Brian Stauffer

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So far Brian Stauffer has created 57 blog entries.

Medals From Graphis

By |September 5th, 2013|Uncategorized|

Thank you Graphis Posters for the wonderful news today. I am honored to receive 2 Gold medals and one Silver medal for three of my posters. The Gold medals went to posters from the Vancouver Opera Series, for Aida and West Side Story. The Silver is for my Savannah Music Festival "Piano" poster. I truly want to send my thanks and appreciation to Doug Tuck and Annie Mack at the Vancouver Opera, and also to Ty Cumbie at the Savannah Music Festival. I also want to thank every art director or designer who chooses illustration. I'm sure it must feel like a leap of faith at times but for those of us who make a life out of it, we love taking that leap with you daily. Please take some time to flip through this humbling collection of work from around globe. http://tinyurl.com/k7ngaqz



   



   



A From The New Studio

By |September 4th, 2013|Uncategorized|

I've moved into the new studio, kind of.  It's not foto-ready but suffice to say that I'm loving the elbow room. The images below were done in the past couple of days.  

This top piece is for New Times, Phoenix.  It's about Ex-Arizona border "Minteman" Chris Simcox and his arrest on multiple counts of child molestation.  Simcox was the flag-draped poster boy of the border vigilante group called The Minutemen.  This is just the latest episode in the group's plagued history. Thanks go to AD Peter Storch for another fine collaboration.  His comments and feedback improved the image greatly.





  This was a piece that is running in today's New York Times.  The write is making the argument that President Obama cannot, nor should he, simply shop around for legal permission to attack Syria.  If he is claiming to want to proceed under legal processes then he must do so with approvals of the UN and the US Congress.  It's another interesting and valid perspective for the mix.   I got the call for this assignment around 9am in the West.  I turned a sketch around about an hour later and delivered the final a few short hours later.  I couldn't do it every day but it's fun to take the wild Op-Ed ride now and again.





  And this baby is out on stands this morning in NYC.  My old pal and longtime collaborator/editor Tom Finkel is taking the helm there.  I know many see the paper as a relic in decline but I have great confidence in Tom's ability to produce.  His being there gives me hope for ole Blue. This piece is a pretty straightforward mash-up of figures cut for old magazines.  I hardly do that anymore, usually preferring to create human elements from non-human objects and textures.  But this piece was simply too complicated to render that way.  NYC is such an aggressive collage of all types so it felt right to chuck everything in there. The tower was made of a little tube clipping from an old Popular Mechanics article about cleaning your gutters. Thanks, again Tom, and welcome to full-circle.





A Few From The New Studio

By |September 4th, 2013|Uncategorized|

I've moved into the new studio, kind of.  It's not foto-ready but suffice to say that I'm loving the elbow room. The images below were done in the past couple of days.  

This top piece is for New Times, Phoenix.  It's about Ex-Arizona border "Minteman" Chris Simcox and his arrest on multiple counts of child molestation.  Simcox was the flag-draped poster boy of the border vigilante group called The Minutemen.  This is just the latest episode in the group's plagued history. Thanks go to AD Peter Storch for another fine collaboration.  His comments and feedback improved the image greatly.





  This is a piece that is running in today's New York Times.  The writer is making the argument that President Obama cannot, nor should he, simply shop around for legal permission to attack Syria.  If he is claiming to want to proceed under legal processes then he must do so with approvals of the UN and the US Congress.  It's another interesting and valid perspective for the mix.   I got the call for this assignment around 9am in the West.  I turned a sketch around about an hour later and delivered the final a few short hours later.  I couldn't do it every day but it's fun to take the wild Op-Ed ride now and again.





  And this baby is out on stands this morning in NYC.  My old pal and longtime collaborator/editor Tom Finkel is taking the helm there.  I know many see the paper as a relic in decline but I have great confidence in Tom's ability to produce.  His being there gives me hope for ole Blue. This piece is a pretty straightforward mash-up of figures cut for old magazines.  I hardly do that anymore, usually preferring to create human elements from non-human objects and textures.  But this piece was simply too complicated to render that way.  NYC is such an aggressive collage of all types so it felt right to chuck everything in there. The tower was made of a little tube clipping from an old Popular Mechanics article about cleaning your gutters. Thanks, again Tom, and welcome to full-circle.





