10 years on, Chillzone becomes HyperFreeze
10 years ago Cumberland Farms commissioned me to develop 12 character designs to represent their iced beverage line ‘Chillzone’. The characters I developed went on to be a roaring success with many spin off products. Icecream, candy, soda drink line, hats, t-shirts, toys, keychains, tattoos and even 6 foot costumes were developed from my designs. The characters had also blossomed into 15 as new flavors were added. In 2017 it was time to rebrand, refresh and rethink the characters. I was honored to get the chance to rework my original designs.
10 years is a long time, in that time my illustration skills have improved and my style has altered slightly. Looking back at the characters I could see how they had dated and were definitely ready for a rework. 15 characters were reduced to 12. Each reworked to give it more character and energy. After months of work and a handful of revisions the characters where approved and ready. Recently the designs were unveiled in stores and are set for many more adventures. For me this is what good client relationships are all about. The Cumberland Farms came back to me after 10 years and trusted me with their brand once more. That means a lot and reaffirms my belief that being a good artist is only part of the job, you have to be good to your clients too.View Full Post
For 61 days during March & April I set a personal goal : To create one vector character each day that reflects my mood or something that impacted me that day. These are the 61 characters that shaped this piece because sometimes creating one small thing is easier than a large thing.
Character design is my joy. This was an exercise in finding some joy with no barriers or client pressure, just because. Why 61? Why not? I love some and hate others and that’s perfect. Just like the days it took to create. Some good, some bad and some indifferent. Now I just have to work out wtf to do with them all.
Two cans, different but related.
Cosmic Jacuzzi I.P.A is next in line to get my illustration treatment. I’ve been working with BrewLink Brewing since their inception and this marks the fifth can I have designed for them. This one has psychedelic roots mixed with a big cheeky octopus. He is basically shooting through the cosmos on a cloud of doodles. A brighter color palette and hand drawn text made this one a fun departure from my normal work. If you are into beer you should definitely check out BrewLink’s brews.
Based on the success of Cosmic Jacuzzi at the BrewLink Tap Room they asked me to design their Limited Edition version of Cosmic Jacuzzi that features pineapple! For this design we switched the octopus for a very sure of himself pineapple character. The cans are related but not the same, making this a true limited edition brew. Even the doodles got switched up to match the flavor better.View Full Post
Reaching a benchmark.
I started my T-shirt design career in 2008 when I stumbled upon Threadless, an online design contest that printed crowd sourced designs. I’d spent a lot of time designing for print/other mediums but t-shirts where completely new to me. I created designs that I wanted to wear and submitted them to the site. My first submission got picked, printed and delivered to me. I was hooked on the T-shirt as a design canvas.
From there I entered many similar platforms online and my work got selected regularly. Before long I had a small fan following and people where starting to notice my work. I’d developed a T-shirt design style and mastered the art of marketing my art. At this point I started getting requests from brands for designs for their apparel lines. I did many, including the music scene. After a few twists and turns I ended up working as the Art Director at Design By Humans. A similar model to Threadless at the time. There I learned the art of screen printing and how to push the boundaries of the medium. This made me a better designer. I could advise clients on how to print their product to make them more successful. I could consider the process when I designed. After being promoted to Creative Director I got exposed to apparel licensing and worked with brands to curate art.
After designing hundreds of tees I got more opportunities to work with clients like Disney, Star Wars, Modcloth and Billabong. I realized the power of the T-shirt. The medium that is seen by hundreds and loved by thousands had got me quite the client list. It’s a medium that never goes away. I recently designed my 500th tee, a design for a MMA fighter. As I finished it and sent it off for approval I realized the benchmark I had reached. In eight years I have designed 500 T-shirts. That’s a lot of people wearing my art and that makes me happy.View Full Post
Attention! New Beer Means New Art!
BrewLink Brewery teamed up with Big Red Liquor stores to make an exclusive collaboration beer. from that melting of minds was born General Haze! A double dry hopped double Indian Pale Ale. Bold in flavors and super hopped up, the art direction was pretty clear. Make a military hop character who has conquered all the hops.
BrewLink are a two year old brewery out of Plainfield, Indiana with a very open mind to branding. Together we are creating a mix of amazing tasting beer (I’ve sampled nearly all of them) and my unique and quirky characters. This partnership means I get some pretty awesome creative freedom. This one was a fun edition, focusing in on one character instead of the doodles that cover most of the cans. A change of direction slightly for a limited edition craft beer made total sense and the design is still in line with the brands aesthetic.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with likeminded people driven by passion and the balls to try something new. It’s a fun journey and as these guys grow I’ll continue to thoroughly enjoy designing their cans.View Full Post
Cotton Bureau Wins!
Cotton Bureau is one of few t-shirts sites left that tests the art community through crowdsourcing. Getting a print there can be a tricky feat. Basically it’s a crowd sourced t-shirt site that showcases many designs but only a handful get printed, based on how well they are received by their customer base. The site is beautifully designed and the art tends to be strongly graphic and on trend. I have submitted and tried to be featured there around a dozen times, all without success. Recently though I got two tees funded and printed! Vintage Toy Robot and No Hoots Given both funded and I was really happy to finally crack that crowd. I like what Cotton Bureau do and I like their respect for design, their passion for keeping things personal and the product is really nice too.View Full Post