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Illustrator of the Week: Yoshitaka Amano

June 2, 2010

Some of the most original illustrators find their popularity within the realm of concept art. This medium offers opportunities for creativity and imagination.

This week’s artist/illustrator is Yoshitaka Amano

final fantasy, yoshitaka amano, video games, comics, comic art

Brief Bio

Yoshitaka Amano is a Japanese artist best known for his concept artwork for the Final Fantasy video game franchise. He has been responsible for the character design and graphic design on this series along with other video games, movies and animated works. He has also done illustrations for comics, including a collaboration with Marvel for the Elektra and Wolverine graphic novel series. Amano started his career as an artist at age 14 when he was asked to work for Tatsunoko Productions in animation.

 yoshitaka amano, comic art, comics, art

Amano works primarily with paints, producing beautifully detailed compositions using watercolours and acrylics. Although he is influenced by things like western comic art and the art nouveau movement his artwork remains unique and distinguishable.

 yoshitaka amano, comic art, comics, illustrator, art

To check out more of his artwork head over to Amano’s World.

Notable Works

Vampire D (graphic novel series)

Final Fantasy (concept art, graphic design, art direction)


Illustrator of the Week: Gabriele Dell’Otto

May 26, 2010

Last week I mentioned how the superhero genre is the principle purveyor of a dated illustrative style in comics. Although appreciated in its own right within circles of dedicated comic fans, the average person may look at it with derision. This style lacks a certain substance which prevents it from reaching a wider audience.  Because it is the standard sometimes truly fantastic comic art gets buried in a sea of mediocrity. Despite this standard there still remain some illustrators that produce genuinely beautiful artwork in the superhero genre. This week’s artist is a perfect example.

This week’s artist/illustrator is Gabriele Dell’Otto

wolverine, gabriele dell'ottto, comics, art

Brief Bio 

Gabrielle Dell’Otto is an Italian illustrator who started collaborating with Marvel Comics in 1998 through their European division. He was educated at the European Design Institute.

captain america, gabriele del'otto, comics, comic art, comic

Some of the best works of comic art are those which are produced with traditional mediums. Dell’Otto is a traditional painter working primarily with acrylics. In an industry that rushes to produce work to tight deadlines, his illustrations are an example of the quality taking a little more time achieves.

daredevil, gabriele dell'otto, comics, comic art, art, comic

Want to see more of his artwork? Check out his personal website here or head over to the Comic Art Fans website.

Notable Works

Secret War (Marvel mini-series)

Annihilation (covers)


Illustrator of the Week: James Jean

May 19, 2010

The comic book industry is saturated with generic artwork which maintain old-school styles of comic illustration. This mostly comes out of the superhero genre which offers unrealistic, cartoonish artwork. I think comics often get dismissed as a child’s medium for this reason. Despite the proliferation of this style there are some artists that create quality work that is unique. I feel their contributions allow the medium of graphic storytelling to be seen as a legitimate form of art. I will showcase one of my favourite artists each week so that others can appreciate their art as well.

This week’s artist/illustrator is James Jean

fables, james jean, comics

Brief Bio

James Jean is a Taiwanese-American artist and illustrator working for DC Comics. He was educated at the prestigious School of Visual Arts in New York City. He has won six Eisner Awards for “Best Cover Artist”. Aside from creating illustrations for comics he also produces work for clients like Time Magazine, Rolling Stone and Prada.

fables, james jean, comics

fables, james jean, comics

James Jean deals primarily with traditional mediums to produce artwork and often uses computer programs like Illustrator to accent his work. His best work consists of painted illustrations with some computer manipulation.

Check out more of his artwork on his personal website. You can also find a good resource for his illustrations here.

Head over to Sidebar Nation to listen to a podcast interview with him where he discusses his work and creative process.

Notable Works


The Umbrella Academy

Futurecamp 2010: HumberPR 2C Staying Connected

April 28, 2010
futurecamp, patrick martins, humberpr, rational artisan, public relations

HumberPR 2C at FutureCamp 2010

Topic: Maintaining social capital and staying connected with the 2010 Humber PR winter certificate students.

On Wednesday April 28, 2010 the HumberPR 2C class came together to discuss how we would stay connected once our program was done. We were broken up into groups based on our area of interest (i.e. Agency, Public Affairs, Arts and Entertainment, Non-Profit, etc.).

Each person wrote a blog post on the following question…

How will you stay connected with the other people in your “mini-group” to help each other be successful in your particular area of PR?

