Saturday, April 6, 2013

What a Kick !!  (starter)

Project funding in a time of Crowdsourcing opportunity

By Stephen DiCerbo  

 “Crowdsourcing is a process that involves the outsourcing of tasks to a distributed group of people.” Wikipedia

     For more than a decade, I had a dream to visit the motherland. 

Japan, that is, birthplace of Gyotaku.

 As a science illustrator with a bent towards Ichthyology, it was probably natural selection for me to venture down the path of Japanese Fish Printing techniques. While traveling that path, I met Sensai Mineo Ryuka Yamamoto and, with his guidance, I became dedicated to refining my own style of Gyotaku within a vastly expanding genre of piscatorial printmaking.

     When an opportunity came for me to travel to Japan, study and explore advanced printing techniques with Master Yamamoto, it looked as if my dream might be realized. But the cost of the journey was way out of reach. I began to look toward conventional artist stipends and travel grants. The county arts council offered some government sourced funding in the form of a stipend, but the award was not much of a solution to the problem. Looking for ideas, I turned to home. I posted an email on the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators’ Sci-Art email listserv, asking for suggestions to alternative funding sources.

     The Sci-Art email listserv, although a relatively finite group, can be a powerful crowdsourcing tool. As a subscriber to the email list, I could broadcast a query to a group of potential problem solvers in the form of an open call for solutions.

    The feedback from my email query ultimately became the solution to my problem. The solution would come, not in the form of a grant, but a relatively new resource: crowdfunding.


      In 2006 an entrepreneur named Michael Sullivan launched “FundaVlog”, a platform to launch videoblog projects and is credited with coining the term “crowdfunding”. FundaVlog was ultimately not successful, but the term crowdfunding began to be widely used a few years later, when Kickstarter came onto the scene.

     Crowdfunding evolved from the crowdsourcing concept, and refers to a network of individuals who collectively contribute monetary pledges to efforts or projects initiated by other people, usually through the Internet. Using this approach, funds can be raised in small increments received from a large number of contributors, rather than relying on large sources of monetary support. At a time when traditional forms of grants are disappearing, crowdfunding may well be the answer for individuals looking to launch creative projects.

      Today, there are over 500 possible crowdfunding platforms, and project authors will need to do some due diligence to ascertain which one best suits their fundraising needs.

     Everything from disaster relief, general charities and nonprofits, to business startups and individual creative projects, can be crowdfunded. If there is a need for financial backing, there is likely a correlated system that can be used to address that need. Currently, the two most popular and well known platforms designed for artists and creative entrepreneurs are Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. In both platforms, transaction fees are taken from the pledges, amounting to 4-5 %, so you would need to figure that in when setting a target fundraising goal. With Kickstarter, credit card pledges are processed through, and the pledges are held and not charged to the “backers’” credit cards until your project is fully funded. If the project does not become fully funded within its selected window of time, none of the charges are processed, and you will not collect any support funding. IndieGoGo, on the other hand, allows you to close the project before full funding, and collect your pledges, but their transaction fees will rise accordingly, from 4 to 9%. In addition to transaction fees, your project is responsible for the cost of the credit card transaction fees, and through Amazon, will cost an additional 4-5 %, so your total operational costs may run 10-14% of your pledges.


    From my inquiry on the Sci-Art email listserve, I received one suggestion that ultimately made the pursuit of my goal a success. It came from GNSI member Lynette Cook, known to most of us for her illustrative renditions of the expanses of outer space; but Lynette has a wide range of other subject matter that motivates her, particularly in fine art media.
Lynette Cook in her Studio

      In 2011, Lynette was preparing for a showing of a group of her acrylic paintings she called the “Praesentia Series”. Looking to defray the cost of framing and shipping the collection of work to her alma mater, the Mississippi University for Women, she turned to a crowdsourcing opportunity that she had heard and read about: Kickstarter. She told me that she had had success with her project, which she named “Get These Paintings to the Show!”, and suggested that I investigate this fundraising route instead of hoping to find funding through artists’ grants. I took her suggestion, and after a cursory review of the Kickstarter website, I decided it was my best option. Kickstarter provided a proven vehicle and infrastructure which would allow me to construct and run a fundraising effort through internet crowdsourcing.

