Orange Coast

A piece I thoroughly enjoyed doing for Orange Coast Magazine about the swallows of the Mission San Juan Capistrano and their migratory patterns.

X-Ray Glasses - CreepyPasta

This was a fun side project I was invited to be part of by one of my good friends and coincidentally, one of my favorite artists, Jensine Eckwall. Besides having a cool name, her work is fantastic and I jumped at the chance to be part of this zine project. Jensine and her partner in all of this Peter Schmidt plan on creating a zine to be sold at MoCCA and Toronto Comic Arts Festival and at Brooklyn Zine Fest! More venues to buy the book soon to be announced.

You can check out some of the amazing work going into the zine by some pretty fabulous artists by clicking here.

I had a blast reading these pretty bad stories. There was a couple on the top of my list but one of them screamed making a film which seemed off the plate because of the format of what we were doing but the other, X-Ray Glasses gave me enough cool imagery that I was hooked on doing it. It's a short story:

"For a brief period in 1971, a New Jersey based company sold novelty “X-ray” glasses through the mail via advertisements in the Marvel line of comic books. People who viewed their televisions while wearing these glasses reported seeing images that were “hellish” or “like hell”. It should be noted that this phenomena occurred whether the televisions in question were turned on or not. The company quickly went out of business and investigations reveal that the company’s address leads to a graveyard founded over 150 years earlier."

If you want to know a little bit more about what CreepyPasta is, here is a general definition and history about it as well and a link for you to explore more.

“The word ‘creepypasta’ derives from ‘copypasta’, a generic term for any short piece of writing, image or video clip that is widely copy-and-pasted across forums and message boards. In its sinister variant, [creepypasta] flourishes on sites such as 4chan.org and Reddit... and the Creepypasta Wiki, which at the time of writing has nearly 15,000 entries… Creepypasta resembles rumour: generally it is repeated without acknowledgement of the original creator, and is cumulatively modified by many hands, existing in many versions. Even its creators might claim they heard it from someone else or found it on another site, obscuring their authorship to aid the suspension of disbelief. In the internet’s labyrinth of dead links, unattributed reproduction and misattribution lends itself well to horror: creepypasta has an eerie air of having arisen from nowhere.”

Thank you Jensine and Peter!

New York Times - Facial Recognition

It's been a busy week. I've been fortunate enough to have work come in that has been keeping me busy for weeks. Lately, things have been a bit more robust in that the regular work I've been doing has had deadlines over a period of a week or two but in between, I've been getting some work from daily papers which fill those evening moments when I should be sleeping.

This job was one of the assignments I received on a Wednesday which was needed by Thursday. It's a lot of last minute schedule manipulation but it is hard to turn down juicy jobs like this. I am lucky that various art directors at the New York Times call because of the amount of times I've had to decline jobs because of crazy schedules or I am simply not in the studio at the time they need me. I am sure they are used to it. It really is a scramble when the news has to be current and timely.

I really enjoyed the subject matter for this job and big thank you's to Minh Uong for giving me the call. Here is the story.

On a personal note - it is really an honor to work with Minh. He was the art director for the Village Voice for many years when I was coming up as an illustrator and I always wanted to work with him. While I never got the chance to work with him at the Voice, it is just as exciting and humbling to work with him at the Times.

Above is the sketch that was approved for the job. I was excited about it right off the bat so I am grateful that it was selected.

Society Annual Book 55

 

I finally received my copy of the Society of Illustrators Illustration Annual 55!  I am so honored that the judges felt so strongly to include so much of my work in this year's book.

Sometimes, it is hard to take in things like this. I remember when I first started staring dreamy eyed into my copies of the Society Annuals and wondering if I would ever have the fortune to get accepted into such a prestigious book. I was such a fan then of so many artists and am still a fan of current artists now, that every time I am included, it makes me light up and be extremely grateful.

I think part of my surprise every year is that for the first 10 years of my career, I never really got these sorts of recognitions. Partly because I never really entered (duh) but when I did, I probably didn't enter enough...and I am honest with myself; I really sucked. I was still figuring out myself and my place in art for a long time.

A very special thanks to the Society and all the judges! :o)

Here's a snapshot of the Pollution Series hanging at the Society. Unfortunately, it seems not all of my paintings made it into the book that were accepted. I assume for space reasons. I didn't get around to taking shots of the Air Force paintings.

Don Giovanni

Halfway through the season, next up for the Vancouver Opera is Don Giovanni!

In a previous post, I put up a short TV spot for Tosca made by Giant Ant in Vancouver to promote the opening of the season as well as the entire season's posters. Now, they've created a TV spot promoting Don Giovanni.

It is a thrill to see my work animated and I am honored that the Vancouver Opera made me part of it. Thanks again, Annie!

Agent T

For a few evenings, I sat on the couch with a brand new sketchbook and a random pile of markers, pens, pencils and charcoal. I wanted to see where my mind and the use of these materials would take me. Over the last few years, I've been complacent with personal work. I've been finding myself concentrating on commissioned work heavily which I am grateful for but missing out on the experimentation process that I always loved and what has helped me continue to grow as an artist. As a result, I've felt somewhat uninspired more times than I prefer to be. We all get uninspired occasionally - that's part of the gig. But it becomes a hazard and really can kill momentum especially if it continues over long periods of time.

If you're churning out piece after piece for client work and not spend an equal amount of time (in my opinion) creating work and experimenting for yourself, you may end up being more and more lax in your work which will translate into your business. Further, while I think being an illustrator is the bee's knees, it does get tiring treating my creative life continuously as a sort of commodity. I am under no illusions of how people out in the world view art or illustration, even some clients unfortunately. I, of course, view it much more personally and put my life into this and not in a 9 to 5 way.

Over time, remaining enthusiastic about working sometimes wanes - and this could be the death of an illustrator. No matter if the subject matter changes daily and the stories and projects of varying interests pass the drawing table, if you feel like you're just hacking and slashing away daily, you're going to die as an artist. That's why I need to do this sort of thing.

At least this has been my thinking lately - and it really hasn't anything to do with this kick ass woman, Agent T. I have no idea why she is Agent T right now or if it will even develop. I've had a great time creating this series and I learned *SO* much from doing these few. It was the first time in a while I was geeked up about messing around in the sketchbook.

"Agent T - The Next Gig"

(Click on the image to view larger version to be able to read the story.)