The Biggest Story

Almost a year ago to the day, I received an email from my friend Josh Dennis at Crossway. He had a new children’s book manuscript (beautifully written by the ridiculously smart Kevin DeYoung) based around the story of the Bible. He asked if I had any recommendations for an illustrator that might be a good fit for the project. After pondering his request for a moment, I thought to myself … “Hmmm, what if I tried it?”

I began the book in November 2014 and wrapped final art in May of this year. 7 months, 10 chapters and 132 pages later, The Biggest Story is finally available.

There were many reasons why I took on this project, but the main catalyst for attempting this book was that I just didn’t see any modern Bible storybooks for children that embodied rich story AND artwork. One that sparked imagination and wonder, one that prompted dialogue between parents and their children, one that treated kids as smart people and didn’t talk down to them. Most of all though, one that could live up to Kevin’s amazing interpretation.

The art is very conceptual at times, much more straight forward at times, humorous, sad … but overall extremely hopeful. I poured every ounce of what I had into this book, and if anything leaps off the pages, I hope it’s the immense joy that I had in creating it.

I honestly can’t thank Josh Dennis and everyone at Crossway enough. Josh was extremely gracious from the very beginning. Not only did he give me complete freedom with the overall direction, but he shared in the enthusiasm and support along the entire process. He had wise feedback and art direction every step of the way, but overall he left me to my own devices and just let me draw – which was a bit scary to be honest. I’m not sure if I have ever been trusted with that much creative freedom before – let alone with, well … only the most important story in human history.

And of course, thanks to the brilliant Kevin DeYoung for completely trusting Josh and I with our vision for your book. Kevin also gave me creative freedom with every brushstroke – I appreciate his trust in allowing me to bring this story to life in a different way.

You can purchase the book through us, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Westminster Books and everywhere else.

Beautifully animated by Jorge Canedo Estrada and his team – and voiced by my pal Propaganda, the folks at Crossway put together a great trailer for an upcoming animated version of the book.

A peak inside the book …

Each book purchase from IC comes with a limited signed ‘Ascension’ mini-print and set of 4 double-sided postcards (below).

We’ve also had numerous requests for prints, so we are currently offering 10 selected pieces from the book. See them all here.

 

The Art Of Why: A Film By Invisible Creature

We’re excited to announce the name of our new documentary film project: The Art Of Why. We begin production today in Los Angeles and will continue to interview artists from around the country over the next 4 months. Our goal is to tell a compelling story about the relentless pursuit of creating art … and ultimately, why we do it.

Follow along on our adventure: We’ll be documenting each interview with photography on our VSCO Grid, along with VSCO Journal updates for each city.

We’ll be interviewing in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Nashville, Minneapolis, New York and Philadelphia.

Next stop: Nashville, Tennessee this Thursday.

#ArtOfWhyFilm #ArtistInitiative #VSCO #InvisibleCreature

2015 Studio Update

We’re guilty. Guilty of relying on the quick and easy method of using social networking to update folks on what we’re up to. You can see the cobwebs on this very site. I don’t think we’ve updated our work section in over a year. But I can feel it in the air … 2015 will be the return of the blog and long-form reading on the web. No? Well, we’re going to attempt that when we can. Personally, I miss it. I miss putting together (and reading) content that you could spend more than 2 seconds staring at. We’ll continue to Insta-tweet, but I don’t want to rely on that …

To be honest though, we have been busy. Very thankful for that. But, now is a perfect time to wipe the dust off the site and let you guys know what we’ve been up to for the last 9 months – and we also want to share some new things we’ve got cooking.

1. Thanks to the VSCO Artist Iniative, our first documentary film about artists (specifically what drives us and connects us all) begins production in July! We will be hitting 6 cities and interviewing numerous artists from many different industries and walks of life. We’re excited to tell this story … more on that here. We’ll be documenting and journaling the entire experience on our VSCO Grid.