     The learning experiences that Lynette and I had during our Kickstarter funding projects were both similar and dissimilar.

      In order to set up and run a Kickstarter project, you must first pitch your fundraising plan to site administrators. Kickstarter allows creative projects in the worlds of Art, Comics, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film, Food, Games, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology, and Theater. They do not allow charity, cause, or "fund my life" projects You will need to set up pledge levels for your project, and for each of those denominations, you will have to choose and offer a “reward” to be given to your supporters. Kickstarter stipulates that the value of the rewards should roughly equal the value of the pledge.

Lynette: “Think through your awards carefully. You need to find that sweet
spot where you neither emulate public television by offering a $10
tote bag for a $100 pledge nor offer so much that you lose your shirt

in thank you gift costs or time. Be sure your rewards are clearly described. Think through what you're going to do if someone asks for an alternate reward.

      I agree with Lynette about carefully thinking through the rewards you offer and how you offer them. When she had offered her backers a “choice” of images, some requested other works of hers that they desired. For myself, I chose to offer a hand tinted reproduction for one of the most popular contribution levels that was, effectively, an original. The hand tinted works came out wonderful, were well received by my backers, but were definitely a backers’ value at that particular pledge level. The original hand tinting added a lot of time to the reward process. The remainder of my reward offers were commensurate with their respective pledge levels including some etchings, which carry a higher intrinsic value but had already been printed, and did not delay my reward process.

"Beckoning Light", acrylics , Lynette Cook
     While setting up your project with Kickstarter, you will also need to choose a time span, the beginning and ending dates for the pledge period. This too can be a challenge. Too long of a time period and pledge procrastination might occur, or pledging momentum might be lost; too short, and you may not have enough time to establish that momentum.

Lynette: “Choose your fundraising period carefully. Somewhere I read
that 30 days is a good time frame and I went for that. It worked well.”

    My fundraising period was 50 days; I wish it had been longer. Though the effort did languish through the middle portion of the time period, it accelerated in the last five days. That being said, if I had been more familiar with accessing different internet groups, 30 days would have been plenty of time.
In regard to knowing your target group, Lynette has these thoughts:

Lynette: “Have (or build) a large network of friends, family, colleagues, Facebook friends, associates, acquaintances, etc. The more people you know, the more likely you'll enjoy a successful outcome. Expect your closest circle to provide most of the money. In my experience…the bulk of the funding came from people more familiar to me”.

     Selling your project to your backers demands some creativity. Initially I set up my project with static images, but it soon became evident, especially when viewing other people’s projects, that use of a video as a selling tool would be essential.

Lynette: “A video really helps get the word out and make your project more personal to the viewers. It's better not to depend on still images only for your visuals.”

     The decision to use a video had its own implications. The most compelling projects had videos that were extremely creative and entertaining, drawing the viewer into the heart of the project. Not being much of an entertainer, I was hoping to adequately describe my desire to travel to Japan to share in the cultural exchange of Gyotaku techniques. I had a video camera, but there was still a learning curve ahead: script, lighting, diction, editing; it may have been a good idea to get some assistance in making the video.

    When my fundraiser was approved by Kickstarter and it was launched, another GNSI member who viewed the project commented that the video might have more impact if it included some of my Gyotaku images to help present the subject of the project. It made sense: I reworked the video. Another technical learning curve: find and access a video editing software program and learn to use it well enough to add some still images to the video. I finally had something that did a reasonable presentation of my call for funding.

