Bill Mayer
 I recently met Torrece Gregoire through my sister Sue.  She goes by the nickname T. Maybe because I I kept massacring her name... Maybe it's just easier.

She's a contestant on the upcoming season of Hell's Kitchen. Such a dynamic personality, I just couldn't resist when she asked me to help out with some poster and T-shirt designs. Certainly sometimes working with clients directly can fall into uncharted waters but this was really a great experience. and the results kind of glowed with that. "Weeded" is her upcoming venture into chefs apparel. I think Weeded is going much, much farther. She's got a kickstarter; if you're so inclined, check it out and donate! Weeded
 We did the design based on a Max Award poster I did earlier in 2008 . T liked the way the lines overlayed each other. I loved this direction too. Limited color would work well for poster and especially T-shirt application.
Forest thought the first set of thumbs were a bit too aggressive so I did a few more a little closer to the Max Awards stuff she had seen before.
Like always I started with the normal 24 thumbnails but this time I decided not to show all of them. I picked my favorites and comped them up tighter. I showed T four and She picked my favorites. 
When we got to the Tshirt application the poster design just wasn't working so we reworked the design and droped the background. I think it was working Much better this way. Two variations of each ,one for a white shirt ,one for black. The colors had to be swapped around a bit but worked much better without the background. The heavy blacks on the "Kitchen Robot" had to be dropped. They worked great on the white shirt but too heavy in white ink on the black shirt
You'll have to tune in to Hell's Kitchen Season 14 and Watch T kick some ass in the kitchen.
Here's her contestant video on the Hell's Kitchen website.
She's still talking about coming over to the house and cooking for us. I can't wait...
Much fun working on this, Thanks Torrece!
PlanSponsor - Retirement Plans in Mergers
Detail © Bill Mayer 2014 Plansonsor
 I love this little piece I did recently for SooJin at PlanSponsor. Such a strange little concept. The article was about the complicated restrictions in regulations in plans around mergers and aquisitions and the importance of retirement plan  conciderations. The final direction SooJin picked was the circulatory illustration. Strange yes, but I think an appropriate solution. I was trying to do a kind of a strange old medical chart-like image but the old type was just pushing it off in another direction that didn't seem like it helped the concept.  It was so much fun working on it, was hard to stop even after the project was delivered.
 They always start the same way, had some great directions in the thumbnails sketches, couldn't wait to get the feedback from SooJin and see which direction she would pick... I love this part of the job , thumbnailing is so much fun. I have been trying to stop sending so many, and even stop doing so many, but I just can't seem to stop myself. The ideas just flow out kind of like a stream of consciousness.

Miraculously, she finds something that seems to make sense out of these little scribbles.
Paint a few color thumbnails trying to work out how to handle the final. My initial idea was to do an old vintage medical poster... but the type was too distracting...
 When I painted it I loved the body inside, hidden and more obscure.  To me, it was the way I view mergers. More as one devouring or absorbing the other. When I showed it to Forest and Lee they felt the head of the figure was too hard to read. I blew them off, continued working on textures and trying options with type. When i sent it to SooJin she said it was beautiful, but she needed to see the figure in the center faster for it to read as a "merger"...
Damn, I hate it when Lee is right. But I eliminate some of the veins around the figure and change the head to be more obvious. Still works. I throw away most of the type and just use some watercolor paper with torn edges... It works.
First pass more obscured figure in the center...© Bill Mayer 2014
Detail © Bill Mayer 2014

Screen capture © Bill Mayer 2014
© Bill Mayer 2014 PLANSPONSOR
I had finished the art on Friday and let it sit over the weekend. When I came in Monday I looked at the color comps and tried to see what it would look like in another color direction.... I sent them off to show SooJin. I think maybe it was too late to look at any alternates. Time was gone. I sent two versions the original and the blue one. I am guessing I will find out in a month or so which one she used. My bet is the original. Forest says I am worrying about it too much. The original looked good. Me, I just always want it to be better. Thank God for deadlines or nothing would ever get shipped!
BLUE BOY © Bill Mayer 2014
I thought these options were interesting in that the feeling they give the viewer is somehow very diferent. Color can add an emotional element to an illustration that sometimes can change the feeling subtly, sometimes dramatically. I guess I was just enjoying working on this so much, I just didn't want it to end.
BLACK © Bill Mayer 2014
Green © Bill Mayer 2014

BALI VERSION © Bill Mayer 2014
Here is a link to the story in the online magazine. Big thanks to SooJin Buzelli and PlanSponsor, with all of the other talented artists out there, you gave me a chance to work with you again. always such a treat. Thank You.


