In 2000, I was contracted by J.E. Morgan Knitting Mills, Inc. to design a product catalog cover for their popular line of Baby Morgan baby blankets.
The design for the Baby Morgan character already existed. I was to take the character and create a fun and whimsical scene for Baby Morgan to occupy. The art director sent me some ideas to work with, "Baby Morgan around the world", "Baby Morgan goes through life", "Baby Morgan 4-seasons" – open to my interpretation. I sketched four different cover concepts. They chose "Soft as a Cloud" which featured numerous baby Morgans of different ethnicities circling the earth on blankets that are as "soft as a cloud."
The final cover art is another victim of my 2010 computer crash in which I lost years' worth of art. I never received a printed sample of the catalog, but was able to find a very small image online that is partially faded out at the bottom and sides. Oh, well, at least it's something.
Below are the four sketches I submitted along with the b&w ink guide I used to make the final computer art. When I looked online, I discovered that the company is no longer in business. But, it appears that the Baby Morgan line of blankets are quite collectible, with some patterns and styles going for up to $300 on ebay. I've also done some research about the history of J. E. Morgan Knitting Mills, Inc. that I think you will find interesting.
11/24/2020 UPATE: Baby Morgan lives! Kind of... I just found a low resolution jpeg of the full color cover art on another drive that was sent to the client for review and... it's plenty big enough for online viewing! This was the early years of digital art, so it's very simplistic. I probably used Macromedia Freehand to create the vector art.
The Baby Morgan line of blankets and infant apparel produced by J.E. Morgan Knitting Mills Inc., ceased production in late 2007, early 2008. Below is a brief history of the company's now defunct website from December 2007. Like many companies who have come and gone, after 62 years in business, several acquisitions, and a changing world market the company closed.
Below is the most accurate history I could find online for the J. E. Morgan Knitting Mills, which comes from 2007, the last year in which the company's website was active.
The Miller Lite Holiday Village is a large dimensional stand-up I painted as a point-of-purchase display for the Molson Coors Brewing Company to promote Miller Lite beer. It was roughly four feet long and three feet tall with blinking LED lights. It stood on two large candy cane striped poles with cases of Miller Lite beer beneath it.
I landed the assignment through an ad I placed in an illustrators source guide. There's a long-standing conception that if you show an illustration of a cow, you will get a job illustrating cows but maybe not a horse. Show an illustration of Halloween and you will get jobs illustrating pumpkins, ghosts, and Frankenstein. The illustration I showed was a painting of a Halloween ghost I had done specifically for the ad. I figured I'd get jobs illustrating spooky monsters. The funny thing is, the ad agency and the client liked that I did holiday themed art, even though it wasn't Christmas. They also liked my painting style. So, I guess if you show holiday illustrations you'll get jobs illustrating holiday scenes. Any holiday scenes! Well, that's what happened me and I was surprised as anyone.
I painted the display in six sections using acrylic paint. If I were to do this today, I would probably paint it about half the size I did (shipping it off to the agency was quite a challenge.) It was the first time I had worked on such a large scale advertising assignment. It also led to me being interviewed and featured in the trade book Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market as the subject of their "Insider Report". I believe the display was successful as it was used for two consecutive years. I never saw it in a store, but I finally found one at a large beer distributor a year later and was able to buy one. Sadly, it was lost in one of my many moves. If anyone ever sees it, let me know. I keep looking online, but have yet to find it.
I produce illustrations and creative idea solutions for toys, packaging, publishing and advertising.
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