Author Archives: Alex Savakis

Nest is the topic

From the blog, “Illustration Friday is a weekly art challenge that is super fun and inspiring!” Every Friday the blog, Illustration Friday, posts a new topic. Illustrators and anyone with a knack or a need to draw submit an illustrated piece based on the topic. This week’s topic is ‘Nest’. Instead of a literal translation of bird’s nest –

  • a structure or place made or chosen by a bird for laying eggs and sheltering its young

I decided to use the other definition of nest.

Nest, noun

  • a set of similar objects of graduated sizes, made so that each smaller one fits into the next in size for storage.

The nested bowls are a symbolic nest for eggs collected from the chicken coop by the farmer. The chicken on the bowl is a symbol of a chicken attending to her nest and a decorative element like those painted on vintage and contemporary nested bowls. I painted this piece on my iPad Pro with the Procreate app and the Apple Pencil.

Below, my submission for the topic ‘Nest’.

Nested Bowls with chicken
My submission to Illustration Friday. The topic this week is ‘Nest’.

Consequences of my actions

During the broadcast of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games my attention was split between the TV and my iPad.

While I was drawing something on my iPad I heard a TV announcer quote one of the athletes who participated in the high jump. The quote was, “What gravity?” That quote resonated with me. I imagined the elation the athlete felt as he cleared the bar. I looked online for a picture of the athlete in action. I illustrated the athlete, included his quote, his name and the medal he won. I posted the piece to social media. Two days later it was picked up by an online magazine from Doha who retweeted it. Below is the response to the illustration. I learned later the athlete was to first person to bring home a Silver medal for his country, Qatar.


Another athlete I illustrated was the first female to win a medal for her country, the Philippines. She took home the bronze medal for her weightlifting class. Two weeks after the Rio Games the athlete was tagged by a friend in the comments section of the post. The athlete responded.


I was thrilled by the interaction for both illustrations. I like to think my work told their stories and the illustrations resonated with an audience outside my circle of friends.


Fact graphic: 9 foods with sawdust as an ingredient

I read an article about sawdust as an ingredient in 31 foods. Sawdust is cellulose which is a source of fiber. I selected nine foods for the purpose of this graphic. I included animation and sound to bring home the point of the graphic. Do fact graphics have to be quiet, static, and humorless? Nope.

Speaking of humorless, Photoshop as a tool to animate isn’t the best option or the better option. I wanted the blade to rotate. The rotate option in the timeline doesn’t work (using CS6). To add keyframes and layers to create the rotation would increase the file size. Use AfterEffects or Flash to create a more sophisticated animation. Lesson learned.

Line art drawn with an Apple Pencil in Procreate on an iPad Pro then designed, colored and animated in Photoshop.