This is a blog of illustrator Petri Suni. Browse on and check what he's been up to lately.

25 July 2011

Bronx Zoo t-shirt design - part 1

As mentioned in my earlier post, I'm planning to do a Bronx Zoo t-shirt design (It's just for myself not ordered by Bronx Zoo). It's going to be illustration based and there's obviously an animal involved, and the Bronx Zoo animal that made a strongest impression on me during my visit was definitely gorilla.

It seems to be so typical for me that I first need to do some quite realistic sketches before playing further with the character.

bronx zoo gorillas

I started to find something here.

bronx zoo gorillas

E.T. phones home... wrong way.

bronx zoo gorillas

Something like this...

bronx zoo gorillas

I put this aside now. I hope to have some time to go on with this soon.

EDIT: The finished design can be seen here

22 July 2011

Mika Myllylä and the famous snap of his skiing pole - Lillehammer winter olympics 1994

Just couple of weeks ago the surprising and sad news told that the famous finnish nordic skiing athlete Mika Myllylä has suddenly passed away. Purely by coincidence I browsed my illustration archives yesterday and stumbled upon an illustration which I had made somewhere in the end of 1990's for the Cosmos magazine. The article was making top-list of the most disastrous instants in finnish sport history. One of those unfortunate moments was when Mika Myllylä broke his skiing pole during the furious winter olympic race in Lillehammer 1994 and lost chances to take his first personal medal.

Despite what happened in Lahti 2001 and all sad turns of event after that, we may with all due respect say that he was a great athlete.

RIP Mika

20 July 2011

Caricature of Kimi Räikkönen - crashes a downhill car

As an illustrator I've always been especially fascinated by caricatures. Most probably I'm not alone. During my illustrator career I've had some caricaturing jobs, but I have never had it on my to-do list to really practice my caricaturing skill to professional level. Also, what I have been unhappy about, is that I never seem to have time to do so called "just for fun" illustrations. Some time last summer I finally realized that the problem is merely my attitude than my schedule.

Anyway, after having such a remarkable insight I finally decided to illustrate something "just for fun", and as caricatures are so fun (and challenging) to do, why not doing one. But who to choose? I wanted him/her to be a finnish person, one that is also known abroad. They are not that many :) And I ended up choosing Kimi Räikkönen, the former F1 world champion driver. He is an interesting person, and I also thought that he would neither be too easy nor too difficult to make a caricature of.

I first started to make sketches in Adobe Illustrator. As I'm not a pro caricaturist, I really liked the possibility to move individual face parts little by little trying to find the right place for them. It's also nice to take duplicates of different steps of work. Comparing these steps helped me to find out which way to go.

Caricature sketch - Kimi Raikkonen

In the end it turned out not to be a comfortable way for me to work and I dug up my pens and sketch pad. That way it was much faster to work, and I finally started to realize what's the clue of Kimi's face, the worrying eyes and the pointy nose.

Caricature sketch - Kimi Raikkonen

Back to digital, and now it was easier to put everything together. Unfortunately at this stage I suddenly got too much other stuff to do and I had to put the fun aside to wait for better days...

Caricature sketch - Kimi Raikkonen

Finally, couple of months ago, I was able to get back to this project. Now that I already had the face, it was time to sketch the rest of the caricature. In normal situation this would have been the first stage. To make him drive a car was quite an obvious resolution.

Caricature sketch - Kimi Raikkonen

Caricature sketch - Kimi Raikkonen

It was only because of an interesting composition that I chose to illustrate him having a car crash. And the downhill car was more fun and less serious to have a car crash with.

Caricature - Kimi Raikkonen having a car crash

It wasn't easy and it took time, but it was fun and I'm quite happy with it. Let's see who's the next victim...

17 July 2011

Captain America seen entering a hipster cafe in Lower East Side?

Even though my vacation in NYC is over, and I'm adapting myself back to my normal daily routines, there is still one photo from my trip, that is worth showing. One day I was wandering back and forth in Lower East Side - Manhattan, when I suddenly saw a peculiar sight. There was a man wearing an extraordinary outfit and some kind of shield. I hate myself being such a paparazzi, but I couldn't help myself and I snapped a photo.

Captain America entering a hipster cafe

At that moment I didn't realize who that fellow was, but later that day I saw a movie poster... Captain America!!! Well, what a lucky guy I am. It's not every day that one gets to see such a celebrity.

But what really makes me confused, is that this happened in L.E.S. (Lower East Side), which is (according to the travel guide) an area ruled by hipsters. Yes, it could have been a coincidence... unless... mr America was also just about to enter a cafe called Brown, which is (once again according to the travel guide) THE PLACE for every little hipster on earth.

