Drew Pocza | Uncategorized
1
archive,category,category-uncategorized,category-1,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-theme-ver-1.3,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.3.4,vc_responsive

Pro Bono

ExpectationsPosters_r3_800

Pro bono publicI don’t often do it. Not because I’m a jerk, but usually, the right project and timing don’t always line up. But recently an old AD and friend asked me if I would consider helping him out with a project. The company he works for was doing this pro bono for a school in Baltimore. After chatting about it for a bit, looking at my schedule I said yes.

The school seems to have a lot of rules. Assuming needed, but a lot. What was proposed was to make fun posters reminding the students of them in a less strict manner. I came up with three youth characters and Sean did all the hard work. They matched my illustration style amazingly. In total, there were four posters made using the characters. But what I really appreciate it that Sean really “got” the art. His choice of colors and type treatment were perfect. Now I hope the students agree.

As much as I hustle for that next gig, it felt good to simply help out.

More video

o365

I have said it before, I’ll keep saying it, I never get tired of seeing my stuff move. My work is used from logos, coloring books, games and animation but I try to use a few styles that are still very “me”. The recent trend that I am getting hired for is a rather simplistic inky look. With this style I try as much as possible to get the most out of the least lines. This was an effort in helping the motion graphics guys. There was a need for me to keep it simple and stylish. Vintage advertising from the 50-60’s is really exciting and so I try to replicate that feel but in a  modern sense.

I started this inky style to contrast the typical hard outline work I had been doing for years. I decided to make a comic strip and my main goal in style was to work in anything that wasn’t vector looking. So Pokeweed became a fun exploration in style, story boarding and writing. Slowly the process overlapped into my regular work and now I do about 90% of my work in a loose brush stroke. And now, I feel the urge to work back in the hard line style. Or no outline at  all. But that will work itself out in time.

Check out this new Office 365 video I did the art assets for. I also like the look of this one, with no outline, for Microsoft Kudos… Kudos is an internal “appreciation program” at MicroSoft.

Drewtube

DBF_Joseph_fam400

I recently made a youtube channel where I plan on making short videos on my illustration process. It was a difficult task, but I did it. I found it creatively invigorating to do. Since it’s in the Adobe family and I use the Adobe CC stuff I thought I would give Premiere a try. Originally I thought I would use iMovie, but it wasn’t what I was hoping for. So with lots of tutorial searches I finally made a movie.

The process is basically the same with most of my illustration work, but I chose to record my work during a sermon illustration for the Drawn by Faith series. It took a few hours, but I was able to trim it down to about 5 minutes. I hope you enjoy it. And please let me know if you have any comments or questions on stuff you may want to see.

COMICS!

PW_flyer_fin

It’s pretty clear by my work that I love comics. Comic books, strips, and animation has all had a big impact on me. I grew up in the 70/80’s with lots of options for Saturday morning cartoons. Yes, they actually had a morning devoted to cartoons. We didn’t have the luxury of several cartoon channels. Then I discovered the newspaper comics and was in complete awe that people made them. Of course Peanuts, Bloom County,  and Calvin and Hobbs were favs. I started reading Heavy Metal magazine for exposure to all kinds of wild artists. And then there was Epic Illustrated. Epic introduced me to Vaughn Bode. I’m a massive fan of anything Bode. Mark, his son carries on the style like no other. Tons of imperfect lines that mesmerized me. I was on a scavenger hunt for Bode stuff, it wasn’t as easy as searching online. Ya had to know people who knew people who had this crazy underground stuff. I would go to dark ally way head shops looking for this stuff. And it was hard. Ok, I ‘m going off on a tangent. Gotta focus.

I love comics. I have tried to make a few strips over the years. When I was laid off from a gaming publisher, I found myself on unemployment, looking for work. What better time to try a strip. I wanted to do a strip to help me keep the creativity flowing while lout of work. So I took all the strips I had done and mashed them into one. It was like finding my own comics jeet kun do, taking the best from each strip and making one. And Pokeweed was made. I try to put into the strip all the crazy stuff that I like. From fart jokes to conspiracy theories and more. I have been doing the strip for a few years now and gained decent exposure to new fans and even clients now. I continue to do the strip “as I can” while on the constant hustle to find work. And when I get busy, the strip sadly sits on the back burner. Why do I still do it? I like to. Simple as that. I love the little world I created and when I am actually making the strip, I find it to be my “happy place”. Are the numbers where they should be or where I would like them to be? No. But I still believe in the strip. Even if it’s for a temporary escape. More and more cartoonists are reaching out to their fan base for $$ help to keep their dream alive. I’m no different and am considering a kickstarted or patreon campaign. My thinking is this: If I can get enough backers to help me alleviate the work load, that will free up time for more comics. It never hurts to try.

Not only am I designer/illustrator, but proud cartoonist. The cartoons and illustration have been working hand in hand. If you haven’t read Pokeweed I hope you will. My love for old bw, newspaper style comics will be noticeable.

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

dp_spark_art550

 

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

Mars Hill Kids book Vol2 Samples

I recently did a bunch of kid related illustrations for Mars Hill Church here in Seattle. MH has several campuses, and this series is part of a Sunday School curriculum for all the MH the campuses. The art staff at MH is extremely creative and talented, so I’m artistically encouraged to be a part of some of their kids projects.


The first book consisted mainly of head shots. And the second, has lots of body shots. What I am most excited about is the style. As simple as this style looks, I work hard at crafting each line. When I have a little time, I plan on to exploring this and apply color and textures. Talking with some of my illustrator pals, we all agree that this style has a nice sense of style and marketability. But most important, it is FUN. Evolution of technique is a strange thing. I am very pleased with my body of work, and typically work in bold, thick outlines. So this is a nice challenge.


I hope the kids enjoy the work!