Thursday, December 10, 2009

Master Plan!

So this assignment was for Air Tran GO!, Air Tran’s inflight magazine. They are one of my oldest clients, and they’ve been great about letting me get creative and take some chances with my work. This piece is one of my new favorites, because I got to just go crazy with it and they even let me design the title! Great fun.

These were the sketches:

And here is my original image!

For those who know me, you know I love art deco...for this I was trying to channel that "stylized industrial" feel. My style sort of changes depending on what type of assignment I get, and I felt the one I chose worked really well here. Here's hoping for more good fits in the future!

thanks to my Designer Elsie Aldahondo and AD Shane Luitjens!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Glam Punk Mormon Librarian

Hey everybody, I hope my U.S. friends had a delightfully stuffed Thanksgiving! I know I did.
This particular illustration isn't particularly holiday-themed, but it does warm the cockles of my heart to see video of skinny 70's punk rockers dressed in women's clothing with hair teased to epic proportions. I was recently asked to do in illustration for the Calendar section of LA Weekly, and one of the events was a reading of the book "I, Doll", written by Arthur "Killer" Kane of the New York Dolls.
Not being familiar with the Dolls, Wikipedia soon informed me that they were big influences in the early years of punk/rock and included people with such stage names as "Sylvain Sylvain" and "Johnny Thunders".

Arthur is on the far right--photo by Bob Gruen

So anyway. Unfortunately, Arthur "Killer" Kane died in 2004 of leukemia, but before he did he converted to Mormonism, became a librarian, and also got a metal plate in his head. It sounds like quite a life. So here's to Arthur:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tough Love & Unitasking!

2 illustrations for the November Los Angeles Confidential here!
I think it's fitting that I am currently watching Tough Love 2, and I did these spots for an article about LA Dating written by Steve Ward, the host/matchmaker! As a fan of the show (as crazy/silly as it is) I was excited. :)

This second illustration was a lot of fun too, it was for an article on "unitasking" by Arianna Huffington. I thought it was interesting that taking ONE task to completion is much more efficient than trying to multitask and do several things at once (which I think I and most other people are often guilty of.)

Both pieces were AD'd by the wonderful Anthony Arias. Thanks Anthony!

Unrelated, but the new Spectrum 16 arrived...hoo boy, there's some awesome work in there! I'm honored to share the pages with so many talented artists. I was also pleased to see Sam & I's work on the same page, and a big congrats to my buddy Jeremy for winning gold!
I have a backlog of pieces to show, so more soon guys!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Spooky Scary!

Hey all!
Just in time for Halloween, this is a new illustration from this past weekend's LA Times. The timing was a little tight--I got the info late Monday and the final was due Friday (with the final to be printed in the Sunday edition), but this was a fun halloween-themed illustration to work on!

The original idea of the article was about how Vampires seem to appeal more to ladies and Zombies to men, so my sketches primarily dealt with the gender division between the monsters, the first in a more graphic way, and the 2nd in a more scene-based way.

They liked the first sketch without changes, which was great, although the suggestion was that the hands could look more like adoring fans, and less, in some areas, like they were trying to grab the figures. So I started on my final, but the article's direction took a turn and replaced Zombies with Werewolves! So my illustration needed to reflect the change as well. :)
Here's the final, with the option of a smooth version and a slightly textured version:

Joey Santos was my LA Times liason & designer of the final page, and he gave great input was was really excited and supportive all the way through. Thanks Joey!
Here's the final layout (lightened up for print):

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Straight Shootin'

To Reed Bond, an all-around delightful illustrator & person.
In response to his lovely thank you to me! :)
Any time, Reed!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Boys in Love and Bleeding Hearts

Despite the title of this post sounding like something out of an Emo girl's dream, these illustrations came from two very different assignments.

The first is a joint collaboration between the effervescent Samuel Bosma and myself for the cover of the October Muse magazine. It was at the request of Art Director Extraordinaire John Sandford, and it was the first time Sam and I have collaborated on a piece. You can probably see our respective areas of focus (decorative, flat-color foliage? Lushly rendered heart & hands?), but by the end of the assignment we both had a hand in basically all aspects of the final. The cover story was about "bleeding heart transplants", where the donor is technically dead (braindead), but their body is kept alive so surgeons can remove the organs. Crazy stuff, right? I had the idea of plants sprouting from a heart, to symbolize the life it gives to another person, and Sam thought that having surgeon's hands holding the heart would help add to the theme, so we both generated sketches and combined the imagery, to good effect I think.

