Process - Sketches to Finals

I'm always interested to see how illustrators approach sketches for their assignments. We of course see the final artwork in print or online, but I also love seeing the initial concepts and evolution of imagery that got there.

Recently, Intercom shared a post about this, including initial sketches alongside the final illustrations. I've worked with them in the past and I'm a big fan of what they've been doing with their blog and artwork recently. It's cool to peek into the process in this way.

I wanted to share a few of my projects with them, including the original sketch and the final piece.

My sketches are fairly tight which means the final illustration is very close to the original concept. That's especially helpful for complex images, like the stairs with cacti. Sometimes I'll adjust elements as I go if something isn't working overall, but otherwise once the sketch is approved, I'm good to go straight to ink and color!

Illustrators, is your sketching process similar? More loose? More detailed? I'd love to hear how everyone approaches this and works best.

Top Ten Albums of 2016

My illustrated albums list is here! I chose my top ten favorite records from 2016 to illustrate and share. I didn't rank these in any specific order - they're just the releases I enjoyed the most over the last 12 months. I've compiled some of my favorite songs from each album on a Spotify playlist (below) so you can enjoy them as well.

This sort of small personal project is always fun because it's a chance to experiment and try something new. I let these illustrations be more loose and simple than usual and I'm happy with the result. I started doing this in 2015 and I think I'll continue it moving forward!

What were your favorite albums of 2016?? Let me know what you loved over the last year and Happy New Year!

Curbed Home Handbook Illustrations

Earlier this spring I began working with Curbed on a new project they launched in collaboration with State Farm - The Curbed Home Handbook. The Home Handbook is an ongoing, online resource for everything home and garden related (apartments too!). Creating the illustrations for the different chapters and stories has been a really fun process and I wanted to share some of my favorites!

New chapters will be added over the next 6 months so stay tuned for more artwork!

Editorial Illustration + Postcard Mailing

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Last year I had the chance to work on several editorial illustration projects, all of which I really enjoyed. When I sat down to think about my goals for 2016, "more editorial work" was high up on the list. To help that along, I've recently sent out a round of postcards to art directors near and far. I'm hoping they enjoyed receiving a warm & cozy image during the cold days of winter!

If you or anyone you know has illustration needs, I'd love to chat! You can message me through my "contact" page or shoot an email to hey@sunnyeckerle.com.

My Favorite Albums of 2015

Working for yourself often means working by yourself. While this doesn't get me down (I tend to prefer it, lucky for me!), it does mean there is a lot of silence to fill and time to pass during the days and nights. When I'm not listening to WNYC or whatever podcast I most recently came across, I have to have some good tunes handy.

With that in mind, these were my top albums of 2015 - the ones that got me through long nights working late or slow afternoons when I needed some extra motivation to stay at my desk. These are in no particular order aside from how I felt like drawing them. 

I've also put together a Spotify playlist of a few of my favorite tracks from each. Unfortunately "Welcome Late Bloomers" is not available on Spotify but I've linked to those tracks here, here, and here (it really is an amazing album, you won't regret the extra clicks!) 

I hope you enjoy and Happy New Year!

When I Can't Find a Bodega Cat

Today I went looking for some new bodega cats but sadly, I came up empty. Since I don't have any new cats on my list, I've drawn the new beverages I've found instead.

Most the bodega cats I've drawn up until this point have been ones that I met organically. I've popped into a store for a coffee or water or gum and seen a cat on the counter or hiding under a rack of chips. It's super exciting when this happens, (1) because I love cats and (2) it means I have another subject to draw.

But sometimes I'll also go on mini-pilgrimages (like I did today) to look for new cats . Which means I need a bit of cash and a lot of luck. In 80% of the stores I go into, I don't find a cat. It's tough to determine whether they truly don't have one or whether it may be napping or hiding. Asking works sometimes, but store owners can be weary of (or irritated by) me coming into their store and immediately asking about cats.

It's my "policy" to always buy something in each store I go into when I look for cats. It gives me a chance to scope the place out but it also means I'm not being (totally) annoying by coming into a shop, lurking around, and leaving empty handed.

Today was a bust in terms of cats but at least I got a fridge full of drinks out of it. 

PIE - A Zine About Memories and Pie Eating

Not much can be said about the internet that hasn't be said before, but I'll go ahead and add one more bit of commentary. I really like it. While it can sometimes feel like a strange periscope that shows only people who are more happy, popular, successful or talented than you, it's more often than not an incredibly powerful and surprising vehicle to meet, connect, and collaborate with people that you'd otherwise not have the chance to know. Most recently, it brought me together with Muriel Vega, an Atlanta based writer and developer. 

I don't remember when or how Muriel and I started following each other on Instagram. Never having met in real life and living over 800 miles away from each other, it's one of the fun coincidences made possible by social media. Through whatever digital happenstance connected us, I was able to watch her progress on something she dubbed Muriel's 50 Pies.

Earlier this year she set a goal to bake 50 pies. She wasn't much of a pie baker before she started her quest (although she would come to be one, just check out her Instagram!) but rather she wanted to challenge herself to learn something new, get better at it, and have patience throughout the process. It was a very cool and inspiring project, which you can read more about here

A few months ago, Muriel reached out to me about the next iteration of the project, which was a zine that would combine the recipes, memories, and emotions about pie that people had begun to spontaneously reach out to her with. See? This is why I really like the internet. She was pulling everything together and asked if I'd like to illustrate the cover for the zine, which I gladly accepted. 

I just received my copy of the zine over the weekend and it's truly such a lovely piece. The limited edition of 50 (which are now sold out) were available online and in select shops around Atlanta. Even better, Muriel donated the proceeds to the Atlanta Community Food Bank! 

I was so happy to be part of the project and to have the opportunity to work with someone as kind and driven as Muriel. It's so inspiring to see what people can accomplish when they set their minds and hearts to it. It's also so exciting what people can do together when they're able to connect over common goals and interests. 

  A fews shot of the PIE zine goodness from Muriel's Instagram.

 

A fews shot of the PIE zine goodness from Muriel's Instagram.

  For sale in Criminal Records in Atlanta!

 

For sale in Criminal Records in Atlanta!

Curated 48 - A Brooklyn Based Pop Up Shop

In November I was very luck to be a part of Curated 48 - a Brooklyn based pop up shop that was chock full of great stuff from talented people. There was jewelry and leather goods, vintage clothing, beautiful furniture, plus much more - all from super talented Brooklyn makers. I was very pleased to be able to contribute my paper goods to the shop, which was in the beautiful neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights. 

Abbie of Made in Rye was the mastermind behind the idea and did a wonderful job organizing and executing it. The space looked beautiful and was a huge success for the two weekends it ran for.

It was such a pleasure to see my work among so many other beautiful products made by smart and driven people. The support was amazing as well, whether from people purchasing my work, stopping by the shop, or just sharing the flyer on social media. A big thank you to everyone who stopped by and shopped local. Thanks as well to the other vendors who participated - Made in RyeAwesome BoxesThrone WatchesButternut BrooklynBlue Collar GoodsRound About BotanicalsTooth + Nail DesignsWhite Rabbit, and La Poubelle Vintage.

I'll be sure to keep you posted on any future dates or pop shops that are coming up! 

Thank you as well to Matthew Lettini who nabbed some great photographs.