Courtney Barnett - Rolling Stone

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I am delighted to have created a portrait of Courtney Barnett for the new issue of Rolling Stone. It is for the release/review of her new record 'Tell Me How You Really Feel'.

I wanted to convey some of the possible emotions that one would go through to connect with the upcoming record. I didn't have access to any music other than what was pre-released so I wanted to run the gamut yet also capture a bit of my interpretation of Barnett as I saw her after watching hours of interviews. 

I can't write about her without saying also that I adore her singing...almost talking and rambling style of singing along with her wit.  I really look forward to hearing the rest of the record!

  Left: Rough Sketch :: Right: Final Sketch

Left: Rough Sketch :: Right: Final Sketch

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World Press Freedom Day Poster

The art director of the Bureau of Editorial Content from our very own US Government contacted me. The email was listed as ‘Unclassified’.

I was asked to create a poster for World Press Freedom Day which was May 3rd and this poster would be sent to and used by various U.S. Embassies around the world. There is quite a bit of irony that this poster is meant to promote press freedom around the world when our President is suggesting that our own press be shut down.

“I just wanted to let you know that we are all normal here.” The art director said over the phone.

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As we have seen for the last year directly on TV, we can imagine working in any government agency has grown to be quite toxic. Between Trump firing this Bureau’s head and his distain for the Press who doesn’t agree with his worldview, we had to be careful how we discussed doing something so simple as a poster advocating the concept of a Free Press.

Knowing my work, the art director seemed like she wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to create a harsh commentary about Press Freedom, which I understood. This sort of thing isn’t that platform. We discussed ideas about how to present the poster. There were other parts of the conversation which were a little deeper and inflammatory but I will leave them out of this post. I feel bad for everything she's dealing with over there. It truly sucks apparently.

To protect myself, I needed to do some research on the art director and how this was going to be used because it’s quite obvious the Republicans, Trump and his Administration are the worst humans of our society. I hoped I could put a little piece of light out there through our own government and the fascism of Trump and his supporters.

I had a wonderful time doing the job. The art director was aces and surprisingly hands-off when we started going through my sketches. “Which one do you want to do?” and that was it.

The art director loved the piece and decided that it won’t be printed with a year associated with it as it has been previously so the poster can be used indefinitely around the world. As an artist, that may be an honor. As a citizen and a cynic, doing that makes me wonder if this will be the last Press Freedom Poster our government creates.

It truly was an honor to work with this art director for a project I find profound.

 Final poster

Final poster

Ape - Tor.com

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I created this painting ‘Ape’ for a short story cover once again working with Irene Gallo at Tor.com.

The story is a ‘futuristic murder mystery about detective partners—a human and an enhanced chimpanzee—who are investigating why a woman murdered an apparently random stranger on the subway.’

An underlying thread of story also took a look into what it meant to be different from others. The characters analyzed who they are and how they fit, or do not fit, in this futuristic world.

I wanted to portray the main character as he truly is and introspective but also disconnected with the human-esque science experiment that he became.

While I am not a science experiment, not that I am aware of, I often think about similar connections I have with people and some I don’t. How do I fit into society? Is there much more to our lives? Or truly, are we only meat, salt and sparks?

Personally, I think that pretty much is it.

The story will be released in June.

As a bonus, I filmed the process of creating this painting. You can watch it below or click over to YouTube and subscribe for more videos.

School Library Journal

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I was contacted by Mark Tuchman from School Library Journal to create a cover and interior piece for the magazine.

It's for the very serious topic about how opioid addictions in families can hurt children and librarians are finding ways to help the children affected overcome any obstacles they may have because of it.

I did a bunch of sketches with various ideas and as the project continued, we we defined which images were the strongest then chose which would be on the cover and which would be the interior.

It was great working with Mark and I hope to work with him again.

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Sketches on the left were the initial ideas. Sketches on the right are final ideas in possible contexts.

Cleansing The Mind

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This last week I've taken some time for myself to relax, dote around the house and refocus myself. I got myself a 90 minute massage and have been meditating.

I can only go 100 miles per hour for so long before I stop being able to concentrate and get things done. The last couple of months were difficult but I am finally relaxing and finding my center. I lead a pretty full life and the last year, I've started to lose some focus. I didn't have much of a vacation last year so I didn't have time to reset. I started not to enjoy much of anything I was doing. That is pretty bad.

The first thing is to clear my mind then take care of my body. Get on a normal exercise routine again and eat healthier. It's too easy for me to fall into bad habits when I am running thin on time.

My experiences getting a massage this week, meditating and actively trying to cleanse my mind of the stress which has led me to actually being physically affected, I imagined this image.

Keep Abortion Legal Poster

PURCHASE POSTER HERE.

In between work, I've started creating various social justice posters. I am not creating them for any specific show but just to get the ideas and issues I am concerned about out of my head.

In this case, within a couple of hours of posting this poster, I was asked to have become part of a poster show traveling the world called 'Women's Rights are Human Rights' curated by Elizabeth Resnick. As of this month, it is being exhibited at the 360 Gallery at Northeastern University and in April, it will be going to the Warsaw Poster Museum in Poland. More exhibitions will be coming up.

Currently in the shop now, is an 18"x24" version in an edition of 100 for sale. Each poster hand numbered and signed. Profits from this poster will be donated to Planned Parenthood. Please visit for more information.

Long Island Pulse

A new piece for Long Island Pulse magazine and art directed by Marika Zervos.

In a geeky sort of way, I am delighted I got to do a job with them. It's a free magazine that I've seen around Long Island for years and years when I lived there. It's like a homecoming in a way.

The story was about preparing inheritances for your family before you pass away. I went with a more minimalistic direction with these paintings which ended up working well for the general layout of the magazine.

Another interesting tidbit was that the image above was supposed to be the full page and the one below a spot. The magazine decided to flip that. I don't mind and it did make visual sense but each was handled in a way that catered to the size they were going to be printed. I would have painted things a little differently. The original spot piece was to be square format. The original is below. This needed to be digitally adjusted for the vertical format of a standard page. No big deal.

As I mentioned, these and a few other jobs were a bit minimal. It is something I wanted to go back to for a little while. I've spent a few years really making my work dense with elements. I also wanted to challenge myself with white space and open area.

The image with the figure in it will be the next mailer going out in the next week.