Design miscellanea and everyday musings by Nathanael C. Saldana

Category: Sketches

Concepting… robots

Concepting... robots

After a full year hiatus from posting, I’m getting back in the game. What better way to start than with some awesome robot illustrations in preparation for a corporate branding project!


If you met Philadelphia at a party…

In a group exercise conducted during Philadelphia focus groups, participants were asked to imagine Philadelphia as a person they met at a party. (The exercise had been previously conducted in GPTMC focus groups in 2006.) These are my illustrations reflecting actual comments during the focus groups, featured at GPTMC’s annual January tourism event. Definitely a positive progression for the city!


Graduation Party Invitation

My little brother requested Superboy-themed graduation invitations. I ran with it.

Why is it So Hard to Say I’m Sorry

Diet is Going Crappy Today

Say No to Prepackaged Sushi

It Is Sunny Today

I’m Popular on Dribbble!

Thanks to my friend Mela for spotting my work on Dribbble’s “Popular” page last week! In case you’ve never experienced dribbble.com, it’s an invitation-only show and tell site just for designers, where you can share shots of your work in progress to receive feedback, or even final printed work. This is my first “popular” shot, and my most-liked shot to date. What an honor!!! See the original shot here.


After finishing the Sketchbook Project, I realized that although, as a whole, all my old sketchbooks are a jumbled mess of chaos, there are moments of genius in each one. So as I fill each of my personal sketchbooks, I will be uploading the highlights from each, or at least my favorite parts.

9″ by 12″ is a great size for sketching. There’s always enough room for everything, and since I used this book not only for sketching but for writing as well each page holds a lot of information. This is the book I used to write my ideas for the novel I’m working on. There are sections where I mock-interviewed each character to get to know them better, timelines, charts and lists for character development and succession of events, and of course, sketches. Coincidentally, I filled the book just as I arrived at a pivotal moment in my writing, where I will basically be starting over. Just in time to start another 9″ by 12″. Here is a collage of my favorites…

As I went through my book, I also realized that I talk–er, write–to myself a lot. I will make small talk and conversation with myself as I’m writing, sometimes resulting in comical dialogue. I tend to use the word “So…” a lot.

The Sketchbook Project 2011

Back in the fall, I signed up for this year’s Sketchbook Project, run by the Brooklyn Art Library. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out or what I would even sketch, but my ideas quickly came together. My sketchbook will join that of 28,834 artists from 94 countries around the world in a tour around the United States at various art libraries and museums.

The first leg of the tour will begin at the home location of the Brooklyn Art Library from February 19 through 27. Hopefully I can go see it!

After weeks of deliberation on the subject of the book, I decided to begin with some old sketches of characters I created for my novel and create a Reference Guide for the characters. I developed a typography system, a style of costume, and even a map of the specific part of the fictional galaxy where the story takes place (THAT was fun). I had to do each signature individually, then trim and spray them to set the lead. Finally I experimented with different binding styles and ended up inventing one myself that I thought tied in (no pun intended) with the theme.

I will be saying goodbye to my sketchbook next week when I mail it off for good to Brooklyn. It was such a fun experience, so I hope to participate in this project for many years to come! Enjoy the pics…