One of the projects currently on my plate is a series of illustrations on the theme of retirement. The other day I did this sketch and I really liked how it turned out.

Incidentally, this guy golfs better than I do.


Comp Art for Best Buy

A few months ago I was hired by Denali Marketing out of Minneapolis to develop some rough comp art to help them pitch a Best Buy ad campaign.

Recently a brand new baseball stadium was built for the Minnesota Twins. Best Buy is a Minnesota-based company so the idea was to come up with a local print campaign to highlight Best Buy’s excitement over the new stadium. The folks at Denali pitched me a few ideas and I worked up some rough sketches to help sell the various concepts.

Here’s a sampling of the sketches I submitted:

Character Design: Rhino

Last year I did some concept development work for an animated motion picture currently being developed in Hollywood. I was brought on board to help design some animal characters. The catch was that I had to try to match the style of another artist who had already done quite a bit of their visual development.

I did some sketches of an ostrich and a near-sighted rhino. Ultimately it was decided that I wasn’t quite capturing the look they were after and so we shook hands and parted ways. Oh well, you can’t win them all. But they were great people to work with, they paid me for my work, and we parted on good terms.

I can’t say too much about the project because as far as I know it is still in development. But I did retain the rights to my unused sketches and can show them to you. I posted some ostrich samples a while back. Today I came across some of the rhino drawings in my files and thought I would post them as well:

Copyright © Cedric Hohnstadt. All rights reserved.

Archive of American Television

As a freelancer I spend long hours working in the quiet solitude of my studio. I’m always looking for something new and interesting to listen to in the background while I draw. My iTunes library gets a lot of heavy usage, as does my radio, podcasts, and audiobooks.

Recently I discovered a new resource to add to my list: The Archive of American Television.

This fascinating website is jam-packed with long, in-depth video interviews with dozens (maybe even hundreds) of the biggest names in American television both in front of and behind the camera. And when I say the interviews are long, I mean long. Many are several hours in length. And they are totally free.

I’m a bit of a movie and TV buff and I’m endlessly fascinated with what goes on in Hollywood. I’m not talking about the sleazy gossip–I couldn’t care less about most of that. I mean the creative process, especially in animation but also in live-action. How do scripts get written? How do TV shows and movies get made? What are the business decisions that guide a project? What are the obstacles that have to be overcome and the compromises that have to be made? What’s it like for the actors, directors, and writers to be creative in the high-stakes pressure cooker of Hollywood?

Over the last few days I’ve listened to lengthy interviews with greats such as Chuck Jones, Stephen J. Cannell (creator of “The Rockford Files”, “The A-Team”, and “The Greatest American Hero”), Norman Lear (creator of “All in the Family”, “The Jefferson”, “Good Times”, “Sanford & Son”, etc.), and Alan Alda (“M*A*S*H”). Other interviews I’ll be listening too soon include Joseph Barbera (of Hanna-Barbara), Roy. E. Disney, Bill Melendez (“Charlie Brown” animator), Ron Howard, Gary Marshall, Larry Gelbart, and many others.

There’s some salty language but overall the interviews are fascinating. You can browse by person, TV show, by profession, or by topic. You can watch just selected clips or entire interviews.

The Archive of American Television is a terrific resource for anyone interested in filmmaking.

Trifecta BBQ Sauce

A few months ago I was hired by the Trifecta BBQ sauce company to create an illustration for their new brand of BBQ sauce. It was a fun project which I blogged about showing the steps from intial concept to final artwork.

I’m an illustrator, not a graphic designer, so I did not do the full label design. I just created the artwork and then the Trifecta people hired someone else to design a label around it.

Here’s the final artwork I submitted:


The preliminary bottling has now begun, and earlier this week I received six bottles showcasing the new label design, hot off the assembly line. I’m told this is not the final design—they are going to make some minor changes—but I thought I’d post a quick photo anyway:

I can’t wait to slap some steaks on the grill and give this sauce a try! This is the perfect time of year for it too. Here in Minnesota the snow has only been gone for about a month, the leaves are sprouting on the trees, and there are no bugs….yet.

There’s also a Trifecta website in the works at As of this writing its not live yet but it should be going live soon. If you enjoy a good BBQ it would be worth giving Trifecta a try.