JUST PLAIN AWESOME

April 12, 2010

“New York invasion by 8-bits creatures !
PIXELS is Patrick Jean’ latest short film, shot on location in New York.”

Written, directed by : Patrick Jean
Director of Photograhy : Matias Boucard

commodore 64, pacman, dk, frogger, brickles, space invaders…

so very, VERY well done.  If I were wearing a hat, I would take it off.

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NEW MEDICAL ILLUSTRATIONS online at ConteLawyers.ca

April 7, 2010

Through an innovative website project helmed by the creative minds at Pixelcarve Inc., some of my work is now included in the progressive background animation within the Services section of the beautiful Conte Lawyers Website.

Stop reading this and go check it out now. NOW!


“We have become cheap whores.”

September 25, 2009

Interesting, provocative and poignant blog post from Ron Lebow, discussing the current state of the creative industry during this lugubrious recession, and its effects upon veterans and greenhorns alike:

Thanks go to Wendy Ding for bringing this article to my attention.

~ M


Illustrators Don’t Work For Free

September 16, 2009

This article was first posted on Craigslist and later flagged/removed… but not before someone caught sight of it and re-posted it on his blog.  I read this courtesy of my colleauge Jerry Teo, and I’m doing the same by reposting here.

Special thanks to my former Prof Kathryn Adams for bringing this to our attention.

Original Post on Position Relative “Craig’s Pissed January 23, 2007

I’m a self-employed graphic designer. In the old days, when I was greener than a leprechaun’s testicles, nothing would make me consider suicide quicker than a potential client who was, in fact, just some deluded jackass. The hook was usually, “If you do this job cheap, I’ve loads more work for you!” and I bought that line more times than anyone with an ounce of sense ought to have. This morning, the following was posted on CraigsList. It’s been doing the rounds on design boards and blogs in a big community whoop because it captures and excoriates so perfectly the ignorance and arrogance inflicted on designers by design morons. The post was quickly flagged and removed (i.e. censored) by CraigsList users, but not before it became the gift that keeps on giving.

Who was that masked crusader? Designers everywhere owe him a hot coffee and a big hug.

Post from CraigsList

“Every day, there are more and more Craigs List posts seeking “artists” for everything from auto graphics to comic books to corporate logo designs. More people are finding themselves in need of some form of illustrative service. But what they’re NOT doing, unfortunately, is realizing how rare someone with these particular talents can be. To those who are “seeking artists”, let me ask you; How many people do you know, personally, with the talent and skill to perform the services you need? A dozen? Five? One? …none? More than likely, you don’t know any. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be posting on craigslist to find them. And this is not really a surprise. In this country, there are almost twice as many neurosurgeons as there are professional illustrators. There are eleven times as many certified mechanics. There are SEVENTY times as many people in the IT field. So, given that they are less rare, and therefore less in demand, would it make sense to ask your mechanic to work on your car for free? Would you look him in the eye, with a straight face, and tell him that his compensation would be the ability to have his work shown to others as you drive down the street? Would you offer a neurosurgeon the “opportunity” to add your name to his resume as payment for removing that pesky tumor? (Maybe you could offer him “a few bucks” for “materials”. What a deal!) Would you be able to seriously even CONSIDER offering your web hosting service the chance to have people see their work, by viewing your website, as their payment for hosting you?

If you answered “yes” to ANY of the above, you’re obviously insane.

If you answered “no”, then kudos to you for living in the real world.

But then tell me… why would you think it is okay to live out the same, delusional, ridiculous fantasy when seeking someone whose abilities are even less in supply than these folks? Graphic artists, illustrators, painters, etc., are skilled tradesmen. As such, to consider them as, or deal with them as, anything less than professionals fully deserving of your respect is both insulting and a bad reflection on you as a sane, reasonable person.

In short, it makes you look like a twit.

A few things you need to know;

1. It is not a “great opportunity” for an artist to have his work seen on your car/’zine/website/bedroom wall, etc. It IS a “great opportunity” for YOU to have their work there.

2. It is not clever to seek a “student” or “beginner” in an attempt to get work for free. It’s ignorant and insulting. They may be “students”, but that does not mean they don’t deserve to be paid for their hard work. You were a “student” once, too. Would you have taken that job at McDonalds with no pay, because you were learning essential job skills for the real world? Yes, your proposition it JUST as stupid.

3. The chance to have their name on something that is going to be seen by other people, whether it’s one or one million, is NOT a valid enticement. Neither is the right to add that work to their “portfolio”. They get to do those things ANYWAY, after being paid as they should. It’s not compensation. It’s their right, and it’s a given.

4. Stop thinking that you’re giving them some great chance to work. Once they skip over your silly ad, as they should, the next ad is usually for someone who lives in the real world, and as such, will pay them. There are far more jobs needing these skills than there are people who possess these skills.

