The three Behance portfolios I highlight in this month's column span a broad range of styles, media, and tools. Yet all of the creative professionals responsible for this work are passionate about their craft, and that dedication shines through every project.
Brian Edward Miller has been an art director and graphic designer for a variety of companies, but he's recently emphasized his own illustration studio, the Orlin Culture Shop (OCS). At the OCS, Brian has lent his talents to magazines, an educational iPad app for kids, and the City of Boulder, Colorado, among other clients.
Check out the polish inherent in Brian's illustrations for a TV commercial's keyframes. Are you surprised to learn that he taught himself to draw?
"The only way to learn how to draw is to draw. The key is intentional practice," Brian revealed. And boy, did Brian ever practice! "Every practice session meant something, served some purpose, and worked toward some goal." For example, one day he might draw only hands — 100 hands. The next day he might draw feet. "This isn't to say I've arrived or I've landed at a final destination," Brian continued. "I'm still growing, still getting better, and still spending time in intentional practice."
Brian created the wintery illustration on the cover of this month's iPad edition of Inspire Magazine (see below). He explains his typical process for a project like this one. "I usually think about a piece for a bit, doing lots of sketches in my sketchbook so I can explore ideas and toss out bad ones," said Brian. "Then I knock out the digital pencils in Photoshop. I usually work in black and white values to establish strong shapes and a solid layout. Once that's done, I add color flats, simplify shapes, and add textures."
A Behance portfolio is just one way that Brian presents himself to potential clients. He's also a tireless emailer. "I started sending out emails to a minimum of 10 studios a day. Sometimes I sent out as many as 30 in a single day. I finally began seeing the fruits of my labor." For more on Brian's business tactics, read his blog.
Anyone who's intimidated by the thought of making a video — too complicated, too expensive — should be excited by this project. It's an accompaniment to the song "Swept Away" by English indie band The xx, and Ruslan Khasanov created it using Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, a Canon EOS 60D D-SLR camera, and soap film.
While Ruslan can draw classically inspired figures that would be at home in any of the last several centuries, I think he really hit his stride when he began incorporating motion into his projects several years ago.
It was a gradual process. In early 2011, he poured ink onto wet paper to form letters of an alphabet, capturing the results in hundreds of still images. Later that year, he produced animated GIFs that showed the formation and dissolution of the inky letters. More recently, he was inspired while cooking to combine soy sauce, ink, and soap and capture the colorful results in a video. No elaborate video rig was necessary — just an SLR camera that sells for $699 on Amazon.
The medium in one of Ruslan's most recent creations, an unofficial video for The xx's "Swept Away", is simply soap film, but the results are a swirling, pulsing revelation (see video below).
I'm excited to see what this Russian artist comes up with next.
Who: Joe Redmond
What: Revere magazine layouts, created with Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and Adobe Digital Publishing Suite
Behance member since: 2013
Joe Redmond is the founder of the California-based Five Rockets design and advertising agency. He's also the art director of Revere, a luxury lifestyle magazine that serves Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and similarly tony towns in southern California. The monthly magazine is a digital-only publication, created for Apple and Android mobile devices.
"I like really bold, bright colors," Joe says. "Because of the medium, they just pop off the page."
To create the magazine, Joe uses Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Digital Publishing Suite. "Although I sometimes begin designing an article with some simple sketches I usually start with a basic, black-and-white layout in InDesign," Joe told me. "After the basic layout is done, I add color and playful elements so there's a lot to look at."
Joe is a Behance newcomer — in fact, he created his profile just a few days before I stumbled across it.