Animal Commissions (Limited Time)

Alex Boake Illustration's Animal CommissionsDapper AlpacaTotes Mah Goats - Alex Boake IllustrationMugginsFor a limited time I’m going to be doing Animal Commissions! Get an illustration of your favourite animal, or your own pet. If you’d like your pet illustrated, please provide me with good reference photos. Feel free to prompt me with your favourite colours for either option (for the background/text). The text element is open to suggestion, though for pets I recommend their name.

Payment via Paypal. I will provide you with a good quality digital file for personal use. There’s an extra $5 fee for a high-resolution print file, also only for personal use. I retain the right to use the images in my portfolio, etc.

Contact me through email at alex.boake@gmail.com to get your very own personalized piece.

Thanks!
-Alex

NeatoShop 3 Tee Giveaway!

You may have noticed an abundance of Graphic Tees on my blog lately. Well, I’m about to make it up to you with a fantastic giveaway! Here’s the scoop; recently I was asked by an up-and-coming Tee shop called Neatoshop to join and post some of my tee designs. I figured, the more the merrier! It’s great to support other companies, and the more places my work can appear, the more chances I have to make a little bit of dough to support all this drawing I do.

You can click on the following image to check out my store:

AlexBoake_neatoshop_teesYou’ve probably seen me posting some of these designs on my blog, Instagram and Facebook page. Some of them, I haven’t even really posted yet! Exclusive!
Now, these Neatoshop fellows were kind enough to offer me 3 Tees to give away to my super cool fans. That means you guys!! Aren’t they nice?

AlexBoake_neatoshopThere’s two ways to enter this time:

  • Through the rafflecopter widget on my blog, and;
  • On the pinned post on my Facebook Fanpage where you can comment and tag a friend for an opportunity for each of you to win a shirt.

Cool, huh?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contests both close on May 28th at 11:59 PM. Good luck, friends!

New Nerdy Tshirts on Teepublic

Sorry again for the radio silence. Or blog silence, rather. Good things come to those who wait, right? In the mean time, I just got approved as a tee designer on TeePublic, and I’ve uploaded a bunch of my cool video game and other geeky designs over there. Feel free to check them out, if that’s something that interests you! They’re $14 until Sunday, then they go up to $20.

alexboake_teesUntil next time!

Valentine’s Day Chocosol Chocolate GIVEAWAY!

It’s that time of the year again. Beginning of February. Tons of crap covered in red and pink hearts begin to creep into your vision. Every time you enter a store, you’re assaulted. You just can’t escape it. Yes, my friends, it’s that mass marketing season that leads up to Valentine’s Day. I’ve never really bought into the idea that you have to buy a whole bunch of stuff to show your partner that you ‘really care’. You should make the effort through the year to show your love–and not just with gifts! However, having an excuse to go out for dinner or to give a small token of affection isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Especially when you can support local businesses.

Speaking of which, this year I partnered with ChocoSol Traders, a local chocolate making company. Together we dreamed up, and I created a special Valentine’s Day card which features the flowers of the Forest Garden Trinity. Check out that link to hear ChocoSol founder Michael Sacco speak of the teachings of Spiritual Ecology that inspired the illustration.

You can only really get your hands on this amazing gift card if you’re in the Toronto area…but luckily I am offering the chance for one lucky person to win a copy–as well as a selection of ChocoSol’s stone-ground, fair trade, horizontally traded, vegan, soy-free, paleo-friendly, chocolate bars. Phew, what a mouthful! A mouthful of pure goodness!! 

The prize includes (~$50 value):

  • 1x ‘Darkness’ Large Size Bar
  • 1x ’5 Chili Bullet’ Large Size Bar
  • 1x ’100%’ (Sugarless) Large Size Bar
  • 1x ’65% Artisan Blend’ Large Size Bar
  • 1x ’85% Uranga’ Single Origin Large Size Bar
  • 1x Spiritual Ecology Valentine Card

You can enter using the Rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest closes February 16th, and the winner will be notified the following day. Prize will be shipped out by February 24th because I’ll be out of town. Yes, it’s Valentine themed, but the chocolate will be arriving afterward. All of this chocolate is out of my own pocket, and the giveaway isn’t sponsored. I just like to share the love. Open to US and Canadian residents only, due to shipping costs. Sorry! Thanks for your understanding.

Good luck to all entrants! Hope you enjoy all your time with your sweetheart, whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not.

Freelance Life: Want to work with me? Want to support my work? Here’s the scoop!

As you may or may not know, I’m a freelance illustrator! Yes, you may know me as “that girl who makes recipes and draws a picture of them”, but actually I’m also a trained, professional illustrator. When I’m not creating illustrated recipes for this blog, for your enjoyment and meal-planning purposes, I’m actually available for hire.