2. Last fall, we had the opportunity of a lifetime come our way: To re-imagine the historic Cinerama Theatre in Downtown Seattle – our favorite movie destination since we landed here in 2001. We created 2 massive murals that completely altered the corner of 4th Avenue and Lenora Street. The mural art made its way into a re-brand of the theatre, inside and out. We are currently working on our short film, ‘Re-Imagining Cinerama’ that takes a closer look at Cinerama’s grand re-opening last November – and the art that went into it. We’ll also have prints of the mural (and more Cinerama art we created) for sale when we launch the film this summer. Photos above by Benjamin Benschnieder.

3. Stack And Scare! is coming to Shanghai in a massive way. The Shanghai Times Square Mall will feature a large Stack And Scare! exhibit next month. Giant sculptures, play areas, toys, posters, etc. Curated by APPortfolio. We are very excited for this – much more info coming soon.

4. Wine Meets Design. We are thrilled to be the inaugural designers partnered up with the talented winemaker Aaron Pott for Bare Bottle’s first release. We were first approached for this project a few years back from our friends Katie and Nathan at Eight Hour Day. We’ve had a blast working with them, Marta & Josh Harding – and Corey Miller, the man who dreamed this extremely cool idea up. A quick bio from their site –

Bare Bottle curates the pairing of winemakers + designers and provides them with a blank canvas through which to create. Each unique collaboration opens a window into our makers’ creative processes, their inspirations, and their worlds.

The dedication to craft, quality and presentation comes across so clear with Bare Bottle. If you love wine … and design … it’s worth every penny. I was floored when I saw the finished shipped piece …

5. Blast Off! After a 2-year hiatus, we are back with our good friends at Sasquatch! Music Festival. We had the pleasure of creating all of the Festival art, merchandise and even the Lineup Video this year. As per usual, the lineup is amazing (Kendrick!) and happens to be going on THIS weekend. We’ll have an in-depth look into all of the assets we created (including another collaboration with Ebbets Field Flannels and Theo Chocolate) soon …

6. The amazing opportunity to illustrate my first Children’s Book came up last September. We had gotten book offers in the past, but nothing quite felt right and some of the projects just plain fizzled out. When our friends at Crossway approached me about a Bible Story by Kevin DeYoung, it was a big decision. In the end, It was a project I wanted to personally see done right … and one that I wanted to see on the shelves myself. The Biggest Story was the most intense project I’ve worked on to date, and also the most fulfilling – in ways I could never have imagined. I cannot thank Josh Dennis and Crossway enough for allowing me to run with my vision and aesthetic for Kevin’s beautifully-written book. The Biggest Story is hardbound, 10 chapters and 132 pages. Available in August and up for pre-order on Amazon now. Below are a few sample spreads from the first two chapters.

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7. Our Odd Galaxy wooden toy line with Uncle Goose is finally in full production mode and will be released in the next few months. There will be 3 products to start: Cosmo Kid, Moon Rover and Lunar Rocket, each sold separately – but of course much more fun when you own all 3. We have some fun OG launch (get it?) projects that will be released around the same time, including a window display at our favorite space store …

8. Two years ago, we bought a 10-acre ranch, turned a 50-year old barn into our studio and then made a toy out of it. OK, so that’s the short version. We’ll have a nice process post on this (way over-budget and panic-attack inducing) project on our new … well, see #10. For now, you can check out some great photos of the shop by Joshua Harding over at Bare Bottle.

9. Last, but not least, we are finally working on a new website. One that we will update. One that will work nicely on your phone thing you carry with you. We promise.

Mystery Tube Sale

Scratch & Dent. Vintage IC. New IC. Rediscovered posters from the vault, you name it. 8 random posters from the archives for a measly $25 until they are gone. Go!

Cirque du Soleil: Kurios: Seattle

We recently had the pleasure of working with Live Nation and Cirque du Soleil to promote their new show, Kurios, for its debut at Seattle’s Marymoor Park on January 29th. The idea was to incorporate elements of the show into recognizable Seattle landmarks – The pipes of Gas Works Park bend to reveal one of the show’s main characters, while the circular focal point of the stage design makes up one of the city’s more recent waterfront additions, The Great Wheel.

We worked with the amazing Vahalla Studios to produce the screen prints, and you can currently see the posters plastered throughout Seattle’s Downtown. We also have a limited amount in our shop.

Special thanks to Brad Gentry and Live Nation. We can’t wait to see the show!


