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.
The illustration I created for this gift bag was also larger than average, so that it would reproduce well.
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.
I designed and illustrated this Dreamsicles spice jar collection for Lenox, who I think is no longer in business.
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…”