Author's hand tinted Kickstarter rewards

      Before your project can launch, you will also need to set up an account with so that they can process the credit card pledges. This will take a little bit of time, and you should expect to be providing them with personal information so the IRS can keep tabs on income. Expect that some of your backers will not want to give credit card information online, and you will want to accept their support, but you will need to plan how to deal with this. You can have them send you their pledge directly and manually track them for their rewards, but then their pledges will not be integral in meeting your goal — which is of utmost priority so that you may collect all of your pledges.

Lynette: “Have a plan in place for people who wish to pledge but aren't willing to do so online. Several of my backers were willing to send me a check but refused to make an online payment. Kickstarter administration keeps an eye on the pledges and will cancel your project if it seems you are pledging money to yourself in order to reach the goal and get funded.

       I worked diligently at getting the word out about my fundraiser, accessing my Facebook friends as well as the pages of the GNSI and the Nature Printing Society, email lists for fishing groups, and any other online connections to friends and acquaintances.

     During the whole process, I was hoping to discover the best way to reach previously unknown groups of people. On a weekly basis, the Kickstarter site features their favorite projects which would open up exposure to your project for a huge waiting group of donors who are looking for projects to believe in. But figure on working without this heaven sent boost of exposure; the featured projects are their selections, and they do not respond to requests. Try to know how your social media works. Whenever I posted on Facebook, I asked people to “Like” my post; it would have been better to ask them to “Share” the post instead. That way, all of the folks on their friends’ lists would see the link to the Project. If you know anyone who has a high traffic website, blog, or Twitter following, ask them to help spread word about your project. Remember, a large number of small donations is the object. Pledges are likely to occur in unexpected ways. Don’t take it personally if folks you had expected to respond do not do so. Some folks you don’t even know may well offer some of the higher pledges you receive.

Author's "Fish Bridge to Japan" Kickstarter Project banner

      My Kickstarter project was a wild roller coaster ride of turn of events and unexpected trends. I had resigned myself to the fact that the trip to Japan would not happen, right around the 3-day mark before the end of the project period. But as the end got near, the pledge action on my project site picked up in faster and faster, by leaps and bounds, and it was as if I were watching a neck and neck horse race. Nearly hourly updates of how close we were to full funding seemed to help drive to the finish. In the last three days my project went from approximately 30% to 100% funded! Folks that were possibly procrastinating jumped in the pool! Sixty-two backers pledged $3,248 and saw me off to Japan.

       If you should consider funding your project with a crowdfunding platform, allow plenty of lead time, put in your due diligence, and believe in your project. Over the 50 days of my project, the pace of contributions was unpredictable, and variable. So stay optimistic and keep pushing right to the end of your project period. And good luck!

Bless those of you reading this who participated in my crowdfunding project, “The Fish Bridge to Japan”

This article was published in the Spring 2013 Journal of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators

To see the author’s “Fish Bridge to Japan” funding project, visit:

For a look as some of the author’s Gyotaku images, go to:

To see Lynette Cook’s “Get These Paintings to the Show” funding project, visit:

For a look at some of Lynette’s fine art go to:

For more information about Kickstarter and how it works, visit:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Artist-Illustrator announces opening of home studio “Stormtree Studio”

By Stephen Di Cerbo
September 26, 2012

North Hudson, NY -  Local Artist and Illustrator,  Stephen  Di Cerbo announced today he will officially dedicate his newly constructed home Art Studio by celebrating with an Open Studio Day  on Sunday, October 7th, 2012 from 1PM until 5PM. Joining in the Festivities is Mr Di Cerbo’s friend and mentor, Mr. Mineo Ryuka  Yamamoto of Japan.  Stormtree Studio is located at 7 Kenakwar Lane, North Hudson, New York, 12855.

About the Artists – Stephen Di Cerbo is natural Science Illustrator and Wildlife artist who grew up in Schenectady New York and fished, hunted and enjoyed outdoor recreation in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York since he was a teenager.  He holds an A.A.S. degree in Fish and Wildlife Technology from SUNYA Cobleskill and a B.S. in Science Illustration from Sage College of Albany, New York.

