Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity

This fellow hits the nail on the head and relays exactly my own feelings regarding the public school system since leaving it.

Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity

#TED :

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Crush Colors

Fall Colors11″ X 14″ Oil on canvas

Just finished this painting the other day and now must put away brushes for a while;… I’m moving to Washington.

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A Cool Find With A Rueful Finish

I found this pencil study in an old sketchbook the other day… from over thirty years ago!  It’s funny; kinda like finding a hundred-dollar bill in an old pair of shoes.  Anyway, I scanned it in and splashed some digital color on it and voilà; a handsome,  spot illustration… ready to grace the pages of “Bounty Hunter Rare Wines and Provisions.”

Beaming with pride, I emailed it to Julie, at BH.  When I called her later she said, “Ummmm, It looks good… and I feel pretty sure we can use it but…” She paused and sounded embarrassed, “Well, I think you spelled Zinfandel wrong… You know, on the bottle?”  I didn’t even have to look; I knew I’d spelled it “Zinfindel.” I apologized, feeling mortified and utterly deflated. I corrected it, in a self-effacing, rage and sent it back with more humble apologies.  Before long, my pride and dignity resurfaced. I realized  that I should stop beating myself up about it. I originally did this doodle back at a time when nobody around ‘dis neck O’da woods even knew what Merlow was. Let alone how to spell it.

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Silver Salmon Lodge Wine Label

A Red Wine for Pink Fish

Just completed this wine label illustration with Masciarelli Design of Napa, for Crystal Creek Lodge in Alaska. It’s for their in-house wine.

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A Wine Label’s Tale; An Adventure in Illustration

I’ve always found it interesting how a finished product develops from a sketch through the lengthy and often tedious collaboration between graphic designer, client and illustrator. On the heels of that, inevitably comes the conclusion of; “Why the hell would anyone want to be an illustrator?” And… “Are you nutz?

Anyway, late last summer I worked on a label (Poor Bob’s) for Robert Hall Vineyards, (Paso Robles, CA.) Through the development of this project, as with most wine labels, a great many changes took place. I spoke to the marketing guy. The idea here is a sort of Bartles & Jaymes, porch-potato character, whose continence is, dignified, twinkly-eyed and with an earthy, old-timey, modest style of dress… but not too modest… hey, we don’t want him to look… well you know, “poor.” Heavens, no!
This was the first sketch (I posed for it but added a beard, glasses and about 15-20 years and used my friend’s dog “Fin” as a sidekick. They liked the idea of the dog but didn’t care for that particular one and thought the guy was good… but too Colonel Sandy. I agreed and felt much the same way but didn’t say.

This was the second sketch. I never got a chance to show it though, as a meeting had taken place between the owner and marketing department and the direction for the label had changed.
Bummer… I really liked this one too. I used my friend Richard as the model and again, changed the face. I drew the Bloodhound from reference photos (Sorry Fin).

The elements now were; An old tractor, an old barn and an old vineyard. I decided to throw caution to the wind and go for a quick vector-like image. Hoping they might get the hint and move in a sort of ‘wood-cut’ direction; that could be fun and iconic… a sort of Aaron Copland, Fanfare for the Common Wine kinda-thing. Anyway, either it wasn’t wood-cutty enough or was too much of a departure from the pencil, I got my hand slapped for it.

This one followed. “That’s, ah, better” but it’s not quite right… is it? Oh, no, no, no… I was just kidding with this one.

Nope. Don’t like the fat guy… don’t like the vineyard either but… the tractor’s pretty close! Say, whadya think you are, an illustrator? What’s with the wagon wheel on the side of the barn? Lose it!

Done! How’s this? Better but the tractor’s too small, maybe bring it up in front of the barn.

Like this? Yeah… kinda but hate the barn now and can we see the tractor and the vineyard at a different angle?

Like this? Tractor’s perfect! Vineyard’s OK. Still hate the barn… The client would like to see one of those raised-roof, barns… and how ’bout curved lettering on the sign, too?

Maybe this? Yeah. but at an angle and less ram-shackled. Remember, not too modest.

That’s it… That’s it! But we want it in color. Oh, and ah, lose the vineyard.

And voila! That, ‘ladies an joims’ is how we do it in California.  My initial response in seeing the final layout was “Hoo Doggie! I wanna ‘git me some ‘O dat Dust Bowl Red.” The bottom line is that you make clients happy and get paid for doing what you love… And ‘dat ain’t so bad. Even if you get dragged through the mud sometimes.

Anyway, I hear the wine is slated for east coast distribution. If anybody out there’s seen it… or bought it, let me know.

By the way, this is my first attempt at blogging, so be gentle with me.

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