Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2010 Desktop Wallpaper

Hey, to celebrate the new year I created a fancy-schmancy wallpaper, click the image above for a large version that you can download and enjoy for a whole 365 days.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My first attempt at a "Making Of"

I've been wanting to try doing a "making of" video for a while, and when I heard about Screenr, I thought it was time to get off my backside and give it a shot. Screenr is pretty sweet - it's a web app so no installation is involved, and if you like you can publish right to twitter. I just downloaded my clips and edited with iMovie. I got the music from Musopen, a very good source for public domain classical music.

So, voila - I'm a filmmaker. Orson Wells ain't got nothin' on me.

Monday, December 7, 2009

They look like big, good, strong hands. Don't they?

My first thought for the Illustration Friday topic of "crunchy" was the Rockbiter from Neverending Story. My first sketch was him happily munching on some rocks, but then I realized that I much better remember him sad and waiting for death after (spoiler alert) he's failed to save his friends from The Nothing. So that's what I went with because I thought it'd be far more interesting.

This has now made me nostalgic for the film, so I think I'll be getting it at the library this week. Especially as *gasp* my wife has never seen it! Although it probably won't hold up and I'll totally ruin my view of the film. Ah well.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


My under-the-wire submission for the Illustration Friday theme of "entangled". I haven't drawn any superhero stuff in a while. Maybe it has to do with me reading tons of Batman comics recently - wrong universe, but still...

If you're wondering to yourself "why Electro, he's super lame?", my answer to you is: because he's super lame. I couldn't resist drawing the ridiculous outfit of his. How does he get through doorways with that thing!?!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Choir Animation

I recently completed this piece for a flash e-card that's to be used by the Finnish Post Office. Click here to see it animated with music (click on the characters to make them sing).

The animation was done by TBWA/Helsinki, who are a great company to work with. It's really cool to see my drawing animated, hopefully I'll get another project like this in the future.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I had two ideas for this weeks Illustration Friday topic of "unbalanced". The above one, and another similar idea with a fat kid on one end and a skinny kid stuck in the air on the other. I liked both ideas, but went with emotional impact over humor... so unlike me.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Twitter Brain

(Above is the original, below the revised)

I think this recently completed image fits nicely with this week's Illustration Friday theme of "blur". I see people who are so lightning fast texting on their keypads t blows my mind. When I was in high school we took typing on electric typewriters, these days I'm sure they must use iphones.

Mostly though, this piece is about my fear that Twitter will make our civilization dumb by limiting any introspection to 140 characters. That being said, CLICK HERE if you'd like to follow me on Twitter!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fast Little Butterfly/Art From The Unknown

This is partly inspired by this weeks Illustration Friday topic of "fast", partly by having just reread Life of Pi, and partly for a 2010 (year of the tiger) desktop calendar I'm working on as a promotional piece. I think it will also work nicely as an art print.

Speaking of art prints, I had a really good time at Art From The Unknown, sold a few prints, and also exchanged prints with Karen Bishop who's super nice, has a cool accent, and does some really awesome watercolours. Exchanging artwork is great because I'm a bit of a collector, but have limited funds. I'm wondering if there should be some sort of collective site where pieces could be offered up for trade. I think that would be sweet - somebody do that and let me know.

Below is a revision to the calendar based on some feedback that I got from the folks over at the HOW forum, and Illustration Mundo Forum.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


This is my submission for Illustration Friday's topic of "Frozen", although this little Inuit girl seems fairly cozy all snuggled up in her parka.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Art from the Unknown - Oct. 23 to Oct. 25

I'm happy to announce that I'm part of a group show called Art from the Unknown this upcoming weekend, Oct. 23 - 25. The show is sponsored by Rachel Notley, MLA and will be at The Old Strathcona Center for the Performing Arts/Cosmopolitan Music Society. The venue is located at 8426 Gateway Boulevard, Edmonton, Alberta.

I'll be at the the opening night reception on the 23rd that runs from 5:00 to 9:00. Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Flying (or lack thereof)

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Mmmm, nice and full from my dinner. There's nothing better than my wife's candied yams! We celebrated in our own style this weekend by getting trained in first aid. It's something that we've wanted to do for a while and finally got around to it. I just hope it's never needed, it's all really gross. Hats off to the nurses and paramedics that I know - better you than me!

Above is my response to this weeks Illustration Friday topic of "flying", based on the idea that maybe if this fella could fly he might escape his fate. I usually go cute and fun with my work, so just for a change I went dark and sad... Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Combining My Geekery for Sci-Fi & Baseball

This is a personal project that started a while back in response to Illustration Friday's topic of "infinite". I thought of outer space first since it's as infinite as you're gonna get, and plus I'm a geek. I'm not sure how I came up with the baseball idea... that was just some random randomness.