Stephen is a lifelong artist who works in the mediums of Pen & Ink, Oils, Acrylics, Copper plate etching and other forms of printmaking, including Gyotaku  (gee-oh ta koo) a Japanese originated art form of printmaking. Mr Di Cerbo has been involved in Japanese fish printing for over 20 years, both Kansetsu-ho or the “indirect method” and Chokusetsu-ho, the “direct method”. Some examples of his Fine Art, prints and illustrations can be seen on his online portfolio, . . He also maintains a blog about his work and about Gyotaku at .

Born in 1943 in Central Tokyo, Japan, Mineo Ryuka Yamamoto became hooked on the sport of fishing at the age of 30. His enthusiasm for the sport and his artistic inclinations led him to maintain “diaries” of his fishing exploits, including sketches of whatever fish he might catch – naturalist’s journals. Later, he discovered Gyotaku in a Fishing Tackle store, and the future of his life’s work was in place.

Through approximately 40 years, Mineo Ryuka Yamamoto has worked as an innovator in this rapidly evolving art form, and has carried forward the traditions and spirit of Gyotaku

Mineo Ryuka Yamamoto now lives in Higashimatsuyama city, located north of Tokyo, in Saitama prefecture. His work can be seen at his website, . He often teaches Kansetsu-ho Gyotaku workshops in the U.S. in affiliation with the Nature Printing Society, and more information about Gyotaku and nature printing can be obtained at their website, .  

Mr. Yamamoto will be giving a brief presentation about Gyotaku and its history, at 2 PM at the Studio Opening.

Mr. Di Cerbo is currently working to develop a fusion art style of Japanese  Gyotaku and  the fish, plants and Natural History of the Adirondack Mountains.  Printmaking workshops will be held at Stormtree Studio in North Hudson, and the initial Fall offerings are as follows: 

Fall Workshops
 (limited to 6 Students)

  Indirect Gyotaku Fish Printing by Mineo Yamamoto     Saturday October 13, 9:00 am
$90  +  $25 material fee

 Direct Gyotaku Fish Printing by Stephen DiCerbo   Saturday November 10, 9:00 am
$90  +  $25 material fee


For more information about the dedication of Stormtree Studio, to register for workshops, or the work of the two artists, please contact

Stephen Di Cerbo
Stormtree Studio
7 Kenakwar Lane
North Hudson, New York, 12855
Home: (518)  532-0575
Studio Cell : (518)  466-7004
Email Stephen Di Cerbo -

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

A second round of fundraising backers!

Fish Bridge to Japan Project site

With three weeks left to the Fish Bridge fundraising project left, the project is 15% funded!

Second round of backers include:

Linda Harlan

Mike Shaffer

Anthony Martino

Gretchen Halpert

Aaron Adams

my sincere thanks to those who have taken a moment to show their support!

To read about the project or participate hit the link above. To help with the project, spread the link to anyone who might wish to help



Saturday, April 23, 2011

New backers to the Fish Bridge project!

I would like to say thanks to Aaron Adams, and to Linda Harlan for joining the growing list of supporters for the Fish Bridge to Japan project.

for additional information, visit the Fish Brideg project site and check out the backers and the updates page.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

First week of the Fish Bridge to Japan project identifies support

I am encouraged about the Fish Bridge to Japan project, launched a week ago. Several supporters have come forward, and the project is underway.

I wish to express my sincere appreciation to the following sponsors:

William Barnard

Britt Griswold

MK Bretsch

Chris Knight

Asif Zamir

Overflow Cafe

Kalliopi Monoyios

Your belief in the purpose of the project is most encouraging.

For those not familiar with the fundraising project visit;

Fish Bridge to Japan

To add your support, please click on the "like" icon directly under the video, to share the link on your FB page.

maximizing exposure to the project will help it to succeed.

keep on Printing!

Yours in Ichthyography


Monday, April 11, 2011

Fishbridge to Japan project Launched!

