Wonderland II

Finally. The mushrooms are done. The designs are finished. The 24th annual fundraiser for the Golisano Children’s Hospital has come to a close. The event is over. The balloons have fallen, the money has been raised. This was the largest event in recent memory for the hospital. Over 900 people joined together to celebrate one night in Wonderland. My mind and body have endured a lack of sleep not witnessed since Rebekah was a newborn. My lungs, still heavy from the contact high from the mushrooms, welcome the time to heal. It was the most rewarding design project I’ve been able to be a part of to date as a Creative Director. Large scale mushrooms, 8 in all, invites, signs, ads, and the custom deck of 52 playing cards which is a bucket list design project for me that lived up to the 20 year wait. Over 20 custom illustrations don the face and numbered cards. Carrie Perlet, the Art Director, at Brite computers was a big help in the overall execution of the playing cards. They would not have happened without her help. All the copywriting was by Robin Lohkamp and Courtney kept me on track to finish in time.

Would I do it all again? Absolutely… next year is the silver anniversary.

Here are some photos from the night.


Be Strong, Take Heart Poster

My good friend Mary, her husband Andy and their beautiful daughters are going through some trying times. In December 2008, Andy was diagnosed with Behcet’s disease. A rare, incurable and highly variable disease. A couple of months ago they held a fundraiser to help raise money for their family, their medical bills, their life. I designed a poster based off a theme for their cause. The image of the angel is an interpretation of the tattoo on Andy’s forearm that says “May Grace Free You Forever.” “Be Strong. Take Heart” is their mantra. Not only for Andy’s recovery from this disease but also them getting to the point to where they are helping others in similar situations. Mary and Andy are two of the strongest people I know. And the ironic thing is I never have met Andy in person. I have gotten to know him through his wife and my friend Mary, through his blog, through his struggles and the brief times I have spoken to him over the phone.

This is the poster that I created to help raise money for their benefit concert on August 8th. It’s all hand drawn, then Tony printed 100 on his letterpress printer at Dock 2 Letterpress. If you are interested in donating to their cause I am sure Mary and Andy would be willing to provide you a poster in return. If there are any left.

Reflecting on this poster, the reasons why it was created, and the impact Behcet’s disease is taking on the Barwick’s certainly gives me pause to always try to remember to live their mantra. “Be Strong. Take Heart.” No matter how hard it may be.

My Own Personal Time Machine

To know me is to know I have a sketch book with me almost at all times. These books are filled with many notes, thoughts and personal expressions that document my creativity in the time in which it was used. There are thumbnail sketches and quick gestures. There are detailed perspectives of planes that I draw to pass the time of a 1, 2 or 3 hour flight, and notes that i write to myself so I don’t forget. This may sound crazy but these sketch books become an extension of my memory. A paper hard drive that stores a short stints worth of “good times and potato salad”.

The latest sketchbook is particularly hard to retire. It spans a year that has seen so much. Starting with a trip to NYC, followed closely by an American Advertising Federation(AAF) Conference in Orlando that was the first of 3 trips to Florida for me. This trip introduced me to new friends, opportunities and was the catalyst for me changing careers. There were family trips to Baltimore and Disney, work sketches, WTG float drawings, logo designs, cartoons and jokes. The book ends with another AAF trip, this time to San Diego followed closely by the “mushroom drawings” for the Golisano Children’s Hospital Gala happening this Fall.

For me, this book is a time machine. Flipping through the pages takes me instantly back to the time when I drew each picture, sketched the thumbnail, or penned the note. A time machine that brings me back to the family and friends that share the history of each picture. Move over Einstein… I have a time machine in my hands.

Powerful stuff.

There is only a dozen or so pages left in the book now. It needs to be retired, but I’m not ready yet. I need to draw just a couple sketches more before it’s filed away on the shelf. Just a couple more sketches to help my brain remember when i pick the book up 6 months later. Just a couple more sketches to fuel the time machine to take me back to places that i enjoyed so dearly.

Then I can say “hello” to the new book. I’ll say, “Nice to meet you, please pay your respects to your predecessor as you pass by the hall. You have big shoes… er pages, to fill.”

RPO Brand Illustrations

Last year I dedicated a lot of time in creating some brand illustrations for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) to use in their marketing communications. They have been one of my clients for several years now and they could not be a more appreciative organization to work for. These illustrations incorporated a color palate inspired by Maxfield Parrish, the accomplished American painter. One of his most famous works “The Lute Players” hangs in the Kodak Hall, at the Eastman Theatre in downtown Rochester New York. The original has since been moved to preserve it for future generations to enjoy. The Lute Players currently resides inside the Memorial Art Gallery, and a Kodak reproduction now hangs where the original once was. This campaign consists of the illustrations, posters, note cards, and the Bravo program covers. Many thanks to the four writers that helped craft the copy for this campaign… Matt Smythe, Matt Conn, Greg Shainman, and Angelo Juliano. The work was recognized at the 2010 RAF Addy Awards and thanks to AdHub.com can be seen online here.

Click the link here, and become a fan of the RPO on Facebook. Go see a performance or two this year.  The economy is on it’s way back, they are a cultural gem, and their performances are beyond measure.

Now, on to the work:

The Trombone.

The Trumpet.

The Bows.

The French Horn.

The Timpani.

The Clarinet.

The Piano.

The Upright Bass.

I’m planning to print, frame and sell these illustrations at some point,  so if your interested let me know and I will certainly expedite that process.