Dec 20, 2012

Merry Christmas and an awesome New Year!!

Hello friends!

We're going to keep this one short and sweet. 2012 was a big year for us. We opened the doors to our little creative studio and through all of the ups and downs, we feel blessed for all that's happened and all of those who've helped us along the way. Thank you!
Now we get to celebrate the upcoming holidays! So however you choose to trim the tree (hee, hee. Get it?) or celebrate the holidays, on behalf of the monsters here, we wish you a super amazing Christmas and an even greater New Year! Stay safe, and more importantly, stay awesome.

See you soon!

Dec 13, 2012

A Christmas tip from the monster crew

We've all heard the saying, less is more. That's actually true in most cases (not true when dealing with donuts or bacon). That saying is most certainly true when dealing with home decorating. With this being the holiday season, we wanted to share a tip on how to pick the appropriate Christmas tree. The picture above pretty much speaks for itself.

Other Holiday tips:
Don't make snowmen out of yellow snow.
Actually, avoid yellow snow at all costs.
Gift cards are actually a good gift.
Puppies are actually a bad gift. The type of presents they leave are the ones you can't return with any amount of receipts.

Well, we hope we've been of some help to you. How ever you celebrate your holiday season, we wish you a safe and awesome season and an even better new year. Merry Christmas!!

Nov 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!!!!

As we near our 1 year anniversary, we have a lot to be thankful for from our awesomely wondiferous clients (clients sounds kinda stale, huh? We'll call you our friends), to our fans (that sounds weird, let's just call you friends also). We are thankful for our entire circle of friends and family. We wish you all the safest and most delicious Thanksgiving ever!!

Nov 5, 2012

Cream or sugar with that coffee? How 'bout some nerd?

So a little while back, the good folks at Bloc, a group of elite nerds (Coming from a nerd, I mean that in the most honoring way possible) with amazing experience and backgrounds, banded together to form a company that offers courses in web development (though more courses are on the horizon). Anyways, they contacted us to illustrate a graphic for a tee shirt they could hand out at their booth at trade shows. After speaking with tech guru, Hani (greatest guy ever), we understood they wanted a block character to serve as their mascot. They were pretty open aside from that. We felt a wooden block tied best in with their brand identity. Their excitement over the final product was only matched by those receiving the tees, which made us equally excited. It was a triforce of happiness. They were so fun to work with and we wish them the best as they raise up another generation of programming nerds (again, that's a good thing). If you're looking to bulk up your web development skills, check them out! Below are some photos of the final product.

Oct 15, 2012

Are you feeling the burn yet?

We recently had the pleasure of working with the innovative fitness company Wahoo Fitness, who develops product and technology for the everyday athlete. What we love about them most is their sense of humor. While they take their business very seriously, they don't take themselves too seriously. They've recently developed a new piece of technology and felt the best way to pitch it would be via illustrated story boards. That's where we came in. After listening to their needs and asking some essential questions, we had all we needed to proceed. The initial feedback has been very positive and we wish them the best and hope our work continues to support their work. If you are an everyday athlete (or an every once in a while athlete like me), be sure to pay them a visit here. Below are just a few of the images we developed. Thanks!

© Wahoo Fitness 2012
© Wahoo Fitness 2012

© Wahoo Fitness 2012

Hooray for Halloween!!

Hello folks! Luis here!

I had the absolute privilege to work on Target's Halloween collection in 2010 and lead the development in 2011 and 2012. This year was by far my most ambitious to date. I lead the cross-functional and cross-departmental teams in a number of brainstorm sessions to identify white-space opportunities in our assortment, merchandising and general product ideas. Developing a collection of this magnitude is a huge undertaking and takes a large number of people, but it's fun and has been the most rewarding project I've had to work on because it is so big, and heck, it's Halloween!!

As I mentioned, it's definitely a group effort that combined the talents of many people and departments. Aside from having to develop the trends, I personally oversaw (and pitched in on) the development of the artwork/style guide. I also dabbled in some of the product designs and/or art directed our business partners. To me, the most exciting part is co-developing the strategy with the merchant teams. In 2011, we saw an opportunity to make pumpkin decorating bigger and more fun, and we expanded it for 2012. Usually the design team pitches in to help develop merchandising solutions, but by that time I had already left and opened the doors to Idea Monster. Below are just a few photos of some of the assortment in all of their glory. Enjoy!!