Last night we launched the Fish Bridge to Japan project to fund a mentoring opportunity in Japan. Today it is off the blocks and running! special thanks for Bill Barnard for his response and support, and the other help he has given me in the interest of fish printing workshops..

Please click on the link below to find out all about the project, and forward the link to anyone who you think might be interested in the project.

Fish Bridge to Japan



Sunday, February 20, 2011

Gyotaku Workshop

The Guild of Natural Science Illustrators
invites you to experience the Pacific Northwest
2011 Conference and Annual Meeting
At The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington
July 10-July16, 2011

Chokusetsu-ho Gyotaku
An introduction to Japanese Fish Printing
Friday, July 15,2011 - 8 am

Stephen DiCerbo
Level: Beginner
Prerequisites: none
Maximum class enrollment: 10

Learn Chokusetsu-ho, the direct method of Gyotaku, Japanese fish printing. A relatively new art form, Gyotaku came to America in the 1950s and its history can be traced back a couple hundred years. Used to identify species of fish and record size of catches, gyotaku is often seen as a parallel to Taxidermy. It has evolved into an art form and unique type of illustration, and techniques and methodology continue to be refined today. A form of relief printmaking, it allows for an intimate familiarity with the morphology of the fish.

Not only are Gyotaku images popular in gallery art and editorial illustration, the process is a great tool for art and science educators to expose students to ichthyologic identification and morphology, as well as relief printing. After a brief introduction to the history and the art, by demonstration, you will learn to prepare a specimen for printing, then prepare your own fish and create Gyotaku prints experimenting with various techniques and approaches. All materials provided, but bring any preferred brushes for working with ink washes. $20 Materials fee.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mineo's Ray

This work of Kansetsu-ho Gyotaku is an example of level of fine art that the printmaking method attains at the hands of a master. Mineo Ryuka Yamamoto is just such a master.

Actively involved in the Nature Printing Society, Mineo has been responsible for introducing hundreds of people to the artform. Mineo is most famously know for his refinements to the Indirect, or Kensetsu-ho, method of Gyotaku. He operates a fish printing studio in Higashimatsuyama City, Japan. Between international trips to promote and offer instruction in Gyotaku, Mineo spends time expanding the known boundaries of the technique.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Rosy Rockfish Gyotaku Tee

Kansetsu-ho Indirect Printing with a heavier fabric such as 5 oz. cotton requires special consideration and yields less detail than a thinner more delicate media like Silk, but can yield some nice results.

Also developing some techniques for bringing out some more complex colored spotting and patterns.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fish art makes impression at Fort Kent conference


Guild of Natural Science Illustrators event attracts leaders in the field
By Jessica Bloch
BDN Staff

Instructor Mitsuyoshi Yabe (left), a 23-year-old from Fukuoka, Japan, offers his critique as Bryce Carter, 13, of Fort Kent, tries his hand at creating a fish print during Kabe’s gyotaku demonstration Tuesday at the annual Guild of Natural Science Illustrators conference at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. Bryce’s parents, Heidi and Jason Carter, as well as other students, look on.

FORT KENT, Maine — A crowd gathered around Mitsuyoshi Yabe on Tuesday morning as he bent over a table in front of him and rubbed a piece of paper with his fingers.

He made one more pass with his fingers, and lifted up the piece of paper, holding it up to the 20 people around him. On the paper was a print of a fish. It was blurry and fuzzy, but the scales, tail, fins, eye socket and open mouth were easily identifiable.

The crowd cheered. Yabe didn’t say anything, but smiled and nodded his head. His demonstration of a Japanese fish printing technique called gyotaku had gone well.

Yabe’s presentation was part of the five-day Guild of Natural Science Illustrators annual conference, being held this year at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. More than 50 attendees from around the country and world, including some of the most renowned science illustrators in the field, are participating.

Yabe, 23, is an undergraduate student in a medical illustration program at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. Joan Lee, a guild member from St. Francis who organized the conference, said she included the Japan native in the list of GNSI workshops for several reasons, including the fact that he is deaf.