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2014 Top Ten Albums

Always epic and often controversial, The 2014 IC Top Ten Album Lists are here! Check out our Rdio playlist containing every album except (sadly) T. Swift.

Don Clark / 2014 Top Ten Albums

01. The Jezabels – The Brink
Best Track: “Time To Dance”
02. Future Islands – Singles
Best Track: “Seasons (Waiting On You)”
03. Taylor Swift – 1989
Best Track: “Style”
04. Sia  – 1000 Forms Of fear
Best Track: “Chandelier”
05. Tycho – Awake
Best Track: “Awake”
06. Lights – Little Machines
Best Track: “Up We Go”
07. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 2
Best Track: “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry”
08. Betty Who – Take Me When You Go
Best Track: “Somebody Loves You”
09. Bleachers – Strange Desire
Best Track: “Rollercoaster”
10. Young Widows – Easy Pain
Best Track: “Godman”

Ryan Clark / 2014 Top Ten Albums

01. The Jezebels – The Brink
Best Track: “No Country”
02. Sia – 1000 Forms Of Fear
Best Track: “Elastic Heart”
03. Chromeo – White Women
Best Track: “Old 45’s”
04. Royksopp – The Inevitable End
Best Track: “Monument”
05. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels 2
Best Track: “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry”
06. Future Islands – Singles
Best Track: “Fall From Grace”
07. Sohn – Tremors
Best Track: “Artifice”
08. Delta Spirit – Into The Wide
Best Track: “Live On”
09. Elbow – The Take Off And Landing Of Everything
Best Track: “Charge”
10. Young Widows – Easy Pain
Best Track: “Kerosine Girl”

Ryan Clark / 2014 Top Ten Metal Albums

01. Slipknot – The Gray Chapter
Best Track: “AOV”
02. Machine Head – Bloodstone & Diamonds
Best Track: “Ghost Will Haunt My Bones”
03. In Flames – Siren Charms
Best Track: “Everything’s Gone”
04. At The Gates – At War With Reality
Best Track: “At War With Reality”
05. Decapitated – Blood Mantra
Best Track: “Moth Defect (Bonus Track)”
06. Throwdown – Intolerance
Best Track:  “Intolerance”
07. Insense – De:Evolution
Best Track: “Meandering”
08. Mastodon – Once More ‘Round The Sun
Best Track: “The Motherload”
09. Killer Be Killed – Killer Be Killed
Best Track: “Wings Of Feather And Wax”
10. Insomnia – Shadows Of The Dying Sun
Best Track: “While We Sleep”

Zac Schwiet / 2014 Top Ten Albums

01. Betty Who – Take Me When You Go
Best Track: “Alone Again”
02. Broods – Evergreen
Best Track: “Bridges”
03. Chromeo – White Women
Best Track: “Come Alive”
04. Ariana Grande – My Everything
Best Track: “One Last Try”
05. Young The Giant – Mind Over Matter
Best Track: “Mind Over Matter”
06. Chet Faker – Built On Glass
Best Track: “Gold”
07. iamamiwhoami – Blue
Best Track: “Fountain”
08. Number One Gun – This Is All We Know
Best Track: “Make A Movie”
09. Taylor Swift – 1989
Best Track: “Style”
10. Barcelona – The Melodrama
Best Track: “Diamond and Silver”

Josh Cross / 2014 Top Ten Albums

01. Thumpers – Galore
Best Track: “Unkinder (A Tougher Love)”
02. The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream
Best Track: “Red Eyes”
03. Taylor Swift – 1989
Best Track: “Style”
04. Bleachers – Strange Desire
Best Track: “Rollercoaster”
05. Broods– Evergreen
Best Track: “Bridges”
06. Brooke Fraser – Brutal Romantic
Best Track: “Psychoscocial”
07. Ages and Ages – Diversionary
Best Track: “Light Goes Out”
08. Hooray For Earth – Racy
Best Track: “Keys”
09. Walk The Moon – Talking Is Hard
Best Track: “Different Colors”
10. First Aid Kit – Stay Gold
Best Track: “Stay Gold”

 

IC x VSCO

About 6 months ago, our friends at Visual Supply Co. asked us if there was anything we’d like to create that we hadn’t had the chance to make yet – a difficult question, but one that got our minds spinning. This project would be devoid of outside art direction and without commercial intent. After knocking around a few ideas, we finally landed on a concept.

