Thursday, September 27, 2012


 I initially got in touch with Wally (Gotye) via a Twitter conversation about Bruce Mutard, one of Australia's best Graphic Novelists. I explained that I was working on 'Melburbia' and he was kind enough to show his interest in seeing it. We also established that we'd be in New York at the same time. Wally raised my offer of a beer and a quick catchup to an invitation to his show at Radio City Music Hall and a meetup afterward. A very generous offer that I was more than happy to oblige.

As thanks for his invitation, I created this poster of Wally and a visual timeline of his career over the past five or so years. I started this one in Toronto, a beautiful place for getting some uninterrupted work done. The Toronto International Film Festival was on so the paparazzi were following Rachel McAdams instead of me for once which was refreshing.

I continued the poster in Buffalo, upstate New York at my great Aunt and Uncle's house. After traveling for two and a half months, I really grew an appreciation for home cooked meals, my own room and freshly cleaned clothes. I had to leave before I got too used to it :P But I am incredibly grateful for their hospitality. They hadn't seen me since I was three years old but they treated me like a son. This environment gave me the chance to finish the poster.

The venue, performance and visuals were astounding. Gotye's show was completely sold out and for good reason. His support acts Jonti and Missy Higgins warmed the crowd up with their own brands of music. I'm not the biggest patriot but it was great to see Australian musicians bringing that kind of crowd overseas.

Wally switched instruments and stage positions like a Cheshire cat, you'd need to spot him after each lights out. Though we knew he was the main man, his entire ensemble had a great collaborative vibe. There wasn't really a sense of lead singer and band.

The animations and visuals, however, were an enormous highlight. Once again, Gotye utilized mostly Australian artists and designers in their production. Each one was more obscure and hypnotic than the last. I highly recommend watching some of them on the Gotye Youtube Page though it really is only a taste of experiencing it live at one of the most electrifying theaters in the world.

We finally met face to face after the show where I gave him the poster and spoke a little bit about the important things in life. Stuff like Tim and Eric, my blog and how my name could be confused for a Meta piece of Meat. For someone who's on top of the world, he's pretty grounded. From what I gathered, he's loved the ride but he's looking forward to chilling out for a bit and getting some new stuff out there in his own time.

Wally and Chris, thank you so much for inviting me to come along, the show was genuinely great and I look forward to seeing what's next.



Friday, September 7, 2012

Queen's Slipper Vegas Campaign

One thing I love about my job is that I can do it absolutely anywhere with a power outlet and a wifi connection. This is probably my largest and most fun client project so far. I started the sketch stage in Melbourne and continued the project in on Pacific Beach in San Diego and finished it, appropriately in my hotel room in Las Vegas. Today, I write to you while sitting in a French style courtyard in old town Montreal

I was commissioned to create four Vegas stereotypes with a boy and girl counterpart. They were 'There Hopeless Romantic', 'The Secret Weapon', 'The Bad Influence' and 'The Loose Cannon'. The characters were used in the 'Queen's Slipper' Take Me To Vegas campaign. The objective was to invite participants to tag four of their friends as a Vegas stereotype. The winner and their three friends would win the trip over there.

The characters are mostly inspired by my own friends. I think this way is more realistic and makes the characters more relevant to those who interact with them. It also made me think of your expectations of Vegas...

Versus the reality...

I love how the posters are so similar. The top one is a direct stride whereas the other is more of a drunken stumble.

So, below we have the eight character sketches, the first ones are the Hopeless Romantics. These two are the most likely to get hitched in a Vegas Chapel with an Elvis Presley Celebrant. Both believe in true love at first sight and are the most naive of the bunch

Then we have the loose cannons. These guys are teh heavy drinkers, late night party animals, and most likely to wake up the next morning in a jacuzzi next to Kim Kardashian. The feedback for this one was to loose the double ended dildo in the guy's hand and make the girl's boobs a little less obvious. I was asked for larger than life characters :P

The Secret Weapons are your tech experts, fitted with microphones, computer programs that record the roulette odds and are the most charismatic of the bunch. The male character completely changed in the last stage, he's a little more in control now. And we scrapped the girl's cigarette.

The Bad Influence is the friend who will cheat, grab, lie and steal their way to fortune but in the cleverest ways possible. If you need money, drugs, condos, this is your go to buddy. They'll make anything sound like a great idea. In terms of character design, these two were pretty spot on so we stuck with them.

After approval, I went ahead and rendered these guys and I'm pretty pleased with the results.

And below you can see the application on the Queen's Slipper Facebook Page. If you'd like a free trip to Vegas, I'd say this is your opportunity. So get tagging

Huge thanks to OgilvyOne and Queen's Slipper Playing Cards for having me on board with this one. We should have a poker night when I get back guys :) In the meantime, happy tagging.