Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Chubby Assassin

Mark Moeller asked me to create a quick cover for his latest literary foray: The Chubby Assassin - The Journal of Marcus Steele. Mark was nice enough to pose for the sketch (via my Canon and Tamron wide-angle) with his own hardware. Fun stuff! Thanks Mark.
- Bill

Monday, July 12, 2010

Diamond X Triathlon

For the last two years, I've kayaked at the Diamond X Triathlon, located 8 miles south of Evanston, Wyoming and hosted at the Diamond X Guest Ranch. This year promised to be the same, but I succumbed to the lure of the contest, ultimately entering and finishing my first triathlon as a competitor.
Here's a sample of the shirt graphic that I designed for the event. The rider is actually Don Proffit, my wife's uncle, who is a brand inspector, rancher, and all-around buckaroo. His cowboy poetry is legendary, and he is quintessential "Wyoming".
I've been in that country, usually twice a year, for fourteen years. I've never appreciated it as much as I did from the bike. Gorgeous fields, alluring hills, seductive clouds, and the looming threat of thunderstorms from the Uinta Mountains to the south. The skunk roadkill was a nice touch, too.
To sign up for next year's triathlon or get more information, contact Josh Proffit at diamondxtri@yahoo.com . See you in 52 Saturdays!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


What a weekend. I volunteered to kayak for the swim portion of the inaugural Ford Ironman St. George, UT, which was held last week. I opted to camp out at Sand Hollow, my favorite local stillwater kayak spot, in order to more easily make the 4:30 am volunteers' meeting at the south ramp. My friend, Joe Webb, and his daughter joined me at the campsite with their kayak and gear.

The Sand Hollow management had allowed us to stay at no charge, due to our volunteer status, in a great site. Nonetheless, I slept for less than four hours. Without the comfort of sleeping in the same bed as my wife and no crazy kids to pound on my door in the morning, as is the usual ritual, it was a challenge to get to sleep. I'm sure anticipation played its role well, too.

Before I curled up on the van seat, I surveyed the vista in the main parking lot. 2300 mid- to upper-tier bicycles sat corralled across the red dirt and charcoal pavement. Literally, millions of dollars of road bike was waiting for a healthy beating the next day. Wow.

Joe told me, after rapping on my window at 4:05, that the wind had kicked up that night and collapsed the neighboring tent. Crap. What's the water going to be like? I don't mind heavy chop, but trying to stay in one place with a killer wind is more than challenging, not to mention the difficulty it poses to swimmers coming up for air.

It turned out to be a picture-perfect day. Gorgeous, glassy water invited a horde of bundled paddlers into positions, all of us in place at 6:30. Cannon popped at 6:45, and the pro's made their wake.

After the leader and two pro packs passed me, I saw the stream - I was on the last 1/4 mile leg and on the other side of the island, which obstructed my view of the first 2/3 of the race - of arms and orange caps, yellow caps, froth, 2300 submerged drum slappers, pounding away at the never-ending liquid obstacle between them and their first transition. Unforgettable.

I stayed alert and moving for the next two hours, lest a competitor fatigue and require assistance or worse. Intense, cathartic, what can I say?

Can't wait to do it again next year.

First photo: Mike Kelly - Owner of Kelly Pest Control. Client of mine and a great guy. Turns out we both dig kayaking.

Second shot: Dave Webster - works for Zion National Park. We attend church together, and his youngest son, Kyle (sp? - sorry, bud!), was in my Boy Scout troop a couple of years ago. Dave's a water horse.

Third shot: my kayak in the purple of the parking lot and 0-dark:30.

Fourth shot: Webbs, Ennis, and long exposure plus flash. Fun stuff.

Shot five: picture-perfect. Here, the wind's picked up somewhat. Shot it around 2:30, hours after the swimmers were gone. Still, what a great day it was.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hair - An Architectural Approach

Just polished up a poster for another fine community play. This was written and is being directed by my good friend and neighbor, Christy Webb.

She and her husband, Joe, basically fund local theater out of their own pockets. It's the stuff of greatness.

With time at a premium this week, I opted for the simple graphic collage, creating the tower shape in Illustrator and using it to create a mask over an image of human hair.

From what I understand, Rapunzel is a bit of a beast in this rendition, so to drive a sense of instability to the art, I kept the orientation of the art vertical and created a tower that is almost minaret-like, proportionally. A tilt to the left suggests that gravity will win the battle against medieval architecture. It represents the tenuous nature of Rapunzel's condition; that not only will the damsel ultimately escape, but her contrived world, her relationships and status, unlike the background texture, are not concrete.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Edge

Friend, neighbor, and soul-patch connoisseur Joey Perry approached me several months ago and mentioned that he would be starting his own yard maintenance and restoration business. Would I consider designing his business identity? You bet!

My process involved addressing two clients - Joey being one, and his customer base the other. I wanted to create something that would be slightly clever and unique to Joe's business and generate a solution that would resonate instantly with his prospective and existing clients. My hope was to convey masculininty, power, and confidence along with a sporty sense of creativity, as Joey would inevitably be involved in design with some, if not all, of his clients.

What better way to tap into success than to tap into success? I thought of and dug up logos of successful brands that the average consumer would associate with power tools, heavy equipment, construction, and lawnmowers - brands that stand out at lawn and garden centers and construction supply big-boxes.

Taking general design cues from the marketplace, my solution plays on the business name with an assymetric push to the right edge of the logo, maintains bold forms that are typical of the genre, and employs a simple verdant color scheme to tie it into the actual business activity. Last I checked, red grass just wasn't that popular.

The look on Joe's face when his business cards showed up was priceless, and his clients understand what they can't articulate themselves - that Joe Perry cares enough about the way that others perceive his business to see that it is represented in a visually attractive manner, so he'll go the distance when it comes to ensuring that their property is maintained and/or restored properly.

Now that I think about it, I should have negotiated some trade, as my yard looks like a shallow brown hell....

Next: website and social media for The Edge.