We are extremely honored to be recipients of Visual Supply Co’s Artist Initiative grant and will be using the funds to make a short film. We have the unique opportunity here at IC to work with people from all walks of life and in all areas of art – one of our favorite aspects of the job. As each year goes by, I am reminded that our career is less about art and more about people.

Our as-of-yet untitled film will be in collaboration with a talented group of artists and friends and will thoughtfully document the creative process across all mediums of art: Design, Illustration, Animation, Photography, Sign Making, Product Design, Tattooing and Architecture. We will be asking some big questions and documenting the unique connection we all have as people making a living in the arts.

We begin filming in the early spring and will be debuting the final piece in various cities (and online) in late 2015. Please follow our VSCO Grid, where we’ll be documenting the entire process.

A huge thanks to Greg Lutze, Jen Schmitz and the rest of the folks at VSCO for bringing this to life!

 

New Toys from IC x Super7!

We’ll be in beautiful San Francisco on Dec. 5th for the release of two new IC toys (and prints) from the mighty Super7! Colonel Stinson – our first vinyl figure from Odd Galaxy, and Leroy C. ‘Wormwood’ Deluxe Edition – a wood + vinyl collab with our friends at Uncle Goose Toys. More details coming – but mark your calendars!

Target Halloween Seasonal

Trick or treat! We were tasked with an amazing opportunity earlier this year: Designing and illustrating the Halloween seasonal art for our favorite clients over at the Bullseye. Affectionately known internally as “Harry and Buzz”, our dynamic duo of a spider and his fly sidekick were put in various fun and spooky scenarios throughout the store. Scroll down to see a sampling of what was created in the US, Mexico and France.

Target Credits: Eric Vermilyea — Creative Director, Kelsey Ciatti-Miller — Art Director, Mike Greenwell — Art Director, Jeff Barbian — Copywriter, Erika Bryant — Producer, Dave Daily — Creative Strategist, Philip Eggleston — Art Director

Huge, huge THANKS to the above list of folks that made this all possible. We had so much fun working with this team.

Today is the last day to see this all in-store – and remember – tonight is the ONLY night it’s OK to take candy from strangers.

IC Farm League

Long before music and design (and almost everything else), there was … baseball.

In the eighties it was our hometown pride and joy – The Bend Bucks – who would later become the Portland Rockies. The Bucks were a single A farm club for the (now) Anaheim Angels. We’d love to hit the games with Dad and grab autographs from the retired major leaguers who were acting coaches for the team. $5 tickets and cheap popcorn didn’t hurt either.

Between Bucks games, the best movie ever created, our own little league games (where I told all my teammates that I was related to this guy), watching the Braves (lose) every waking moment on TBS and our unhealthy addiction to baseball cards (wish we still had this), there was time for little else. In 1989, our family moved to Sacramento and our love of the game got even stronger – thanks to the Giants and these guys across the bay. RIP Candlestick Park.

Fast forward 25 years later. After visiting the beautiful new Ebbets Field Flannels storefront in Seattle a few months back, we came up with a crazy idea to fuse a few of our old passions into one: Baseball, art and … people. People who are making really cool things in the world of baseball – and beyond. We even commissioned our Humble Beast bros in Portland to create some knickerbocker-era music to bring it all together. After coming up with a dream team list (and it was hard to stop at 6), we had our roster.

Enter: Invisible Creature Farm League.

We’ve partnered with Ebbets Field Flannels from Seattle, Mitchell Bat Co. from Nashville, Leather Head Sports from New Jersey, Oxford Pennant from New York, Curtis Clark Woodworks (or, Dad) from California and the uber-talented and undisputed aesthetic king of baseball himself, Jon Contino from New York to bring you IC inspired game gear for your closet, wall, shelf, desk … and even the field.

Have a look around our rookie season and click some stuff. A HUGE thanks to all of our collaborators for an amazing experience. We hope you enjoy …

 

Stack And Scare! At Nordstrom

Stack And Scare! is available at Poketo’s Pop-In Shop at Nordstrom until August 3rd!