News From Home

By |July 9th, 2013|Uncategorized|

Prescott was my hometown growing-up. For those who've not been, it's a page out of storybooks. When I was 11 years-old I got my first job as the shoeshine boy in the historic Palace Barbershop on Whisky Row (famed street with about 16 bars on it t the time). Everywhere you go in Prescott there's a familiar face. A loss on this scale is magnified by the closeness of the community and the tranquility it devastated. My heart goes out to you, Prescott. A few days after the tragedy in Yarnell, old friend and City Councilman Chris Kuknyo asked if I might be able to do an illustration in memory of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. Thanks to Chris, his fellow City Council members, and the Mayor for running the tribute in today's local paper, The Prescott Courier.



Slaughterhouse Live

By |May 23rd, 2013|Uncategorized|

A handful of very brave animal right activists work undercover inside the nations largest animal processing plants and farms to expose the unspeakable horrors animals are faced with at the hands of some sadistic human beings.  These activists captured hidden camera and cellphone video of animals being tortured, not mistreated, but literally tortured and for their heroism the local authorities are trying to make their form of activism classified and punishable on the same level as home-grown terrorists like the Boston bombers. Thanks to Tom Carlson for the asignment and for spoiling my love of all things meat.  I'm off the stuff and have never felt better in my body and mind.  Of course the powerlifting has taken a hit, but I'll trade it anyday for the peace of mind.   Article here







Slaughterhouse Live

By |May 23rd, 2013|Uncategorized|

A handful of very brave animal right activists work undercover inside the nations largest animal processing plants and farms to expose the unspeakable horrors animals are faced with at the hands of some sadistic human beings.  These activists captured hidden camera and cellphone video of animals being tortured, not mistreated, but literally tortured and for their heroism the local authorities are trying to make their form of activism classified and punishable on the same level as home-grown terrorists like the Boston bombers. Thanks to Tom Carlson for the asignment and for spoiling my love of all things meat.  I'm off the stuff and have never felt better in my body and mind.  Of course the powerlifting has taken a hit, but I'll trade it anyday for the peace of mind.   Article here







Animation for NYT Op-Ed

By |December 17th, 2012|Uncategorized|

It's not everyday that a newspaper calls to request an animated illustration, but I have to admit that I'm hoping to do more of these.   I've been doing the odd bit of animation for quite a while now but it always seems to fall victim to the amount of hours in the day.  With the popularity of the iPad and smartphones I thought like many others that motion would become much more prevalent. I still believe that there is nothing like a poignant still image but it's nice to add the element of motion to my toolbox.   The hardest thing for me to tackle in animation is that it goes against the very sensibility I've tried to hone my entire career, which is, to distill a topic down to a single still moment.  An entirely new set of concerns and possibilities are introduced when you start having to consider motion.  All of them are still very alien to me.   The one common guide that helps me find my way through to a motion solution is to make sure that the motion is there to reveal or enhance the idea in the piece.  In this case, it was a piece about being locked-up in a seemingly endless loop of days that equal a life sentence.  Becuase the motion was not an afterthought, I was able to consider from the beginning what would make a striking still image that would be further enhanced conceptually when animated.   I owe a huge thanks to fellow drawger Richard Borge for helping me to figure out how best to technically pull it off.  Richard has embraced animation, producing a number music videos, on-air identies, and movie titles.  His new reel can be viewed here.  I owe you one, Rich.   And of course thanks go to AD Alexadra Zsigmond for her thoughtfulness to ask about and suggest doing an animation for this piece in today's paper.  