5. Students DO need “experience”. But they do NOT need to get it by giving their work away. In fact, this does not even offer them the experience they need. Anyone who will not/can not pay them is obviously the type of person or business they should be ashamed to have on their resume anyway. Do you think professional contractors list the “experience” they got while nailing down a loose step at their grandmother’s house when they were seventeen? If you your company or gig was worth listing as desired experience, it would be able to pay for the services it received. The only experience they will get doing free work for you is a lesson learned in what kinds of scrubs they should not lower themselves to deal with.

6. (This one is FOR the artists out there, please pay attention.) Some will ask you to “submit work for consideration”. They may even be posing as some sort of “contest”. These are almost always scams. They will take the work submitted by many artists seeking to win the “contest”, or be “chosen” for the gig, and find what they like most. They will then usually have someone who works for them, or someone who works incredibly cheap because they have no originality or talent of their own, reproduce that same work, or even just make slight modifications to it, and claim it as their own. You will NOT be paid, you will NOT win the contest. The only people who win, here, are the underhanded folks who run these ads. This is speculative, or “spec”, work. It’s risky at best, and a complete scam at worst. I urge you to avoid it, completely. For more information on this subject, please visit www.no-spec.com.

So to artists/designers/illustrators looking for work, do everyone a favor, ESPECIALLY yourselves, and avoid people who do not intend to pay you. Whether they are “spec” gigs, or just some guy who wants a free mural on his living room walls.

They need you.

You do NOT need them.

And for those who are looking for someone to do work for free… please wake up and join the real world. The only thing you’re accomplishing is to insult those with the skills you need. Get a clue.”



Inspiration from Viktor Deak

August 20, 2009

Anyone who’s as excited about the union between science and art as I am should certainly browse and appreciate the work of NY-based paleoartist, Viktor Deak.

Viktor Deak's Lucy

Viktor Deak's Lucy

I discovered his work after reading this blogpost, and was thoroughly impressed not only by his work, but also by the attention and publicity it has received. Now an internationally renowned paleoartist, Deak’s long list of collaborators includes many big names, institutions and companies.

For more info / content, click the following links:

interview w/ NY Times

Viktor Deak’s Portfolio

panorama of Deak’s studio


A Canadian Hero Revived: Sir Isaac Brock

July 25, 2009

Earlier this year, A private client contacted me expressing interest in commissioning some fresh portraiture of the famous Canadian Major-General, Sir Isaac Brock (6 October 1769 – 13 October 1812).

Brock was the leader of the Upper Canada (Ontario) leg of the Canadian Army militia during the breakout of the War of 1812, responsible for mobilizing Canadian troops and defending Upper Canada against the United States, most memorably at Fort Mackinac and Detroit, as well as the Battle of Queenston Hieghts, where he was ultimately shot in the chest and killed.

After communicating and establishing a proposal & details, I am now proud to say that I am working on contributing to Canadian history by recreating visions of Sir Isaac Brock, based on the only two accurate likenesses of him known to exist. Although other artists have made other portraits of him, many of them are actually elaborations based upon the most common image of him: this painting of his bust in profile by an undetermined artist.Isaac Brock SR

Variations of this original image include the following pieces:

Isaac-brock-gr Picture 7Although each of these variations are obviously skillfully executed elaborations upon an original work, neither of them venture very far into detail about the likeness of the man himself outside of his profile. This is where I come in.

Working from minimal reference, my task, as an illustrator, is to recreate Brock’s likeness in a three-quarter-view perspective, in order to view his face as he might have actually looked in life.

To accomplish this task, I have utilized various methods to help me visualize Brock’s face. Based on my research, the adult painting of him was done circa 1809, making him around 40 — three years prior to his death at 43 — making it my primary infleunce to draw upon. I have experience working with cadavers and muscle anatomy (including dissection), as well as 3D studies and character concept art; As a result of this experience, when working with organic subject matter I have been conditioned to constantly consider tissue structures and placement, as well as  how these parts move and interact within their areas of movement and influence. The self-portrait below is a visual example of this experience.
mattdanko_thumb6

My first effort to visualize Brock involved drawing horizontal parallels from the original work, and translating them carefully into simplified linework and facial landmarks, as shown below…

Picture 2

… From here, I worked on a head-on facial reconstruction (not posted here), and eventually produced this preliminary 3/4-view portrait sketch…

IMG_3582

Personally, I feel there is something a little off about the eyes (for now), and the uniform is partially inaccurate, but these and other improvements are to be remedied before the completion of the final image. For now, my working sample of the current sketch is featured below.

IMG_3585

Although I cannot post any images of the progress of the project beyond this point upon this blog (for copyright reasons), I have found this piece to be both interesting and challenging in its own respect, and look forward not only to completing it, but to also have it utilized as a commissioned illustration.