Custom-made wedding map

Petra - one of my Slovak clients, is getting married this month in one of many awesome castles my birth country is scattered over with. Her art deco wedding theme is inspired by Lord of the Rings so I decided to play it up with some leaf vines and an antique map of Slovakia.

Mission accomplished

Feeling super stoked : ) the ALTA t-shirt project has raised 455 € for Amur leopard and tiger conservation - thanks to everyone who get their paws on one these!

ALTA Conservation

In my collaboration with The Amur Leopard & Tiger Alliance (ALTA), a coalition of 15 NGOs working to support conservation of Amur leopards and tigers in the wild, I created a watercolour & digital mix artwork that is now printed in limited run on organic tees.

With a total wild population of approximately 60 individuals, the Far East Leopard is one of the most endangered big cats.

The t-shirts are now available at Fabrily, with 100% of the proceeds going towards conservation projects supporting the Amur tiger and leopard.

Holt Renfew event

To accessorize for the summer, Holt Renfrew was hosting an eyewear trunk show in their stores this month. They contacted me to create a watercolour poster for the event where we mix photography with illustration. Trying to keep it clean & cool, I painted a few watercolour textures to overlay on the sunglasses and the background, then mixed in illustration to accentuate hair strands and shirt texture. Here is the final artwork. 
To accentuate the theme, I also painted watercolour texture artwork to be used on the information poster and placemats under the glasses in the cases. Photo below shows the flagship Toronto location.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

Sneak peak at a project I’m working on for WWF India, illustrating the country’s threatened priority species. These animals are critical to India’s wildlife conservation for reasons that include the rarity of the species as well as the cultural importance they have for the people.

“India’s rich biodiversity and unique wildlife are its greatest national treasures. As the country embarks on a programme of rapid development, India’s wildlife, including charismatic species such as the tiger, elephant, rhino and their habitats face the constant threat of degradation and fragmentation.”

“…push the envelope and recognize the interconnectedness of all.”

Alright, all my favorite people seem to have birthday this month : ). Here is to a visionary who works for the long run - Jochen Zeitz . His work for conservation and sustainable development in business is incredible. Check out his projects like the B Team, the Zeitz Foundation and Segera Retreat to see how its done. It’s a man who came from the corporate world of relentless pursuit of profit, yet manages to keep his head on his shoulders, sees the big picture of things and continuously promotes a balance of conservation, community, culture and commerce. Wish there were more good men like him.

Here I illustrated him with his Segera team in Africa, with Mount Kenya, elephants and the iconic g-aamy plane (the exact one from out ‘Out of Africa’ btw) in the background.

“If each of us were to do our own share of good whether small or large to improve the way we live, think and act, to push the envelope and recognize the interconnectedness of all, then the world would undoubtedly change for the better.”

“As thy days so shall thy strength be.”

Today is the 81st Birthday of one of my idols, Dr. Jane Goodall. A renowned primatologist, conservationist and UN Messenger of Peace…her many projects and perseverance are a constant source of inspiration. Its hard to believe that she was my age when she moved to Africa and lived in a forest studying Chimpanzees. An incredible woman. Here is an illustration I drew today to pay tribute to her work. 

When asked for words of wisdom in one of her interviews, she mentioned her grandmother’s favorite quote: “As thy days so shall thy strength be”. I love it because it reminds us to use your time well, not waste your skills and talents, and how important it is to persevere and keep going in your efforts - giving you energy and vigor in return. 

The process of animation

I’ve been asked quiet a lot about the recent Snow Leopard animation so here’s a little post about it. The protection of endangered species and their habitat is an issue close to my heart so I wanted to create an eye-catching visual to promote the cause. I had no experience in making animation but I got the gist of it from watching old Disney videos of illustrators and their process. Anyways, the best way to learn is by being thrown in the water and learning to swim. I just wanted to make it old school by hand, as it was done at Disney or Ghibli studios…so that the quality the moving image is raw, imperfect, organic.

I created a light table by attaching a crappy lamp to the bottom of my glass coffee-table, drew 19 frames individually with a black pencil, scanned them in sequence and applied final edits and clean-up in Photoshop using Wacom. I went on to draw falling snow, re-drawing the fall of each flake in the 19 frames. Finally, I added the vegetation and made the leaves move in the breeze.

The overall project took several weeks to complete when I include summarizing ideas on how in the world am I going to make this cub white against the background and what style to illustrate it in. The best part is seeing it all come together : ) and having the process sheets as a tangible part of this animation.

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