Drew Pocza | Drew Pocza
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Cars

skagit_

I hate most commercials in general but the scourge of them are the local ones. The really low budget, unpolished ones that come on screaming at you both audibly and visually. So I was shocked when a local agency asked me to help with just such a commercial. But they had my attention since they wanted to run an animated one.

After reading the storyboards I was excited. Here was a chance that some ad crew was taking with their client. A chance to do something different, something relatively new to this market. And their client was excited as well. So I prepped all the art with little, really no alterations and sent it off to the animator. I think he knocked it lout of the park with his timing and styling. We have worked well together on lots of projects, so I knew it was gonna be great.

So, barring any compliance issues from Hyundai, the spot should be running by Friday.  Just in  Snohomish County. My hope is that it will start a creative bug that others want. And from what the agency has said, the client is already thinking of new ways to use this style of work. NICE!

So be motivated to go buy a new Hyundai.

Markers

Hellboy

 

I have worked digitally for so long I have almost forgotten the charm of pen, ink and markers. I was doing them only at cons but this morning something was itching inside. I have been “coming down” from a little PTSD. Last week my computer died and since I work digitally, that meant no work. I had to suffer through a project on an old mac mini and it was time consuming. But thanks to a rather generous benefactor, I was able to procure a new iMac. WOW.

But I was really stressed out like an emo artist would be. So I took a couple days “off”. Playing with the dogs, watching LOTS of tv and seeing a friends jazz band. But this morning I was trying to think of something creative to do. I still didn’t want to sit in front of the computer for the better part of the day. Then it hit me. MARKERS. I noticed them in the kitchen and thought I would play with some water colors at first, but I realized quickly that I don’t like water colors. As soon as I grabbed a marker it felt right. It’s nice to hold something that makes marks, good or bad and deal with problems like smudges with no Command -Z. Make do with what ever hits the paper.

I thought about it and decided on HellBoy. I really like the character. I am sure I have mentioned this before, but the biggest influence on my work is Vaughn Bode and his son Mark. They have a signature style, and Vaughn was THE MOST BRILLIANT marker guy to walk the Earth. Don’t bother looking him up as his stuff is rather ambiguous and simply dirty. But I grew up reading his work and couldn’t get enough of it. My friends were all into X-men while I read Cheech Wizard and Junkwaffle. I would frequent dark ally way head shops for the underground comics. ANYWAY, Vaughn impacted me as well as countless graffiti artists in the NYC art scene back in the 80’s. If you know his work, you will see it right away in my version of Hellboy.

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!

Mars Hill Kids vol2 book illustrations

I know roughly how many illustrations I am doing, but am afraid to take an actual count. LOTS. But this project is exciting, as I am pushing this new inky style a bit more. The previous book was almost all head shots. But this time around, I get to do body and group shots. Very fun, and I am trying to take the work to the next level. They will run in black and white only, but I may take one or two and color and run some texture through. My ultimate illustration goal is to do kid literature. This is the next step towards that goal, and I can’t thank the art staff at Mars Hill Church enough for letting me  explore the space!

I’m a huge fan of the absurd. Wonky noses and noodle limbs kill me. Attempting two in one styles. The old timey Bible days art has one feel, while the modern day has another. Yet, the feel.

More Mars Hill Kids stuff!

This weekend was the launch of the Mars Hill Kids new curriculum. I’m VERY happy to have been a part of it. Both as a Christian and as an illustrator. Seeing stuff “live” still blows me away. Many of my projects get sent off and all I can do is hope they turn out well. Attending Mars Hill I get to see it first hand. 


A while ago, I created a bunch of art including the MHK logo. It was developed as a coloring book. And as MH started to decorate the kids rooms with giant versions of my art, I was in awe. Standing next to them was very exciting as I eye balled every line to see if I made any mistakes. That big, it would show! And the contrast of a fat, old tattooed guy with cute art still cracks me up. 


Recently, the AD in the art department asked me to help with the first curriculum book illos. It was a tight turn around, and they let me play with a new style that helped meet the deadline. I really like the majority of the work I cranked out over those few days, but could nit pick it all to no end. I wanted every little line to work perfect and could have spent many hours on each one. However, there is something special about having a deadline. That something I love in the sketch stage that often gets lost. The rawness of the art. Sketches have soul. The finals themselves can be great, but there is that “something” factor that I tried hard to keep that in this series. And I feel it’s there.


This project was another step in the right direction for me. I want to get into Kid lit art. As much as I like business editorial, I love, LOVE, LOVE kid art.