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.

Spectrum and World Illustration Awards

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I received my copy of the new Spectrum annual and the World Illustration Awards UK annual a day apart from one another and honored to have these two pieces represented in the books.

The one above called 'Spider Monkey' is in Spectrum and the image below, made for the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles Call For Entries poster was in both of them.

Big thank you's to the judges and the competitions.

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Baseline Magazine - Travel Course Article

 

My colleague Elizabeth Resnick who is an educator, author and designer and I co-teach a travel course at MassArt. The course is called Crossing the Pond: Exploring Communication Design in London and Dublin. We take graphic design and illustration students (usually 50/50) to the UK and Ireland for about 17 days for museum and studio visits. These visits the students see lectures from some of the most prolific and world renown designers and illustrators. The focus of the course being; what are the differences and similarities between the U.S. and other countries in their use of design and illustration as well as experiencing life in these two countries.

The last trip we held was in the Spring of 2016 and this Fall, we will begin the process of organizing the next UK trip for the Spring of 2019. For this upcoming trip, we will be centering the trip exclusively in the UK but spending time in three cities. But I am getting way ahead of myself.

In 2014, during the trip after we let the students off to do what they wish one evening, Elizabeth and I met with Hans Dieter Reichert, Publisher of Baseline at a great pub. They're all great pubs in London.

In the magazine, there is an education section and we discussed how are trip can be formulated into a story. After we got through the trip, Elizabeth and I spent a few weeks writing the article and sent it in.

You can download the full article PDF here.

It is a wonderful trip and highly curated experience for the students. We hit the ground running from the very day we land. Often visiting two to three studios a day as well as cultural visits such as the V&A Museum in London, Chester Beatty Gallery in Dublin. We also purchase tickets to plays running at the time so they have cultural experiences outside of only graphic design and illustration and there is always one day in each country that the students can explore the country on their own.

2016 London Dublin Class

2016 London Dublin Class

Highlights for the trips include visiting Pentagram UK and a talk from brilliant designer Harry Pearce; visiting St. Bride's and seeing original sketches for Gill Sans, pages from the Book of the Dead and a complete first book printed in English from the 1400's; visiting Annie Atkins studio in Dublin (she creates the graphics for TV shows and movies such as the Grand Budpest Hotel The Tudors and others and all of the newspapers, signage, etc. for the sets.

Annie Atkins

Annie Atkins

Further, while in Dublin, the students saw lectures from illustrators Steve SimpsonAlan Clarke and Sarah Bowie which were wonderful. After the lectures, the artists had a meet-up with the Irish Illustrators Guild and invited all of the students to a local pub to top off the rest of the evening.

This is only to list a fraction of the itinerary.

I am incredibly proud and honored to work with Elizabeth on this course and hope to expand it in the near future. My goal is to have a course like this run every year.

Again, if you'd like to read the article, You can download the full article PDF here.

Botticelli - Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Botticelli - Virgin and Child (Madonna of the Book) 1478-80

Botticelli - Virgin and Child (Madonna of the Book) 1478-80

I am not a Botticelli expert nor all that incredibly knowledgeable about the Pre and Renaissance art movement - but it's that very work that influenced me early on during my first year at School of Visual Arts. With that, this post will be relatively brief.

The Boston MFA had a wonderful Botticelli exhibit recently. I am a little behind putting this up. The show just closed a week or so ago but hopefully these images will be inspiring. It was the largest show of his work and his predecessors ever in the United States.

Through my instructors and required trips to the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as the History of Art class, I was introduced to this art period and the first things that I was attracted to was the flattened perspectives and the basic color palettes. The colors, while advanced, did seem very 'out of the tube' to me. The work I did throughout college and a little after had its base in this work.

At the time, while I was interested in some of the work, I was more attracted to contemporary illustrators of the time. That was the 120 year old me more interested in what was happening 'now' than 500 years earlier. The influence was there but I didn't pay too much attention to it or really its history at that time.

Visiting this show, I noticed within myself my appreciation of art history and the work has grown. Especially in the craft of the work itself. I think this likely has a lot to do with being an instructor and discussing history and artists from all time periods fairly regularly. I can't say that it will alter my own working methods now, but as most shows are to me, it was incredibly inspiring and all I wanted to do after I left was draw or paint.

Below are some photos and brief notes of things that stood out in the exhibit.

Antonio del Pollaiuolo - St. Michael the Archangel Killing the Dragon, 1465-70

Antonio del Pollaiuolo - St. Michael the Archangel Killing the Dragon, 1465-70

This painting above was particularly interesting to me. Del Pollaluolo's work actually help shift Botticelli's work in that his figures became a bit more athletic in physique that previously.

This work interesting because the subject matter is kick ass but what jumped out to me was the incredible amount of visual tangents in the piece. The first visit to the show, I was with a student and they know that I am one to make sure that the piece doesn't have tangents because it really distracts the viewer. 

I am thinking during this time period, these tangents were created as a compositional element to keep the eye moving around the piece. Maybe we've gotten more advance with tangent use a few hundred years later?

I challenge everyone looking at it to see how many tangents you can find. There are tons!

Still, it's a cool piece of art.

Sandro Botticelli - Madonna of the Loggia, 1467

Sandro Botticelli - Madonna of the Loggia, 1467

This was one of Botticelli's earliest Madonna and Child paintings above. This is a bit surface-y, but I love the frame.

Botticelli - Virgin and Child with the Young Saint John the Baptist, 1505

Botticelli - Virgin and Child with the Young Saint John the Baptist, 1505

The foliage and ground in this painting above just blew me away. It is likely one of my favorites in the exhibit. The minute details, composition, color and mood are amazing. He did this one later in life and during the pinnicle of his abilities.

Botticelli - The Nativity, 1482-85

Botticelli - The Nativity, 1482-85

The alter-piece painting below was interesting to see because I was able to see the wood structure it was painted on. It might be somewhat present in this first photo but when looking at the painting, you can really see how the wood curved over time. 

Still, the art is in stellar condition being over 500 years old.

Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints Sebastian, Lawrence, John the Evangelist and Roch (Altarpiece of Montelupo), 1499

Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints Sebastian, Lawrence, John the Evangelist and Roch (Altarpiece of Montelupo), 1499

Detail

Detail

One of the centerpieces of the exhibit, is Botticelli's study for 'The Birth of Venus'. It is an incredibly tall painting. I had to stand back quite a few feet to take this photo so it doesn't look warped to give you an idea of size.

Beautifully rendered and a sneak peek into what will become one of the best known pieces in the history of art. Unfortunately, The Birth of Venus wasn't at this show.

To finish off this quick post, something jumped out at me going through the show which amused me. It was the blatant similarities of how Botticelli painted feet in his paintings. Even though the paintings were created many years from one another, it seemed like he used one set of feet. Did he trace them? Did he have a master sketch and just flipped the drawing as needed? They appear to be the same elongated feet and toes in every piece.

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.

RISD Presentation

On Tuesday the 25th, I spent the day at Rhode Island School of Design working and talking with students.

My friend Mary Jane Begin invited me to speak to the Illustration Department's Portfolio students. I first spent a few hours in her Portfolio class. I then did a presentation of my work to the entire Senior class.

The students are really quite talented and also very charming. I received a few gifts and had some very lovely conversations. I am sure I will see them out in the world living their dreams as artists.

Thank you everyone for making the day so wonderful!

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.