Cover Story

It’s been busy here at IC, to say the least, and we haven’t been updating the blog as often as we’d like. To make up for lost time, here are a handful of new albums we’ve been working on over the past 6 months. Enjoy.

woven_cover

WovenWar
I’ve been friends with these guys ever since we toured together in 2010, but never had the chance to work with them on a design level. I couldn’t be more pleased with how smoothly everything went. We knew we wanted a cover image that centered around an icon, and the WW mark is something that came to mind instantly after our first conversation. As always, I loved working in simple black and white. Each image is comprised of abstract painted shapes to convey a ink-blot/rorschach vibe. Pre-order the physical package here.

tedashii_cover

Tedashii Below Paradise
Taking a page from the late, great Storm Thorgerson book of “doing it for real,” we ventured out into the high desert of Southern California in early 2014 to create this album cover. Caleb Kuhl did a killer job on the photos, Neil Visel was particularly handy with the forklift, and I put too much lighter fluid on the car and we had to call the fire department. Apparently they saw the smoke from a neighboring county. Oops. Grab the physical album here.

Propaganda Crimson Cord
Our pal Prop gave us free reign on his (amazing) new album – we wanted the packaging concept to feel as organic and layered as his music. What may look like paint drips and splatters are (mostly) images of his iconic dreadlocks. Our goal was to blend his soul into the art as much as possible – which was inspired by the album title and album concept. Grab the physical album here.

mmf_cover

Memphis May Fire Unconditional
The guys in MMF came to me with this concept, which I thought was great – that of the bond between father and child. Since my dad happened to be coming to town around this time, I thought it would be a great opportunity to photograph his arm for this cover… and I was able to talk one of my brother’s children into giving us a “hand” as well. Grab the physical album here.

atlas_before
atlas_after

The Atlas Moth The Old Believer
I’ve always enjoyed creating imagery that is “more than meets the eye.” I also love concepts that allow for some real hands-on interaction. Ideas like this have kept music packaging exciting for me through the years. When The Atlas Moth came to me with a concept that would change the cover image when wet, I thought there was no way we’d get the necessary approval to make it happen. Thanks to the folks at Profound Lore, who, in rare fashion, believe in going the extra mile in the name of artistic endeavor, this amazing idea is something you can now hold (and drench) for yourself. Above are both “before” and “after” versions of the cover. Grab the physical album here.

Lecrae Anomaly
One of our favorite clients, Lecrae (and his label – Reach Records), asked us to work on the follow-up to his last album Gravity, which we had the pleasure of working on in 2012. We enlisted the help of our friends at Shinbone Creative to create Crae’s likeness in 3D wireframe (spot gloss varnish!) form for the cover. The physical packaging will def. be worth checking out. Pre-order that here.

kbk_cover

Killer Be Killed
Working with an entire band of metal visionaries isn’t something I get to do every day. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance. The aesthetic that we really bonded over, and seemed fitting for this project, was that of crusty, gritty, photocopied punk. The real fringe – Discharge, Man Is The Bastard, Doom, Crass, etc. It was a blast getting to work in a style that I love, for awesome guys that totally get it. Grab the physical album here.

grieves_before
grieves_after

Grieves Winter & The Wolves
Another album cover that’s more than meets the eye. We worked with Grieves to create something really special for 2011’s Together/Apart, and we knew we wanted to do something amazing for this record as well. The actual cover (top image here) features a die cut hole right in the center, where a standing Grieves shows through. When the cover is opened, we see that he’s surrounded by wolves. Careful out there, buddy. Grab the physical album here.

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Insense De:Evolution
I had the pleasure of touring with these guys in Europe during the spring of 2012. We spoke a bit on the road about working together for the artwork on their new record, and I’m stoked that we were able to make it happen. Not to worry – no babies were harmed in the making of this cover. Grab the physical album here.