I liked the implausibility of the idea of sports without gravity. How could every hit not be a home run? Could you still throw a curve-ball in space? I'll have to ask my physicist friend about that. Anyway, I turned the idea into a series of baseball cards. Above is the second one I completed. He's the requisite robot, with the other two in the series being the requisite human, and requisite alien.

At fist they looked all glossy and futuristic, but then I thought it would be better to add some texture to crap them up a bit like they've been sitting at the bottom of some space-kid's space-drawer for a long time.

I'd love to keep going on these, but they take frickin' forever! As it is I think I'll print them and send them out as promos. If you want to see the complete series I plan to feature them in my e-newsletter which you can sign up for here.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Shop Is Now Open

I'm happy to announce that I now have a space on Etsy where you can buy my prints. Check it out at marcuscutler.etsy.com. If you see anything on my blog or website that you think you might like as a print let me know and I may be able to make it available for you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A followup to the earlier Illustration Friday topic of "magnify". I've turned it into a bit of a story, scroll down to see the stunning conclusion to The Case of the Very Chewed Shoes (dundundun!)

I like this kid, he's turning into a cross between Indiana Jones and Sam Spade. I haven't named him yet - any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Trick Or Treat

This piece is in response to the Iluustration Friday topic of "welcome", and also because I can't wait for Halloween. It's definitely one of the best times of the year. It also seems everything I do these days is brown. Hmmm.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Here's my submission for Illustration Friday's topic of "magnify". I did it as a promotional piece, and ended up creating a story around it as you can gleam from the concept sketches I've included.

The sketches are done with Col-Erase pencils. I got this from my animation friends who seem to always use the blue ones (I think if they use anything else they get kicked out of the club). I like them because I can start the sketch with a lighter colour and refine it with subsequently darker colours. This is good for me because my first attempts almost always suck so I save both paper, and the time it would take to start from zero. Hooray!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Cautionary Tale

A caution-ary tale: if a group of sword wielding nihilists are demanding the scant amount of money you have in your wallet, it might be best to give it to them (regardless of the fact that you watched your buddies die face down in the muck).

So as you can see my Lebowski triptych is now complete, and I aim to have them printed this week! I think Donny was the hardest one due to his lack of affectations such as any kind of glasses or facial hair. Plus Buscemi a pretty weird looking dude.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sometimes, there's a man...

Here's piece #2 in my Big Lebowski series, and is also doubling as my response to this weeks Illustration Friday topic as The Dude is wrapped in his signature robe. I don't know what next weeks topic will be, but I'll stretch it any way I have to in order to make it fit Donny, my third piece in the series. You can see my first piece featuring Walter in the post below. All of these will be turned into prints so fire me off an email if you're interested and I'll contact you once they're available for purchase.

Also, anyone who's thinking of drawing a Persian rug might want to reconsider - it's a pain in the tuchus, you know, in the parlance of our times.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shut the F up Donnie!

I've been meaning to do a Big Lebowski series for a while now and was actual going to do a Dude portrait for Illustration Friday's topic of "Idle" a couple weeks back but I didn't have the time. But then this weeks topic of "Impatience" called to mind Walter's constant impatience with Donnie.

This is one of my favourite things that I've ever done. It took forever, but I'm pretty passionate about The Big Lebowski and so wanted to do it service. I'll continue the series into a triptich that I'll turn into prints for an art show that I might be a part of this October so watch for The Dude and Donnie coming soon!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Here's my submission for the Illustration Friday topic this week of "hollow". Poor kid has a hollow tummy. Time for a Mac attack!

I'd also like to announce that I've begun a newsletter. It's to keep folks updated with fresh new samples of work. It also has links to helpful websites and resources for creative types, and other fun and cool things that I find. I intend to send it monthly, but that may vary depending on how much time I have.

I'm also on Twitter now too, so if you'd like to follow me there, please do! I think it's a great way for us in the illustration and design community to keep in touch despite the distances between us. Also it's another way to shamelessly promote myself, something now that I'm a full time freelancer I can't do enough of.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Once Upon A Time...

I'm finally done my small business course and decided to celebrate by catching up on some drawings.This piece was supposed to be in response to the IF topic of "Unfold" a couple weeks back.

There's another version of this that can be seen here. The difference is a blue background, and a different font for the type. I think I prefer this version but feel free to let me know your thoughts! The character was in part inspired by Groucho Marx as when I started this my wife and I had just watched Duck Soup (which I highly reccomend).

Friday, June 5, 2009

Craving to show my gratitude!

I've been neglecting my blog for quite a while now. The reason is that I'm in school again - an 8 week course on writing a business plan -- my business being freelance illustration, natch.

