Tuesday, 05 October 2010 at 23:27

Brands and Landscapes. Is that Brandscape?

I actually did work on a brandscape. I can show you the animation some time. I had a very good meeting today with a smart young guy who would make a great addition to Kurt Pakan Design — a new businessperson. He wants to get a job, which I realize at this time is tempting. But hey, you miss out on all the stress that comes form having to chase down your next meal by working on your own.


After spending time talking with him it made me realize how the intuitive the whole branding process is to me. I need to do a better job of communication the importance of the initial correct input and then proving the ability to take that position into effective images and words. Once a client learns the process it seems tempting to dabble with it. Easy to do once the


process is understood. Incredibly difficult to do at a high level, a breakthrough level in today’s visually chaotic world with messages being sent by the nano second.

After spending the day around brands and their development, it is nice to focus on the wonder of nature at this moment in time. This all lead me to a theme that will no doubt be revisited

throughout my life, twilight Autumnal skies. This is almost a study for a larger painting. After a lay down the Burnt Umber wash and lift, there is something raw of unfinished about painting that I’m driven to. Maybe it’s a more abstract graphic approach as opposed to finishing and blending evenly across the surface. I seem to want to always play with finish vs. unfinished. Many of the great, the Masters, had that about their work. They selectively used finish and polish and left the process of the piece, reveled.

Anyhow, I though you might like to see this oil landscape I have been working on in between projects.


Thursday, 30 September 2010 at 14:09

Guitar series # 2 - The Telecaster

I’m just finishing my second painting for Bernunzio’s stringed instrument store. Developing an idea for a painting of poster or whatever the application is one thing. Taking that idea and extending it to a series is something else. What is the thread that runs through all the pieces that makes the series a series? What stays the same to provide continuity, and what changes enough to create a strong individual piece that can stand on its own? Believe it or not those are the same principals that drive brand identity development. Stuff I use every day as a graphic designer.
Thankfully I had already thought of this concept as a series and not a one off from the get go. I had a strong format in mind with the scripty type (resembling stringed instruments) I created as visual anchors for the series.  I then had the good fortune of having a great friend and photographer to work with. Mark Sampson took a shot of Roy Buchannan at Red Creek way back when; Red Creek was Red Creek (gotta be from Rochester). Mark has a series of images in black and white of different guitar folk that he allows me to use as reference images for the paintings.

I think what makes the series conceptually interesting and a bit different is how the focus is on the instrument and the hands as part of the instrument and not the rock god or goddess. The signature name and type always want to overlap or push into the identity of the musician. The areas that are painted more tightly and thickly emanate from the instrument, in this case a classic Fender Telecaster.
The instrument is the guitar Hero here and the mood of the surroundings, personality of the artist and color and tone all create a personality associated with the Guitar sound and the type of music it plays best. This in turn translates to a type of environment and color palette.

The first painting featured a D’Angelico acoustic guitar in a casual daytime outdoor sun filled setting. The second is an electric blues guitar feel that seems to come out of the shadows of a smoky backlit nightclub — two different guitars, two different personalities.






Friday, 17 September 2010 at 12:18





















By special request —  my portrait of former Kent State and Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker, Jack Lambert. THis rather large colored pencil drawing took me forever. To get the grain of the board to come through I kept a very sharp end on those Prismacolors. I also went through  a ton of pencils. The lesson, work smaller when doing those tight colored pencil drawings.


Friday, 17 September 2010 at 11:51

Web Art

Anyhow...I was thankfully brought into a project, a web project, to create illustrations for each sub panel of the site. You see the main navigation panel and overall direction of the site were already approved before I got the call. The proposed direction was established from stock art. My job was to connect to the popular silhouette figure approach and create images illustrating each sub panel subject of this credit consulting site.
With some many website looking the same and using the same stock imagery, its a wonder more companies don’t commission original art for their sites. With more type rendered in html based searchable fonts what else separates the look and feel of sites today?
After developing the vector art based on the direction, I thought I could give each piece a bit or warmth and humanity bit scanning in articles of clothing that each had its own pattern and color. I also used the scanned background of a painting I did as the background of the digital art. Hopefully I took it all somewhere and gave it a bit of its own personality.













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