Yabe communicates by using a notebook and pen he carries with him, encouraging people to write out questions or statements. He writes his responses in English.

“This [demonstration] was set up as an experiment to show people that you can work with all students,” said Lee, who was initially contacted by Yabe’s electronic translator. “Behind it all, there’s no such thing as handicap. This is the basic concept. It’s also a great cultural exchange.”

On Tuesday, Yabe had some help from Stephen DiCerbo, a freelance illustrator from Saratoga, N.Y., who has been making gyotaku prints for 20 years. DiCerbo read aloud from the notebook whenever Yabe wanted to say something to the audience, and also provided some play-by-play as he watched Yabe create.

Gyotaku is a technique that came into use in the 1860s, DiCerbo said, and was originally used as a method of record-keeping and species identification. It evolved into a form of trophy art, similar to the practice of taxidermy, and finally into its current form as art technique. The basic method involves brushing ink or colored paint onto the fish, covering it with a piece of Japanese rice paper, and pressing down carefully to imprint the fish on the paper.

“For scientific illustrators who get into this, it’s just a looser style and you wind up having a lot of fun,” DiCerbo said. “It’s like finger painting for adults. And it’s really a variation on traditional printmaking methods. As you develop your technique you try to find ways to control the image so you get a finer piece of artwork at the end.”

Yabe’s technique is the one he learned as a teenager, when he was a fisherman in Japan.

“[Gyotaku is] so popular in Japan that if you go into fishing stores and the tackle stores, it’s all over the walls,” DiCerbo said, reading from statements Yabe wrote in his notebook. “He thinks it’s very beautiful and wonderful, and he’s still practicing and learning, like we all are.”

Thanks to Bryce Carter, a 13-year-old Fort Kent resident, Yabe had some fish with which to work. Carter caught two 5-inch yellow perch Monday evening in St. Froid Lake during a fishing outing with his family and brought them to the gyotaku demonstration Tuesday.

Yabe’s first step on Tuesday after wiping the perch was to pin the fish’s fins so they flared out from the body in preparation for the inking. He placed pieces of plastic foam under the tail and fins to stabilize the perch and used tweezers to poke out the fish’s eye, which would help create a white circle in the print. Some gyotaku artists paint in an eye on the print later in the process.

Yabe began to paint the perch with a small brush and dark India ink diluted with water — the traditional gyotaku ink is sumi, made of soot and water, but Yabe didn’t have any with him — from the head to the tail of the fish. Then, he used a clean paint brush in the opposite direction from which he had painted on the ink. This absorbs excess paint and allows the scales to show up more clearly in the print.

After inking the fish, Yabe covered it with a piece of the traditional rice paper, which is flexible and strong enough to withstand the next step. Yabe began to carefully rub the rice paper over the fish with his fingertip to coax the ink onto the paper.

Finally, Yabe peeled the paper from the fish with an image of the perch printed on the paper.

Carter had a chance to try gyotaku himself, and decided it was something he might work on at home.

“I thought this would be fun,” Carter said. “I like art, and I like to draw with pencil and paper.”

Dwight Gagnon, a conference attendee from Benton, watched part of the demonstration. He wasn’t sure he would include gyotaku in his work, but was interested to watch a technique he first saw in his student teaching days in Waterville.

“I wanted to see where it was, at this level,” said Gagnon, a 1976 UMFK graduate making his first trip to campus since his graduation. “In the labs, we’d take the fish, get a print, and the students would label the different anatomy features. I was fascinated to see what else was being done with it.”

The GNSI conference continues through Saturday. A juried exhibition of illustrators’ work will be on display this month at UMFK’s Acadian Archives.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Black Death

Tried my hand at plate lithography this past summer. Lithographers sure do like their solvents! This tribute to the European plague looked better on the plate than the paper.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Cutthroat Pen and Ink

One of my earlier images, Pen & Ink stippling. started in an Airport , waiting for a flight home from Montana, full of inspiration.

