8/15/18

Watch for Cool Rocks!

https://markix.net/funstuff/more_shirts.html
My daughter is heading off to grad school to pursue her master's in geology so I designed her a shirt to celebrate the occasion and her love of rocks. (Actually, her real passion is geological disaster prevention -- I just haven't finished working on a design for that yet.)

Pick up a shirt of your own here if you too think rocks are cool!

7/2/18

Art of Cruising for Kids

Some fun illustrations of mine for the July/August issue of CLICK Magazine about boats. CLICK is an award-winning art, nature, and science publication for children ages 3 to 6.

6/6/18

The Old Dog (on his birthday)

http://www.whimsicalillustrator.com


Be clever! Learn new tricks they say!
But is it not more clever to be true
to others as well as to you,
said the old dog on his birthday.

5/12/18

Drawing Science

Although I love doing whimsical illustration, I also really enjoy doing science artwork.(Quite fitting since science is a passion and, not to boast, since I'm also the proud father a wonderful scientist daughter.) The illustrations above are from the May/June issue of ASK magazine. ASK is an award-winning science and art publication for 6- to 9-year-olds.

5/5/18

La Fiesta NOT Tijuana

Left — Original La Fiesta rub-on lettering from Chartpak. My winning design in Chartpak’s 1988 International Typeface Competition.

Right A few samples of the hundreds of examples of the font being used that I have come across so far.

Whether online or in the physical world, it’s always interesting to see how my creative work is being used. Some of my work -- like my education clip art and some of my art for websites -- has taken on a life of its own (and, frustratingly, not always officially sanctioned). Another creation that has lived an interesting life is my font, La Fiesta.  Hand-drawn with pen and ink, it was a winner in Chartpak’s 1988 International Typeface Competition, and it often pops up on websites, products, menus, and signs around the world. As one of the winners of the competition I was given a certificate, and a check and had the typeface produced as rub-on lettering and sold at art stores and through graphic arts catalogs.

Once used heavily by graphic arts and architecture professionals, amateurs, and students, rub-on, or pressure-sensitive transfer lettering, made creating attractive designs for publications easier and more affordable. If you needed a fancy or unique look for your work you just drew a baseline using a non-repro blue pencil and burnished the type down on your art board — one — letter — at — a — time. No need to try and hand-letter the type or run around town looking for a typesetting company with just the right font. This was a great cost and time saving tool back in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. Of course, typos were not easily corrected and underestimating the right number of sheets it would take to produce an ad with lots of body copy could be a big problem sometimes. Hazards like pets, small children, heat, tape, and various liquids could ruin your type sheet (and your day as well.)

Then in the 1990s, with the growth of personal computing, everything changed. With this change came the rush to market of fonts for desktop publishing. Many fly-by-night software companies began copying and selling typeface collections. These unscrupulous companies changed the font names and gave no credit (or money) to the creators. Thus, somewhere along the line, La Fiesta’s name was unofficially changed to Tijuana.


A second typeface I created was chosen as a winner in Chartpak’s 1989 International Competition. Named Crayon, it was pretty popular as transfer type but faded when desktop publishing came along.

 





4/8/18

Award-winning Junior Ranger Book and National Parks Week 2018



If you happen to be headed to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks for National Parks Week (April 21-29) with the kids, be sure to stop by one of the visitor’s centers and pick up a free copy of the Junior Ranger Book.  In late 2017, the book and the creative team that put it together were awarded First Place for Site Publications by the National Association for Interpretation (NAI). I was one of two artists on the team and I illustrated the interior activities in the book. The other artist, Nicolle Fuller, created the art for the front cover. The team was led by the parks' Visual Information Specialist, Erika Williams.
 

Filled with lots of fun and facts, kids ages 5 and up can earn an official Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Junior Ranger badge by completing the fun activities in the book.
  ----
In June 2016 I was the Artist-in-Residence in Sequoia National Park. You can read more about my experience by clicking on the snapshot below...
https://carefreeart.blogspot.com/2016/06/artist-in-residence.html

3/31/18

Free Clip Art for Teachers

http://www.EducatorClips.com
Introducing Educator Clips royalty-free clip art for educators!

Well, to be honest, the name and website (EducatorClips.com) are new, but a lot of the clip art in the gallery has been around for years. Most of the art was created and copyrighted in 1998 and in 2000 it was licensed by the Discovery Channel people for exclusive use on their education website.


Inspired by my teacher wife's need for images for her weekly newsletter for parents of her students, the original artwork was created back when computers were painfully slow and storage capacity and applications were quite limited. To make the art available online to users with mostly dial-up modems for connecting to a young and very limited World Wide Web, all the images were made small and not of the highest quality.

Discovery no longer hosts the Gallery or licenses my artwork, but you can still download many fun and useful images from the collection for free education and noncommercial use. And all the clip art on EducatorClips.com has been updated to larger, high-resolution images.


I've already been asked to add more images to the gallery and will do so as time permits. In the meantime, I hope all you hard-working, underpaid educators will use the art and spread the word about Educator Clips.




2/4/18

Limited-Edition Artwork

A copy of this signed limited-edition giclée print was recently acquired by the new Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford for the art collection there.
On the Savanna
A copy of this signed limited-edition giclée print was recently acquired by the new Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford for the permanent art collection to be displayed there. Only five of these 18" x 24" prints were created and no more will ever be produced. Another print is part of a personal collection so there are only three left. If you happen to be interested in adding one of the remaining three prints to your organization's (or your personal) collection please feel free to contact me. Each print is signed and numbered and a certificate of authenticity is provided.

Update, March 2018: Another children's medical facility recently purchase a print so now there are only 2 prints left.

1/14/18

Whimsical Illustrator Me

http://www.whimsicalillustrator.com/
When I was a young artist just starting my career my work was very often called "whimsical." I wasn't sure I really liked the term because it seemed so limiting. However, even though I do much more than whimsical art, I came to embrace the label over the years. So much so that I purchased the domain www.whimsicalillustrator.com. Be sure to visit the website. It features a few samples of some of my favorite pieces of whimsical artwork from the hundreds I've created for books, magazines, and more over the years. If you are an art director, editor or other art buyer there's contact info on the site as well.