Presenting the work of graphic designer and illustrator, Gregory Hartman. Based in Pittsburgh, Hartman is currently a designer at language-learning service, Duolingo. Hartman’s styles comfortable split into two areas. The first being his re-imagined existing characters, with exaggerated physical features, beautifully rendered. The second is a flatter, icon-inspired, with geometric shapes and limited colours. Where does Hartman get his inspiration from? Well…
My most reliable source of inspiration is my drive for creating something different.
Martin Brown, along with his partner in crime Terry Deary, are heroes to parents and children across the world. Their combined efforts on Horrible Histories has made reading and learning more fun and accessible to many. Their work, along with their publisher’s Scholastic, have spawn over 100 titles, animated and live-action TV series, video games, theatre and roadshows, a magazine, and a plethora of merchandising. Spanning two decades, Horrible Histories is nothing short of a phenomenon.
Martin Brown was born 1959 in Melbourne, Australia. After setting his mind on teaching he went to college to become an art teacher. However, he didn’t see it through, rather after a short couple of years working in television, Brown packed his bags and set off to see the world. Like many Aussies, he made his way to London, but unlike most he decided to stay. One can only assume it was the sun and pace of life that persuadedstar him. Alternatively, it could have been that fact that he started to get work in what he loved doing, drawing.
Brown worked his way up, starting from the odd illustration to greeting cards.
Side note, I went through a phase of collecting greeting cards. Buying one if I ever saw an illustration I liked. Martin Brown’s work being a perticular favourite of mine, I still have them stored away.
Building up a reputation, Brown soon started drawing for magazines and books. His career got the boost it needed when he landed the job of illustrating Peter Corey’s book, Coping With Parents. The book was published by Hippo Books, an imprint of Scholastic, beginning Brown’s fruitful relationship them. More recently, Martin Brown illustrated a re-issue of The Adventures of the New Cut Gang. Written by the esteemed Philip Pullman, of His Dark Materials fame.
I have waited and hoped for Martin Brown to claim a corner of the internet where he can put up some of his more personal work, amongst his commercial ones. Sadly that wait goes on. However, for now you can find his illustrations all over the Horrible Histories website. You can, of coarse, just go to your bookshelf and get down your copy of a Horrible Histories book, we all have (at least) one!
Happy New Year Loungers! This is our first post of 2015, and I wanted to share with you something undeniably beautiful.
In December 2013 legendary animator Glen Keane partnered with Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects Group (now Google ATAP) for a project called Spotlight Stories. In June 2014, at the Google I/O Conference in San Francisco, Mr Keane screened Duet for the first time. Duet marks Glen Keane’s directorial debut and is the first hand-drawn cartoon made with only 60 fps. It is, unsurprisingly, in the running for both an Academy Award and an Annie Award.
The concept of Spotlight Stories is bringing stories and technology together, however the full enjoyment is only available on a select few devices, Moto X, Moto X (1st Gen.), Moto G (2nd Gen.), and Moto G 4G LTE. If you have one of these device head over to Google Play and download the app to watch the interactive version of Duet as well as animations by Jan Pinkava and Jon Klassen.
You can also see nice, albeit a little short, making of Duet here.
I’d Love to Draw is a collection of work by the innovative American artist Andrew Loomis, previously unseen by anyone outside the Loomis family and available in print for the first time ever. Having been held in the Loomis family archive for decades after the artist’s death, I’d Love to Draw has been restored by a group of devoted experts, including the globally renowned comic book artist and Loomis devotee Alex Ross.
Andrew Loomis started this book with the ambitious intention of bridging the gap between those who “can’t draw” and hobbyist. Before he passed away, he completed much of the writing, annotations, and sketches. Though some of the sketches are quite rough, they more than convey their point. Alex Ross plays co-author, and adds extra annotation where needed. I initially though his part would be quite small, writing a forward and maybe some extra thoughts, but Mr Ross actually has annotations throughout which are very helpful.
An important thing to remember is that this book is aimed at the absolute novice and so Mr Loomis pays careful attention to limit the art terminology, and breaks down processes to their simplest. Mr Loomis’ main focus is to change how a beginner thinks about drawing. He States that an amateur will focus on the contours of an object and attempt to draw them. This is of course very difficult even for seasoned illustrators. He goes into great depth to explain the importance of construction lines, and breaking down an object to its most basic shapes. Mr Loomis proceeds comfortably to reinforce this idea with a few examples of complex objects with their basic shape counterpart. The book is filled with some great tidbits, like this gem:
“We can only fake things we know thoroughly—otherwise we just put down the evidence of what we do not know.”
After addressing preconceptions and hopefully easing some of any initial fear, Mr Loomis proceeds to explain some of the most central areas of illustration including perspective, light, faces and figures. He spotlights cartooning and exaggeration, in attempt to convey the fun of drawing. Which actually did just that. I found it a really welcome section after the more technical information. The book concludes with different techniques of sketching: tonal, accent, scribble, block and more. This was definitely my favourite section as it pretty much doubles as a showcase of how inspiring and adept Andrew Loomis’ sketches are.
In all, I’d Love to Draw, is a worthy addition to the Loomis book collection and it is wonderful to see more of his work in print. I should stress that it won’t suit everyone. For those who already have a foot in illustration and draw regularly, this book may be a tad repetitious. Essentially it is a more accessible version of Successful Drawing. However, what it does do well and what it set out to do, to relieve the fear of having a go.
I will admit I have not sat to draw much lately, but as soon as I put this book down I picked my pencil up. Something about the “Getting the fun out of it” section really motivated me.
Published by Titan Books, I’d Love To Draw is out now, retailing at £29.99. I would recommend it mainly for beginners, those interested in illustration (and willing to give it a go), and definitely the Loomis enthusiast.
Ninjai: The Little Ninja will be the penultimate of The Web Animation Renaissance features. Ninjai was created by the Ninjai Gang. Though the individuals that compose the group are unknown we do know, from their YouTube channel, it is “a group of young stuntmen by day and animators, musicians, and artists by night”.
Ninjai completed 12 chapters, and what started as your run-of-the-mill web animation rapidly became something much more. The animation jumped up about 10 pegs, the characters, storytelling and voice acting was tightened and gained more depth. It really became a stand-out animation, and accumulated a devoted following.
Due to a disruptive work schedule, fans became agitated when the episode releases were delayed. As happy as fans were when the episodes were finally released, further frustration was caused when the series ended abruptly with an unresolved storyline. The series ended in 2005.
The Ninjai Gang confirmed that, the story did not end with chapter 12, and in 2008 announced they were working on a feature length animation. Obviously working with a small team at an incredibly slow pace, the project has been somewhat forgotten by fans. However, from the looks of the Ninjai Facebook page progress has been made and the end is in sight. So I, for one, still hold on to the excitement and hope that the feature length will finally see the light of day, and the fans get a conclusion that will satisfy the wait.
UPDATE:We were asked by the Ninjai Gang to remove episodes 12. We have replaced it with the newly released sneak peek of the feature-length animation!