Traditional Media: sculpting

Posted: December 8, 2016 in Uncategorized

Realizing that I advertise myself as a graphic designer / production artist, it might seem strange to show work here that is neither of those things. But sometimes, it’s really great to get your hands dirty and feel something come together at your finger tips. I don’t do much painting or drawing anymore, as I’ve really been on a model building and sculpting kick these last few years. So as a healthy way to decompress, and to better myself artistically I dabble in rough maquettes. I definitely prefer Chavant NP Hard plastalina clay. I’ve tried two items in the soft and I am not a fan of the sticky, mushy mess it makes. Seems like it would be great for free wheeling gestural mock ups. But that’s not my style. I’m still working part time as a freelancer and full time care giver to my two year old daughter, so I’m more likely to carve out some time during the week to work on a longer project, rather than bolt down to my office to whip up a 1 hr gestural sculpt. I also don’t have a tonne of space to store these things once I’m done them either.

But it is fun, and I’ve completed four this year, which is a new record. I have plans for one more that is a bit more ambitious. Not in scale / size, but in that it’ll be a dynamic action pose held aloft in the air on pins. I might also see if I can finagle a diorama base into the mix, but we’ll see about that.



Sculpting again: TMNT

Posted: November 18, 2016 in Uncategorized

So I realized it had been a while since I last sculpted anything (That item being the torso of Sagat from Street Fighter®) And felt like getting back into it again. I felt as though I learned a fair bit when working on Sagat, so I tried to bring that knowledge over to these new projects. I tackled a newer version of Raphael from TMNT: Out of the shadows. As I had previously tried a version of Raph from the original 2014 movie (or whenever it actually was) that I have posted about before, with a series of images based on the figures progression below. So early in November I began a newer Raphael sculpt based on the movie from this summer and I wasn’t very happy because I made a pretty major error in posing the wire armature early on, and wasn’t able to compensate for it once it was epoxied onto the painted base. I tried to remedy that on a companion piece Leonardo, got the balance right, but ultimately made one leg far too long and out of proportion to the other leg. I really need to go back and spend some time drawing anatomy reference to get better at sculpting it. I bent the armature into position over top of the photo reference I was using, but didn’t account for how much/little I would need to use as a pin by the feet to epoxy into the base. I must have missed a pre-bend mark and used more of the wire in the leg than I had intended. Things to take away from this; Slow down during the armature/posing stage and get the measurements right. Don’t epoxy the armature to the base until after sculpting is done, that will give me a clue as to whether or not I have the subjects balance correct without the base itself carrying more counter balance load than it really should. Mark bend locations clearly.

I have started to use Chavant NSP Hard for sculpting because it’ll take and hold little details rather well. I do like the Medium version as well, not so hard on the fingers if you don’t have the stuff up to working temperature yet. My heat lamp set up is fine, as this obviously isn’t my day job but a fun escapist hobby. I am just having a hard time locating this stuff locally, as it seems both Curry’s and Michael’s don’t carry it any more. Plus they seem to be selling individual 2lb blocks on for close to $100 which is ridiculous. has it for cheaper, but it’s also in US Dollars, and the shipping / handling and import fees are fairly high. I’ll have to find a local sculpture supply place and see if I can order any within Canada.

Anyway, here are some shots of the newer stuff. Nothing too special. I see the mistakes made, and I look forward to doing more next year. As an update from yesterday, I meant to say that I am really truly impressed by anyone who is able to sculpt a l portrait likeness of another person. I really don’t seem to command the patience to tease out anything the looks close to an actual characters facial features. I almost got semi-close on my Groot sculpt, but in that case I spent more time on the face than the whole rest of the body, extremities and surface details combined. I have also found a Toronto based sculpture supply store that carries Chavant NSP Hard and has reasonable pricing compared to the highway robbery going on over at

TMNT_Sculpture_series 2014

Roughly 1/6 scale Chavant Clay Medium sculpture



It’s that time of year again, as the summer days are winding down, and the cooler air settles in, we begin to smell fall in the air! But best of all is the Markham Fair! A great place to go with family and friends, where they have a little bit of everything. It is the kind of spot where they have something for everyone! So this September and October take a memorable trip with the whole family. Get a Blooming Onion, or roasted corn on the cob, candy floss and all the other carnival treats you’ve been dreaming of! Stuff yourself silly with Tiny Toms donuts and visit each of the pavilions to discover something great about old school Canadianna. This year you can even check it out on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter!  Come for the monster trucks or Ram Rodeo Tour, and stay for the cooking demos and fireworks every night at dusk. FREE PARKING!