(Original in the Collection of Dave Lewis)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lionfish Head Study

Here is possibly the last Linocut print I'll ever do. It's an interesting process, registration is a bit of an issue, but my heart belongs to copperplate etching and wood engraving.

Lionfish are considered an invasive species, and have been spotted as far north in the Atlantic as the Cape Cod islands.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tarpon Head Study

This Tarpon, brought down in January by a cold front too far south into Florida, was frozen and shipped north. His donor card allowed him to inspected, documented , Gyotaku-ed, sketched and immortalized.

The head study above was rendered with stippled pen and ink, then colorized in Photoshop.

His death was not in vain.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Gyotaku Printing Day

What the studio can look like on printing day. This was a session with a Steelhead.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Andrew Wyeth Passes

I am saddened today by the news of the passing of Andrew Wyeth. Representing the second generation of the Wyeth dynasty of American art, his work helped to bring realism back into focus. Perhaps best known for his piece, Christina's World, I am particularly fond of a image of another one of his Maine models, Siri. His particular brand of realism, use of negative space, and lighting come together well in this painting.

I am sure I cannot claim him as an influence, but most certainly an inspiration.,9171,962060-1,00.html

Digital Production - Final Project - Stormtree Studio Promo Cards

My final project was to design a couple of promotional mail-out cards to be used to advertise the benefits of my natural science illustrations. I attempted to showcase the illustrations, in addition to pointing out the strongest attributes of the work and its benefit to the customer.

I had the opportunity to work with Jim Gibson of Gibson Design
who is responsible for the concept and original layout of the cards.... This made the re-positioning of the elements, type changes, additions of a couple features and final tweaking pretty much a passing comment.

I wanted to keep the design clean and simple, and striking to the eye. 2 additional cards remain to be layed out, in keeping with the theme,before final printing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Digital Production - Project 9 - Stormtree Studio Magazine Ads

For this assignment, I created a print Ad, featuring the value of my Illustrations. I wanted to express on e of the best selling points for natural science illustration, the ability to shown the desired details of a subject, and to reconstruct and fill in for broken or missing parts of the specimen.

I utilized the work that I had done on one such project. Beginning with the photograph of broken and empty husk of an already emerged stonefly, the insect was then carefully reconstructed and the illustration portrays and image complete and whole. The colors were made more vivid and life like than the specimen, and desired details of the animal were emphasized in the pencil drawing.

I wanted to indicate or illustrate a sense of transition from the ineffective photo to the clean, accurate and vibrant illustration. Within Photoshop a created an image which I feel does so effectively, and featured that in the Indesign layout. I chose background colors and text colors to coincide with the colors of the illustration. I played with the font hierarchy, choosing to place the main header in the center of the image, being it is the punch line of the ad, but needs to be preceded by a lead in of lesser impact.

Keeping the rest of the Ad simple, I offer a quotation which expresses the point being made, a sentence about Stormtree Studio’s abilities, and then finished with a logo for branding and contact information.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Digital Production - Project 8 - Personal Sellsheet

In this assignment, I approached the sellsheet assignment with the goal of creating something that would be part of my personal situation - Folloing the specs of the original assignment, but completely changing the context of the page.

I wanted to keep the color scheme of the original sellsheet, as it worked well for me and complimented the color in the art pieces feature in the new sellsheet. Utilizing the new logo I had designed for Ichthyography Ink, I put together an newsletter style “infosheet” called the Ichythograph … featuring a couple short informative articles, along with some visual draw from my illustrations, and a short sell paragraph, directing people to the business website for more information and eye candy.

I kept the page in a standard 2 column arrangement, but wanted to change the feel of the sheet, so loosened up the presentation with a couple of bleed images, some interesting text wraps, and a new logo, with the logo image unrestricted by its framing. I researched the content and rewrote the text entirely into two short articles, one explaining how natural science illustration is different from other art forms, and the needs it fills, and the other article with a brief definition and summary of a newer printmaking method called Gyotaku.