An Incomplete Jaxonomy

This month, I'm participating in an art show at Land in Portland called Taxonomy: Creating Order out of Complexity. I partnered with Kristin Rogers Brown on a poster cataloging all the famous Jacksons (well, a lot of them) in U.S. history and pop culture, bringing out the interesting and unexpected connections we saw between them.

The piece includes over fifty Jacksons and hundreds of connections, some of which we footnoted at the bottom of the poster. It was a joy and a pleasure to be included in such a nerdy art show curated by Briar Levit! The show runs through June 8th. 

Here's some detail shots of the print from the show.

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Prints should be available for purchase soon through Land Gallery's shop, buyolympia.com.

Buzzing in the B-Hive

I wanted to share some illustration work I had done in the not so distant past for Bitch Media, the non-profit best known for publishing the magazine Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture. They wanted to refresh their "B-Hive" sustainer program art to help promote fundraising campaigns. Each donor level is represented by a different bee character (the highest monthly donors are represented by the Killer Bee, for instance) and I was asked to create new bee character badges in a more iconic style that could bring a contemporary, poppy feel overall and uniqueness to each level.

Killer Bee

Killer Bee

Queen Bee, Spelling Bee

Queen Bee, Spelling Bee

Busy Bee, Honey Bee, Bumble Bee

Busy Bee, Honey Bee, Bumble Bee

I had a lot of fun thinking about how manipulating the physical attributes (wings, antenna, stingers, etc.) of each bee could bring out their character. Narrow wings and straight antenna help the Killer Bee stay fierce and streamlined, uplifting forms and bold features help make the Queen Bee feel powerful and vibrant, stubby wings and an averted gaze keeps the Spelling Bee cute and shy, and so on.

I did want to pay sensitivities to all different types of individuals that make up the Bitch community, so I tried to reflect a variety of bee shapes, personal styles, and sizes in the characters I created. Below are the 6 different levels of sustainers represented.

Busy Bee, Honey Bee, Spelling Bee, Bumble Bee, Queen Bee, Killer Bee

Busy Bee, Honey Bee, Spelling Bee, Bumble Bee, Queen Bee, Killer Bee

From left to right: Busy Bee, Honey Bee, Spelling Bee, Bumble Bee, Queen Bee, Killer Bee

The versatile bees have been made into stickers, Scout Books, posters, web art, and more. I'm proud to say I'm currently a Busy Bee.

The Bear Deluxe Magazine: Issue #35, The Future Issue

Our new "Future" issue of the Bear Deluxe Magazine has hit the streets, and I couldn't be more proud of how it came out. It was the result of a huge effort from many talented writers, artists, and designers.

Front cover by Alex Chiu and Ryan Brown. Back cover by Chris Bell.

Front cover by Alex Chiu and Ryan Brown. Back cover by Chris Bell.

I had the pleasure of collaborating with the artist Alex Chiu on this issue's cover. He created a painting for the cover that speaks to the idea of "the butterfly effect" in an unexpected and delightful way. I'm also really stoked about the collaboration and big contributions from artists and designers like Ryan Tanner-Alexander, Chris Bell, Daniela MolnarKristin Rogers Brown, and Jasmine Silver.

Various layouts from Bear Deluxe design and art contributors.

Various layouts from Bear Deluxe design and art contributors.

One of the cool things about our last issue is how we partnered with the Oregon State University design department and one of it's tenured professors, Andrea Marks. Andrea and I worked together to bring a magazine layout project to her advanced typography design class. The class did amazing work, and one of the students, Sarah Wilson, had her illustration and layout featured in the story Drone World.

Illustration by Sarah Wilson.

Illustration by Sarah Wilson.

Along with the printed issue being out in the world, we've also posted new articles on our updated orlo websiteKristin Rogers Brown deserves all the credit for the tremendous amount of work and direction she put in to reengineer the site from the ground up with programmer Brandon Sorg. With the help of our editor, Tom Webb, they have helped us bring a whole new world of content to Bear Mag fans all over the world!

The Dead Authors Podcast Illustration

I'm a huge fan of the comedian Paul F. Tompkins (PFT) and his hilarious modern radio program, The Dead Authors Podcast. The show features H.G. Wells (played by PFT) interviewing formerly alive authors through the power of time travel and his time machine.

Ever since I've subscribed to the podcast, I've thought that the visuals could use an update fitting of "The" creator of the Science Fiction genre, and something that would make the late Jules Verne jealous. So I decided to create an illustrative tribute.

The Dead Authors Podcast Illustration by Ryan Brown

The idea was to combine PFT and H.G. Well's likeness with a "Borg-esque" treatment of floating watch gears expanding across the space-time continuum. The colors, type, and texture were inspired by Science Fiction covers of the '50s and '60s, and by PFT's marvelous fashion sense.  

I'm really looking forward to seeing the live taping of The Dead Authors Podcast this week at Sketchfest in San Francisco!

Stock Pot Farm identity

I recently completed an identity project with my partner for a local farm here in Oregon called Stock Pot Farm. The client needed an identity that would have a hand-done or tactile feel to speak to the down-to-earth nature of the farm while highlighting the premium, hand-picked, local goods the small farm provides. The identity needed to feel approachable but reflect high quality and natural goodness, while having a subtle reference to the hearty vegetables the farm would initially grow.

The logo (pictured below) was designed as a one color image so it could be easily stamped to various materials, and be cost efficient to print.

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As part of the development of the identity, we had some fun stamping with various vegetables one might throw into a stock pot The resulting potato and radish stamps made it into the "O" letters of the logo.

 

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The farm is just getting going and is part of a program where they receive support from the East Multnomah Soil Water Conservation District's (EMSWCD). I've already enjoyed some of the delicious fruits of Stock Pot's labors, and am excited to see the farm "grow"!

Framework PSA

We just wrapped up a brand new public service announcement for Framework International. The video below lives on our website and should really help tell our story in a new way. 

I provided art direction, designed the animation and graphic elements, and helped supply it with photos I took the when I traveled to Ghana in 2011. Emily Hutto volunteered her video editing talents to help bring it all together. Enjoy!

 

A place for inspiration, reflection, and connection

I'm using this blog space as a forum to highlight design and culture I'm inspired by, showcase new works of mine in progress, and feature the great work being done by organizations I'm involved with or admire. 

Here's some recent design and illustration I've been looking at:

Beautiful vintage inspired illustrations by Emiliano Ponzi.

Beautiful vintage inspired illustrations by Emiliano Ponzi.

Stunning Absolute vodka bottle design by The Brand Union.

Stunning Absolute vodka bottle design by The Brand Union.

Delightful works of illustrative body systems by Rachel Ignotofsky.

Delightful works of illustrative body systems by Rachel Ignotofsky.