At any time, I might be working on a number of secret projects for clients, which will only be unveiled after they’re published or used on a label. Of course I’m not allowed to post them all here! Depending on the contract the work is created under, you may only be able to see all of the pictures that I drew by checking out the book they’re printed in–either through purchasing it, or checking it out in your local library.

This is why it’s sometimes quite a while between recipe posts. If I’m putting all my time and effort into my freelance jobs, sometimes there’s nothing left to put together another illustration for this here blog. That being said, I love to be able to do the work that makes me happy, and also try to make a living through my art!

I decided to put together a post to show you where you can find my published pieces, support me through purchasing prints, or work with me directly.

COMMISSION ME

Character Commissions - Alex Boake IllustrationLooking for a custom character for your blog? Personalized social media icons that match the flavour of your site? Want a recipe illustration of your very own? Well, you’re in luck! I have quite reasonable rates for independent bloggers and small businesses. Contact me with the details of your project, and we can have it done in a flash.

Satisfied customers include:

PRINTS AND POSTERS

This hasn’t really been public knowledge until now, but any one of my recipe illustrations can be available as a print or poster. If you get in touch with me through email, I can provide you with a high-resolution file and a licence to print one copy for display at your home or business. You can get the file printed locally, and there’s no hassle with shipping. Prices tend to run from $20 to $30, depending on the size. These make a great present for the foodie in your life, or for yourself if you want your kitchen to look awesome!

PUBLISHED WORK

Practical Paleo Poop Pageant

Practical Paleo

It’s no secret that my big debut in the Paleo publishing scene was Diane Sanfilippo’s infamous Practical Paleo. I did a number of spot illustrations of various fruits, vegetables and meats to embellish the book, as well as a handful of diagrams. My favourite, of course, is the Poop Pageant. You could say this was the “crappiest job I ever had”. (Just kidding, it was awesome.)

The Ancestral Table

The Ancestral Table : Traditional Recipes for a Paleo Lifestyle

Coming out this month is Russ Crandall’s The Ancestral Table. His excellent blog is known as The Domestic Man, and if you’re not familiar with it already, go check it out. This stunning book approaches the Paleo diet from a traditional foods background. I’m a tiny part of this fantastic project, but I feel very lucky to have been involved. He wanted a looser, black and white ink style, which was a fun way to get a bit more spontaneous with my line work. Not every illustration I did made it into the final book, so you can see a couple above which weren’t included. (It was just too jam-packed with goodness already!) Definitely order this if you haven’t already!

Paleo GrillingPaleo Grilling : A Modern Caveman’s Guide to Cooking with Fire

Written by Tony Federico of F.E.D., this book covers everything you’d want to know about grilling. A meaty book, that’s for sure! Speaking of which, I illustrated a TON of meat diagrams for the informational sections. I know it’s tough, but you’ll have to wait until June to get your hands on this. It’s coming out in the summer, just in time for grilling season! Though, honestly, I’m Canadian and we BBQ all winter… I’ve had a glimpse at some of the recipes, and this is gonna be a good one!

Dougie the Hospice Dog

Dougie The Hospice Dog

This was a project by local Toronto authour Diane McQuaig, and was made possible by the Kensington Foundation. Based on a real location and dog, it makes the topic of death more approachable for children, and can be used to introduce the difficult subject in the case of the death of a loved one. This was a bit of a different style for me, but suited the tone and subject matter of the book. Currently available in some bookstores locally or directly through the hospice website.

OTHER MERCHANDISE

Phew, you’ve made it pretty far. Don’t stop yet! In my Storenvy Boutique, I have tons of mugs for foodies and nerds, and also foodies who are nerds. I aim to please! Tons of designs, made by me personally and shipped right to your door. What’s not to love?!

Lastly, I have a Society6 store, where you can get awesome totes and pillows with my drawings on them. I have one of the bags, and the quality is great! Very sturdy; it makes a perfect Farmer’s Market bag for hauling some heavy veggies back home. There are also prints available here, but I get a very small cut, so unless you’re looking for a canvas print, it’s best to contact me directly to order regular prints.

Congratulations if you made it through this post! I appreciate anyone who takes the time to appreciate my work on any level. Even a comment makes my day. Hope you keep enjoying my work and I’ll try to keep the recipes coming! 

Beyond Bacon Book Review

For a lot of people pork falls into two categories: Torturous dry pork chops and delicious crispy bacon. However, pork is so much more than that, as Stacy and Matt show in their wonderful new book, Beyond Bacon. It takes the focus off of one part of the animal and shows you how to take each and every part, cook it properly and make it delightful! You can learn how to render your own lard, make porchetta, cure bacon, smoke pork belly, break down a head for head cheese and even make brownies, biscotti and ice cream. Holy pig!

