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The winner of the free caricature giveaway!!

emanuel-goldberg-loresHi all. Here is Emanuel Goldberg. He is the lucky winner of my first ever caricature giveaway. He was fun to draw as he has a really distinctive mouth and head shape. Please let me know what you think in the comments.

Here is one of the reference photos that I used. Really I looked a a few reference photos and made a few drawings before going with this one. I used this one basically for the pose.ref

What makes a children’s book illustration really engaging.

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I was looking over some old work recently and I uncovered this gem. I want to share with you why this image really captured my attention.

The main reason for me is the image tells the story in a sophisticated way. On a simple level there is a little boy and his cat thinking about a story of a giant stealing a goat. But if you look again there are a number sub-plots that seem to support the main message. These details keep me entertained and interested.

I first thing I notice is giant pulling the goat’s tail. Both the giant’s face and the goat’s face tell a story. My eye then moves to the two men pulling the goat in the opposite direction. They seem to enhance the action by pulling the goat away from the giant. I then notice the boy on his bed is pulling the cat’s paw. They are mirroring the scene happening in the main image. Finally I notice the goats on the bottom of the page, who seem to be looking at the battle with interest and perhaps fear or anticipation.

I think what made this image successful was not simply the drawing or painting. The real success was in the art direction. I worked intensely with the author and the publisher. I literally sat and drew in front of them.

 

Let em know what you think in the comments. Do you like the image? What do you think makes it work?

I hope to post a few more images from past projects in the future.

How to choose a company name

A client recently approached me for a logo design. He had a unique request. He wanted me to design a logo, but had not decided what his company name would be. I guided him through the process to the best of my ability. Here is the method I came up with on how to choose a company name. I am sharing the insights I came up with. I am sure there is more to say on the subject.

 

Decide who your target market is.

This is really important. If your business works with business men in their 40’s, a name that is too cute might not work. If you are selling toys to small children, a cute name might be appropriate.

Research. 

The next step is to research. There are different approaches to this. Firstly, you can do a google search for businesses with a similar niche. This is a really useful thing to do because it will tell you almost immediately what types of names are popular. In all likelihood, if the companies you find have been around for a while, the names are working for them.

Another approach to research is to is to create a focus group of people who would be ideal potential clients. Alternatively you could do one on one interviews. You can ask them for word associations that remind them of the business or service. You can also run potential name ideas by them and see how they react.

What you are attempting to do is to define what would work in the minds of your consumers.

The focus groups are not essential, but can be really insightful.

Write a list.

In this step the magic happens. I have been in various creative businesses and I have discovered that brilliant creative ideas very rarely pop into your head. When I come up with an illustration, I usually have to draw 5 or 6 sketches. Usually the 5th or 6th one is the one I go with. The reason for this is I am exploring ideas in the sketching stage. I usually discover solutions that I would never have thought of without the sketching stage.

I suggest to do the same thing with coming up with a name. Write out an extensive list. Any name, no matter how bad should be written into the list. The reason this is such a great way of coming up with a name, is each idea you write will inspire more ideas. When you have a list, you can try variations on the names you already have. Here are some examples:

Jones videos

Jones video design

Jones visual design

You will notice I have kept the name Jones consistent and have played around with different variations on that theme. I don’t think any of the 3 names above is amazing, but I am just trying to illustrate my point with examples.

Let it simmer for a day or so.

Once you have a sizable list, put it away and don’t look at it for about a day or two. When you look at it again, you will be looking at your list with fresh eyes. You will find that some names jump out at you. This fresh perspective will help you to know which ones work the best.

I have given a few insights into choosing a name. These insights are not the only insights I can think of, but I don’t want to dilute my main point. Choosing a name is no different to any other creative process.

I hope this post has demystified the creative process of name choosing. Let me know how you choose names in the comments below.

 

Do you need mascot design? You can see my portfolio here. Alternatively you can contact me on darrellmordecai@gmail.com.

What is the difference between vector art and raster art?

What is the difference between vector art and raster art? This is a question that I am asked often. Understanding the difference is really important, and you will understand why once you have completed this article.

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Raster images

Raster images are images made up of many tiny points. When you look at the image you are not really seeing a unified image. You are really looking at the sum total of many thousands or even millions of points. This is similar to the images you see on a computer screen. The image is made up of millions of tiny pixels. These images can b created on programs like Photoshop or the Gimp. Alternately they can be created on paper and scanned.

The advantages of raster images

Raster images are really versatile. They can look like photographs or even oil paintings. They can have a really human touch, or look really slick. I personally am a mascot designer and illustrator. I generally prefer to work in raster images because even if I am working digitally, I can still create my work the same way I would if I were working traditionally. Simply put, this means I can paint like a painter.

The disadvantages of raster images

The biggest disadvantage of raster images is, the smaller the image is, the lower the quality of the print. This is not relevant to images that are displayed on a screen. Images that are printed though, need to have a file size that is relevant to the physical size of the print. A billboard sized image would need to have a gigantic file size. This would make it cumbersome to work with and edit on a slow computer.

rat race

Vector images

Vector images are images that are based on a mathematical formula. As a result, they can be scaled to any size without losing quality. These images are created in programs like Adobe illustrator or Corel draw.

Advantages of vector art

Vector art has a tendency to look super slick. This makes it good for logo design and branding. The images never lose their quality no matter how large you print them. The file sizes tend to be small.

Disadvantages of vector art 

The art sometimes looks really cold. It can be too perfect at times.

 

I hope this article was useful. Let me know if you liked it in the comments below. Also let me know in the comments if there are any illustration questions that you might have that you want me to blog about.

 

Need mascot design or web banners? Feel free to contact me at darrellmordecai@gmail.com. I respond to all questions within 24 hours.

Tree mascot design.

tree Here is a drawing I did for a small startup company that was trying to market a solution for global warming. Sadly the company was not a success. None the less I felt this is a great illustration, so I wanted to share it rather than leave it in my cupboard. I might make a painting of it at some point if I ever have a free moment.

 

Let me know if you like it in the comments. Also let me know if you would like to see it as a finished painting.

 

Looking for mascot design? Contact me on darrellmordecai@gmail.com. I respond to all questions within 24 hours.