be shaky.

Do you have any questions about mascot design? Let me know in the comments below.

Need mascot design? Contact me for a quote.


#mascot design #cartoon #branding #marketing #illustration