Markham Fairgrounds, 10801 McCowan Rd, Markham, ON L3P 3J3

They say the secret to success is not waiting for good things to happen to you, but to go out there and make things happen for yourself. In light of this fact, I have taken the last few rather slow weeks, to produce a nice back catalogue of #fictionalbeerbrands to pull out of my back pocket in case I land a short order alcoholic beverage packaging concept job. I started off with ten 12 pack bottle cartons, mostly done with Illustrations rather than go my usual route, which would focus heavily on Photoshopped composites. Not that I have anything against that sort of thing, I love it, but what I am trying to do is show range. You can only show range, by getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new and different. Below I will post all ten, plus two more items, which are 24 bottle cartons, that are recreations of a brand from my past. #Packaging isn’t my primary focus, but it has become a vehicle for concept ideation, which is something I now really, really enjoy. My first love will always be print advertising, and using Photoshop, heavily. I might take these items a step further and complete some 3D renders of them, and make the companion bottle and a line extension into 355mL or 12 Fl. Oz cans.

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Should you like the look of any of these, or wish to pursue some options for your own brewery please feel free to reach out to me at:

This year we are celebrating our 10th anniversary as a freelance graphic design studio. It has been a fun journey, and I am proud of the clients I have made and kept. Things weren’t always easy, but we’ve managed to keep a toe hold in the marketplace for a while now, and I can only see things getting better and better.

Trying some new art direction styles this year, and breaking into packaging after a whirl wind stint with the good people at Molson-Coors. Taking my love of design, illustration and Photoshop to the masses this year!

Also making the effort to spend more time sculpting, model making, and wood working. Going to bring my creativity level up a notch of two with a wide variety of DIY projects around the house and garage. I also have a good number of items I’m going to produce for my daughter. I currently have a “mini” 4ft Tie Fighter® in the works, which is waiting on a final sanding, prior to painting. That little beast swivels on a lazy Suzanne, has cannons and both wings at an 18″ extension. I am building foam padded seating, and a central console to round out the whole process.  The second project is an art hanging station, with router work, and maybe some inlay?, not to sure yet, we’ll see how cold it gets and how long I can work with numb fingers in my cold, cold, cold garage.

Also on the list is a Potato Box for the garden, and some planters for Strawberries and Raspberries. We are looking at a very delicious summer bounty this year if all goes well!

So a warm thanks to everyone I’ve done business with, it is my pleasure. The reward for good work, is more of it!  “And that’s a good thing” ~ Martha Stewart.

GWStudios_10 Years

Celebrate 10 Years with us!

Ready for 2016

Posted: January 3, 2016 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

So here we are a couple of days in and two of my family’s birthdays are done and accounted for. The final projects of 2015 have been all wrapped up, and the Christmas decorations have been packed up and put away carefully for another year. Now, since it is the last day of the Christmas holidays before reality is due to kick back in, we turn our attention to Monday. Seeing as how I am self employed, and I don’t pay to advertise, and work primarily off of people I knew from previous jobs, and the associated connections I made, I feel it is worthwhile to once again let you all know what is available to you from my Graphic Design business GreatWall Studios: Graphic Design.

In my LinkedIn profile, you’ll notice that I have worked most ardently in the Beer (alcoholic) beverage industry. I will now name drop the breweries and companies I have done design work for : Evolution Design works, Molson-Coors, Moosehead Breweries Ltd, The Boston Beer Company, The Twisted Tea Brewing Co, The Bruce Ashley Group, the C & C Group, Heineken, Dos Equis, Creemore Springs, Estrella Damm, Shepherd Neame, Paulaner, Hop City Brewing Co, Mill Street Brewing, Rickard’s and Boris Beer to name the largest portion. For these companies I have created can and box packaging, logos, design and layout of copious sell sheets and ppt templates, apparel, and retail displays. Working with so many different brands, I am well aware of possible restrictions via Brand Standards and Guidelines.

I also have production experience, where having a creative eye can make the transition of your product from one size packaging to another that much smoother, as I am paying attention to not only the legal requirements but to the overall composition of the piece.

I also am available to do concept work for packaging; anything from cellophane bread wrappers,  pet food packets, to beer cans & bottles, and their associated labels, cartons and trays.

I am also able to produce 3D carton renders, and bottle and can renderings.

I am also available to produce Catalogues, (of various lengths), and  Flyers,  Posters/Infographics, Logos, Print Ads, Web Banner Ads (Static & Animated), Fleet Graphics and Vehicle Wraps, Illustrations and Photoshop Composites.

I however don’t do back end web development, and I do very little multi-media (video editing) at this time. I did six or seven “Win a Grand A Day” video spots for Moose Light in late 2014, set to music, with pop up text and that was that.

I work with companies from both the East and West coast, so I am very comfortable working via e-mail, telephone or video conference calls.

