Monday, June 11, 2007

illustration: The Giving Tree

published April 8, 2007
This illustration accompanied a column by Editorial Page Editor Ron Dzwonkowski that memorialized his friend and longtime Free Press Publisher Neal Shine, who passed away April 3, 2007.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Detroit Free Press: Regionalism

published June 10 2007
this illustration was made from scratch, and was my favorite photoshop challenge ever. it took me about four tries to before i figured out how make the puzzle pieces , and then lots of versioning before i got them scattered the way I liked. I strugged with detail - should i have included freeway markers and smaller cities like Farmington Hills, St. Clair Shores and Royal Oak? Or would the inclusion of those specifics made the whole image too complex and unreadable? I think I could have done more with it, but I'm really happy with the way it turned out.

Detroit Free Press: Celebrate Michigan

published June 3, 2007
This 23-page special travel section was a massive team effort. I was the designer and illustrator. David Pierce did the graphics. Mauricio Gutierrez and Steve Dorsey provided fantastic feedback and direction. I pitched about ten cover ideas, and we narrowed it down to two ideas: 1) a souvenir t-shirt, that would have read "my Free Press went to sixty festivals, four beaches, eighteen architectural sites, etc., and all i got was this awesome summer vacation guide". we would have styled and shot a model, then created and distressed the shirt design in photoshop. 2)a typographic map which would serve as a promotional poster and an index. We picked the second. I drank a ton of coffee, then wrote the whole thing in illustrator, using an incomplete budget as a guideline, adding excerpts from books we covered, and a lot of random exclamations, like 'wear sunscreen!' and 'out of sight!' (which was also one of the many films we covered which was shot in michigan). a lot of the cheekier copy was cut, but the tone is still fun and vibrant. the illustrations are all mine. I was especially happy to add a drawing of my favorite beat-up Eames shell chair that I bought for fifty bucks off a sidewalk in Silverlake, when I was living in Los Angeles. It was made in Michigan, like I was!

Detroit Free Press: Real ID

published May 27, 2007
photos by photodisc

Detroit Free Press: VA Tech shootings

published April 29, 2007

this was my third pitch for this four-part editorial. originally, I wanted to do a 'connect-the-dots' kind of thing, when it seemed the story would be focused on how the different supporting players (the parents, police, classmates, etc), might have seen this disaster coming. that sketch (which i unfortunately recycled) showed bullet holes piercing the paper, connecting to form the image of a student with a gun (which I recycled in a secondary illustration, shown below). The second pitch was a maze metaphor: how would a student make his way past so many obstacles set up to prevent such a massacre? in that image, the killer would have knocked the walls down and barreled straight into the center, which would have been an open classroom with a few desks and chairs strewn around. in the end, the hurdles seemed like the clearest image, with the closest visual tie to a student, via the track suit. it's not the image i liked the best, but i think it was the most direct, and it implies a velocity/inevitability that i like. i'm happy with the way it turned out.

Detroit Free Press: Michigan's bitter pill

published March 2007
this is actually a self-portrait of sorts. i threw some Aleve in an old perscription bottle, and shot it with my digital camera, available light in the Free Press photo studio. I scraped off the old label and created a new one using illustrator and photoshop. getting the type to distort the right way was kind of a drag, but it was a fun challenge. i'm happy with the way it turned out - especially the little tear on the fake label.

photo: new york

Here's Michigan from the air, Prospect Park, and a canopy of sassafras leaves. I used to eat sassafras leaves near my cottage on Lake Michigan. It was really exciting to find them in Brooklyn, too. I LOVE Prospect Park.

photo: cat photography

Detroit Free Press: water monsters

published February 2007

I did this illustration for a Sunday Editorial cover I designed in February 2007.

Detroit Free Press: 2006 archive

2006 SND entries
These are some of the first Sunday Editorial covers I did at the Detroit Free Press after I redesigned the section. I entered these pages in the illustration, front page, and section redesign categories. I got an SND Award of Excellence in the redesign category.

books: covers for my friend dave white

my friend dave white wrote a really funny book about hating Los Angeles, the second happiest place on earth. these three covers were a last-minute (which means the day before) quickie (done in an hour) pitch to the publisher because he hated the design they were going with. they didn't use any of these, but I like them anyway, and so did dave.

illustration roundup

This appeared in the Free Press last November. It's about CyberMonday - the first Monday after Thanksgiving when everyone goes online to buy Christmas presents.

