Sunday, February 28, 2010

Exhibit at the Park Central Branch Library and The Coffee Ethic

You're looking at a reduced-size color print proof for a few of the illustrations I will be fortunate to have on display during the month of March.

You see, the nice folks at both the Park Central Library and The Coffee Ethic, in Springfield, Missouri, have graciously allowed me to adorn their walls with my art for the next 4 weeks.

What: Illustrations by Allan Burch
Where: The Park Central Branch Library and The Coffee Ethic (128 Park Central Square, Downtown Springfield, Missouri)
When: Meet-and greet with the artist (that's me), from 7pm 'til 10pm, Friday March 5, 2010. The show runs through the month of March.

The Park Central Library has one of the cooler spaces you'll find in a library. It's thoughtfully decked out in color-coordinated modern stylings and located smack in the middle of Springfield's art scene. It's an establishment of inspired design, both in beautiful form and progressive function.

Insiders call The Coffee Ethic, located adjacent to the library, Springfield's best coffee shop. The crowd, amenities, atmosphere, its close proximity to the many downtown attractions, and, of course, the top-tier eats and drinks, makes it a must-visit during Springfield's First Friday Art Walks.

If you're not familiar, on the first Fridays of the month, Springfield's art galleries, as well as businesses that hold art shows, have openings that evening. People crowd the downtown area, mingle from door-to-door and take in the visual treats gracing the walls, enjoy the bustle of performers and entertainment on the streets, and generally have a lovely time of things.

I'll have 35 canvas prints on display, all for sale, ranging from celebrity portraits, to editorial concepts, to uncommissioned personal projects. As generous followers of this blog, I would encourage you to spread the word, especially if you reside in the Springfield area.

Thanks in advance to everyone for coming down and showing your support -- not only for my efforts, but also for the 2 generous businesses allowing me to display them!

Thanks also to my summer of 2009 intern, Becca Johnson, for doing the legwork in setting up this exhibit.

Allan Burch is an award-winning illustrator and portrait artist, providing solutions for editorial, book, advertising, and institutional projects.
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Saturday, February 20, 2010

"A Nurse's Shift" for The University of Chicago Magazine

Theresa Brown began her professional life as an educator, but made a change. She now belongs to the nursing profession, enjoying the new and personal fulfillment that comes from facing its uniquely intimate and deeply human challenges.

It's always a pleasure working with The University of Chicago Magazine, and this 2-illustration job was no exception.

One of the illustrations depicts the compassion shown between a health care worker (Ms. Brown) and one of her patients. Compassion, in my view, is a unique must-have skill set for a nurse. Individuals that possess it to a nurse's degree are saints, also in my opinion.

When one is in the vulnerable position of being sick and in a hospital, under someone else's care, there is no more important person in his or her life than a nurse. Their compassion means everything.

This illustration began with an ideation session -- coming up with all sorts of ideas that both tell the story of shifting careers from academic to nursing, as well as convey the human nature of the nursing profession.

Next step was a photo session. My enthusiastic model, Melodie, stepped into her scrubs and did an excellent job posing for those ideas.

On a side note, I'm stumbling upon some interesting lighting effects. I think it's adding a beautiful and extra-moody element to my work. I can't divulge what they are, or everyone would be doing it. (just kidding)

After approval of my sketch...

...I took it to the final.

Composition is always foremost in my mind. So, when shooting, I'm conscious of capturing the scene from different and unusual angles to make the scene fresh, and to reveal unexpected shapes and potential compositional elements.

Lighting is also important. It's a powerful tool for revealing those shapes and patterns that help define the composition. Color is obviously important, too. Warmth in this palette echoes warmth of the moment, and the blue provides just enough cool to balance the warms.

Check out the full story of Theresa Brown's career change, here.

Many thanks to Melodie for her assistance.

Allan Burch is an award-winning illustrator and portrait artist, providing solutions for editorial, book, advertising, and institutional projects.
View more of his work»
Sign-up for his newsletter»
Purchase prints»