August 15, 2005
28: I Give A Hoot
Skim through this week's list of Illustration Friday submissions for the word wisdom and you're sure to find more than a fair share of owls – which also happen to be one of my most long-standing objects of interest. I've been fascinated by owls since I was eight years old, when I first saw an Inuit ookpik toy at Robinson's department store in Portage-la-Prairie while visiting my grandparents. An unhealthy chunk of my childhood imagination and play revolved around owls, and they were one of the first things I learned how to draw well. When I was 11, my mom had to console me when I saw a fatally injured great horned owl on the roadside in Whiteshell Provincial Park. Visits from snowy owls are one of my comforts working at a building surrounded by desolate, frozen marshland in winter. And the past four years I've volunteered for the annual spring Nocturnal Owl Survey in eastern Manitoba's boreal forest.
So the word wisdom merely offers an excuse for me to drag out my obsession once more. But rather than attempt a sketch, I combined the subject matter with another interest of mine since college: typography. Working with the bare elements of typographic form was a fun exercise, inspired by graphic designer Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich's clever creation Bembo's Zoo: An Animal ABC Book. I opted for a similar feel, using the equally timeless serif family Caslon to pay homage by creating an owl using only the letters O, W and L. The illustration was built in the soon-to-be-defunct FreeHand.
Click here for a larger view.
Addendum! Last year our friends Cheryl and Jeff were married (on Halloween, how cool is that?), and for a gift Kerry and I made them a poster (design by me, poem by Kerry). This image was scrapped as part of the final design, but this week's post reminded me that it never saw the light of day – and was my first attempt at trying this sort of thing. Cheryl was drawn using the Adobe multiple-master font Ex Ponto, while Jeff was done up in Bembo. A little stiff, and eventually ditched because it ended up being mostly made of brackets.
Created by Jeope at 12:37