Photographer Brian Smale has been quite busy working with Microsoft and their online magazine featuring profiles of employees and interesting programs Microsoft is involved with. One story in particular involves Communications Manager Ryan Asdourian and his then alter ego, Blitz, The Seattle Seahawk Mascot.
Brian shot both personas of Ryan for an online spread delving into his exprerience of both worlds while dealing with his recent diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Although Ryan has since retired from his mantra of Blitz, he continues to raise money and awareness to fight the disease with a coalition he founded known as Team Blitz. Ryan is fully committed to fighting MS and he sits on the board for the Greater Northwest chapter of the MS Society while still incorporating Team Blitz into things such as the Team Blitz Pub Crawl and the annual MS Walk in Seattle.
Celebrated pet photographer Mark Rogers has recently reached quite a milestone in service of a great cause. Back in 2008, Mark was contacted by Pet Food Express for the shooting of My Mutt Posters, a small service that would have a substantial impact on raising money and awareness for pet rescues, advocacy groups, and shelters.
The My Mutt Poster project is fairly simple: people would donate $250 or more towards an animal non-profit or animal focused cause and in exchange, Mark (or another local pet photographer) would shoot a personalized poster complete with the pet’s name and the cause that the funds were donated to. 100% of the proceeds go towards the rescue initiative and the pet owners walk away with an awesome piece of artwork. We are beyond pleased to say that in Mark’s years of service to The My Mutt program, he recently shot his 700TH POSTER (that’s alot of pets)! Congratulations to Mark and may he continue to be an influential voice for pet loving photographers around the world! Check out some of his most recent posters below, and click here if you would like more information on how you can get involved with the My Mutt Poster program.
As part of the Safeway Artist’s Series, our very own (and very talented) Carolyn Vibbert was selected to create a stunning holiday season design that will be printed on the reusable shopping bags sold exclusively at Safeway grocery stores and their affiliates such as Vons and Pavillions, just to name a few.
The Winter Bag will be available just in time for your holiday shopping, so be sure to pick one up and get a piece of Carolyn’s artwork to carry around with you wherever you go! Here’s the full design of the bag that will be printed:
A perennial artistic globetrotter, Filip Yip is a highly decorated illustrator who calls New York and Paris home. He has amassed an impressive clientele list in a plethora of industries ranging from food to motion picture studios. Filip’s multicultural team is shaped by individuals from the US, Europe, and Asia, making Filip Yip And Co one of the most artistically diverse branding teams in the world.
Q1. You’ve consulted or assisted in the creation of numerous brands, which one has been your absolute favorite?
A. Richmond Tea, London. I loved the gig and company so much that I’ve become a cofounder of the brand.
Q2. What are some of the difficulties you face when creating a brand’s identity from scratch?
A. For starters, how much the client knows about it’s own brand attributes and ethos. Secondly, the willingness of a client to spend resources on the discovery process, market research, etc. And finally, understanding if there is a long term strategic vision about where the business is heading and the market it wants to capture.
Q3. Who was a visual inspiration to you when you first began your career?
A. Painters such as impressionist Gauguin, Van Gogh, Picasso, and Matisse.
Q4. When you create a brand’s identity, what is the message you try to deliver to their customers?
A. At top level, the look and feel should convey a clear attitude of the entity. If the visual concept has a hidden message, the discovery of such messages should further connect the audience with the organization. All in all, an experience should be shared between the two parties.
Q5. You have close connections with both New York and Paris. Is there an area in particular that inspires you more than others?
A. They inpsire me for different things. New York has the energy that vibrates any soul just by being there, although you have to live in the city for a while to overcome the negative aspects. Paris is unapologetically romantic. I met my spouse there and both of my kids were born there. It’s my portal to other parts of Europe.
Q6. If you could go back in time, what inspirational words would you give to your younger self?
A. Get high quality and relevant advice and mentoring from outside your circle and comfort zone.
Q7. Have you always aspired to be an established illustrator, or did you initially plan on a different career path?
A. I have been drawing since I was a toddler. I was educated as a graphic designer, then pursued further education in Advertising design in college.
Q8. What kind of emotional reaction, if any, do you have when you see your work either on shelves or on TV?
A. It was exciting maybe a decade ago. After getting used to the process, I’ve actually become more critical about the outcome.
Q9. Describe the most difficult aspect you face when designing a brand identity?
A. Finding out what the client knows about their own business.
Q10. If you could have any piece of artistic equipment in the world, what would it be?
A. It’d be an imaginary equipment. I’d need a machine that creates more time for me. There are so many medias for expression that I love, yet have no time to explore them because of opportunity cost.
Carolyn Vibbert is a classical illustrator with an Americana-influenced perspective incorporated in her colorful pieces. Her clientele list includes various reputable brands such as Frito-Lay, Quaker, Chronicle Books, and Coors just to name a few. Carolyn currently resides in Portsmouth, NH where she continues her illustrious work with pen & ink imagery.
Q1. How did you first get started in illustration?
A. Art School. My goal in art school was always to work towards a career in illustration.
Q2. How would you define your artwork?
A. Whimsical, stylized with an emphasis on energy.
Q3. What artist has had the biggest influence on your current artistic style?
A. The illustrator Jim Flora, best known for his jazz album covers of the 1940s.
Q4. Favorite city/location for art/artistic expression?
A. New York City, a blend of traditional elegance and contemporary energy.
Q5. What is the primary medium for your artistic pieces?
A. Pen and ink.
Q6. What do you want people to take away from your art when they see it?
A. “Looks like she is having fun!”
Q7. What was the oddest thing you’ve taken inspiration from?
A. My older brother’s test papers! His teacher’s highly energized swirl of the “c” (for correct) was something that fascinated me at the age of 3,I made that mark everywhere I could, even under window sills. To this day, my work incorporates energetic swirls and spirals.
Q8. All time favorite piece of artwork?
A. I have it on my studio wall, a Peugeot poster designed by Push Pin Studio’s Seymour Chwast.
Q9. What would be your ideal project to illustrate?
A. A miniature paper theater.
Q10. What advice would you give to aspiring illustrator?