It went through several versions, with John deciding that we needed to add some blood to the gloves so they'd be able to put text on top (guess who added the gory blood this wasn't Sam!) Also, this is a kid's magazine. Whoooo.
Here's one of the earlier versions when we were still feeling out color stuff:

ALSO, a while back I was contacted by the lovely artist Patricio Oliver to do a piece of guest art for his graphic novel, Maurice in Love. It's a series of one-panel illustrations concerning the romantic exploits of apathetic romeo Maurice. Here's the press release:

Maurice is looking for love, single and dating almost everyone in his town, Maurice in love, a graphic novel by Patricio Oliver about love bizarre infatuations and everything in the middle.
Paperback: 64 pages full color
Publisher: Moebius Editora Oct 09
Language: English (Spanish Subtitles)
Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 5.9 inches

Guest artists: Nuno Plati, Ochopante, Chris Bachalo, Annie Wu, Kali Ciesemier, Jordie Bellaire, Jorge Alderete, Pablo Lobato, Daniel Krall, Sam Bosma, Lucas Varela and Rodolfo MIgliari

As you can see, some friends of mine were also invited-- Sam Bosma, Annie Wu, and Daniel Krall! We were each allowed to pick one of the panels of the story, and then re-interpret it into our own art style, preserving the dialogue and the fact that the characters were sitting. Here's the panel I picked:

And here's my illustration for it:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Another sketch-turned-exercise for the benefit of my class. (taking a flat-color image & adding texture to it)

Cakes!! I love dessert (and drawing dessert), so this was natural. :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Red Coat

This man has a secret.

Another quick calligaphic brush experiment. Not quite as successful as the last, but hey.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Detective Barbie & The Curious Cadaver

So lately I've been thinking I need to do more sketches for fun and experiment a little more with different's surprising how easy it is to get used to just doing work and forget about drawing for enjoyment sometimes! For my Digital Illustration class, I also needed a drawing that I could demonstrate Photoshop color flatting & line color on. A few calligraphic brush experiments later--viola!

I thought it would be fun to go for the style of a 50's/60's Nancy Drew/Pulp Detective book cover. She ended up reminding me a little of the old vintage barbie dolls, and hence the title of this post. :)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Movin' on up!

I've got a bunch of new work to put up and some news to share...I'm now a part of The Loud Cloud, a creative agency that represents a group of selected illustrators. I'm real proud to be in this group with a bunch of other talented and lovely illustrators, including my former teacher, Daniel Krall. My section of the site is still being updated, so we'll see where things go from here. :)

In other news, Tuesday is my first day of teaching at MICA this semester, and I'm really pumped. I'm teaching "Digital as Illustration" for freshman, and I'm excited to see what these students can do. Woo!

But, onto some more illustrations!
A couple Air Tran GO! assignments, this first one was a fun one on the subject of Career Coaching.

This next one was titled "Flying Solo", and was about independent contractors in America (like me!). I've included the sketches I did for this one. The tough part about this assignment was that I had a very limited time to do this, and neither of the first 2 sketches I sent panned out (as an airline magazine, they didn't want the image to have any airplanes in it, and they just had a city-type illustration in their last issue). Also, they wanted to put type on top of the illustration, so I had to leave a lot of space for that. (and keep the background light enough) So, when the article is titled "Flying Solo", what other flying things can you use? Birds! So, we have a lone hawk here in the approved 3rd sketch.

So, I've also recently done a slew of work for Time Out NY magazine. I was selected to create the title and illustrations for their 2009 Cheap Eats issue, and was given the challenge of drawing lots of tiny New Yorkers interacting with iconic NY foods. (Pizza, hot dog, dumplings, and falafel). When I was a kid I loved to drawing really tiny foods, so this was an amusing turn of events for me. I've also discovered that I enjoy drawing buildings and trees's really fun! Maybe more fun than drawing people.

Aaaand here's another assignment from Time Out NY! This one was for an article on how Butchers, Baristas, and Bartenders are the new "Rising Stars" of the food industry. I thought a heroic profile lineup would be appropriate. :)

Thanks for checking in! MORE LATER!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Invisible Things and other Things

Hey guys!!
Whew. Times have been busy around here! Sam & I got a feisty little bobtailed cat named Ripley (see here) who has been taking up our free time, and we took a nice jog into the Midwest to spend vacation time with my family for a week, which was awesome.
We are all big fans of Frank Lloyd Wright, so taking a 4 hour walking tour of Taliesin East in Wisconsin (in some of the most scenic country I've ever been in) was grrrreat! His life story is full of genius, adultery, murder, arson, graverobbing, priceless Japanese art, capes, and seemingly endless & self induced bankruptcy. He is quite the character. His architecture may not always be the most practical, but it is breathtakingly beautiful. (for any of you who don't know who Frank Lloyd Wright is, I suggest educating yourself.)
PLUS, once the end of June and July rolled around, I just got buried in an avalanche of work and have been behind on sharing it with you! Without further ado, here's some mashups of all my spots for that Invisible World project I kept promising to post (see if you can guess the invisible item each is referring to! Answers at the bottom!):

In the first mashup, clockwise from the left: Germs, the Jet Stream, Morning Breath, and a letter from the Title!
In the second mashup, clockwise from the left: DVDs, Dust Mites, Air Quality, Radio Waves, and Computer software!