Just a snap shot of our home decor offerings.
A wreath I developed. I don't know why, but I really love this guy.
New for us in 2012 was adding real pumpkins to our pumpkin decorating statement. I wish I could take credit for that one :(.
I wanted our animated decor to feel as cohesive as possible so we tied it all together with materials, color and finishes.

Who doesn't love a party? Aside from developing the "Spookier" artwork, I also designed these shaped plates. My favorite to this day.

After an observational "field trip" to my buyer's son's school Halloween party, we identified the need for some school or group games/activities. While I developed the basic look and concepts, a talented designer and friend did the actual designing and saw it through to production.

Aug 10, 2012

Our latest tee up for voting at Threadless! You'd cheddar love it!!

Hello folks!

We put our brains together hoping to strike gold again over at Threadless (our unicorn design was a smash hit!). Check it out and let us know if ye like it! Vote for it here. Feel free to share it with your friends! Thanks!

Aug 8, 2012

New Art Prints Up at Society 6!

Hello folks!

As we're gearing up for Comic Con (Wizard World) which is later this week, we took some time out to post some older graphics we did for tees that we didn't end up using. We loved them too much to see them go to waste, so now they're available as prints over at Society6. Check them out and go ahead and buy one if you like it!

Speaking of tees, we'll have a new tee up for voting at Threadless very soon! Check back in a day or two for details.

Thanks and enjoy!
Twice the Man

Proper Mr. Otter

Aug 6, 2012

The AMAZING Spidey

He's everywhere... and now he's on a slab of wood. And adorably so.

Adventure Time!

Check out this painting of Adventure Time - Acrylics on Wood.

Turtle Power!

This week is Chicago Comic Con and we are so excited to show all the fun stuff we are bringing to the show!

Check out this 3D plush wall art. There are four canvases to the set.

Jul 31, 2012

Good news! More Whales!!

Hello folks!! We just received an email from Threadless today letting us know that due to popular demand (I added the "due to popular demand" part), they've reprinted our "Shave the Whales"tee! I know most sized went pretty fast. If ye like, check it out here: Thanks folks!

Jul 30, 2012

Awesome tees for awesome-r beverages!

Hello folks! Luis here! We recently partnered with the great people of Novamex to design some tees for some of their Summer marketing initiatives. If you're Mexican, know Mexicans or just love Mexican food, you definitely know who they are or have at least [repeatedly] tried their products. They're the saints that bring us Jarritos, Sidral Mundet, Sangria Senorial, and the delicious hot sauce, Cholula (the one with the wooden cap), just to name a few.

We had the task of designing for my personal favorite sodas (honestly), Sangria Senorial; which, as the name suggests is derived from the alcoholic beverage Sangria; and Sidral Mundet, an apple-flavored soda that comes in two flavors: red and green apple. Below are the designs (the monster tees did not move forward, but we still loved them, so wanted to show them off ;).

It was such a rewarding experience working on this project, not only because they were such a blast to work with (nicest people in the world!) but for me, it's a brand I grew up with and brings back so many fond memories of my childhood. Read about the two beverages here and and see what other products Novamex distributes here:

Thanks Novamex and thank you for reading!

Jul 24, 2012

New art for sale!

Hello folks! Luis here! I just updated my Society 6 page with a poster I did for a buddy's real bachelor party. Pretty swank if I do say so myself.You can find the shop here:

There you will also find the art to two of our Threadless designs which were printed as tees. All at their NEW, LOWER price!! Thanks for the continued support!

Jul 20, 2012

Happy Friday!!

Good morning folks! Another week has come and gone. We're thankful of our clients and the work we've had and as a sign of our gratitude [digital] coffee and [digital] bagels are on us! Feel free to indulge! The cream cheese is made of rainbows and angels' wings so it actually burns calories. Have a safe and enjoyable weekend all!

