Thank you for visiting my portfolio!
This collection of my illustrations and designs is primarily for my students,
and existing and potential publishers, galleries and illustrators' art agents.
Anyone interested in a specific piece should contact me directly at
email@example.com, or through the mailer-form in my Contact page on
this site. Because many of the items would require permissions or licensing
from the copyright owners of the material used as models, I cannot
guarantee that this will be possible.
For my new and more recent work (e.g., 2020 and 2018-2019) and a few pages
organized by specific themes or topics (e.g., Aviation), you can go to the
Featured section and select the year or the topic. Other, including older,
material has been posted in the Illustration section under various categories,
such as Editorial or Portrait.
I have freely borrowed company brands, book and magazine titles, public and
copyrighted images, and these remain the property of their rightful owners. All
have been cited or credited to the best of my abilities and correction or clarification
suggestions are welcomed. Otherwise, I own all my creative work, be it in a
traditional, mixed or digital painting medium, or in photo-based, all-digital media.
Now, for the actual About bit...
I'm a Toronto (Canada) based designer and illustrator with a rural getaway in
Ontario and a secluded studio house in a UNESCO heritage-designated
mountain village in Bulgaria. I’ve studied art and design as an apprentice and
as an art school student, both in Canada and for a brief time, in Prague and
Vienna. I studied at Canada's York University and the University of Toronto,
majoring in European history and Jewish studies.
I have taught in and written on brick and stone masonry technology and conceived,
led, researched, illustrated and co-wrote the first text book on brick and stone
masonry in Canada. I have the honour of having been recently accepted to the
Canadian Association of Aerospace Artists. I work mostly as a freelance graphic
designer, art director and a technical writer, but my passion and goal is illustration,
which this portfolio is about.
I approach all my creative projects as a seasoned professional, with a focus on
timely delivery, quality and transparency of process. I follow Canadian, British and
American industry standards and norms and strive for integrity and honesty with
myself and with those I work with.
Thank you all for your time and wishing all health,wealth and happiness,
Blessings and b'shalom,
Avi Barzel, Toronto
I'm not a big fan of the current trends in "minimalism" which, with the exception of some
genuinely excellent work, tends to the clumsy and the sterile.
I'm by nature an academic traditionalist with a bias for the vintage past, but I do have
a taste and admiration for exceptional cutting-edge art, whose developments I follow.
The teachers in my past include my late father, Nicholai, an aerospace engineer and designer,
as well as a trained visual artist; Herr Stacher in Austria, who taught me oils and introduced
me to the styles and themes of the Vienna School surrealist movement; and my amazing
instructors at Toronto's once-supreme Visual Arts Department of the Central Technical School.
As a digital artist, I have been inspired and owe a debt of gratitude to the work of people
like Bill Domonkos, Max McNeil, Jeff Wilt, Mark Lundquist, Madika Iwabuchi and Hikaru
Mochizuki, Nicholas Wittenberg, and of course, Miika Saksi, among many others.
Along with the contemporaneous gems, I continue to come across, the work which fired
up my imagination and spurred me to add Photoshop, Corel Paint and other digital media to my
pencils, oils and brushes is Daniel Donnelly's inimitable 1998 book,
Cutting Edge Web Design: The Next Generation, by Rockport Publishers of Gloucester,
Massachusetts. A big thank you to all.