Saturday, October 3, 2009

Special Saturday post - The Illustrative process

So although things are getting a bit crazy for Monkey + Seal, we hope to bring you a bit more of what we do here on the blog. More paintings, more illustration, more Etsy goodness, more of everything!

We're going to try and add a Saturday post that highlights some of the new work that Monkey + Seal are working on. Works in progress (WIPs), studies, sketches, and finished work will all be highlighted. Some of the work might be featured on Monkey and Seal's personal art blogs, but we figured we should bring the art to you. So without further delays, our latest work!

This is an illustration by Seal taking on a new twist on the theme of Noah's Ark. Seal especially wanted to focus on the beings left behind by the Ark, and wanted to explore a futuristic, Star Wars-inspired world. The initial idea actually came because Seal just wanted to draw a spaceship...and ended up drawing weird creatures to inhabit the world. Seal has always been a bit disturbed by the story of Noah's Ark, as even as a wee little Seal, she was bothered by the fact that Noah left behind all these animals who, being amoral, had done nothing wrong.

It was created first by graphite and marker thumbnails to work out composition, storytelling, perspective, and major elements. Seal then scanned and enlarged the chosen thumbnail, then sketched it out full-size in blue illustration pencil. She then proceeded to refine the drawing, and then brought it back into Photoshop to color/paint the rest.

This is the promotional flyer for the Handmade Ho Down event that Monkey is helping to organize. It was inspired by the want to include a busy, crafty feel that incorporated the fact that the event is going to be held in San Francisco just in time for the holiday season. Monkey also really likes drawing octopi and squid, and based this flyer on an earlier illustration he did for fun:

In both cases, Monkey sketches out his rough idea, then slowly refines that image. Then, he inks the image and scans it in to color it in Photoshop. Usually Monkey will then take the image into Illustrator or InDesign and do the type work there.

We hope you enjoyed this look into our work and our process and have a great Saturday!

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Handmade Ho Down!

So Monkey has been hard at work as part of the organizing committee for the newest craft fair in town (at least, if you live in San Francisco): The Handmade Ho Down!

We're going to hosting this at 1015 Folsom, a nightclub that will be transformed into a crafting extravaganza! It's going to be held on December 3rd, from 6pm til midnight! There will be music, live art, and tons of awesome vendors of handcrafted goodies!

We also got sponsored by Etsy itself, so you know it's going to be good. On top of that, we're also putting this on to help raise money for Draw Bridge, an organization that organizes art programs for homeless children in all seven of the Bay Area counties! Awesome! They'll have a gift-wrapping station, so come and do some handmade holiday shopping and then get your gifts wrapped to support an awesome cause!

Of course, Monkey + Seal will be on hand with new products! Woo!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monkey + Seal wants these shirts!!!

So the other day on Etsy, Akumu Ink was featured in the highly inspiring "Quit Your Dayjob" blog posts. Besides being insanely jealous of all the "quit your dayjob" features, Monkey was especially green with envy on AkumuInk's awesome illustrations. Both Monkey + Seal are huge Edward Gorey fans, and AkumuInk captures a lot of what we love about Gorey's work. We especially love The Storm (Monkey's favorite) and Silver Cat (Seal's favorite) shown below. Check out their site for links to their blog/twitter, etc. Woot for awesome inspiring Etsiers!
The Storm
Silver Cat

Hopefully this will be enough for Monkey to get off his tail and to work on his top-secret screenprinting projects! Congrats Akumu Ink on the feature and keep up the good work!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Masking Tape - Huzzah!

What can you do with Masking Tape? Plenty! Flypaper, building construction, automobile parts, and best of all, creative innovations in arts and crafts! Some people have made dolls, photo frames, gift wraps, fans, giant props, and wall paper. Check out this awesome website for inspiration

Recently, Seal came across a special masking tape company and is excited to feature them: Kamoi Kakoshi LTD., they are Japan's hottest Masking Tape manufacturer. They have been in the industry for almost a hundred years, and are the first to have made masking tape from rice paper, their "MT brand." It has just the perfect amount of translucency, vivid colors/patterns, and texture.

Probably the coolest thing about their website is their gallery and the Factory Tour Journal:it takes you on a complete picture book explanation of how they produce their masking tape, from raw materials into the final package.

Who knew that their company originally started out in 1923, manufacturing masking tape for construction sites, vehicle paint shops, and flypaper. It wasn't until 2006, that an educator/artist approached them with her book project and requested that they produce a variety of color. And they responded! Now they have over a 35 colors and patterns, you can check out their MT color chart here and their newest products here. You can either shop online or find these cool MT at Japantown, SF at New People the Store or at Kinokuniya Stationery both on Post St.

Inspired? Seal hopes that you are excited as she is about incorporating masking tape into her projects. If you end up making a masking tape project, take a photo and send us a link!

Be creative!