2014 LEGO SDCC Minifigs

It’s that time of year! SDCC is upon us, so let the mayhem begin. LEGO has officially announced their exclusive minifig offerings this year, so we thought it’d be a good time to show some of the packaging and interiors we had fun with. Each clam shell opens up to reveal Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, Bard The Bowman, The Collector and Uni-Kitty in their own element. Oh, and if you have $4,000 burning a hole in your pocket … grab one of ours from last year with some guy’s name scribbled on it. Thanks to our AD’s Joseph Galluccio and Jennifer Healy! Happy collecting.

‘The Showdown’ Mural for Twitch

We were asked by the great folks at Twitch to create a mural for the PC Gaming Lounge at their new offices in San Francisco. Inspired by gaming culture, the eSport world (5v5 matches) and well, this … we were free to run wild. The result? An epic battle of motley characters, warriors, creatures and one flying chicken. Thanks to David McLeod and Kat Nieh for the fun project.

The Moment

mana_moment
We recently completed the artwork for Manafest’s new album, The Moment. Our idea was to encapsulate that “leap of faith” moment – in this case, literally, as we see Manafest contemplating clearing possibly the largest gap of all time. You can pre-order the album here while there’s still time! Go!

IC Snapbacks

Our new polytwill snapbacks are finally here! Grab ’em while you can.

This Is All We Know

Over the years, Number One Gun has been a source of creative exploration for us. They’ve always been great at essentially giving us free-reign, which has allowed us the room to create some work that we’re really proud of (thanks, Jeff). For this, their newest digital-only release, This Is All We Know, we created a scene made to look like a page cut from a special Twilight Zone Edition of a 1960s Life Magazine. We started with a pre-printed image and added a mysterious mirrored box, nestled into the setting.

Adobe Illustrator CC Tutorial + Poster

Last year we received a call from our favorite software company, asking us if we’d like to preview the soon-to-be-released Illustrator CC. The one caveat was that we had to create whatever we wanted and document how we did it. Our answer? A resounding ‘Awesome!’ and “Uh-oh, what are we going to create?” There were no guidelines, save for a few key words: Modern, fearless and reborn. Adobe’s theme for the new release.

Since we had just recently bought a farm outside of the city, we were in the thick of having our normal lives turned upside down – yet at the same time, we were having a blast with our new lifestyle. ‘Reality. Reborn.’ is inspired by that personal transition … blended together nicely with the amazing new features of Illustrator CC and Adobe’s willingness to give us carte blanche on creative direction.

We’ve been using Adobe’s products for almost 20 years now and rely extensively on their tools to create our projects. Huge thanks to Terry Hemphill and the Adobe team for asking us to do this. We had a lot of fun with CC’s great new features.

Without further ado, download Adobe’s awesome iPad magazine, Inspire to check it all out – or read it online. And to top it all off, grab the mega-huge uber-limited 25″ x 46″ poster in our shop now.

Read about how we went from sketch phase to final color blocking … and how our process always evolves as we work.

One of the coolest new features in CC is the Multiple File Place tool, allowing you to adjust the size of your file before dropping them on the artboard.

CC’s new Touch Type tool is especially great as well, allowing you to manipulate and edit individual characters without creating outlines.

Those are just 2 of my favorite new features. Read about the rest. A few details below:

… and pick up the giant 25″ x 46″ poster in the shop now for only $40.

Blowfish Birthday

Our Blowfish Birthday GiftCard for Target is now available at the Bullseye! A.D.: Ted Halbur / Brian Holt / Heidi Anderson

 

The Great Discontent Interview

It’s an absolute honor to be interviewed by The Great Discontent. Cozy up with that brand new iPad from Grandma and have a read. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

ABOUT

Founded in 2006 by Don & Ryan Clark, Invisible Creature is a
multi-disciplinary design and illustration studio based in Seattle, WA.

NEW IN THE SHOP

  • Cinerama

    Mural Print

  • The Biggest Story

    Signed Book + Print

  • Someday

    11 x 14

  • The Trinity

    11 x 14

NEW WORK

  • The Biggest Story

    Childrens Book

  • Invisible Creature

    Farm League

  • Stack And Scare!

    Stackable Monster Blocks

  • Captain Bullseye's

    Build-A-Plane!

LIL'HAPPY CLUB SUBMISSIONS

FROM THE BOOKSHELF

FROM THE TOYSHELF