Unnatural Creatures

Baritone Lark

So it’s come to my attention that we’re finally able to sell prints of the Unnatural History Museum work we did for 826DC! Which means we’ve also been greenlighted to post the full suite online! Evan’s already done so over at his blog. If you don’t recall, the Unnatural History Museum catalog was a collection of watercolors of strange, evolutionarily disadvantaged creatures illustrated by myself, my mate Evan Jensen, our friend scientific illustrator/filmographer Katie Schuler, and Oliver Uberti, scientific illustrator/design director for National Geographic magazine.

The book isn’t out yet, though that should come soon. When it is, it should be available in at 826DC itself, and hopefully in its online shop. Definitely will be an announcement for that. But for now, the creatures!

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Painting on walls (Unnaturalist-style)

Home away from home

We each spent something like 6-12 hours a day in this spot. For three weeks.

So here it is, finally! The long-awaited 826DC mural post! It’s been open for weeks now, so this will be of little revelation to anybody in the area who’s managed to make it there (sadly, sadly, I have yet to see the completed space) but will be more of interest to those who live too far away to check it out, or want to see some WIP shots.

 

 

I’m not going to say terribly much, besides some captions, so if you wish to know anything further, go ahead and throw some questions at me in the comments. :)

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It is done.

I have finished the illustrations for the Unnatural History Museum! The whole gang of illustrators for the project (Katie and Evan and Oliver and I) met up at Cafe Tryst on Saturday, to oggle each other’s work and hand it over to Oliver for scanning and publishing. Everything looks amazing, utterly amazing. I’m not allowed to post finals until the opening of 826, in late October, but I have gotten permission to post thumbnail teasers. This is you get right now, folks. I hope you’re more patient than I am, waiting to share is tough!

I have been ignoring my blog for a week. Bad me. I should probably make a ‘hiatus’ badge to put over my blog schedule, for weeks when it’s just a pile-on and I know I’m unlikely to do anything timely. This past week, it was design day job + finishing up 826DC’s commission + getting started on Catherynne Valente’s commission + a class on Saturday. In the future, with perseverance, I intend to improve my time management to the point where all of these things, plus regular blog updates, could live harmoniously together. Some day. Expect timely, scheduled updates to resume after the 10th, and sporadic WIP-type updates until then.

Unnatural History Museum WIPs, inked phase

Spent all day getting them to this point, and my poor tachikawa fountain pen gave up the ghost during the very last one, but here they are — inked. Painting begins tomorrow, and hopefully moves quickly. Thankfully, we’ve decided on fairly spare colors and white backgrounds. Fewer than four days left to work, before everything needs to go to print.

The rest of the cannon beneath the jump.

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Unnatural History Museum WIP updates

Triple-beaked Sparrow

The Reindolphins have seen a fair bit of revision since yesterday, and two new creatures have made an appearance in their first stage. Tiger and lark are both in the process of being inked at the moment. Oh, and I forgot to mention that a prior work of mine is being used for the book; which, I have learned from 826DC’s twitter, is called Exhibit A. That’s it on the left, renamed for this project. :)

Three WIP below the jump!

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Unnatural progress sketches

WIP sketches for the ‘Museum of Unnatural History’ (826DC) catalog pieces! Except for the falcon, these are all pretty raw and as yet unapproved for inking, so they could still change plenty. The initial concepts for these were from Oliver and Minh, with further contributions from Evan, Katie and I.

Turlington's blind falcon

Three more below the fold. Continue reading

On drawing creatures for others

So, my mate Evan and I, we have a reputation. And that reputation is as artists of the strange and monstrous, it seems.

We spent several hours of my birthday meeting with our friend and fellow artist Katie Schuler, and Oliver Uberti of National Geographic, to discuss and brainstorm fictional evolutionary dead ends. See, Dave Eggers’ nonprofit workshop for young writers, 826, is coming to Washington DC. Like all other branches of 826, 826DC’s location has a theme, and its theme is “Museum of Unnatural History”. A Victorian-style faux museum full of oddities and impossibilities. Oliver has been doing an incredible amount of work getting the space equipped, operational, and beautiful. He’d come up with the idea of having a sort of naturalist’s guide to very poorly adapted and strange creatures, as an accompanying feature to the exhibit, as well as a purchasable item in the store. He needed two additional artists to help fill out the pages for this project, which is on a very short deadline.

So our art will adorn some of the pages of this book, as well as the walls of the 826 space itself. It’s a non-profit venture, so no pay for us, but gods what a perfect project, and what an excellent cause. A million thanks to Katie, for getting involved and thinking of us first when she did.

826DC’s Museum of Unnatural History opens on the 24th of September. If you’re in the area, now or at any time in the future, this should be a prime stop for you. From what we’ve seen and heard, it should be gorgeous.