JOURNAL

Brian Wonders:  The Making of a Children's Book

Brian Wonders World-Wide Launch

Brian Wonders Launched its debut collection last Wednesday, December 7th 2016. 

Big hug to Emmanuel Renoird and Nicolas Libert from Please Do Not Enter for hosting the event and trusting me to float a giant pink fish in the middle of their showroom.

For the launch, Pinky the Fish was suspended from the ceiling and lit up like a giant disco ball.  

Photos by Kent Seki

by Victor Robert

Blowfish: How-To

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For my launch I'm bringing the storybook world of Brian Wonders to life by creating a giant pink blowfish of course.  Here's a bit of a how-to for anyone who wants to create their own at home. 

Step 1 -- get your hands on a giant balloon.  This will be the main body of the fish.  Apparently an 8 foot balloon can lift up to 15 lbs. when filled with helium.   

Step 2 -- Get your hands on some sequins.  I headed to the Fashion District here downtown and found this cool shimmery fabric and thought it would be way too much disco, but then I decided that was a good idea.  Sequins are notoriously heavy as many of you know and the yardage required to cover this fish may force me to rethink the helium angle... she may be too heavy...  still, she needs to be suspended...  

Step 3:  Bring on talent.  This is Jonathan, he is a fashion designer and an expert pattern maker and normally he creates elaborate wedding gowns for celebs.  For this project, he's creating Pinky's sequin 'skin'.  I told him a good starting point would be to pretend he was creating a wedding gown except instead of a celebrity it would be for an 8 foot blowfish.

Step 4 -- Foam.  Lots of foam.  Here I'm using long strips of it to create top lip and figure out proportions and placement.  

Step 5 -- Schematics.  This should actually be closer to step 1.  Here's how I broke down the fish into basic shapes before cutting the shapes out of foam.  The tall long one represents the foam shape for the lips.  The rhomboid shapes are my guides for the fins.         

Step 6 -- Get a room.  It got a little tight in the studio so we shifted to an empty retail space on 5th Street.  You can see the foam has been sculpted into crude fins and we are laying out their position.  Jonathan will then take measurements and make a pattern of the whole thing once we finalize their placement.  

Step 7 -- Get some sleep or you'll find yourself doing the dance of the seven veils.  You can see Pinky in the background taking shape but much more work is still ahead.  More to come... In the meantime RSVP to my launch downtown don't miss Pinky's debut.

by Victor Robert

THE SUBMARINE

Just wanted to share a little bit of this work in progress.  It's one of my favorite illustrations in the storybook, and I'm making it my first limited edition print.  Am feeling a little bit OCD because I started going back into the illustration and making adjustments to the original, but couldn't help it.  It's therapeutic.  

These are a few of the colors I'm using... mixing Winsor Newton gouache with Liquitex acrylic paints with Acryla gouache.  A pinch of that opera pink really makes things pop.   

Here you can see the comparison... a few of the adjustments I've made...  I addded more blond hair creeping into the nearby porthole and have been refining the image overall with accents.

by Victor Robert

PINKY!

Been experimenting with this guy and bringing him to life through these animated gifs.  His name is Pinky the Blowfish and I'm working on a toy version of him as well.  

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by Victor Robert

ANIME EXPO Los Angeles 2016

You can always tell when The Anime Expo is in town.  Color and manga magic fills the streets of Downtown LA.  Naturally I'm drawn to this... I brought my camera with me and snapped a few pictures.  I'm using a special Brian Wonders lens which adds more magic and sparkle to each image the longer the shutter is held open.  I'm still playing with the settings, but here's a few of my favorites.  

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Got a little starstruck it's Hatsune Miku.  If you don't know who she is click on her link, it'll take you to a youtube.  Basically she's a giant anime hologram singer who sells out concerts all around the world.  She's rendered real time, dances and flips her twintails on stage... sort of in the world of Gorillaz.  Fantastic.

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I think his name is Howl.

I think his name is Howl.

