Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What almost was or used to be: Archived Web Design

A few months ago I was hired to design a site for a new breastfeeding coalition. I created an initial design which was heartily praised (and I was paid for it), but then the coalition never happened. It's too bad, because the site would have looked really cool. But that's the way of commercial art. What do you think of the look?

Recently, I went thru old files when I came across this and other websites that have either been replaced by newer versions or sites that were designed but for one reason or another never launched. I thought it a shame for them to languish in obscurity. They say nothing posted on the Internet is ever permanently lost, but I think that only applies to information, pictures, and video you DON'T want to get out. Otherwise once a website is redesigned, the old version may never see the light of day. So I added a new section to my website featuring Archived Web Designs--site designs that are no longer with us, but were too good to be lost to the ravages of time. So here you go!

Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Using Color Wisely in Art

It's amazing the difference changing just one element, color, can make. A few months ago I finished the text of my latest story, and I intended to illustrate it and have it released before the summer.

It didn't happen.

I'm really looking for a unique style that both stands out and is enjoyable, and even a little addictive, to look at. And I want it to be a little classic, meaning it isn't immediately and easily identified to a specific time period.

I also find myself wondering about picking a genre for my stories and sticking a little more closely to it. Looking over the Wandering Koala tales, there is romance, adventure, science fiction, fantasy, supernatural, horror, drama, and the list goes on. While I love stories that jump genres, there does need to be some sort of focus and consistency so fans know what they are getting into and are not shocked in a bad way at a new story.

So that's why I'm taking so long with this latest story. I really want it to be a paradigm example of what one can expect from a Wandering Koala tale.

The above sketches are a study of a style and technique for the illustrations. I actually drew the picture in pencil a couple of weeks ago and meant to ink it, but didn't, because I wasn't sure how. I've always loved my stick work (a willow stick dipped in Sumi ink), but for some reason I worry it won't be commercial enough, so I almost never use it. But it really does create a nice line. I'm still not sure about what to do with the color. I love color, but I also love black and white, and black and white tends to draw the reader in more once they start reading. But it is harder to get a reader to start, so there is the challenge. I decided to try the same image in three styles and put them next to each other to see which works best.

What do you think?