Here is my response…

The plan is to use social media vehicles to stay connected and instigate face-to-face gatherings. This includes but is not limited to twitter and facebook. The in-person gatherings will give us the opportunity to discuss our business and social life. Hopefully these continued interactions will allow us to maintain connections and allow us to help each other out with our careers.

Check out some other posts by @ZackSandorKerr, @kaitlynndodge, @LauraTeed, @jaymesbeatty


Graphic Novel – A Synopsis

April 25, 2010

As some of you may know I’m in the process of writing a graphic novel. It’s in the first draft. There is no title as of yet but right now I’m calling it “Singularity.” People have been asking me what its about and rather than constantly reiterating the same thing I thought I’d write a synopsis. For anyone who’s interested here it is…

Singularity, Graphic Novel, Concept Art, Rational Artisan, Patrick Martins

How does someone live a meaningful life when the work that gave their life purpose is no longer necessary?

It’s 2052. While advanced technology has eliminated poverty and scarcity, the world continues to crumble. Technology has also allowed people to achieve the epitome of transhumanist ideals, immortality. Those who have chosen to live forever have secluded themselves in a mountain city. There they develop the technologies that advance human progress. They have become the last creators and the shepherds of humanity.

Jonathan Thoreau works as a detective in San Francisco, a hotspot for neo-luddite terrorist activity. One day he walks into his office to find Uriel, a member of a class of sentient android left behind by “The Immortals” to mediate between their worlds. He is told a terrorist organization threatens the Immortal city of Horai and his memories are the only thing that can be used to find them before it’s too late.

Pandering to Robots: Using SEO to Enhance Online Social Capital

April 19, 2010

How can you increase traffic towards your social media campaigns using some principles of search engine optimization (SEO)?

Pander to Robots!

SEO, rational artisan

Communication is 10 per cent content, 90 per cent distribution. When creating online content one of the primary goals is to increase traffic to your website. A fair amount of traffic comes from Google searches. Keywords are the secret to Google search so it is important to choose them wisely.

Before starting any social media campaign it is important to create a solid infrastructure. The “buck stop” is the primary source of information you want your audience to access. All access points on the internet should funnel down to this destination.

Constructing the necessary foundation begins with planned communication.

  1. Take the time to understand the essence of you or your organization. What do you or your organization want to be known for? Use this to create a mission statement that can be used consistently throughout various applications.
  2. Take the time to understand your audience. Who are you communicating to? Targeted communication is the best way to maximize the effectiveness of your message.

Once you understand what defines you or your organization you can brainstorm keywords which you can tag to all your content. Your Google ranking depends largely on how many times a keyword is associated with your content.

How to Rank Higher for Keywords

When creating content put keywords in:

1)      Headlines

2)      Subtitles

3)      Link text

4)      ALT text

5)      Tags

An example:

A person in the market for a lawnmower might use a keyword like grass cutting in Google search to find relevant information on the subject. A lawnmower company that wants to bring in this traffic will attempt to improve their page rank by attaching and linking this keyword to all their communication.

This post only scratches the surface of search engine optimization. Explore this subject more by checking out SMOJOE and Mashable.

Understand how well your website infrastructure is and learn ways to improve it by checking out Website Grader.

The Tipping Point – Lessons for Public Relations Professionals

April 14, 2010

How can a public relations practitioner use the principles of social epidemics to enhance their communication?

tipping point malcolm gladwell social epidemics public relations

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point offers insights into the phenomenon of the “tipping point,” that moment when an idea, trend or social behaviour crosses a threshold and turns into an epidemic. Understanding this moment is invaluable to PR professionals.

According to Gladwell, there are three elements to social epidemics:

The Law of the Few:

This posits that any epidemic begins with a small selection of individuals who do the majority of the work in spreading an idea.

Connectors: are those individuals with large networks of soft relationships who have the ability to connect people.

Mavens: are those individuals who have an inherent thirst for knowledge and connect us with valuable information.

Salesmen: are the persuaders who have ability to sell people ideas.

The Stickiness Factor

In order for an idea to spread it must not only grab people’s attention, but keep it as well.

The Power of Context

The environment people find themselves in and the context around ideas have the ability to change the way an idea is received.

Lessons for Public Relations

  1. Learn to identify the Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen and use them to spread your idea.
  2. Research, research, research – research is vital in creating communication that will spread well.
  3. Communication must be targeted – identify your audience and create a message that speaks to them.
  4. Advertising is a dying industry – people are more receptive to ideas that come from peers; social media can be a useful tool in this respect.
  5. Communication must be two-way – people are more likely to accept decisions they had a hand in shaping.