GWS_Can Product Advertisement

Hello, let me introduce myself.

My name is Mark Holyome, and I have worked as a graphic designer for the last ten years. Seven of those years have been spent working diligently in the alcoholic beverage industry (think malt based beverages. In other words, Beer!)

I have had the pleasure of doing packaging design & production for bottle labels, cartons and cans, as well as print & web advertising for more than a few breweries. It doesn’t stop there, I also do fleet graphics, apparel, illustrations and logo design, but my true love is print advertising. Whilst with Molson Coors, I was lucky enough to pick up some skills in 3D rendering for cartons, fit for print publication & OOH advertising.

I hate to name drop, but here are a few of the brewers I’ve done work for: Molson Coors, Moosehead Breweries Ltd, The Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams), Creemore Springs, The Twisted Tea Brewing Company, Hop City Brewing Co, Mill Street, The Bruce Ashley Group, C&C Group, Shepherd Neame, and last but not least The Southern Bay Brewing Company. (*Please note that in some cases it was freelance, and in others it was in an in-house capacity.)

I’d love to add your company to such a distinguished list. I’m available for Freelance work, or some other arrangement you might require.

Please feel free to e-mail or call, I’m in and out of my studio all day but I’m never far from where the action is. I am also available for catalogue work, flyers and corporate posters, and social media postings.


Mholyome_Mini Portfolio.

Change is in the air

Posted: January 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

I have had the pleasure of being able to work in the same place for six and a half years, and after many long weeks of thinking and discussion I have decided to leave. I am going to pursue a more focused role with a competitor. It wasn’t an easy choice to make, but one that will affect my family in a positive way over the weeks, months and years to come.

I was hired on at this company as a pilot project. A small, simple initiative to save money and regain creative control over as much design work as was possible. In late 2008, October 6th to be exact, I began building the art dept for one of Canada’s oldest independent family owned breweries, and their distribution wing. It has been a pretty wild ride, and I’ve had the ability to leave the company in a better state (relatively) than when I joined up. There has most certainly been a considerable cost savings undertaken by my being able to contribute 3D rendering, carton design, retail signage, doing both creative & studio work, production, video and countless print projects, thereby cutting out many of the design agencies invoices and work back charges.

In total, I had a few years with 1000 projects, and years with 800+ projects. I have set a high bar for whomsoever follows in footsteps. I’ve tackled projects from more than 70 brands over the 6 plus years I have been here.

But now I look to the future, with a new role as part of a team, and I am no longer a one man show. I seek to learn new skills, make new friends and create new memories. I will always remember the good times I had, with some great people, and that I had so many wonderful milestones in my life whilst working here. I got engaged, married, and had my first child all in the last five years.

I hope that the position gets filled by a few good designers who are able to expand the department above and beyond what I was capable of. That hopefully I am remembered fondly, and that I left behind me a legacy of tight, concise designs, a solid work ethic and a can do attitude. Not to mention a well organized archive of my last six years worth of work!

I wish them the best, I’ll miss some people more than others, and I’ll miss some projects more than others too. I look forward to seeing the new things you come up with as I become an outsider once again.

January 30th, 2015 isn’t far off, so I best get back to finishing my last few tasks. It has been a slice.

After finding an amazing sculpture of Raphael done by Prime 1 Studio, I challenged myself to do smaller scale version of it for my own amusement. The below set of images takes you through from start to nearly the final product. I made some small changes to the face that I have not yet photographed. The likeness is off, but for my seventh sculpture ever, I am pretty happy with how it turned out.

Roughly 1/6 scale Chavant Clay Medium sculpture

Roughly 1/6 scale Chavant Clay Medium sculpture

I have started a companion piece of Michelangelo to go side by side with Raph. Michelangelo is in a much softer red tinted Chavant clay, and I am uncertain as the the level of detail i’ll be able to manage with such a soft material, since I am not a real sculptor by any means.

Several months ago I had a quiet day at the office, must have been during one of the quarterly meetings or near a holiday, as I don’t really recall at the moment. But I was tired of working on cut and dried advertisements so I scoured the internets (read Google images) and pilfered a couple of clean head shots of various actors and actresses. I did more than the snippet I’ll post here today, but some didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped, and some people are just too similar to notice any kind of a mash up; for instance Johnny Knoxville and Joshua Duhamel just look so alike that you couldn’t tell I had super imposed one over top of the other. Others were just badly executed, a Tara Reid & Kate Upton mash up was simply horrendous, and plain frightening to behold.
Anyway, here are the three most successful mash ups. Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston, Putin and James Masrden, and Daniel Craig and Zack Efron. Share, comment and enjoy.

Aaron_Bryan_mash up Zac_Daniel Mash up_REV Marsden_Putin_mashup 2014