Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Type project

Hey guys,
I know it's been awhile since I last posted, but I have been keeping myself busy working on lots of various projects. One main project that I'm doing right now it a book of type. (I know this is an illustration blog.. but I figured I'd post what I've been doing regardless) The reason I am doing this is because a few months ago I applied for an internship at Chronicle Books in SF. Unfortunately, I was not chosen. I emailed them several times trying to figure out what I need to improve upon in order to have a better shot of being accepted the next time that I apply. Well, they finally got back to me, and their response was really encouraging. To sum it up, they said that they really like my work; I'm a strong drawer and have a good graphic design sense, but they would like to see more type in my book. That right now it looks too much like an illustrator's portfolio (no surprise there) They asked me how would I solve a design problem using only type? What would that look like?

I have been giving what they said a lot of thought. I have always known that type is the most difficult aspect of design for me, but I also know how important it is. I know that you should spend as much time with type as you would with a drawing. I have been reading about type when I can, as well as getting advice from friends who know more about the subject than I do. Chris gave me a good piece of advice, because he too has struggled with type. He said to think about it as an illustration. Draw it out like you would any other illustration. And that has been some very good advice.

I have a list of potential type projects, and the first one that I am working on is a book. (I really enjoy making books) The concept for the book is really simple, and by no means original. I am going to make type for different objects in my house (common house hold items) and then photograph them. Some of the objects I'm thinking about are the stairs, toilet, bathtub, microwave, mirror, etc..

I have begun making 3 of the words so far. I have completed "refrigerator" (although I'm not sure If I'm going to keep it the way it is) and "mantel". I am currently working on "bed" Here are some images...

This is somewhat self explanatory. I am thinking that this one might be a little too cliche'. It was the first one that I finished, which took me all of 10 mins to do. I will probably come back to this one, and do something more interesting inside of the fridge, with food or condiments or something. Also I am totally up for any suggestions.

Here is my 1st go at doing the mantel. I didn't think about taking pictures of the entire process while I was working, but I did manage to take this one. This is about 3 hours of work already. I first went to goodwill and bought a variety of cheap frames, which I then painted white. I then proceeded to Michaels (it was close by) to buy a variety of paper. I figured out what font I wanted to use, and then I traced out the letters onto construction paper, cut them out, and glued them down onto patterned paper. That was the easy part. I spent several hours re-arranging all of the little knick-knacks and the frames. So really this is more like my 5th attempt at putting the mantel together.

I then started adding more to the wall, to make the white frames stand out better. Sorry, these aren't the best photos. For the actual book I am going to borrow some lights and a good camera.

After I completed this, I decided to start working on "Bed" I decided to make the word "bed" out of fabric and fluff, thus simulating pillows. It makes sense... I found some really awesome fabric at a thrift store across the street from my work. I really like vintage looking prints and yellow, so that's the color palette I wanted to use for this one.

I am making the letters all by hand, so first I made a template to work from out of newspaper.

The "B" took Foooooorrreeeeevvvvveeeerrrrr. Okay, maybe not quite that long, but several days at least. Sewing by hand is a very tedious process. Now I have moved onto the "E" and I am almost done with it. (thank god)

Well, that's what I have so far to share with you. I'll keep posting as I progess with this project, as well as whatever else I come up with. And I am always open to suggestions and criticism, because it really does help.


Karen O

Monday, July 28, 2008


Hanging out with Ric Schuster one night, cranking out freelance, I finished up and asked Ric what I should draw. He asked if I would draw Varan, a sweet Godzilla monster for him. This is what I came up with.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cutie Patooty Pals.

This is a little commissioned piece I just did.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Slug Monster!

Goofing around in illustrator. He leaves a mess.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Animal Sketches

Here are 2 little drawings I did last night. Im trying to incorporate more animals into my work, as opposed to only people. Actually, the elephant drawing is an idea for a character that my friend Mark Fisher came up with from his story , Cinderellephant. The story is a psuedo Cinderella story, only, way more bizarre in a way that only Mark could come up with. I shall be posting more on that topic soon. But for now, enjoy some pretty pictures.