Part of this course has us doing market research by calling those in the industry. I won't name names as I think this stuff is supposed to stay confidential, but a shout out to those who were so friendly as to help me out. I feel so lucky to be in such a supportive and fraternal (is "fraternal" inclusive of females? I'll have to look that up...) industry.

As of this posting I'm halfway through the course so hopefully I can start posting more regularly soon!

For those Illustration Friday-ers stopping by I offer my sincere apologies on the cop out on this weeks theme. I hate it when people do that!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


This is my ad hock submission for the Illustration Friday theme of "Theater". It's something I was working on already, and it almost fits the theme. But since I'm busy/lazy, I think it'll do.

Monday, April 13, 2009


This weekend the weather finally warmed up and the snow is all melted. So like any good Canadian my first instinct was to find a patio where I could enjoy the sunshine and sip a beverage.

I was also inspired to do this image for the Illustration Friday weekly topic of "Fleeting" as I know how quickly it'll be winter again, so ya gotta enjoy it while you can.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Poise - Free Bookmark!

Here's my entry for the Illustration Friday topic of "Poise". I did it in bookmark format, so if you like click on the image, print it out (card stock would probably work well), and you've got yourself a handy dandy new bookmark!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Subtract 2

A second concept of mine for IF's topic of Subtract. I've got a third - but we'll see if I have time to see it through.

Now that I've posted this I think I'll take a wii fit break right now - I've got to try to beat my wife's soccer score.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Here's my submission for the Illustration Friday topic of subtract. It reminded me of a friend who had a couple of pet geckos. One day while cleaning the tank they got loose, and he chased one into the bathroom. As the little guy scurried behind the toilet my friend grabbed him by the tail, which promptly detached from the rest of the gecko. Now, while this is supposed to happen to help protect lizards from predators, it's not a good thing.

The geckos tail never quite fully regenerated, but grew into a weird red stub. The gecko himself was never quite the same either. He didn't live very long, and was always slow and sickly.

Sorry for the depressing story. But on the bright side - there's a silly illustration to look at.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Submit your office Catchphrase!

Let me explain...

A friend and co-worker once tried to put a rainbow theme into a design, but it didn't get past the censors as it was deemed to gay. His response was "Rainbows are for everybody!". Which became a bit of a thing around the office for at least half a day.

So as I was doodling this zombie, as I am wont to do, a rainbow appeared behind him, which led to my recall of this particular anecdote... Tadaa!

So, if you have an office catchphrase (not the sitcom), preferably with accompanying anecdote, please submit it in the comments section. I'll illustrate my favourite and send the winner a signed print.

Gosh, what a good idea this is.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


My submission for Illustration Friday topic of "legendary". I figure anything with the title Legendary needs to include a broad sword in some form or another. So here's Barack Obama inserted into the King Arthur myth, pulling Excalibur from the stone.

Now, according to my research, The Lady of the Lake gave Arthur Excalibur. The sword in the stone is some other story that got blended into the Arthur legend, but I thought this made a better image. Besides, you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ninja Wallpaper Freebie

I put together this desktop wallpaper so as to combine my love of ninjas, with my love of robots. And also to demonstrate how throwing stars and hand claws can be effective weapons against a 30' tall evil iron robot (as long as you use proper taijutsu).

Monday, March 9, 2009


My Illustration Friday submission for the theme "intricate". The first response I had of course was a spider web. And after drawing one, I have a higher appreciation of spiders - it's so much work!

Anyway, that led me to Charlotte's web and a modern interpretation thinking about the kazillion layoffs these days (including yours truly), and to what extent some may be driven to go to in defending themselves from the proverbial "axe".

I'm not sure if the reference if too vague, hands-up, who got it?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


This is my twofold response to this weeks Illustration Friday topic "breezy". Like last week I wanted to try both a juvenile and editorial version. The later is a portrait of my cold hating wife battling the Edmonton winter.

I wasn't sure how successful the fluffy dandelions would come out in the little girl picture, but I'm pretty happy with the result. Notice how I was lazy and used the same wind swirls for both?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Instinct 2

A second piece for the IF topic of "instinct". Trying to play with some texture and pattern a bit in this one.

I guess I have a pet peeve about dogs nosing where they don't belong - can't they just learn some darn manners?

Monday, February 23, 2009


1 of 2 pieces that I've been working on for the Illustration Friday topic this week. The second will be a more editorial/less juvenile take on the same concept.

I used this opportunity to really start playing around with the layered look on the werewolf. I'm pretty happy with the results, but am not sure if it should have been taken further. Hmmm. I also wanted to keep the dog much more simply rendered as a contrast to the scary werewolf. I think that worked well.

Thanks for the comments on the last post - I'm such a critique junkie.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My firsts

This is my first blog, and my first submission for the Illustration Friday topic of the week, which is "Celebrate". Please critique if you feel the urge - and don't hold back, I can take it!