Animation for NYT Op-Ed

By |December 17th, 2012|Uncategorized|

It's not everyday that a newspaper calls to request an animated illustration, but I have to admit that I'm hoping to do more of these.   I've been doing the odd bit of animation for quite a while now but it always seems to fall victim to the amount of hours in the day.  With the popularity of the iPad and smartphones I thought like many others that motion would become much more prevalent. I still believe that there is nothing like a poignant still image but it's nice to add the element of motion to my toolbox.   The hardest thing for me to tackle in animation is that it goes against the very sensibility I've tried to hone my entire career, which is, to distill a topic down to a single still moment.  An entirely new set of concerns and possibilities are introduced when you start having to consider motion.  All of them are still very alien to me.   The one common guide that helps me find my way through to a motion solution is to make sure that the motion is there to reveal or enhance the idea in the piece.  In this case, it was a piece about being locked-up in a seemingly endless loop of days that equal a life sentence.  Becuase the motion was not an afterthought, I was able to consider from the beginning what would make a striking still image that would be further enhanced conceptually when animated.   I owe a huge thanks to fellow drawger Richard Borge for helping me to figure out how best to technically pull it off.  Richard has embraced animation, producing a number music videos, on-air identies, and movie titles.  His new reel can be viewed here.  I owe you one, Rich.   And of course thanks go to AD Alexadra Zsigmond for her thoughtfulness to ask about and suggest doing an animation for this piece in today's paper.  







Vancouver Opera Posters

By |December 13th, 2012|Uncategorized|



A while back I was contacted by Doug Tuck at the Vancouver Opera to illustrate four posters for their 2011-2012 season.  Having seen a previous season's posters illustrated by friend and fellow Drawger Edel Rodriguez, I was honored to be selected for the opportunity.   The project proceeded pretty much like one would expect.  I received the briefs for each of the four operas from AD Annie Mack and we decided to tackle one of the posters from start to finish before moving on to the others.  We decided to start with Romeo et Juliet.  Below are most of the sketches supplied.  What I didn't know at the beginning was that there are major issues with showing weapons in advertisements and posters etc.  This would prove particularly difficult given that the story is set in a violent environment with families feuding and lovers eventually stabbing themselves etc.  Weapons weren't off the table, but they couldn't be the hero.   Among these sketches I was particularly fond of the top one here with the young lovers embracing with a rose stem in between them impaling Juliet with one of the thorns.  I'm planning on taking this one to final just for kicks when I get a spare moment.  I also liked the couple impaled on the feuding swords but those crossed the line with my Canadian colleagues.





I think we moved on from there to develop sketches for the rest of the posters.  This next batch was for The Barber Of Seville.  The story revolves around a goofball barber who distracts his rotund customer while his wife has an affair literally under his nose.  Some of these sketches are pretty out there but somehow they felt appropriate to me at the time.  I blame it on hallucinations brought on by a lack of sleep.   In the end I think we found the right idea.  This poster has gotten some great nods from the Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, Graphis, and The Art Director's Club.





The Vancouver Opera was trying to mix things-up and tap into a broader audience by adding West Side Story to their line-up.  As soon as I started thinking on this one I realized I was screwed.  NO WEAPONS, and it was a story about opposing gangs who loved to dance almost as much as they loved to cut each other up with switchblades.   I stumbled on the idea of these two lovers being separated by a chain link fence, but the fence would be made out of dancers.   Below are a handful of the mash-ups that ensued.  The client chose the one with three figures jumping over the building but I pushed back a bit and got them to agree to use two versions.  The large one below was my favorite, and of course it has a HUGE knife in it.  The heart wants what the heart wants.





Then there was Don Carlo.  This opera had it all.  Too much, actually. There's the oppressive King who secretly desires the prince's lover etc, etc.  There's a few key scenes where the lovers meet in a forest and also one that I was drawn to where they hide in the arched cloisters of an abby. Our final pick depicts that scene but within the larger context of the oppressive father/king.





A mere five minutes after getting the approval on the Don Carlo final I got a call from Doug Tuck at the Opera.  "Don Carlo" is dead, he said.  "The director is removing it from the line-up and we're replacing it with AIDA."   After the initial heartbreak (melodrama intended) I got to work on AIDA, the story of an Ethiopian princess who is stolen away to Egypt by soldiers where she falls in love with her captor.  The client's major input on this one can be distilled down to 3 words, "Think big pyramid."  We were pressed for time so I kept the sketches brief on this one.  I liked all of these directions equally.  Annie and Doug both agreed on the pyramid-as-cape direction and wisely suggested that the image was stronger without all the chariots.









