Poppycock Packaging Art for Orville Redenbacher

Earlier this year I was hired my the good folks at RPM Connect in Minneapolis to illustrate some Christmas canisters for Orville Reddenbacher’s “Poppycock” brand. The snacks are now available in stores. I picked up my first few canisters in Target but I’m sure other stores will be carrying them as well.

The folks at RPM Connect were great to work with. By the time I was brought onto the project the general concept had already been decided on but the exact style of illustration was still under discussion. They wanted a series of vignettes around the bottom of the can. Something flat, graphic, not very cartoony, and probably monochromatic.  Also, the client had incorporated some snowflakes-and-trees clip art into the mockup and I was asked to try to incorporate those elements into my final illustration. Whatever I did couldn’t deviate too far from that “look”.

Given those parameters, I worked up a few samples to try and nail down a possible style for the illustration:

Normally my work is very cartoony so it was a lot of fun to push myself in another direction and play around with styles and colors I wouldn’t normally use. Ultimately the client chose Option #2 (the one in the upper right) and that’s the style I went with. Here’s the final illustration:

From there the agency added in the logo and other graphic elements. The final result is now available in stores:

Merry Christmas

People celebrate Christmas for all sorts of reasons. For me it’s not just about the presents or the time with family or even the little manger scene on the mantel. It’s also about why Jesus was born: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). Since I’m definitely a sinner, that’s good news.  I tried to hint at that theme in this illustration.

This was intended to be my Christmas card promo. Unfortunately I didn’t quite get it finished in time to mail out to my clients. I was so busy meeting other clients’ deadlines that I missed my own. So I sent it out as a Christmas email instead.

Warmest Christmas wishes to all you blog readers and your families.


Christmas Giving

The Christmas season is upon us. In America, as the saying goes, there’s pressure to buy stuff we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t even like. But Christmas can also be a time of genuine, heartfelt giving to those truly in need.

After all, Christmas is a day to commemorate the generous gift God gave us by sending His Son to save us from our sins. In that spirit I’d like to recommend a few places where spending just a little extra cash can go a long way towards helping others who are less fortunate.

WorldVision and Compassion International are Christian nonprofit organizations that provide food, clothing, medical care, education, and other necessities to children in impoverished nations. You may have seen their commercials on TV asking you to sponsor a child. Sponsoring a child is easy and cheap, but if you’d rather not make that commitment you can always give a one-time donation. WorldVision has a special Christmas catalog that lets you purchase gifts for the needy overseas. For example, for $28 you can provide medical care to someone with AIDS; $17 will buy seeds so that a poor family can plant vegetables; for $35 you can provide counseling and education to a young girl who has been forced into prostitution.

Another worthwhile organization is the Salvation Army. A small donation can provide a Christmas dinner, clothing, and toys for a family in need. You can donate online or drop some cash into one of their kettles at the mall.

Yet another worthy cause is Prison Fellowship. It’s founder, Chuck Colson, was the Chief Counsel of President Richard Nixon and served time in prison for his role in Watergate. Shortly before serving his sentence he became a Christian. After his release he started Prison Fellowship, one of the world’s largest ministries to prison inmates. Many prisoners have small children at home who will be celebrating Christmas this year without their mommy or daddy. Prison Fellowship’s Operation Angel Tree provides toys to those children in the name of their incarcerated parent.

I’m not trying to twist anyone’s arm or lay on a guilt trip. Well, maybe I am just a little. Compared to some parts of the world, we middle-class Americans live like kings. Please give some thought to sharing a little bit of your blessings this Christmas. Even the smallest gift can make a difference. You’ll have a warm feeling inside that Santa’s elves won’t be able to match.

Thanks for indulging me in this off-topic post. Tomorrow I’ll resume writing about art-related topics.