About: Principal owner and creative director of Oakley Design Studios, graduate of NYU, and former illustrator for many of the New York advertising agencies and design firms.
Born and raised in Hawaii, Tim Oakley, or ‘Oakley’ as he’s called in the industry, is principal owner and creative director of Oakley Design Studios (www.oakleydesign.com). A graduate of NYU, Tim began his career as a solo illustrator for many of the New York advertising agencies and design firms.
In the early 80′s, Oakley moved to Northern California to work for leading design firm, Offenbacher, Incorporated, where he designed award-winning collateral, logos, packaging and wine labels. His entrepreneurial spirit soon led him to open a one-man design shop in San Francisco. When the 1989 San Francisco earthquake hit, Oakley decided to move himself back to safer grounds – Hawaii, where he rekindled his passion for painting. Most noted are his paintings of the flower, The Bird of Paradise.
"There are nine variations of this painting; five are hanging in major hotels around the world, while the rest are in personal galleries."
Most recently, Oakley’s The Tiki Pop Illustrated Prints have been purchased by Fortune 500 companies and Hollywood celebrities (including three Oscar winners), as well as numerous well-known musicians.
In 1992, Oakley headed back to the mainland and chose Oregon for its beauty and cool weather. Oakley Design Studios was created. Oakley’s design skills have earned him world honors from local, regional, and international clients. Oakley Design Studios clients vary, since Oakley prefers not to pigeonhole his design style with any one type of client. He finds that the more avant-garde the client, the more likely they are to take chances.
Oakley has won numerous awards around the globe. His work has also been showcased in such magazines as – Print, Graphis, Creativity, ShotGun, Illustrator Inc, Pinstripe, and many other "best of books." When not designing something, Oakley speaks at typography and design seminars for corporations & colleges, and has taught design to high School and college students.
This project will be his first opportunity to use not only the airbrush gun, but also the grip pen and other items, making it something that he really looks look forward to.
"I come into this project with no knowledge of Wacom. However, I plan on finishing the project as a believer in digital airbrushing. I have many close friends that use Wacom. Many times, they have said, "Try a Wacom. This will change you. Tonight I will learn. Even an old pro like myself, when given the right tools, can become cool once again."
This guy makes the rest of us look lazy. As far as we’re concerned, he’s been cool all along. One sure thing is that his design for the Power of the Pens is going to blow us away, just like everything else he does.
After a few attempts, it became natural to work the airbrush. The airbrush is a medium that I have worked with since the age of 10. The roller was the toughest to control since most airbrushes are dual action from a single throttle. Once I felt confident enough to work with the airbrush, the first item I tackled was the sky & clouds. I figured, "if I can’t tackle this, I’m screwed".
On the clouds swirls, I made a single mask in illustrator, and used it for both the inner and outer cloud ghosting. I made three passes of white (at 50%, 30% & 10%) changing the brush width with each outer pass. Then I made a single pass of white (at 20%) for the inner swirls.
I also used this technique for the volcano fumes, ‘cept I only did two passes of white (at 50% & 30%).
For the foreground bushes & palms, I used both the airbrush for all base color areas, and fine-tuned the leaves with the grip pen tool (detail work).
For the ocean, I made two mask (again in illustrator). Using one for the background base coat, which I also added two gradient colors for depth. Then a second mask was used for the water waves, which I used only the airbrush tool. Using the airbrush, a burst of white was sprayed for the wave tips. This technique was similar to an actual airbrush and gave me control over the amount of white being added. If I didn’t like the look, I’d delete and start over. If this was an actual painting, and I didn’t like the white, I’d have to use a bleaching agent (with a face mask) remove the white until it was completely wiped away. A time wasted procedure.
For the The Tiki itself, twelve separate masks were made in illustrator, each one for a different section of the The Tiki. Starting with the basic color, I did a single fill (at 40%), then used the airbrush to bring out the depth & detail. Each section was done in same manner, ‘cept I’d rotate the art at various angles (just like turning a master art board), to help out in the depth and style of gradients. The mouth was the simplest. A basic black background, with the addition of gray for side depth. The teeth were done using 4 masks. Two for the face of the teeth, and two for the sides. Each masks using two values of gray.
Once the entire art was done, I used the grip pen for minor detail primping & cleaning.
Other than quick edits, and changes, I realized that I no longer have to mix paint, use bleach, rub off pencil lines, and remove frisket film or residue. This alone saved me roughly 1-2 hours of work. Hours that I could use to tighten the concept if needed.
Since my latest art has this similar theme – give or take the style – it was just natural to do painting. However, this is the first to include the volcano and swirly clouds. Something new, and one of a kind for this project.