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Ken Gamage (Dip, BDes, MSc) has been creating digital illustrations, idea generation and corporate brand assets for print, TV and online mediums since 2003 serving 50+ international clients with prominent brand names like Disney, Hooked on Phonics, Reckitt Benckiser, Scholastic and Hitachi. He received his Diploma in Interpretive Illustration at Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced learning in 2000 and his Bachelor of Design (BDes) from Thompson Rivers University and The University of Toronto in 2010. More recently, Ken has expanded his career trajectory by completing his MSc in Media and Communications at the London School of Economics. Sparklefish Studio is represented by John Brewster Creative Services (Connecticut, USA) and Meiklejohn Illustration (London, UK).

Feb 3, 2011

Little Red Riding Hood

Mucking about (and having a blast doing it) with some new brush options on Adobe CS5.  Really trying to integrate a more atmospheric quality with this one.  A limited palette, analogous color schemes, dark/light contrasts of value and a bolder use of texture were some of my aims with this piece.

A fistful of New Images

@ TurboTax / Daily Ideas

Sep 5, 2010


This illustration could be taken in one of two ways: whimsically encouraging children to engage with reading material OR teaching children that, yes, it's completely safe to just crawl right into an alligator's muddy habitat, snuggle up to its scaly side and listen intently for a bed time story.  

Jul 30, 2010

Pop-Up Solutions

There's a first time for everything.  A few months back, I had the unique opportunity to create a series of pop-up greeting cards for Pop-Up Solutions in the United Kingdom.  Available at Save-on Foods and other big box type outfits–

Jan 25, 2010


Just spent the last couple of days in-house, story boarding a television commercial for the Women's Network, over at Corus Entertainment here in Toronto.  In order to keep my creative sanity, I spent some evenings putting this Avatar illustration together.

Although, both the thematic use of a popular caricature and the stylistic use of hard black outlines are a rarity within my commercial work, I think I may have picked up some great new tools that I hope will expand what I can offer my clients in time to come.

Jan 12, 2010

January 2010, North American Promo

Featuring projects with (from right to left): Chickadee Magazine, Scholastic, Oxford University Press, Highlights Magazine (via Hey Kids! Design), Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health & Reckitt Benckiser (Dettol Detergent). All copyrights apply.

Dec 10, 2009

Holiday Promo

With a towering stack of nearly three hundred layers and a series of inter-weaving selection paths, this holiday promotional image that I just finished, at moments, felt like a game of ‘jenga’ against my adversary: the imac processor. Obviously things worked out and I have an image that I’m proud to use in this years email promotion in both the UK (Meiklejohn Illustration) and the USA (John Brewster Creative Services). If you have time, there are lots of humorous details that are buried within this image; much easier to see if you double-click to enlarge.

If your path of clicking ended up here, and started from the promotional mailer itself, I’m glad. I wanted to provide a little more transparency with my working process with both this particular image, but with also all my other commissioned work. Obviously my goal here is to evoke a sense of repeated visitation to the website, also serving as a virtual diary for ongoing Sparklefish projects. On that note...I hope you come back often!


"Ken Gamage takes a kid-in-a-candy-store approach to his Holiday promo image"

Featured in today's 'Art News'

Oct 23, 2009

Highlights Magazine Cover

Although this image was ultimately not used to print, I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Creative Director, Marta Ruliffson at 'Hey Kids!' on this cover image. Kids, a park, a one-kid band member and a spattering of random puzzle pieces ...all the usual wacky fixtures.

Oct 13, 2009

Hooked on Phonics - Itsy Bitsy Spider

Hooked on Phonics package includes DVD animation of the above illustrations and many others, Directed by Ed Wiseman of Onscreen Entertainment. The DVD is accompanied by a read along board book (a simplified version of the animation images) published and designed by Educate Products.

Sep 18, 2009

Dettol Detergent & The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health

This project was actually done quite some time ago (last December), but I wanted to let it sit with the client before I posted it publicly. The above character designs are to be used in television commercial animations in Saudi Arabia, with the purpose of educating children about hygiene and of course, implicitly market the Dettol Detergent brand. What is displayed here is merely a snapshot of the varied sketches and color designs that I provided for my client, Reckitt Benckiser (Dettol Detergent) & The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health. Special thanks to Alice at Meiklejohn Illustration in London for handling all the back and forth dialogue (over three different time zones!)

The unique challenge here was visually navigating through a cultural framework that is obviously different than what one would find in North America. For instance, because the color green is the symbolically the color of Islam, artwork created for the middle east must be highly sensitive to exactly what shade of green is used. It was a bit of a tightrope walk here, considering that I used quite a bit of green to depict the Dettol brand color, as well as to signify some of the germ villains that are the arch enemies of the muscle bound hero character.

Sep 8, 2009

Ooga-Booga-Man, Droopy Head King, Horn-Head-Weird-Arms...

Obviously, very, very different than the usual digital work that I do. These hand sculpted characters (from top to bottom: 'the droopy head king','ooga-booga-man', 'horn-head-weird-arms') were a fun little experiment that I did years ago when I was living in Vancouver. It's always healthy to breathe some new inspiration into your typical working discipline, through a not-so-usual medium. Lots of fun, maybe I'll do some more in time to come.

Jul 29, 2009

Purple Fish...Yellow Nose

Alright, are you ready? I've conceptually created the unimaginable. I've embarked on a modernist expedition through Freudian psychoanalysis and positivist-materialism.

...I drew a fish.