Drew Pocza | blog
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Earth’s volcano timelapse

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Penguin Fun!

cardsLast year I had some of the most fun ever doing a holiday card for a legal firm in D.C. That’s right, I said fun, and legal team in the same sentence.

The challenge. Come up with a non holiday specific holiday card. We couldn’t use people since we may forget an ethnicity or two. And we couldn’t use a specific holiday, as we may forget one or two or make somebody feel bad. Sometimes, Political correctness can make for a good challenge. So of course, penguins fit perfectly! The next step was figuring out what they were going to do. After few ideas, we decided on “Extreme Fun”. The firm likes that stuff and we really wanted to push it to reflect their attitude.

But we didn’t want an ordinary holiday card with penguins to look flat and boring. So the choice was made to make a pop-up! Excellent. Working with the designer to pull this off in a timely fashion was a blast. She nailed it. We were all very happy with the end results. The icing on the cake was the little logo treatment of the firm on the side car. To me, it’s the little things that make an illustration.

The holidays will be here before we know it. Next time you go to Costco look at the Halloween AND Christmas decorations that are out now, mid September for proof. If you are thinking about doing holiday message that could use some fun art, let me know!

Project Spark icons

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Last year I had the opportunity to work with the team at XBOX creating the game Project Spark. At first I was under the impression that I would be doing character design since that is what they really liked about my portfolio. But on further progress in meetings, it was clear that I would not be doing character design but icons. I was given the task to create a visual language.

We went though several character/mascots to help convey the message. But the direction we chose could only be summed up as Future Primitive. Once the cave art style character was developed, he became the guide on how to navigate through the game programming. Working with the Art Director and writers, we would sit at the white board and play a game of pictionary basically. The writer would give us the  words and we would draw what comes to mind. Often we came up with the same concept. Or for the really difficult ones, we would end up merging concepts. It really was a blast. Then I would go home and refine the sketches and once approved, finish them up in Illustrator.

The best part of the challenge was while this is still “me” as far as art, it was a out of my comfort zone.Trying to convey a message with as little as possible, but also with as much style as possible turned out 70+ icons I made for Project Spark that I am very happy with.

Biznass update!

 

DBF_Joshua

I have been busy with various projects and finally got around to updating my portfolio.

Last year I did some in game Ui for a pretty cool game called Project Spark. I can’t show any frames from it, but it’s basically “visual language”. It was announced at this years E3, but due to a NDA, I can only say that much.

I have been trying to take my work to the next level. The brushy, inky style has become my favorite and I’m happy that art buyers agree. But it is still nice to work with a hard out lines. Both make for great coloring pages. I also have fun using a non outline style. I recently did some video work for both New Spring Church and MicroSoft using this technique. But above all, I have been striving for better composition. As much as I love character design, I have found doing “scenes” is very challenging, but fun. I just finished up a book called The Book of Hope and think I raised the bar for myself and am very proud of how it turned out. It will be available this Christmas season.

I am considering trying to make my illustrations into fine art. Either I need to start painting, or print on canvas. But I would like to do art shows. The Bible based stuff could be fun, but thinking locally, salmon and Bigfoot would be good material to work with. I have a friend who hits the art circuit and does well. So who knows.

As you may notice, I cover the spectrum from the Bible to Monsters! The Bible art is extra special to me and I’m making every effort to launch a new, fun art licensing site of Biblical proportions! Maybe not that big, but it’s allllllll Bible inspired art for individuals, churches or other faith-based organizations. It’s called Drawn By Faith. You can sign up now for early bird specials and info!

And with all this going on, and still trying to hustle for new work, my comic strip Pokeweed has been on a unofficial hiatus. I hope to return to it soon!

Until I can get it embedded, here is are a few links to some of the video illustration work I did for both New Spring Church and Microsoft. Hope ya like em, keep an eye out for a Halo bobble head!

http://fasttrack.office.com/GettingStarted

Video one.

Video two.

Video three.

Video four

Illustrations of Biblical Proportions

 

I just wrapped up a good sized project for New Spring Church. And let me tell ya, it was fun. It was a lot of work, but fun. This project met my creative goals I have had for a while now, and helped me see it through. 
 
The style is something I have been playing with for some time, but in black and white. A loose inky look. And prior to that, it was a solid, hard outline style. So I created a comic strip to exercise my creative muscles and see what else I could do. It felt good to work in a very loose brush look. I loved the contrast. And I started to get requests from clients that wanted that look, so I pushed it. 
 
Mars Hill Church had gave me the opportunity to use the inky look. It was faster and  and enjoyable to work in. And I could see it going to the next level. If only it was in color. Through that work, and posting samples on dribbble, New Spring Church hired me to work on a series of Biblical work for their kids ministry. Yes please!  The art director was great about letting artists explore the space and do what we what we want. So inky outlines, color and texture it is! 
 
This project wasn’t only exciting on a personal level, but artistically as well. With just over 20 illustrations, it was interesting to see the growth of the style. While I really like each illustration, some I adore. I jumped from chapter to chapter, not working in order. Attempting to put off the more difficult concepts till later. The easy pages I was working on let me iron out the style more and more. But since I had to go back and do the hard illustrations, it helped stagger the growth. You can see the style get more polished as it went. But since the page order was mixed, it worked as a visual buffer. If I started with illustration “one”, and worked in order till the end, you would see that growth chronologically. I did had to go back over some to make sure they were consistent with the look and feel, even though there was that growth. 
 
Working on this project, I also new that it would give me the chance to play with backgrounds. I am a freak for character development. But all my characters exist in white space. Now I had to put Jesus, Moses and Noah all in backgrounds!  I didn’t realize it till I was done, but that was another element that helped me take this body of work to the next level. Lots of art directors in publishing look for art that has something going on, not just a mascot. So, all in all, I am very happy with the results. Got a very kind worded letter of recommendation as well. And to top it off, I realized even more my desire to kid related work. My original artistic goal was to do work for an older audience. I shy away from saying adult as not to give the wrong impression. But I wanted to make art that I thought was more mature and business oriented. My style lends itself to a kid friendly look, even when I apply it to boring Human Resources related work. If you are looking for a fun style for your next project, I would love to help out. For more samples of my work, check out portfolio!