The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming.

That quote, for those of you who don’t watch movies, is from the film The Dark Knight. Until now, I just thought it was an interesting statement, but the fact is that I’ve lived like that. Also, until now, there was really no dawn to speak of.

But, as these usually do go, a subtle light has entered my world again. It’s just a small ray of light, actually, but in the severe darkness I’ve been through it becomes a shining beacon. A ray of hope, if you will.

This week, for the first time in sixteen months, I’ll be heading off to a day job.… Read the rest

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The Big Commission Rates Mystery

For many years, coming from both illustration and graphic design, I’ve heard different discussions about what people charge to do their work. Sometimes it even sounds like a big, secret mystery, as if you aren’t supposed to talk about it in front of anyone.

Which, as all of you who are consumers would be quick to see, makes it difficult to know what it costs to do the business that you need to. From the side of the artist or designer, I’ve been told not to post rates as it’s simply not done, that you want to start that conversation and not lose them with costs.… Read the rest

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New acrylic painting: Selene at Bonifacio

A few months ago, a former graphic design client of mine asked me to do a traditional painting for her, something she could give away as a present. She had been on a long trip to the Mediterranean, and wanted to repay her hosts with something more than just a “thank you” card.

I thought it would be a good challenge, and something that I might learn a lot from, so I said yes. This would be something radically different from my normal works. No monsters, nothing creepy. In fact, it needed to be bright, inviting, and quite detailed in the accuracy of both the region and the yacht that carried them for the week.… Read the rest

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Fun with Typography

In starting up my new online stores, I decided that it might not be a bad idea to have a few items that weren’t as much about my art as much as just “cool”. Being that, without a day job, I don’t get to play with graphic design as much anymore, I thought it would be fun to toy with typography.

For those reading this that aren’t designers, or aren’t familiar with the term, typography is using text and fonts in (hopefully) an interesting way in a design. I mean, you could just type out your information in a boring font, on one line, and hand it in.… Read the rest

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Of Soccer and T-Shirts, and Steel

As a designer (not just an artist!), I run into all sorts of different projects. Everything from very simple designs up to extremely complex ones. Sometimes it’s web design, and other times it’s graphic design.

Sometimes, when I’m lucky, it’s graphic art and illustration.

A few years ago, my freelance client asked me to design a t-shirt for the construction company she was working with. I’ve done plenty of t-shirts for her, and plenty of other designs for apparel and other items. But this one was a little more of a challenge.… Read the rest

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Graphic Design and Art: My cover for A Gathering of Crows

Some time ago, I discussed the genesis of the cover art that I created for Maelstrom’s edition of author Brian Keene’s A Gathering of Crows (check it out here!). For that article, I talked about the content of the art, what it meant for the book, and in general the idea behind what’s going on in the image.

But I didn’t really talk about the design part of it.

Now, I know what you might say. Russ, you’re an artist, not a designer. But the truth is I’ve been a graphic designer for just as long as I’ve been an artist.… Read the rest

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Graphic design: my red-headed step child

Most people that know me outside of family (both of you, you know who you are) know me as an artist.  But by day, and sometimes even at night, I am also a graphic designer.

Sometimes that means signs, or books, or even logos, which is the topic for today.  I created a logo for a client last night, and interestingly she asked what the ideas were behind the logo.  To be fair, the client did give me a good, if not nearly exact direction to head in.  But I came up with something a bit more abstract, and she was interested in how I thought of it.… Read the rest

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Fun with Photoshop: The Big Adios

I don’t always get to just experiment and have fun with Photoshop, and tonight I had a chance to so I ran with it.  This takes the place for tonight’s sketching, something I’ve been trying to do every day.

The images below are for possible use with the great site The Big Adios (or at least their MySpace).  Visit there if you haven’t been yet.

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