I hardly dare to toss this question... but could it be so, that Captain America is a hipster by his heart?

15 July 2011

13 July 2011

Dudes of New York # 1

I met a strange character on the street and nearly gave him a lesson about the dangers of smoking. What a bizarre fellow.

09 July 2011

Big time compliment right out of the blue

Every now and then I get to hear nice things about my work, which is pleasant of course. Usually those compliments are from people that know whose work they are commenting. Sometimes, rarely, it happens that someone is commenting my work without knowing it's my output. That happened just couple of days ago in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Somehow these situations are always special.

So, I was shopping some grocery at Smith street and paying them at the cash. I was, as a no-native english speaker, fully concentrated to understand how much I was supposed to pay. Put the cashier, about 18 years old dude, said something I first didn't understand.
I was confused: "Excuse me..."
Cashier repeated: "I like your shirt."
I: "Oh..."
Cashier: "I like your shirt. I don't know what it means, but I like it!"
At that point I finally realized what he was saying and half a second later I remembered that I was wearing a shirt with my own (my girl friend helped a bit) design on it. I was extremely flattered, because that dude really had street credibility. All I could was blush and stutter thanks.

I designed that print in last month to thank a friend, but I ended up liking it so much myself that I wanted to have a copy too.

If that cashier dude from Carroll Gardens ever happens to read this, which is like 1/100 000 000, I just want to let you know that I'm really flattered and the text on the shirt: "Harasoo" is russian and means something like "everything is fine".

harasoo t-shirt

Speaking of t-shirts. I've been looking for some nice shirts here in NYC, but haven't found any real gems yet. I know I'm picky. Among other shirts I'd like to have a shirt about NYC. Souvenir to myself, you know. But those traditional themes like "I (heart) NY", Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and so on... are not for me. They all sound so lame. What would be exotic enough (don't ask why!) would be Bronx Zoo! I don't know if there is such a shirt, but what I know is that if there is, I'm probably not happy with it... so I better do it myself.

So, coming up: sketches of "The Bronx Zoo" t-shirt... I guess I should visit there first :)

06 July 2011

Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest

I may have heard about it before, but I definitely haven't seen it. Hot dog eating contest, which seems to be the 4th of July tradition here in USA.

Because we happen to be in NY during the independence day of USA, we planned to go to see the Macy's 4th of July fireworks. Somehow we got lazy and decided to see it on TV at our apartment. And I'm glad we did, 'cause just before the fireworks there was the final of Nathan's Hot Dog -Eating Contest 2011. And that was something. I believe we Finns have some strange contests, like Wife carrying World Championship, Air Guitar World Championship, Ant-Nest Sitting Competition... just to name some, but I felt this Hot Dog Eating Contest was something different. I couldn't do anything else, but watch with amazement. And I got to tell you they didn't have that nice table manners during the competition.

It really looked something like this:

Nathan's famaous hot dog eating contest - messy eating

Why won't they do it with a heavenly elegance, like this: (and yes, I know there's something wrong with the hand. Who cares about anatomical details..?)

Nathan's famaous hot dog eating contest - elegant

Oh, how many hot dogs..? I ate one hot dog yesterday, and I could have easily eaten a couple more. But the winner of this year's contest, Joey Chestnut, ate 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Good for him.

P.S. How come the competitors are so thin? Shouldn't they practice and shouldn't lot of hot dogs make you fat?

03 July 2011

Need of exaggeration

At the moment I'm spending my vacation in NYC. Yesterday, when I was in subway, I saw a dude wearing a cap in a way which was a bit funny. Well, I mean funny from my point of view as we had totally opposite way of wearing caps when I was a teenager. Back then we customized our caps bending the visor as curve as possible and wore them so tight that the cap was nearly blocking the blood circulation. This dude in subway had his cap couple of numbers too big so that the cap rested deep covering the upper parts of his ears. Also the visor was as flat as possible tilting slightly upwards. I couldn't help playing with the idea that, if this dude suddenly turned his head, the cap wouldn't follow.

Later in the evening I tried to sketch that dude with the cap, only realizing that I couldn't achieve the impression as I felt it. As you can see the first sketch in the image is pretty mild. Only when I exaggerated the size of the cap strongly I felt that I could pass on the impression.

wearing a cap

This only demonstrates the fact that exaggeration is needed big time when presenting things with comic style illustration.

I also became inspired to play around with a cap way too tight... noting that even an exaggerated version looks pretty normal. So, let's not be too shy when exaggerating things!