I've also been doing the illustrations for Pagepath Technology's monthly newsletter--here's 4 months worth:

My style has been changing around a bit, but since Pagepath is very flexible with what they're looking for I'm using their illustrations as mini experiments. I've been tiptoeing a little more into texture land, although I won't be able to show some of my most recent explorations until September. Expect another update soon, I have some big news to share with everyone and plenty more illustrations to put up!

Friday, May 29, 2009


That's the title of my diptych for the upcoming "Vs." show I'm in! There's a bunch of great people in the show, and most of them are my friends/former coworkers from Big Huge Games & Firaxis! If you're around Baltimore COME AND SEE!

Here's the blurb:
Opening Reception Takes Place Friday, June 5 at The Windup Space in Station North 7-9 pm (located at 12 W. North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21202)

And here's my dueling hairdos:

There's so many ways to go with the theme of "Vs." and I was trying to think of an idea that wasn't necessarily action-oriented. In retrospect, I probably should have gone even crazier with the hair, but I was enchanted with the idea of drawing greasers. I'll also be selling a nice big framed print of my Naturalist there, since that goes with the theme too. :)

In other news, Sam & I are moving so it's been craaaazy around here...I have more stuff to share but it'll have to wait! Hope everyone's summer has started off well!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Less is More & Due Diligence

Hey guys, thanks for the congrats on Spectrum! In other awards news, I found out I got my Naturalist piece (you know, the one with the lady with a bunch of heads on the wall? Got into SOI and Spectrum too? I guess I did something particularly well in that one!) got into the American Illustration's online gallery TRIBUTE. Woo! Apparently they had A TON of entries this year. Anyway, I've got some new pieces to put up, in addition to those Carus illustrations I shared in the last post (I'll get back to those later).

So, here's my stuff in the April issue of Air Tran GO! magazine-- all about how to deal with people that owe you money! Persistence is key, as is showing you're not afraid to use some muscle (but only if needed)! I always love the spreads that the GO! designers come up with. :)

And the spot:

Here's my illustration for the May GO! magazine. This one is very appropriate for the economic times right now--it's about making due with less, in terms of supply and demand, and looking for neglected areas that have more demand than supply. Like beekeeping, apparently! This was an experiment using texture & some colors I don't usually utilize. (No red and teal?? what??)

aaand the spot:

More later!
(and my root canal went great, hooray!)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spectrum & Stuff!

So I found out what I got into Spectrum, and it is as follows:


Hooray! I couldn't be more happy that I got these two in, I was guessing that if I got picked, they'd probably pick one or the other, but it was a pleasant surprise that both got in! Congrats to everyone else who made it! I'm excited to see the final book in the fall when it comes out.

In other news, here's a taste of a recent assignment for Muse magazine that I was involved in. It was a multi-page story with varying sizes of illustrations about "The Invisible World". The end result of the magazine pages and the layout looks different than it does here, but I'm including the lo-res pages as an example of what I was working with. Here's the first!

I'll be posting more later.

Also, if anyone knows a good dentist/endodontist in Baltimore, let me know! When I was back in Chicago this weekend I found out I had to have a root canal (great surprise!) because apparently there's been an infection in my tooth for several years now, left over from when I fractured my jaw/teeth in highschool from fainting. Never fall on your jaw. It's a gift that keeps on giving. I got the first part of the root canal done, but I still gotta get the rest taken care of...there's just something inherently creepy about getting your teeth drilled into. Brrrrrr!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

BIG HUGE posts!

Well folks, Big Huge Games, the videogame company I worked at for 7ish months, was dropped from THQ a few weeks ago and it looked like they might have been toast. Fortunately they are not, and unfortunately they still had to let go of a lot of lovely people. While I was at BHG I mostly worked on a fun Animalcrossing/Zelda-ish game they were developing for the Wii. I also worked a tiny bit on the more realistic epic fantasy RPG they were also developing, and I'll put that work at the end of the post.

It's sad that both these games have been permanently shelved, but it does mean that I get to share some of the work I did. As you can see, a lot of it was idea-generating and not as polished as my illustration stuff, so it was an interesting adjustment for me. It also got me hooked on sketching on the computer.

So without further ado, here's a bunch of my concept work!
(all work copyright THQ, drawn by me!)

Two posters I drew up for the Wii game:

HI FIVE! Soda-can style.

Aaaand a few bits for the fantasy RPG (you can see the style is much different):

Thanks for lookin'! I will be posting some more illustrations soon!