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Ruby Baby, You’re A Star: How One Of My Illustrations Wound Up On YouTube

August 23, 2012

One of my most enjoyable assignments this year was a book cover illustration for Tracey Jones and Tremendous Life Books. It was a parody of Botticelli’s famous The Birth Of Venus, with Tracey’s Australian Shepherd Ruby Red standing in for Venus.

Here’s the final. Ruby’s Venus pose was constructed from four separate photographs. You can read more about it in this previous post.  parody illustration of Botticelli's Birth Of Venus painting, shows a dog named Ruby Red substituted for Venus, and Blue, Indigo, and Ginger dog heads substituted for other three people heads in painting, result used as Tremendous Books cover

Why am I revisiting this assignment? Because Tracey and Tremendous Life made a video to promote the book. They posted it on YouTube where the potential for exposure is, well, tremendous.

It’s funny, fast-paced, and clocks in at just over two minutes. It’s social media at its best: engaging, amusing, understated. Take a look.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

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I’m prejudiced, of course: I like Tracey, I like the concept, I did the cover illustration for the book.

But the video was more than a feel-good experience for me. It was a reminder that YouTube is a powerful marketing tool. As a commercial illustrator who needs to promote himself, I should be taking advantage of it. To date, that’s something I haven’t done.

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What do you think? Did the video make a good impression? Ever made a promotional video yourself? Do you use YouTube to promote your business? Hope you’ll leave a comment.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to get updates. Just click the Get Updates button in the sidebar below the Portfolio Thumbnails, or click + Follow in the blog menu bar.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

Leaves Of Grass, A Fistful Of Dollars & Do You Feel Lucky, Punk??

Joe Castillo’s Face Of Christ

What A Deal: One Face For The Price Of  Two!

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. August 23, 2012 10:44 PM

    Fantastic, Mark. Actually, your work did get exposure on YouTube. I can’t imagine anyone seeing that charming video and not asking … “Just who did that beautiful illustration?”

    While I am part-Irish, my Blarney is sincere. Awesome. Congratulations.


    • August 24, 2012 9:07 AM

      I’m mostly Irish myself, and sure’n I’m aware, tha’ blarney kin be sincere… : )

      May the road rise up to meet ye, and roll out a plush green carpet for you to tread merrily upon!!

      O’Thanks, Judy!! : )


  2. August 24, 2012 9:54 AM

    Mark, I have your book cover on 8 foot vertical banners.

    Ruby did two speeches this past week and folks are drawn to that cover. They get the original painting and they know the power of the story of a rescue animal and its “rebirth”.

    I still marvel at how you sent me the email while I was just contemplating who on earth could pull this off.

    I loved the way the film team kept showing the book cover as well. It’s gorgeous and I loved the way it kept swirling in and out. Fits the whole theme of finding your inner “doggness” 🙂

    Congratulations, Mark. Baby, you’re the star!!!


    • August 24, 2012 10:29 AM

      8-foot banners?? Gosh! I wish I could be there to salute! : P

      Yes, that was lucky, my sending you a query at just the right time. Sometimes all the water dishes align, as we say here at the dog show… : )

      It’s a great video, and I liked how you were careful not to upstage Ruby when you made your cameos… : )

      I was proud to be part of it– thanks, Tracey!


  3. August 24, 2012 5:59 PM

    Mark, I shall return to make comment on this fabulous post however; for now I’d like to let you know that I’ve nominated you for an award. Here ’tis:


    • August 27, 2012 11:08 AM

      Thank you so much, Carolyn, I accept with pleasure!

      I left a comment on your blog in which I shared the requisite 7 Things About Myself. I know your readers will appreciate them if they’re troubled by insomnia– zzzzzzzzzzzzz… : P


      • August 27, 2012 7:11 PM

        It was, indeed the best reply ever received… Well done and congratulations to you…. You are not just a pretty face..! 🙂

        If Venus had only waited a little while she could have been transformed by a miracle working illustrator, namely: You…!

        What wonders she could have performed looking as elegant as she appears above. Such brilliance, such grace, such timely elegance; notwithstanding a slightly furry feeling and a less than modest stature..!

        However; be that as it may; I’m certain the book of Ruby Red will garner favour, primarily because of its grand cover….. 🙂


        • August 28, 2012 9:44 AM

          Yee-OW! This incredible comment had me rolling over, howling at the moon, and juggling six cans of dog food and my water dish, all at the same time!!

          All I can say is, if you ever need someone to fetch your newspaper and slippers and box of chocolates, I’m your, er, man… : P

          Thank you, Carolyn!!! : )


  4. August 25, 2012 9:57 PM

    Dear Mark,

    This is so exciting. I loved your bookcover and the video is fabulous. Ruby is a perfect leading lady. What a great project to be a part of.

    My husband and I have had many rescued animals and currently have three rescued dogs as well as a feral cat who adopted us. 🙂


    • August 27, 2012 11:14 AM

      Yes, isn’t that the way life is? Sometime you adopt, sometimes you’re adopted. Hopefully, it all works out… : )

      Thanks, TT. Always great to see you here, and I appreciate your comment very much. I know you’re a very kind person, and I’m not surprised to learn that you reach out to rescued animals.

      I also appreciate your reaching out to me!! : )


  5. August 26, 2012 12:45 PM

    Sometimes all the water dishes align indeed! I love this cover, Mark, and it makes me want to read the book and so does that really cute video! My favorite part of the video is when Ruby is sitting by the baby stroller and her crown? (maybe it’s a hat) falls off! So perfect. You’re right. It is social media at its best. Ruby’s voice is perfect too. 😀


    • August 28, 2012 9:37 AM

      I used to wear a crown myself when my mom would take me out in the baby stroller. Yes, I had delusions of grandeur at an early age… : P

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Linda, and sprinkling rose petals in my water dish!! : )


  6. August 31, 2012 3:10 AM

    The parody makes me smile. You’re really a pro.

    Even though I like a chow chow more than a ruby red, and I’m imagining what if it were a big fat chow chow. 😀


    • September 1, 2012 11:22 PM

      Thank you, Nina! Your kind comment made me smile, and your vision of a big fat chow chow standing in for Venus made me laugh. Now that would be a sight to see!! : )

      Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your good cheer and support! : )


  7. September 2, 2012 7:03 PM

    You’re right, Mark! Why not you make a video of yourself drawing your cartoons? That would be a good promotion for your works. 🙂


    • September 5, 2012 10:49 AM

      Ah, yes– I hate it when I’m right, and I’ve only got myself to blame… : (

      I know establishing a presence on YouTube would be excellent publicity, so I must get my lazy bones in gear and move said project to the top of my list!!

      As always, thanks so much, dear Inge, for all your support. : )


  8. robpixaday permalink
    September 7, 2012 4:12 PM

    Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s great news!! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!


    • September 8, 2012 10:38 AM

      Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!!!!!!

      –for that wonderfully exclamatory comment!!!!!!!!!! : )


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