Category: Community

Behind the Project: The Man Behind Barnes & Noble’s Signature Portraits

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on that were especially admired in our community. This time, we spoke with Mark Summers, a prominent scratchboard artist whose impressive client list includes Time, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, and even the US Government’s Federal Reserve Bank. You’ll recognize his portraits from these clients, and of course, from Barnes & Noble branding around the world. Learn more about his craft and his project, “Author, Author:”

What was the inspiration behind this project?
The inspiration for this project stems from the fact that I have been doing these portraits for Barnes & Noble for many years. I’ve noticed that there are sometimes questions in chat rooms asking “Does anyone know who does those portraits for Barnes and Noble?”, so I thought I’d give them an answer. It also coincided with the fact that the Art Director on the project, Peter Farago, had assembled all of the portraits onto a website.  The ones I’ve included on Behance are just some of them.  There are dozens more of these. Peter would just call me up and say “Hey, we need a Walt Whitman portrait this week” and I’d just produce it.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
I work in scratchboard so, all of these portraits started off as a square of black.  I use an X-acto knife to scratch the white lines into the black, giving it an engraved look.  There have been questions sent to me about if I have used “plug ins” and “filters” etc. and I have no idea what they are talking about.  These are all hand drawn with zero use of computer. The original drawings are surprisingly small.  If you look at the head of the Marcel Proust, that’s about 2 and a half inches high.  The same goes for most of them.

Did anything interesting happen as a result of the success of this project?
I have had some wonderful feedback because of this project.  Other illustrators asking questions and a few requests from art directors around the world looking to use some of the images for book covers.

Do you feel that this project is “done” or is there anything you’d like to improve or change int he future?
I do feel this project is done.  It represents a certain stage in my career and this project is one way of putting a period at the end of it. Read more →

Behind the Project: Visualizing Motion in Air

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on that were especially admired in our community. This time, we spoke with Mike Campau, a Digital Artist & Creative Director in Michigan. He’s done everything from create compelling Celebrity Portraits to intense CGi work (like in “The Future Of Sports”) – but this time, we talked to him about his visualizations of dancers’ movements in “Motion in Air.

What was your inspiration for this project?
I just had an idea of capturing people in mid-air, but wasn’t quite sure in what scenario I would do this. So, I started my usual process of image searching, browsing stock sites and going through my own catalog of images, when I stumbled upon some very nice studio shots of dancers leaping. That was it, I had my subject matter. I tried to envision the motion that the dancer made before and after that moment in air and thought, “how could I visually create that as an object?”. From this point, I now had my inspiration moving forward.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
Now that I had my subject matter, I started to scour through stock photo sites looking for as many dancers in mid air as possible. Once I did this, I narrowed it down to ones whose lighting style would fit in with what I was envisioning. Having some knowledge of dance from my daughters taking studio lessons and performances, I had a pretty good understanding of the types of movements the different styles the dancers create while performing. From here I had to visually create a sculpture in 3d that best represented these movements. There was some trial and error, along with completely starting over in some cases until I got the right feel and shape.

Did you expect it to be as popular as it’s been on The Behance Network?
Yes, and no. I knew I had created something that I was very proud of and had an instant appeal once I was done, but I had no idea so many people would gravitate to these images and fall in love with them the way I did.

Did you go through many versions and iterations before coming up with these final pieces?
Yes, some of the images took more variations than others, while a couple of them I nailed on the first try – and probably the most popular one (blue cover image) was one of those that just worked instantly.

Did anything interesting happen as a result of the success of this project?  (fans contacting you, job opportunities, blogs picking it up, etc).
Yes, I received a ton of great responses and posts from this series and I was also contacted by a few clients to use the images for magazine covers and an annual report.  It also helped me indirectly, leading some potential clients to my other work and website, which in turn generated other work.

Do you feel that this project is “done,” or is there anything you’d like to improve on or change in the future?
For me, no project is ever “done” but this one is pretty close. There isn’t too much I would change or do differently, other than some small tweaks here and there. As far as the series is concern, I am not sure if I will go back to it to add more or just leave it as a series and move on to my next concept? Read more →

Bring a “Behance Portfolio Review” to your City!

It’s that time again – the next Behance Portfolio Review Week is coming up from October 29-November 5. Last May, there were 153 events in 46 countries – almost 4,000 creatives attended an event to get feedback on their creative work. This is your chance to get personalized feedback on your creative work from the Behance community.

You’ll be able to attend a Portfolio Review event in your area, but right now, we’re looking for event organizers to step forward and plan a Portfolio Review in your area. Read the below, and then
Start Planning Your Event.




“Having fun with new pens” turns into something much bigger: Jon May

We always love hearing about what our talented creative community is up to. Occasionally we’re lucky enough to have a member write to us about how Behance has helped their creative career. Want to share your own Behance story? Let us know and we’d love to include it in our Success Stories series.

In this post, Jon May, a freelance designer/illustrator based in Brighton, UK, shares his experience on Behance.

In September 2011 I worked on a personal project called ‘Lettering Experiments‘ – inspirational hand-drawn typographic wallpapers free to download for the iPhone, iMac, iPad etc. That December I received an email from the Behance curatorial team letting me know my project had been featured on Typography Served. Hurrah!

[Lettering Experiments featured on Typography Served]

Just 2 weeks later I received an email from Sally Singleton, Producer at Banjo Advertising Sydney. Their Art Director, Marque Kabbaz, had noticed my project and thought that my style was perfect for a job they were working on for AMP Bank.

I was commissioned to produce a series of typographic illustrations explaining financial services provided by AMP Bank.  After about four weeks of work, I’d created one of my best projects so far. My illustrations were then animated by Kojo.

