When Art Director Morten Jacobsen from Zing in Denmark contacted me about the Visit Your Local Mall campaign, I hung up the phone because I didn’t like the snarly tone in his voice. But luckily, he called back a few days later, sporting a new attitude and what must have been a fresh pair of slacks. Starting this month in over 2,900 malls across America (only malls consisting of no fewer than three stores and having at least one food court, snack van or vending capability on-site), the Visit Your Local Mall Today poster push begins. The object is simply to raise awareness of the importance - as well as the entertainment value - of shopping, and to attempt to jump-start our anemic economy, nudging our GDP upwards and slowing the rate of a sinking social morale. Some early results are in, and the numbers look good. Over 7% of those without pre-existing mall shopping experience have expressed interest in a possible mall visit “in the near or not-to-distant” future. This is a good thing.
Creative Director Bekka Gothersgade could not have been better to work with, although many of the late night calls veered off track a tad and got kind of personal for me (Hi Bekka!). And thanks to Senior Branding guru Erics Van Tuborgs for his insight and disturbing, sick sense of humor - without which, we could not have completed this on time.
So get out and shop! And don’t forget your wallet.
Visions of Europe - an exhibition of 90 works of art - curated by artist, New Hampshire Institute of Art Illustration Chair (and Frogfolio Art Director!) Jim Burke, is up and on the walls through December 20, 2013
This exhibit features works from renown artists including Milton Glaser, Gary Kelley, Alan Feltus, Teresa Fasolino, Brad Holland, Jim Burke, Lani Irwin, Ellen Weinstein, Paul Rogers, Leigh Guldig, John Thompson, Rich Pellagrino, Giselle Potter, Roger DeMuth, Patrick McCay, Ryan O'Rourke, Allison Cole, Bill Cass, John S. Dykes, Damon Lehrer, Rick Berry, and NHIA students, faculty and alumni.
The exhibit and opening reception are free and open to the public.
The exhibition is located in the lobby at One New Hampshire Ave., Pease Tradeport, Portsmouth, NH and runs from Saturday, Nov. 2 through Friday, Dec. 20, 2013.
Hope you can make it - Here is a selection from the show.
John S. Dykes, 'Window Washer - Estonia' - Gouache and pastel.
And here are a few more of my pieces for the show.
... Many thanks to Jim Burke and all at New Hampshire Institute of Art, where I have been teaching since September. This is my first teaching experience - Fridays only, so it is manageable(!)... I cannot believe the progress all my students have made. It has been a rewarding endeavor.
John S. Dykes, 'Three Trees' - gouache and pastel.
John S. Dykes, 'Benediktbeuern' (Bad Tolz, Bavaria, Germany)- gouache and pastel.
And now for something completely different... an earlier mixed media piece turned travel poster / print.
I'm trying to do a portrait a day, which realistically ends up at around 4-5 per week, for the next few months. (Monday - Friday). I have done this before for short periods, usually only lasting a couple days, maybe a week or two. Recently, my friend Chris Piascik, creator of Daily Drawings, (which is up to about #1,479 or something!) inspired me to get into it again, and tie into Instagram and other sites social. Having fun so far. I think I'm the only person out there with an Instagram account with nothing on it! Zip. Not enough hours. Well, soon enough...
Here are some from the first few weeks...
•The Daily Reportrait: Portrait illustrations of contemporary figures created in varying mediums by John S. Dykes. These portraits are created daily (mostly) and are accompanied by a hand-lettered fact, rumor, complete falsehood, or otherwise illuminating highlight of the character portrayed, and are designed to enlighten and entertain people and their relatives.
Please just contact me if you wish to receive these in a weekly email, or subscribe on my website.
About two and a half years ago, I started on a journey to see if a period of study, after being a freelance illustrator for more than 25 years, would have an overall positive effect on my life and my work as an artist. The adventure culminated a few weeks ago with an exhibition at the University of Hartford and my completion of the MFA in Illustration program at Hartford Art School. I cannot speak highly enough about what this has meant to me - on so many levels. And, as many commencement speeches drone on and on about - while graduations do mark the end of something, its almost more of a beginning of the next stage of growth - the building of a new foundation from which to continue and grow as an illustrator. It has been an inspiring trip!
The biggest challenge was trying to create as much new ‘school’ work as possible - within the time constraints of a usually full assignment schedule. This caused some pressure, especially in the last six months or so. But, somehow you carve extra time out of each day and keep movin’.
Here is a collection of some of the work I included in the recent exhibition. (A few you might have seen...).
I created an illustration promotion... disguised as series of greeting cards (thats why the titles on some). Just email your address if you want a boxed set (6 cards and envelopes). I’ll be mailing these to wonderful art directors in September.
One of my earlier posts has larger versions of this one above...
Kudos and thanks to Murray and Carol Tinkelman for running such a great program, and for urging me to join them. (Murray, a recent Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame inductee, was my undergraduate illustration professor - and mentor - at Syracuse University a long time ago). The people they have surrounded themselves with that are teaching are outstanding. Good vibes through and through.
In fact, I was fortunate enough to have Robert Hunt sit in on my thesis defense. He was in Hartford for a week as an invited guest lecturer / teacher with the group. (And no, he didn’t let me off easy!).
I’ll miss the excitement of the program - the travel, the inspiration of working with other artists. However... I will return to the classroom in September. Not as a student, no no. But to teach! One illustration course at the New Hampshire Institute of Art - with a great illustration program headed up by art director / artist / instructor extraordinaire Jim Burke. Looking forward to Fridays in Manchester, NH this fall.