After moving to New York hoping to get a job as a graphic designer, no one was more surprised than I to discover I was an illustrator. I had studied design in school, didn't have a "style" to fall into and did all my work with templates and technical pens. I quickly kludged together a technique where I screen printed line art onto Arches paper and colored it with Dr. Martin's dies. While this provided a way for me to create full color art, the resulting color separations sucked, and eventually I fell back into doing mechanical art which provided much more control over color. When computers started gaining acceptance in publishing, I seemed a perfect candidate for digital tools, however, as powerful as the computer is for doing good, it can quickly lure you off in the wrong direction.
I spent a few years trying every imaginable trick and filter, but was never quite satisfied because the finished pieces always lacked the spontaneity of my sketches. This concern grew until one day I took a sketch, traced it line for line with Illustrator paths and shifted the fills out of register intentionally. On that day, Pelavo Lite was born. It served me well for hundreds of jobs until I started getting more involved in higher paying assignments like book jackets and magazine covers, and let it gradually fall by the wayside.
I always enjoyed the freedom and creativity "lite" allowed, looked at it again recently and realized, 1) I still love doing it, 2) it's the perfect solution for shrinking budgets & quick turnaround, 3) it's a natural for animation, and 4) allows me to concentrate on concept and let the form follow intuitively. So I've gathered up my kindergarten-level Flash programming skills, put together the new Pelavo Lite web page, and I'm not looking back.
"Help Desk" was the inaugural illustration of Pelavo Lite. Rough sketch is on right.
Because I really liked the connectiion between sketch and finish, I promoted my work with a series of postcards with art on the front and sketches (flopped) on the back. You could hold the card in the light and see how they related to each other.
This card featured subjects including, funny money, Super Mario in analysis, computer "chirps" and the taboo against facial tattoos (since overturned).
Three of Drawger's finest held a standing-room-only audience in rapt attention as they presented their work, their wisdom and a smidgen of joviality last evening as a part of NYIT's Design Watch Series. Along with illustrator/educator/fine artist Lynn Foster, our own beloved Zina Saunders, Nancy Stahl and Chris Spollen guided delighted attendees through their individual journeys in the exhilarating, though frequently frustrating transition from old to new media.
Among the themes of the evening, in addtion to empowerment and struggle, was a discussion regarding the blurring of the line between "fine" and "applied" art and the emphatic agreement among the panel that drawing is more essential today than ever in light of the awesome capabilities of digital tools.
Judging from the enthusiastic titter at the reception following, sponsored jointly by NYIT and the New York chapter of Siggraph, many departed from the event sans stockings.
NYIT in the heart of Lincoln Center
Panelists Foster, Saunders and Stahl enjoying a serious moment from Professor Spollen
Event organizer Patty Wongpakdee wondering what she's gotten herself into along co-organizer Rozina Vavetsi
The ever-elegant Nancy Stahl
Chris Spollen showing details of his early etching studio.
It feels good to be among those who always give freely of their time and energies when help is needed. I can't wait to see the 100 heads for Haiti poster assembled from a roster of people both talented and generous. This is my contribution.