Jul 16, 2012

Fun Target Bedding

Mel here dropping in to share some bedding I was able to work on last year that has finally hit store shelves this season! When you are asked to design bedding and the content is pretty much "use dots & stripes that appeals to mass market" you have to rely heavily on placement, fabrics and color to make it feel fun! And that's what (I hope) happened here :)

Jul 15, 2012

Los Luchadores Maravillosos

 Hello! Luis here - The Chicago Comic Con is fast approaching and we're scrambling to create some new pieces for the visitors this year. We'll being some old favs from last year, but people want the new. We'll be posting some other projects soon, but until then here's the latest pieces. For as long as I'll live, I'll always remember my summer vacations as a kid to Mexico where we'd visit our family. Long car rides to Acapulco without air conditioning, is something I won't soon forget, but more unforgettable were the many, many times my uncle would take us all to LUCHA LIBRE at the local arena. It was AMAZING! The flips, the characters, the toys and most of all, the masks! I had a personal collection of my favorite luchador masks (El Ultimo Dragon was numero uno!). For this personal project, I thought it'd be cool to interpret some of my favorite super heroes as luchadores. The masks are totally lo-fi and what you'd expect to see from the luchadores back then. I took the liberty and creative freedom with the names as well. I imagined my mother saying Captain America's real name Steve Rogers as Estevan Royers (her Gs aren't always there). What do you folks think of the aged paper textures? Keep? Thanks and enjoy!


Jul 12, 2012

We got printed!!

One of the things we love to do around here is design tees. Especially when it's for our demographic. Threadless has been a great outlet for our creativity in our spare time and our second selected tee just went on sale!! Check it out here or click the photos below:
We're also going to do a version more suitable for printing. Check for that soon over at Society 6. Thanks for all who voted!

Jul 4, 2012

Hooray for nerds!

We came across this cool nerdy site yesterday, Geek Rest, and lo and behold...they had posted some of our work we had done for Wizard World 2011! A lot of our work is whimsical and very stylized, but on this grouping we wanted to explore some simpler designs. There's also a Spongebob piece we did which they didn't include. Check it out:

Anyways, we are prepping  for Wizard World 2012 and we're putting our heads together to see what kind of fun, new surprises we can cook up for all of the awesome people we'll meet this year!! We'll recap for sure! Stay tuned. Different Bat Time, Same Bat Channel!! POW!!! BAM!!!

May 7, 2012

Monsters at the Museum

One of our favorite parts of a project is the research phase (depending on the day though. Brainstorming sometimes takes the cake). There's just something about keeping an open mind, hitting the road and searching for inspiration. The greatest pay-off is when you get an idea that leads you in a totally, yet better, direction than where you thought you were headed.

One of our recent projects called for the following:
  • new and innovative design
  • target audience were pre-tween kids
  • interactive elements of play
The rest was up to us! We love when a client tells us, "We don't know exactly what we want, but we know we need to be innovative and push it further than where we are now." It takes a lot to identify you're doing well today, but you don't want to be in anyone's rear-view mirror tomorrow.

So forward we looked and pushed. We did our standard competitive and benchmark analysis and searched the internet for amazingness, but felt we were still missing something. We like to pull inspiration from unexpected places, so we headed to The Museum of Science and Industry here in Chicago. We played the role of observers as we watched families with their kids interact with the displays and noticed what they gravitated towards and how they reacted. We took note of shapes, materials, function and how technology either played a main or supporting role in the exhibit.

After all was said and done, we left feeling energized (and a little enlightened as well) and ready to rock! Unfortunately we can't show the end result since the project is still in development, but we and our client are extremely happy with where we landed. :) Till next time folks!

Mar 22, 2012

Super Awesome!!

Hey folks! Long time, no update. Sorry about that. We've, thankfully, been busy at work but we had the opportunity to work with the good folks at Steal This Art on this piece. Unfortunately the art is a limited run and is only available for 24 hours then it will merely be a thing of legend and myth. In case you missed it there, here she is in all of her glory. Enjoy!

Mar 8, 2012

Is that a Ninja Turtle?

A sneak peek at something we are cooking up for Wizard World Chicago. Cool illustration mixed with... sewing?!