New Stamp Drawings
One of the seven in the brochure .Skip to the end to see all seven.© Bill Mayer 2011
I have a long time friend and great designer, Rick Anwyl, and it was such a pleasure to work with him on this project. He has been familiar with my stamp drawings since I started doing them and always wanted to find a way to use them. This certainly seemed a perfect match of intelligent application and clever design. These little drawings' ultimate use was for a recruitment brochure for an old Boston financial advisor, Cabot and Moore. Each spot was to represent an atribute and spark a memorable piece that would set them apart from the norm. A big step for such an old prestigious firm. A step that takes a lot of trust with clients and design firm.
for presentation only ,not used © Bill Mayer 2011

We started off doing samples of styles and settled on two diferent directions, One, the stamp drawing, and the second a playful use of the 40's New Yorker style I had been playing around with. But from the very beginning I think Rick wanted to use the stamps. Noone else has figured out how to make them work in a campaign or brochure or any application since Piauí picked up one of my sketchbook drawings and used it a year or so ago. It was a smart direction but we ran into snags trying to work out how to get the client on board.
for presentation only ,not used © Bill Mayer 2011

for presentation only ,not used © Bill Mayer 2011

I did a few tests of stamp drawings and one of the little spots of the 1940's New Yorker style...Seemed like they were not quite getting there conceptually, so we went back to the conceptual stage and did some little thumbnails and picked a direction... did a few more little tests to show the client. Rick put together a dummy of the booklet and ran both styles past them.

I did bunches of thumbnails... As you can imagine, I sorted the ones that were working out and sent them to Rick for his comments. He and whoever else was sitting in made their choices and I did a little thumbail version of the stamp drawings so I could try to keep from doing multiple versions of each concept and try also to keep some freshness to the final drawings.

Ricky gave me carte blanche with these, to do anything I thought I wanted to try but ultimately I tried to keep itsimple and not do anything that would interfere with the play of the stoic little stamps and the clever little line drawings and how they work together.

I almost redrew these little drawings... They were a little too tight for me but it was questionable if the looser drawings would be better or not. They seemed to work pretty nice the way they were.
Goodbye Kitty and friends....
I loved the graphic line and vintage clip-art pieces thrown in; strong black and white with brilliant color... © Bill Mayer 2010

"The Apple of my Eye" © Bill Mayer 2010

The Lady in the Kimono was a simple illustration that went through several concepts before I landed on this one. The Idea was to do a kind of traditional Japanese lady in a Kimono holding a little iPhone. I had been playing with the black and white drawing with the collage elements worked in. Most of the time, the collage elements actually have more to do with the concept, but in this case it was just decorative. I loved the graphic line and old clip-art pieces thrown in. The diference in this and the stamp drawings was that the drawing came first and the other elements came later. With the stamps, they were always the first thing on the page and then I would come back and draw over them. I guess it works both ways.
The Hanging....Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010

The Hanging is another little collage illustration: taking a somber image and using contrasting collage pieces to bring humor into a rather bleak subject. Lee is not going to like this one, either... I can't show thumbnails or sketches because this is just a little thumbnail itself....
"Goodbye Kitty" After Yuko Shimizu © Bill Mayer 2010

I did this little Cat piece trying to solve a little problem with a nice rat illustration I had that had no concept, just a nice rat.. Seemed natural to pick another celebrity cat to use. My first thought was Felix, and then Lee mentioned Hello Kitty... seemed like a great fit but after wrestling with how to make it work with the rat, I just decided it worked much better on its own. We were walking down to the Brickstore Pub to meet some friends, so I doodled this on my napkin to remind me.... Goodbye Kitty... Seemed like such an obvious idea, although Yuko Shimizu designed Hello Kitty for Sanrio, so for sure there needs to be heavy credit to them... all I did was add pink blood....
Just for clearification the Yuko that designed Hello Kitty is this Yuko Shimizu

This little drawing I came up with at the same time as the cat. Most of the time, when I am laying there thinking of little ideas I just roll over, go back to sleep and forget about them, but this time I actually sketched a little hieroglyph in my sketchbook to remind me. I love the traditional wood cuts from Japanese artists of the ninteenth century. This little drawing was influenced by one of Kiyomitzo's, but instead, the beautiful girl is replaced by an Ogre and the patterns woven with Japanese corporations. An attempted metaphor for the the new direction of a more aggressive Japanese business climate?
There are snakes under those Kimonos... and they have teeth...
Close up of the head so you can see the corporation names woven into the drawing... " The New Japan" © Bill Mayer 2010