There was much anticipation surrounding the release of this book, and I have to say it’s very justified. Beyond Bacon is a complete package looks-wise; from the lovely design work, including the hand-rendered chalk typography and illustrated cover by CJ Hughes, to the yummy food styling (seriously, they make head cheese look DAMN GOOD!), captured by the lovely photography of Aimee Buxton. However, it’s not just about looks here: Stacy and Matt walk you through everything you need to know to order your own pastured hog! How to pick the right parts and decipher a cut sheet are essential tools that are included in this book. They show you how to talk the talk and walk the walk in the land of pastured pork goodness. This book could successfully change peoples’ perception of pork for the better!

I was overwhelmed by the number of recipes I wanted to try, and managed to select a few to start with. Rendering my own lard was super simple when following the instructions in the book. The Bacon Salted Caramel Sauce was a hit with my family, when drizzled over ice cream-topped ‘The Best Brownies’! Plus, I know I’ll never again have to suffer a dry pork chop after learning the foolproof cooking technique as described in Stacy and Matt’s excellent cookbook.

This delicious photo is courtesy of my sister who blogs over at Sweet Boake, and is an expert at baking and food photography!

Even if you’re not interested in ordering a whole pig, this book could still be for you! There’s plenty of chops, belly and bacon to tide over less adventurous eaters, PLUS a robust treats section. Hey, once you’re hooked on the basics, who knows if you’ll be wanting to check out the more adventurous bits pretty soon…hey, it can’t be that offal! ; )

In short; if you like pork, and you like cookbooks that are well-designed and thoughtful, you should DEFINITELY order this book!

Kind Organics Unquestionably Raw Chocolate Labels

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m now a member of the Kind Organics team; a local farm based out of Newmarket, which is north of Toronto. They’re a certified bio-dynamic farm, and they sell awesome sprouts, salad blends, leafy greens, kombucha, kefir, herbs, teas, tinctures…they’ve got it all! In addition to that, they are incredibly nice people. You can find them at many farmer’s markets in downtown Toronto, the GTA, and outside of the city.

One of our first projects together was to do some illustrations for their chocolate labels. Partnering with Chocosol, they combine their organic herbs and mushrooms with the raw, fair trade chocolate, to create these beautiful and delicious chocolate bars. So unique, you won’t find anything else quite like them! The task was to create an illustration for each flavour that would represent the taste and ingredients. Here’s what we came up with!

A rainbow of flavours! Each one different from the next. I have to say that the Cosmic and the Flower Power are probably my favourite.

Let’s have a closer look at the illustrations! Click to enlarge.
Pretty nice, huh?! It’s difficult to play favourites, but I like the Flower Power a lot. In a display the colours pop, and there’s enough detail to make you want to take a closer look. Plus, who puts a chocolate bar down once they’re that committed? Especially since it’s fair trade and soy-free? Bingo!

You can find these locally from Kind Organics at farmer’s markets, and in a couple health food stores in Toronto. Plus, we’re giving away a full set over at Sex, Food and Kettlebells! Pop on over HERE to enter!

Paleo f(x) 2013 Recap and Friday Foodle: Cherry

Well I’m back from my first ever Paleo Conference. Yes, I went to Paleo f(x) 2013 and it was extremely awesome! It was in Austin, which is a super excellent city, with plenty of great food and friendly people. Meeting all of the cool bloggers in the Paleosphere was kind of mind blowing, I must admit.

My roommate was the fabulous Kaila, of In My Skinny Genes! It was great to have a cheerful person to share a room with. Mostly I hung out with Russ the genius behind The Domestic Man and the ever friendly Tony who blogs at Fitness in an Evolutionary Direction. Very awesome dudes!! Letting little old me hang out with them, haha.

I also chilled with Stacy and Matt, The Paleo Parents, and occasionally Josh who is the Paleo Rapper, Slim-P*. Over the weekend I got to meet, for the first time, in person, all the most badass bloggers: The Food Lovers, Balanced BitesThe Urban Poser, Against All Grain, Civilized Caveman, FreeRange Human, Stephani Ruper, Ancestral ChefThe Spunky Coconut, and the incomparable Nom Nom Paleo, Fitbomb and family. I even got to have dinner with Paul Jaminet, author of The Perfect Health Diet! He is a very humble and gracious fellow, I appreciate his book so much! Please forgive me if you were overlooked, it all happened so fast!

It was a weekend chock full of learning new information, all crammed in between hilarious conversations and mouth-watering food. (Can we say smoked brisket and grass-fed ice cream?) I’d definitely go back again, and I am seriously considering attending AHS this summer as well…

Anyway, you’re not here to hear me gush about meeting famous bloggers, you’re here for illustrations! That’s my job, right?! Here’s my favourite fruit, the cherry! When I went to Vancouver in the summer last year I was eating them by the pound. NO REGRETS!! I think white cherries are the tastiest, but I’ll take them all.

Thanks for dropping by! Happy Friday!!

*Disclaimer: He may or may not be a rapper.