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Welcome to Brad Hamann East!
September 3, 2017  

After a seven year stint illustrating, designing and teaching from a home in New Mexico, Jane and I are now back on the East Coast. We've settled in West Virginia, where I have begun teaching graphic design and illustration at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV.

We enjoyed our time in the Southwest, but it's great to be back closer to NYC, DC and Baltimore and Philly! Can't wait to see our first Fall Foliage season since 2009!

-Brad Hamann

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Watch your back!
March 11, 2010  

I just completed an interesting assignment for SC Magazine which involves the issue of "crowdsourcing". Crowdsourcing is a method by which companies throw their software design needs out to a public competition. Obviously there are certain risks involved, including not necessarily knowing who you are dealing with at the other end of the line. Things can backfire, but there are services that vet the programmers for you. Companies can save huge develpmental costs by working this way, but the potential dangers must be taken into account.

Brian Jackson is the art director I worked with on this project, and we've worked together before. Very talented is he, and a great person to work with. Click the thumbnail at the right for a bigger view.

Now, off on a quick roadtrip to Baltimore, where I will visit the Geppi Entertainment Museum. Talk about a kid in a candy store!

-Brad Hamann

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A successful launch!
March 3, 2010  

I want to thank everyone who sent along congratulations, kind words and suggestions upon the launch of my redesigned site. Feedback from both friends and clients has been unanimously positive. I have to admit, I could have kept adding work (and even an additional gallery or two), but I had to stop somewhere! I consider myself a "generalist", which means I work within a flexible range of styles to best fit each individual project. This certainly keeps things a lot more interesting for me and provides my clients with several options which they really seem to appreciate. After several decades of freelancing, I think my insistance on not conforming to one single look has kept the work I do fresh and the type of assignments I receive nicely varied.

Over the last six months, I've been stretching out a little and adding a little twist to my standard approach to Adobe Illustrator. I normally begin wth pencil sketches for all my assignments and then bring the drawings into Illustrator for use as templates. As I create my vector art with the templates as a guide, I normally smooth out and clean up the pencil lines as I translate them into vector art. But starting with some of my recent portraiture (notably Poe, Kahlo, Axelrod and Palin) I've tried to draw more energetically with the pen tool and retain the liveliness of the original pencil lines. I'm very excited about this new work. Take a look at the three stages of my method to the right. The energy of the initial drawing is maintained right through to the finished art.

I'm currently working on an editorial assignment that uses this new approach and I'll post it when it's completed. Please take a look around the galleries - I'm putting up new work on a regular basis!

-Brad Hamann

To begin with, a short story...
February 22, 2010  

It's been almost seven years since I've overseen a complete design overhaul of my website, and on March 1st I finally get to put my new site online. In 2003, the very talented Jack Harris crafted a site that I've been very pleased with, one that has served me very well, but I wanted to become more involved in the design this time. I've felt for a while that it is becoming more crucial for an illustrator, designer or artist to add the personal touch to their online portfolio. We all rifle though page upon page of content rich material on the web these days, and I think the human beings behind the pixels have a tendency to get lost.

When I began my career, after graduating from Parsons School of Design, I spent hours and hours putting together a collection of samples that I would haul onto the subway in a big black carrying case, and travel from Brooklyn into Manhattan to meet with potential clients. That is certainly a practice now fading into the past. Certainly, there were plenty of frustrating moments at the beginning, including the dreaded "dropoffs" in office reception areas. The next day, I would take the trip back into Manhattan and search for clues inside my portfolio, indications that someone, anyone, had looked at my work. I knew in an instant if one of my leave-behind cards had been removed. I could tell if the pages had been examined or the stack of laminated tearsheets had been reshuffled. Call it Freelancer Forensics, but we all got good at it. And the heart would sink just bit if there was no note or indication that the portfolio had ever been unzipped.

But often, there were the chances to go in and actually meet an experienced art director and show your work firsthand. Today it seems almost preposterous, in our speeded up, time-is-money, edge-of-panic, virtual working environment that someone would take a few moments out of their workday to sit with a young neophyte, perhaps of questionable or emerging skills, and share their observations. I am eternally grateful to all those men and women who were so very kind to me when I went out in a most vulnerable condition, and were encouraging and positive when there was no requirement for them to be so.

I put my first website online in 1996. That seems a long time ago. I rarely get to meet the people I work with face-to-face anymore. And sometimes entire assignments are handled via e-mail, without a single phone call. So when I redesigned this new site, I decided I wanted to take a bit of a risk and actually make it more personal and less formal than alot of what I see online. Because when it comes down to it, there is a huge pool of talent to be drawn from that crosses all time zones and all cultures. That is, in fact, a wonderful thing. No luddite am I.

But what I want to throw into the mix, along with these examples of my latest and best work, is the assurance that if you choose to work with me, you'll be working with someone that still takes each assignment as a gift, and as an opportunity to not only find the best way to tell a story and to satisfy a client, but to work with another person and maybe, just maybe, make a real connection and rediscover the satisfaction of real collaboration and a job well done.

-Brad Hamann

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