I was originally hired at Cast Art Industries to illustrate licensing art for the Dreamsicles giftware line. I quickly also took on the additional duties of designing figurines and other product lines (as well as illustrating & designing packaging, catalogs, ephemera, etc). Most of the Dreamsicles illustrations were mixed media, done in colored pencil, pastels and gouache, and they were quite small (around 4×5 inches only). This was one of only a few of the larger illustrations, and it was probably the only one executed in oil paint.
After working on this line for the better part of eight years, I was pretty tired of looking at it. I don’t think I’ve posted any of it, however, so I’ll spend this week showing a few of the things I did for this line. It’s not remotely close to the best stuff I’ve ever created, but it gives an idea of some of the things one does for a paycheck. On the positive side, Cast Art was a fun company at which to find myself working. The people there were great, and I have no regrets for the time spent there. I often miss working in that studio, and I still keep in contact with some of the people with whom I worked before the company folded. It’s too bad that entire industry took a dive. I’ve had an opportunity to work for most of the bigger companies in giftware. Today, almost all of those companies have gone the way of the dodo.
Though I’ve never had any professional training, I learned a lot about doing “cute” stuff from Tim Fabrizio, who was the senior designer at Cast Art when I arrived. Before working with Tim, I never cared much for “cute”. In fact, prior to working at Cast Art, I never even used the word “cute”. I recall my early days there, hearing all of these grown men having discussions about giftware and using the word “cute” so frequently. I never thought that term would enter my vocabulary, but, well, “when in Rome…”