I tried to make the hands ugly and distorted, with long nails and little piles of skulls of the competition lying around hidden under the robe © Bill Mayer 2010

Da Leakie Mon... © Bill Mayer 2010

And on my ongoing quest to get the portraits better, here's a little "Leaky Man" of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange. I always loved those old cartoons, where the guy gets shot in a few dozen places and walks away, only to drink a glass of water and have it spout out from the bullet holes... old clichés never die... seemed so appropriate.
For the love of a good line...
It's not over till the fat lady chokes on the big mac... Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010

While working on a new business pitch for Y&R, I did these little New Yorker-ish line drawings. They wanted a kind of New Yorker direction... and I'm not sure that I can actually show anything from the new biz stuff... But these were a few of the drawings that spawned themselves while waiting for input from the art director. Always loved black line and solid black, so strong, graphically.
Rabbi(t)... © Bill Mayer 2010

Flip Flops... Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010

The Good , The Bad and The Ugly
the good...© Bill Mayer 2010

On a side note: Obama was blue, because he started off as the multi armed Indian God, "Kali." It was going to be another little gouache portrait, with the necklace of skulls, and the heads of "The Axis of Evil" on His belt. A very time-consuming illustration abandoned temporarily for paying work; And maybe abandoned permanently now that someone did the same thing (kind of) on the cover of NewsWeek.
The Bad....© Bill Mayer 2010

Been trying some more caricature illustration, something that always gave me trouble. Looking through my book the other day, noticed there was not much in the way of caricature. Not from the last few years anyway, I think it's because all of the work I do, I draw from my head. So, I wanted to take a little time and try something that's not a bug or a monster... Here's a little thumbnail page of the gouache sketches, and some enlargements to follow. Practice, practice... in the words of the the great Conan The Barbarian, (from Nietzsche, I think) "If it doesn't kill me it will make me stronger"
All Illustrations © Bill Mayer 2010
Little gouache sketch....© Bill Mayer 2010

Little gouache sketch....© Bill Mayer 2010

For the love of a good line....
While working on a new business pitch for Y&R, I did these little New Yorker-ish line drawings. They wanted a kind of New Yorker direction... and I'm not sure that I can actually show anything from the new biz stuff... But these were a few of the drawings that spawned themselves while waiting for input from the art director. Always loved black line and solid black, so strong, graphically.
Staying Sharp #4
Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
Naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
Okay a great way to stay sharp. take an object from your studio and do ten sketches :10 min.... The keys are so dull and cold let’s try something a bit more ….festive….. Candy Corn works for me.

Right brain thinking....So it's a little exercise I started when I was in art school...Doesn't have to be brilliant, ( and sometimes there not) just a great way of staying fresh and keeping the ideas flowing. Honestly this little set of drawings only took :10 but then another 20 minutes to scan them and figure out how to post them....but you get the idea.
Queen of Swords
Queen of Swords.
I 'm not really sure if there is a rational explanation behind this silly little drawing, I used to paste these stamps in my sketchbooks and draw over the top of them. I loved the contrast of the beautiful craftsmanship and stoic nature of the stamp and the playful, graffiti like gesture of absurdity. It makes me smile.
You know that call from you came at a time when I was going through a lot of hand holding with art directors and way too many revised sketches. And it was a perfect thing to bring me back off the edge of the building. Thank you.
Some of the dozens of thumbnails I did trying to work out the perfect line weight and composition. Trying many diferent combinationns of heads of state to find that perfect selection.Okay no thumbnails but much thanks to Maria Cecilia Marra , the art director  who used it in the fabulous Brazilian magazine Revista Piaui....
Cead Mile Failte!
Sheep Henge.... naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
Lee on top of the hill behind Cashel House over looking the Aran Islands...
Tick Tack Toe....naturally © Bill Mayer 2010
When I travel I love to draw in my sketch books it's a great way to collect memories not always captured in Photos. Unfortunatly for me I rarely draw what I am looking at.....
BATTLE BOTS © Bill Mayer 2010
We stayed on a working thoroughbred farm in the southwest in the these little colts April ,May and June had just sold to a buyer in Arabia for a million bucks....
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