A big thanks to Doug and Annie.  They were a true pleasure to work with.  I was unfortunately unable to go up to Vancouver to see them in person but the feedback has been very gracious.  Many thanks for such a rich assignment.

ps- I thought it would add too much length to the post to describe how the elements were created and from what but I would be happy to answer any questions about that if anyone is curious.

Vancouver Opera Posters

By |December 13th, 2012|Uncategorized|



A while back I was contacted by Doug Tuck at the Vancouver Opera to illustrate four posters for their 2011-2012 season.  Having seen a previous season's posters illustrated by friend and fellow Drawger Edel Rodriguez, I was honored to be selected for the opportunity.   The project proceeded pretty much like one would expect.  I received the briefs for each of the four operas from AD Annie Mack and we decided to tackle one of the posters from start to finish before moving on to the others.  We decided to start with Romeo et Juliet.  Below are most of the sketches supplied.  What I didn't know at the beginning was that there are major issues with showing weapons in advertisements and posters etc.  This would prove particularly difficult given that the story is set in a violent environment with families feuding and lovers eventually stabbing themselves etc.  Weapons weren't off the table, but they couldn't be the hero.   Among these sketches I was particularly fond of the top one here with the young lovers embracing with a rose stem in between them impaling Juliet with one of the thorns.  I'm planning on taking this one to final just for kicks when I get a spare moment.  I also liked the couple impaled on the feuding swords but those crossed the line with my Canadian colleagues.





I think we moved on from there to develop sketches for the rest of the posters.  This next batch was for The Barber Of Seville.  The story revolves around a goofball barber who distracts his rotund customer while his wife has an affair literally under his nose.  Some of these sketches are pretty out there but somehow they felt appropriate to me at the time.  I blame it on hallucinations brought on by a lack of sleep.   In the end I think we found the right idea.  This poster has gotten some great nods from the Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, Graphis, and The Art Director's Club.





The Vancouver Opera was trying to mix things-up and tap into a broader audience by adding West Side Story to their line-up.  As soon as I started thinking on this one I realized I was screwed.  NO WEAPONS, and it was a story about opposing gangs who loved to dance almost as much as they loved to cut each other up with switchblades.   I stumbled on the idea of these two lovers being separated by a chain link fence, but the fence would be made out of dancers.   Below are a handful of the mash-ups that ensued.  The client chose the one with three figures jumping over the building but I pushed back a bit and got them to agree to use two versions.  The large one below was my favorite, and of course it has a HUGE knife in it.  The heart wants what the heart wants.





Then there was Don Carlo.  This opera had it all.  Too much, actually. There's the oppressive King who secretly desires the prince's lover etc, etc.  There's a few key scenes where the lovers meet in a forest and also one that I was drawn to where they hide in the arched cloisters of an abby. Our final pick depicts that scene but within the larger context of the oppressive father/king.





A mere five minutes after getting the approval on the Don Carlo final I got a call from Doug Tuck at the Opera.  "Don Carlo" is dead, he said.  "The director is removing it from the line-up and we're replacing it with AIDA."   After the initial heartbreak (melodrama intended) I got to work on AIDA, the story of an Ethiopian princess who is stolen away to Egypt by soldiers where she falls in love with her captor.  The client's major input on this one can be distilled down to 3 words, "Think big pyramid."  We were pressed for time so I kept the sketches brief on this one.  I liked all of these directions equally.  Annie and Doug both agreed on the pyramid-as-cape direction and wisely suggested that the image was stronger without all the chariots.









A big thanks to Doug and Annie.  They were a true pleasure to work with.  I was unfortunately unable to go up to Vancouver to see them in person but the feedback has been very gracious.  Many thanks for such a rich assignment.

ps- I thought it would add too much length to the post to describe how the elements were created and from what but I would be happy to answer any questions about that if anyone is curious.