Character overload.  I don't know who she is but I like it.  

Character overload.  I don't know who she is but I like it.  

Calling all Asuka Langleys

Calling all Asuka Langleys

If you appear in these pictures and/or would like credit or have comments, please send me a note!

by Victor Robert

BRIAN WONDERS Collaboration with DiSnapback

Last weekend I turned my studio loft into a photo stage for a collaboration with LA streetwear designer Victor Perez, of DiSnapback.  His idea was to shoot his summer collection surrounded by my illustrated wall and feature my Brian Wonders pillows and storybook.  

Model credit:  CJ Hammond 

Model credit:  CJ Hammond 

Here's the result of our collaboration and a mix of behind the scenes images as well.  Many thanks to the models and Sonny the photographer for making the photos look so good -- 

Model credit:  CJ Hammond 

Model credit:  CJ Hammond 

Model credit:  Marcio   Model credit:  CJ Hammond 

Model credit:  Marcio  

Model credit:  CJ Hammond 

Model credit:  Trent Thompson

Model credit:  Trent Thompson

Model credit:  CJ Hammond 

Model credit:  CJ Hammond 

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by Victor Robert

Brian Wonders: Now at the Wynn Las Vegas


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Excited to announce the Brian Wonders Storybook is now selling at the Wynn Hotel Las Vegas.

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Spent the weekend scoping out the pools and garden mazes and cabana castles and couldn't help being inspired by the surroundings...  I wondered what if the gardens had a lazy river running through them.  I wondered what if the infinity pool went on for infinity.  So I sketched them out.   

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Tiny Treasures in the Esplande, the newly opened gifting boutique for children.  Jewel encrusted tricycles, princess tents and Keith Haring furniture are among some of the treasures.   

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Limited edition postcards and pillows are in production and will soon be added to my Brian Wonders Shop.  Follow my IG @brianwonders or join my mailing list to receive special offers and updates on gifts.   

BRIAN WONDERS IN ESALEN

Still feeling rejuvenated and a little blissed out from my weekend at Esalen Institute in Big Sur.  I highly recommend it for hot springs and meditation.  The drawing below shows how I was feeling moments before I got my cortical fields re-aligned.  I'm all good now.  

Julia Pfeiffer National Park, Big Sur.  Selfie in my DiSnapback LOS* hat  

Julia Pfeiffer National Park, Big Sur.  Selfie in my DiSnapback LOS* hat  

Morning sketch at The Mill SF

Morning sketch at The Mill SF

Luna! Brian's magical friend


Luna comes to life whenever Brian is especially bored.  Luna leans in and whispers a magical plot into his ear.  This time he has pirates in mind... and a kidnap.  Off to the deep end they go.  Double tap or hold on Luna to copy the gif, then paste to send him off on twirling adventures.

Here's a little behind the scenes of the making of Luna.  I'm modeling her in 3D using Maya.  And here's a few early sketches of Luna, including the final illustration from the storybook.  Currently working on a limited run of designer toys of this little guy as well as some more animations.  

More images from Bologna, Italy

Feeling nostalgic and ran across some pics from my last trip to Italy that I never posted... here's a few Brian Wonders images from Bologna and a couple from Venezia.  Huge thanks to Noemi and Francesca at ZOO, the spectacular bookstore in Bologna which became the first bookstore to carry my storybook!  Grazie mille!  Here's Brian displayed in their window!!  

Feeling in good company, placed next to one of my favorite illustrators, Emmanuel Hodart.

Feeling in good company, placed next to one of my favorite illustrators, Emmanuel Hodart.

Follow the white rabbit up the steps to the upstairs shop at Zoo.

Follow the white rabbit up the steps to the upstairs shop at Zoo.

Brian Wonders in Venezia, Italy

I couldn't help leaving a few Brian Wonders Pirate Bears peeking about Venezia.  Morning started out with the best tasting pastry and coffee I've had.  Ever.

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by Victor Robert