Mascot for Spire Credit Union

Over the past couple of years the Minneapolis Star Tribune has hired me to illustrate some ads for Spire Credit Union. The campaign is centered around a cartoon caricature version of their CEO Dan Stoltz driving the company’s trademark antique blue pickup. Here’s a version of the half-page ad that kicked everything off:

Here’s a couple of additional sample Spire images I worked on:

You might have noticed a happy yellow dog in the first image:

Spire has really taken to him. They named him Cash and I just found out they’ve turned him into a life-sized costumed mascot:

The video below features his reveal and also includes some animation based on my drawings. (I didn’t do the actual animation. I just provided a few character sketches and someone else took it from there.)

I’m about to start another really fun project featuring Cash. Can’t wait to reveal it.

My Instagram Has Changed

You follow me on instagram, right? If you do, you need to know about a change.

My Instagram account (@cedrichohnstadt) started as a place to publish my illustrations and sketches, but it was slowly overtaken by my webcomics. 

My “day job” is freelance illustration. More and more art directors are browsing Instagram looking for illustrators to hire. When they check me out I want them to see my illustration work. But I also have a lot of regular people who follow me for my webcomics. So, I’ve decided that those two audiences should each get their own Instagram feed.

As of today I’ve changed my instagram account from “@cedrichohnstadt” to “@sketchbooksilliness“. That’s where my IG webcomics now live. I’m still keeping the “@cedrichohnstadt” account but it will only be for my illustration work. Because of Instagram’s rules that username is now locked in limbo for two weeks but I should be able to fire it up again on or around Feb. 7, 2020.

If you already follow my webcomics on Instagram you don’t have to do anything. The link has changed but it appears that Instagram has automatically shifted all of my followers to the new account. If you want to see my illustration work and random stuff from my sketchbook, you’ll have to follow me at  @cedrichohnstadt stating Feb. 8. 

I apologize for any confusion this might cause my followers. Hopefully in the long run this will make the experience even better for you. Thanks again for your interest in my work!

‘Polar Pranks’ Kids Meal Illustration for Kid Stuff Marketing

Kid Stuff Marketing specializes in kids’ meal menus and toys for restaurants. I’ve done a few projects for them now. Recently they hired me to create a multi-purpose illustration using a line of polar bears that they refer to as “Polar Pranks”. They asked me to take their original polar bear designs and put my own spin on them. They wanted to update the look of the brand while still keeping it somewhat recognizable.

The layout was a bit tricky because the image had to be able to be sliced-and-diced in different ways. We designed it so that this image could work as a placemat, or as a a wrap-around paper sack (so no action on the folds), or with segments lifted for use on plastic cups.

Final result: Here’s how the sacks and cups turned out…

Lunchbox & Placemat Art for Goldfish Swim School

Goldfish Swim School hired me to illustrate a scene featuring their mascot Bubbles (which I had previously designed) with some of his friends. The layout needed to work both as a placemat and also as a cropped image on lunchboxes.

I don’t have an image of the final placemat but here’s a picture I found online with the lunchbox in the upper left:

‘Slinky Headz’ Toy Designs for Alex Brands

Last year the toy company Alex Brands hired me to work up some character designs for a new line of toys called Slinky Headz. Each toy is a cylindrical monster character with a slinky inside, with the idea being that the top and bottom half of each can be removed and mixed-or-matched. One tricky restriction was that each piece needed to look good upside up and also upside down (in other words, if you flipped the face upside down it still needed to look like an upside-up face).

I was asked to brainstorm several rough designs, which were then narrowed down to a werewolf, a witch doctor, a zombie, and an lizard alien.

The client was happy with what I did but ultimately the decision was made to change gears and go with a different style of artwork for the final product. Oh well, sometimes that happens. Still it was a lot of fun to work on.

Headbands & Glasses for Goldfish Swim School

One of my regular clients is Goldfish Swim School. I designed their mascot Bubbles the Goldfish and have done work for them off and on ever since. Recently they decided to create punch-out headbands and glasses/masks for kids to wear, with a different theme each month. Here’s some samples of what I drew up for them:

Children's headbands and glasses illustrated by Cedric Hohnstadt for Goldfish Swim Schools.