I did this during the same Otis class as when I did the Sufjan posters.
Bryan Erickson at the Out Traveler hired me to do these 'posters' for a story on literary destinations.

illustration: silkscreen posters

I made these posters while I was taking a silkscreen class at Otis College in 2005. Sufjan Stevens is from Detroit, and made a really beautiful album about the state of Michigan (where I'm from), and followed it up with a really beautiful album about Illinois. I thought a poster showing a flock of birds migrating south with their instruments (you can't really see Lake Michigan in these images, but it's there) might be a cool approach to promoting that second album. The bottom poster was for a show he did at a Christian college in Grand Rapids. While he's not a 'Christian Recording Artist', he does weave some biblical themes into some of his songs. I thought a poster showing how to make a God's Eye might be a fun way to address that undercurrent.

magazines: the advocate

I spent two years at The Advocate magazine in Los Angeles. I did a big redesign while I was there, but these images are from an earlier redesign they didn't publish. But I think it's my best work from my time there. Michele Fleury was the photo editor at the time; photo credits to come.

magazines: didn't happen

this is a prototype for a family magazine that didn't quite come together...

magazines: music

i got my first design job when i was 25. the company wasn't yet Clear Channel, but that's what it became. these are some of my earliest pages, circa 2000.

photo: be a painting

my friend and i went to new york in march. one of the best parts of the trip was going to MoMA. we pretended to be paintings. i'm a chagall. she's a rothko.


amy martin


Knock December 2008 - November 2009

  • Concept, write and design all manner of smart, funny paper goods for Venice-based design firm.

DESIGN EDITOR Los Angeles Times August 2007-August 2008

  • Book, plan and design daily Calendar section. Create original illustrations for Book Review and Highway 1 sections.

FEATURES DESIGNER Detroit Free Press January 2006-August 2007

  • EDITORIAL (1.07-present) Designed SND award-winning On Point Sunday editorial section for May 2006 launch of the Sunday Free Press. Direct, design and illustrate weekly On Point section.
  • NEWS (4.06-3.07) Worked closely with photography, graphics and news desks to create dynamic, informative daily news packages.
  • FEATURES (4.07- present) Illustrate and design daily and weekly features sections including Travel, Books and PLAY, a weekly entertainment tab. Art directed, designed and illustrated “Celebrate Michigan,” a 22-page special travel section that published June 3. Regularly nominated for monthly Bravo! Our Best Stuff Free Press awards.

ASSOCIATE ART DIRECTOR The Advocate 2003-2006

  • Spearheaded and led magazine redesign in May 2005. Designed and art directed front-of-the-book features and special sections.
  • Assigned and directed illustrations. Created original illustrations and infographics. Researched and procured conceptual stock.

LEAD DESIGNER Clear Channel Multimedia Group 2000-2003

  • Designed several weekly music industry magazines. Redesigned two magazines, one of which won a 2003 Radio Music Association’s Trade Publication of the Year award.

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR / CREW LEADER Habitat for Humanity/AmeriCorps 1998-1999

  • Edited, designed and coordinated distribution of all publications. Planned special events, including outreach fairs and home dedications.
  • Trained and supervised volunteers from corporate, faith and educational organizations. Built 17 homes with and for low-income families.

freelance clients
The New York Times, TBWA/Chiat/Day, 826LA, Variety, Mighty Fine, Smog Design, The Out Traveler magazine,
Alyson Books, Under the Radar magazine, The Sierra Club Angeles Chapter, LA Youth, The University of Michigan Alumni Association

awards and recognition

  • 2008 MANIFEST HOPE Invited to create and show work at the Manifest Hope Gallery at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. A run of 30,000 posters I designed will be distributed throughout the Midwest in the next 60 days.
  • 2008 826LA TIME TRAVEL MART EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH for designing a poster series that raised over $15,000 dollars in the first two weeks that it was available for sale.
  • 2008 FIRST PLACE, feature page design, Society of Professional Journalists, Detroit chapter
  • 2007 AWARD OF EXCELLENCE, Feature page design, Society for News Design
  • 2006 AWARD OF EXCELLENCE, Section redesign, Society for News Design

University of Michigan School of Art & Design
, BFA August 1998
Additional coursework at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena
and Otis college of Art & design in Los Angeles