guest blogger... type tuesday & going to the dogs...

Today we have guest blogger and font designer Nancy Vala sharing her upcoming font Woof! I think it is always interesting to know how someone made something. I love to hearing about another artist's process. Even though Nancy and I both make fonts our approach is different. (Nancy also made Yoga Studio.)

So far, so good. I have 23 dogs done and 7 more to go for our upcoming dog font, Woof! It's been hard work (2 to 3 hours per dog) but also lots of fun.

I thought I was a cat person. But when Rae sent me this delicate little figurine thinking it was a Dalmation I thought, "But it looks like a Great Dane, with spots." Because the legs are long and placed gracefully in front of him, the head is big, the ears small. Dalmations hardly stay still and if they do, they curl up. The strange thing is that I don't know how I know this. Apparently I have been observing dogs all along . . . (I did learn that Great Danes do have spots).

Most dogs took 2 or 3 hours except this one. It took two days to draw this Boston Terrier. For each dog I think about what makes them that particular breed. I want you to recognize in a glance, in a few strokes, which dog it is. The Golden Retriever is happy, happy, tongue out. The Chihuahua might start shaking at any moment. The Doberman is tough and proud. But this little guy has so much character and so many faces -- it was like trying to take a photograph of a fast-moving object.

The German Shepherd spends a lot of time sitting but not necessarily at rest. He's guarding, watching, always aware of what's going on around him. I was happy when I figured out how to draw the teeth and the tongue together. In order to make the font work, the drawings must consist of filled spaces. There are no lines even though it looks like there are -- it becomes a challenge to see how it can work, part of the fun.

Had to draw a Sheltie of course, since I had one of my own. A sweetheart named Diego who happened to be a purebred Shetland Sheepdog. For this one I used a photo that I had taken of Diego, in the snow. For the other dogs I start with the AKC characteristics of each dog, skimming that to get a basic and correct idea. Then I look at tons of photos -- one photo might have the perfect nose, another have beautiful markings and the next one a characteristic paw. All of these things are then expressed in a simple line.

This is the latest one, a Saint Bernard. A big, sweet, drooling former rescue dog. Hope you like them!

Nancy Vala is an award-winning writer and artist. She's got a gypsy wagon full of words, illustrations or a combination of both, hitched up to a cyberspace star. She can tell your story with a logo, a press release, a resume, a postcard, a T-shirt, a marketing campaign, a short but sweet bio, a portrait . . . take a look at her website, or her blog, Walking Satellite. You can find her down to earth in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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