Kevin the Tortoise

Posted on June 21st, 2012

I was recently contacted by Haley Luna, the proud mother of Kevin the Tortoise, to tell me that my work was featured on his official Facebook page. You may have seen Kevin under “Image Design” in the work section of my website. I originally came across Kevin when Kara, my wife, found him on Pinterest. Kara instantly fell in love with this little tortoise—so for Valentine’s day this year, I wanted to surprise her with a poster of Kevin that she could hang up at her office.

Since the original image file was such low resolution, I did what any good little designer would do and improvise. I pulled Kevin into Illustrator and created different paths to outline the scene. Next I brought the vectors into Photoshop to collage, shade and color. I used some of my own textures, as well as some free textures found online to develop a cozy cloth motif. Then I painstakingly went over each layer, shading and coloring with my Wacom stylus until it was just right. Finally I created a depth of field lens blur for the different elements to mimic the aperture settings of the original photograph.  The end result was great—and it’s all thanks to the wonderful, original photo by Haley.

It’s crazy how we can live in such a big world and yet stay so connected. Kevin’s photo has traveled around the world and back. It inspired me to create a loving piece of artwork for my wife—which somehow found it’s way back to the original (anonymous) photographer who was able to connect with me. That’s the power of the Internet and social networking.

Check out Kevin’s official Facebook page for more photos.

Amazing Sculptures by Artist Dalton M. Ghetti

Posted on April 2nd, 2012

Here is something a little out of the ordinary. This morning I came across these amazing sculptures by artist Dalton M. Ghetti. So get this—he takes pencils of various shapes and sizes, and carves tiny sculptures into them! They are pretty insane. Apparently he uses a sewing needle and razor blade to do the work. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard enough time keeping my lead from breaking during normal use. I would never have the patience to come up with something like this. How can he possibly carve all those tiny little chain links AND keep them together? Incredible. I think my favorites are the chain, the cabin, the saw, and the giraffe. What are yours?

Looking for Work

Posted on April 2nd, 2012

Hi. My name is Aaron Duke and I made everything you see on this website. You should hire me because I’m an excellent designer, programmer, photographer, illustrator, and so much more. Don’t believe me? Check out my portfolio. Need more proof? Contact me using my web form or on Twitter (@aacduke or @dukedesign) and we can arrange a Skype, FaceTime, or in-person meeting.

Right now you might be asking yourself, “Why is this guy looking for work?” Well the answer is simple: I’m graduating from Missouri State University’s incredible design program this coming May. I’ll be graduating with a BFA in Graphic Design, a minor in Photography, and a second minor in Advertising and Promotion. Currently I’m a web design intern at a local marketing firm, and in the past I worked during the summer and from school as the lead designer for a biomedical imaging software company in the Kansas City area. This is in addition to the freelance work that I have done over the years with my company, dukeDESIGN. So I have quite a bit of experience for a newly graduated student.

So why are you still reading this? GO, run, FAST! Contact me—before somebody else does.

Aaron Duke