[AMP Bank Videos on Behance]

I’ve recently been invited to submit work from the lettering experiments project to the EIGA 2013 Trend Diary – Values

My illustration will feature in the diary with my contact details and the book will be circulated to designers and agencies in Europe.

A big thanks to the good people at Behance for helping to get my work noticed and linking me with like minded creatives from the other side of the globe. Cheers!

Follow Jon at and on Twitter @jonmay_

Behind the Project: NYC From Above

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on that were especially admired in our community. This time, we spoke with Navid Baraty, an Engineer turned Photographer whose Behance project “Intersection” has been picked up everywhere from National Geographic to CBS New York. We spoke to him about how he get access to these incredible vantage points, and his process.  Follow Navid on Facebook or Twitter.

What was your inspiration for this project?
The idea first came to me after lunch one afternoon in 2009 in a Tokyo skyscraper. I looked down at the street below and noticed an amazing scene of geometric patterns dotted with umbrella-wielding pedestrians. I really couldn’t believe how geometric it all looked from above. It was almost as if someone designed the Tokyo street with my vantage point in mind. I realized that all the perfectly parallel lines, precise angles and thoughtful proportions were really a reflection of Japanese culture and its meticulous attention to detail and artistic presentation.

When I moved to NYC in 2010, I wanted to continue this series and see what New York looked like from above. Everyone walks around Manhattan looking up at the city, but very few get to look down. Watching NYC from above, you really get a sense of the energy and flow of the city–the constant stream of yellow taxis lining the avenues, the waves of pedestrians hurriedly crossing at the change of traffic signals, little figures disappearing into the subway stations, the chorus of honking horns and sirens. It’s all so rhythmic.

A photograph from Intersection | Tokyo

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
There’s been a lot of wild speculation as to how I create these photos. Some people think I have a side job as a helicopter pilot or window washer. When Flickr featured them on their blog, they assumed I was walking around Manhattan with a camera attached to a kite. Some have even called me Spiderman. I actually just take all of these on building rooftops and lean over the edge. A lot of times I have to wrap the camera strap around my arms really tight and extend my arms way over the edge to get the angle I want.

Did anything interesting happen as a result of the success of this project?
My Intersection series is definitely one of my most popular sets of work and has been featured all around the web–everywhere from National Geographic to CBS New York to My Modern Metropolis. I’ve had lots of people contact me about the series through my website. Most recently, BMW licensed one from my NYC series for an upcoming print campaign.

Did you go through many versions and iterations before coming up with these final pieces?
I take many photos of the same intersection or stretch of road from lots of different angles. When I get home and do the edits, I decide on which work best. I also tend to do more iterations when I’m extending my arms out over the edge since I can’t actually look through the lens. It can definitely take quite a long time before I get a photo I’m happy with, sometimes hours. I’ve been on a roof for a couple of hours before waiting for the light on the street to be just right. I’ve found the shots work best on overcast days.

Read more →

Victory Lap: Confidence in ideas, redesigns, and college graduations

Small or big, serious or silly, there are a lot of amazing success stories in the Behance community. That’s why we’ve started Victory Lap Fridays — a new series where we ask Behancers to celebrate their latest creative victory by sending us a tweet. Here are just a few of the #VictoryLap tweets we spotted last week.

Did you have an awesome week? Take a #VictoryLap — tweet to let us know about your creative accomplishments!





Behind the Project: Flying Junk

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on that were especially admired in our community. This time, we spoke to Swedish Illustrator Mattias Adolfson, who’s been on Behance for 4 years, and has over 60 projects – not one of them has less than 1,000 appreciations (one has as many as 40,000)! It’s impossible not to be enamored by the fantastical, unique world found in his sketchbooks – indeed, it’s captured the imagination of Behancers, who send every new project viral. We spoke to Adolfson about his latest project, Flying Junk,  his inspirations, and his tendency to sketch while traveling. 

What was your inspiration for this project?

This project is taken straight from my sketchbooks. I love drawing in sketchbooks – I never know exactly what will end up in them, but I do have some themes that return time after time. Most of my publications started off just being sketched in my books. When I was sketching the images you see in this project, I was doing some traveling – you can see the influence of this in the amount of airplanes or flying things depicted in the pages. I also drew some of these on trains and buses. The only thing I can do when traveling on such shaky transportation is cables. But sometimes I can’t sit around and wait for inspiration – I’ll just start drawing and see what it will end up as.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
I have a simple process – if I have some time, I sit down and start drawing! My sketchbooks are small, so I take them along with me everywhere and draw if I have a free minute.
When I’m doing personal images, I never do any prep or thumbnail sketches, but I’ll just jump in, starting with some lines and seeing where I end up. I do have themes that return, especially robots, tree, and architecture. These themes comes from my education history: in schools, I first started studying to become an engineer, then switched to architecture and finally ended up with a master’s in Fine Arts.

Did you go through many versions and iterations before coming up with these final pieces?

No theses pieces are the first cut and have no iterations.

Do you feel that this project is “done,” or is there anything you’d like to improve on or change in the future?
Generally, when I’m done, I’m done. I might return to some themes, making bigger versions of certain images. Some of my customers sometimes want something in the line of something they have seen on my site, so that would be a reason for me to return to a piece.

Read more →

Watch a Behance Student Show success story

It makes our day when we see a testimonial from a member who gets a job through Behance. These Full Sail recent graduates and student ambassador program alums, Tim Smith and Colin Garven, created a video to tell the story of how Colin’s profile on Behance’s Student Show lead to a job opportunity.

Watch on Vimeo, or click below!

Want to share your own Behance story? Let us know in the comments and we’ve love include it in our Success Stories series.