Karen O

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Trying something new

I spent all day on Flickr today for work, and saw a couple really cool pieces of art on wood. I haven't done a good old fashioned painting in awhile, so I thought I'd give it a try. It was kinda fun, I think I might make a few more.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Starfish Foundation logo ideas

I have been given another project by the same guy who gave me the Atomic School logo design project. This is for another logo for the Starfish Foundation. The Starfish Foundation is a program for young women to help them learn skill sets outside of high school that will help prepare them for the real world (i.e. learn about taxes, how to buy a car, how to buy a house, stocks, credit scores, etc.) This program also acts as a sort of savings account. The women in the program have to volunteer for any number of community services, and for every hour of time donated, the Starfish Foundation will donate a specific amount into a savings account that the said woman can't touch for 20 years. (or something like that)
Anyway, based on this information, I have come up with a few ideas for a logo. I am interested in what you think/what direction you think makes the most sense for this organization.

Karen O

All About Family

I have been doing some pro-bono design work for a small community program here in the cities called All About Family. They recently had their annual bbq, and for the past few weeks, I have been helping them by making a presentation board about the program. This board is something that they are going to set out at every event so that people can see previous events, as well as get an understanding of what All About Family is all about. I didn't take any pictures of this board before I handed it over (I was cutting it close with time) But I also had to make a little flier that had AAF info on it, so that if anyone new came they could take one. Basically, it acts as a business card.
So this is the flier that I made, based off of AAF's logo. I haven't posted anything for awhile, so I figured I could share this. I have been doing some other design gigs lately, which I shall post soon.


Friday, July 11, 2008


I need more pieces with legs, so here is a start. Holler.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Prints/Patterns for embossing

Hello all. Today for work, I created a variety of patterns based on two themes, Floral and Grecian-inspired. These patterns are to show a client of ours some potential ways to 'spice-up' an otherwise basic compact mirror. The patterns had to be simple because they will be embossed into a small piece of metal. So today was a good day at work, one where I actually got to be creative instead of just cleaning up photos all day..


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Monday, July 7, 2008

For my army bud...

Hey all, this isn't really a usual illustration, but I got an e-mail tonight from a friend, giving me an update on a good friend of mine, her husband, overseas. He's over in Iraq right now, only halfway through his tour, and his spirits have sunk pretty low. I made him this little illustration to cheer him up, and I'm going to include it in a care package. To first explain the illustration, this is classic Mike fashion:

As you can see, he's a fairly lively guy, who's favorite phrase is "MIKE SMASH" It saddens me to think that even he can get bogged down, so I made him this:

I thought I'd share it. I hope he likes it.
I know you guys don't know him, but just for the hell of it, maybe this week's little illustration project could be stuff for the guys overseas. Regardless of how you feel about the war, those guys are over there fighting there ass off, and it gets damn lonely. I thought I'd send a box with stuff for him and any of his platoon. If you have a sweet illustration to share, about anything really that you think might cheer up someone over there, post it up and let me know, and I'll be sure to print a little copy and send it with my package.

Finished Monster Kid

This is an homage to the culture of "Monster Kids" in the 1950's and 60's. Basically they were the kids who saved all of their allowance to go see the new, low-budget horror and sci-fi flicks, bought all of the monster mags, like Famous Monsters of Filmland, and many of them went on to make their own films and to become special effects artists. I think I am one of these kids, just in a different decade. So, there you have it. I am pretty happy with the turnout.


So...the movie "the Descent" scared the pants off of me. What I only discovered recently was that it was based off a book, which I just finished. The book isn't nearly as scary, but goes into detail about the creatures, the Hadal. Swift, Viscous, fishbelly white light hating demons, basically. I won't go into too much detail about the book, in case anyone cares to read it, but I thought I'd draw up an interpretation of a Hadal. She likes her sunglasses.

Not enough Time!

Sorry I haven't been around lately. I had some missions to get finished before I could do some fun things. This is something I threw together from somethings that I have been working on. So keep it secret.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

New piece...

Hey guys,
This is a new piece I am doing for a Creative Quarterly submission, plus a few more, hopefully, but here is the sketch stage. Anything?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

bent over and take it

This is how I feel after looking for jobbbbss.. I have a feeling I'm gonna have to bend over and take it for awhile


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Panic Monster

I have been busy as hell lately. This is not an excuse, this is a monster. This is why I have been so half-assed lately and why I haven't been able to get anything done or anything posted. If you had this thing running around your head...well, blame the monster. Maybe now that he's out on paper I can get shit done.

Atomic Schools logo ideas

I've been commissioned to design a logo for a guy I've been doing other projects for over the past several months. The logo is for his new company, Atomic Schools. The company will provide custom t-shirts for schools all over the country. He's basically leaving the designing up to me, except that he said he wanted lime green and the logo needs to be simple so it can be easily embroidered. Here's what I've come up with so far.. what do you guys think?

- K