Concept Ships

Dr. Wong - Over Planet

Dr. Wong - Over Planet

If I could pinpoint one thing in my life that first sparked my interest  in technical illustration, I would have to say that it lay somewhere in designing ships. Planes, jets, spaceships, boats; I used to sit and draw them for hours.

So when I stumbled over this blog of nothing but concept and experimental ships, you can only imagine my enthusiasm. The image above is from one of the more recent posts; artists from all walks of life are exhibited here. Hit the links below for more.

Concept Ships Blog

Koshime – Dr. Wong’s blog

Exploring the 10th Dimension

Let’s dive right in with the heavy stuff, shall we?

I’ve always liked this simple animation as an example of what a good infographic should be. Clean and clear, it reinforces the the information visually, providing easy stepping stones that build to a ultimately complex idea.

And you know anything that can crunch theoretical physics into digestible pieces has done it’s job well.

Max Gadney

Max Gadney - Spitfire Infographic

Max Gadney - Spitfire Infographic

What’s your background? Where do you live, where did you go to school, how long have you been illustrating?
I live in London and went to Middlesex University. I trained in graphic design but have always been interested in information graphics. When I led the team at BBC News Online, half of my team were info-graphics people, so I got into it again in a big way. Towards the end of my time there I started doing work for WWII Magazine, after meeting their editor at a conference (luckily with a load of pre-drawn graphics – including the assault rifle one.)

Are you a freelancer or in-house?
At BBC News, I was in-house. Most info-graphics people who work in the news that I know are in house. My WWII magazine work is freelance.

Software of choice?
Illustrator. Wacom tablet. SketchUp for 3d basics (that I then trace). Being a freelancer and doing this around my day job, I’m finding the iPhone good for drafting scripts on the go & in cafes. I also carry around various sketchbooks. I also made a book of magazine templates ready to scribble on using InDesign created PDFs uploaded and printed as sketchbooks at lulu.com.

Max Gadney - Process

Max Gadney - Process

Favorite clients/jobs?
Being at the BBC for 10 years of major stories was very good. Iraq wars, Elections, London/NY/ terror attacks/ tsunami etc all made for important moments to use visual storytelling. Some of the best infographics were done for the daily small stories. A newsroom lives by its ability to do the smaller stuff well – not just the big specials.

WWII Magazine is a great team to work with – Bill and Caitlin in senior editorial are really constructive with their feedback and Wendy the Art Director always edits a little too. The final results are always better than what I first send – any creative person needs a good editor – a good second pair of eyes. We have a simple back and forth of iteration. Any major disagreements would be hard to resolve with remote working at this distance (I’m in London – they are in Virginia) – so it’s great that I totally trust them.

Max Gadney - Silent Wings Over Normandy

Max Gadney - Silent Wings Over Normandy

Any advice for illustrators just starting out?
Focus on an area that interests you as you will only be top class if you can alter the editorial story of the work. Don’t just be a drawing robot. Seek to inform, to question, to understand first what you then intend to pass on as edited and better articulated knowledge.

Hang out where people are – go to conferences – go to the bar at conferences – talk to people at conferences. That’s what I did and that is why I have the WWII gig.

I think video skills are becoming important – but most important is the ability to understand a problem – to be curious and ask questions about what readers or viewers would want to know – no just figure out how best to draw the thing(s).

On business – The writer Drucker said that the purpose of a business is to make customers. You will need to get out there. Read The E-myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber, all about creating your own business. Designers can be very insular, you will need to get our there and hustle for work.

Max blogs about his process, infographics and visual communication at MaxGadney.com. His work can also be seen on Flickr.com.

Lego Minifig Patent

Lego Minifig Patent

Lego Minifig Patent

…or technically a Design which protects the shape/form of a product rather than a apparatus or process. From way back in 1979, so you know someone was hunched over these with their Rapidograph for hours.

[via Make & @grantimahara]

Inspiration – Cutaway and Ghosted Illustrations

I scanned these 1st 2 out of my sons books from the library.

Construction Truck Illustration

Construction Truck Illustration

dump truck

dump truck

Dump truck from the book, Cutaway Trucks, illustrated by Simon Tegg and Graham White.

928 cutaway

928 cutaway

Northrop X-35B cutaway

Northrop X-35B cutaway

If anyone recognizes who these illustrators are let me know.

Jim Hatch

Being into motorcycles and cars I’ve been a big fan of Jim Hatch for quite a few years.
He’s been a big inspiration for me and I’ve often sought his advice regarding my own illustration career.

Jim was kind enough to take the time to answer some of my questions and I’m thrilled to learn more about this extremely talented illustrator.

How long have you been an illustrator?
– I was first paid for my work in 1991 while still in college, so 18 years now.

Are you a freelancer, do you have your own business or do you work for a company?
– I built my own studio at my home in Santa Barbara, CA

Jim Hatch - Wind Turbine

Jim Hatch - Wind Turbine

Software of choice?
– I am on a Mac using Photoshop and Illustrator on a 30″ Apple monitor and use a Wacom tablet.

Favorite clients jobs?
– My favorite job is the one I’m working on at the present time.
Jim Hatch - Helmet

Jim Hatch - Helmet

What’s your background, how did you get started?
– I went to Otis/Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles from 1987 to 1991 and majored in Illustration so that was the formal start I guess.  My senior year I met with my mentor Kevin Hulsey who offered me a job while still in school and that launched my professional career as well as being an incredible learning experience.  From there I became the Exhibit Designer and Art Director for the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles where I got to create many Illustrations, posters and did tons of graphic & exhibit design.   I left the museum and went freelance and have been on my own ever since.


Jim Hatch - Dunlop

Jim Hatch - Dunlop

Any advice for illustrators just starting out?
– I feel like I am still starting out compared to the people I admire like Kevin Hulsey, David Kimble and Tony Matthews.  I think everyone’s experience is unique but hard work, tons of practice and a true passion for Illustration should translate into results over time.   For me the traditional drawing skills & theory I learned early in my career using ellipse templates, proper perspective and subtle line weight techniques have proved invaluable and form the basis for everything I do.  I see many people coming up that don’t understand what they are drawing and just draw shapes and hope it works out.

Check out the rest of his work on his site, Jim Hatch Illustration