Black & White World III
Unfortunately the type on the cover design ended up blocking a nice glowing effect I got in the wave. You can see the final cover here.
Unfortunately the type on the cover design ended up blocking a nice glowing effect I got in the wave. You can see the final cover here.
Here is the cover illustration for the second Cox & Forkum book.
I illustrated the cover for the book Caucus of Corruption by Matt Margolis and Mark Noonan -- which is now on the market.
I'm a BIG Calvin and Hobbes fan. I have the book Calvin and Hobbes: Sunday Pages 1985 to 1995 by Bill Watterson, and on a whim I decided to have some fun mimicking the cover with caricatures of me and Allen (that's me up front). It gave me a chance to study Watterson's wonderful water color work. And my efforts didn't go to waste; we used it to announce our hiatus from editorial cartooning today.
I'm in the planning stages of doing a collection of sketches based on the wacky left. This is the cover idea.
I throw darts in a Decatur league when I'm not chained to my drafting table. So here's an idea for our team shirt.
Every once in a while, I like to play with a book cover idea just to get a good workout.
Goofing around in Photoshop with an alternative version of Glenn Reynolds' Army of Davids.
Allen Forkum art directed this piece for his newspaper, Automotive Report. My favorite part is the irate cave dude's sun dial watch. Yabba Dabba Doo.
I thought this could be a book cover for a southern gothic tale. Any titles?
"I'm honored to be here with the eternal general of the United States, mi amigo Alberto Gonzales." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 4, 2007
A friend of mine hired me to do a cover idea he could present to a publisher. The story has a kind of Snow White-via-Prince and the Pauper theme.
A tiny job I did for Kimberly J. at Atlanta Classic Theater some years ago.
PUT SOMETHING IN
by Shel Silverstein
Draw a crazy picture,
Write a nutty poem,
Sing a mumble-jumble song,
Whistle through a comb.
Do a loony-goony dance
'Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain't been there before.
Thought I'd try to illustrate to one of my favorite poets. Expect a few more of these.
"Let's hear from Vincent in Brooklyn...."
"Hey Maury. Long time (BLEEP) listener, first-time (BLEEP) caller. Love your (BLEEP) show. I'm sittin' down to a (BLEEP) danish and an awesome (BLEEP) espresso."
"Glad to hear it. Breakfast is just so great, isn' it?"
(BLEEP) A, Maury. It's like the (BLEEP) best"
"Thanks, Vincent. Now let's hear from Jack in Iowa...."
Goofing with photoshop....
Hope he has his green card.
PRAYER OF THE SELFISH CHILD
by Shel Silverstein
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
And if I die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my toys to break.
So none of the other kids can use 'em....
If Stipe ever does a memoir....
by Shel Silverstein
Mrs. McTwitter the baby sitter,
I thinks she's a little bit crazy.
She thinks a baby-sitter's supposed
To sit upon the baby.
I'd love to read a revisionist "Alice in Wonderland" where the Madhatter was totally misunderstood and "sweet" Alice turns out to be a twisted vanity-monger.
HOW NOT TO HAVE TO DRY THE DISHES
by Shel Silverstein
If you have to dry the dishes
(Such an awful, boring chore)
If you have to dry he dishes
('Stead of going to the store)
If you have to dry the dishes
And you drop one on the floor-
Maybe they won't let you
Dry the dishes any more.
Caricatures of a few of my favorite historical Americans:George Washington, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton and Robert E. Lee.
I hope you get a chance to sit down and consider what a miraculous country we are privileged to call home. Happy birthday, America.
I've always thought Bruce Wayne's alter-ego was a bit goofier than originally intended...
CONRAD THRASH, INTER-GALACTIC BOUNTY HUNTER...
None of the townspeople could quite remember when they last saw a crow....
When she's not bitch-slapping some security guard in D.C., Georgia's Cynthia McKinney enjoys rollerblading, horseback riding and scouring the streets of Atlanta for the next juicy conspiracy theory.
A little fun with my Cheney caricature....
PS...Any ideas out there for any of my past caricatures paired with a well-known book title?
I'm looking to start a dart team.
This was a proposed August 2006 schedule cover for a local dance company.
by Shel Silverstein
Rockabye baby in the treetop
Don't you know a treetop
Is no safe place to rock?
And who put you up there,
And your cradle, too?
Baby, I think someone down here's
Got it in for you.
This was a cover proposal for a local band called Das BoomHair. Featuring Les Thanaverage on pan flute.
A while back, Allen and I were asked to do an illustration celebrating Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" for The Intellectual Activist. After we batted around a few ideas, we decided this was a good way to go. I'm a huge fan of Rand's literary work (though NOT a devout Objectivist) and this project turned out to be quite a challenge. We got a kick out of trying to re-intrepet a fascinating metaphor for individualistic freedom
This is an example of a drawing style I was goofing around with a few years ago.
Thought this was a decent web illustration for a local radio blowhard here in Atlanta.
Daniel Howell runs BigRedKitty for gamers with a medieval bent. Luckily, Daniel does it all with a dwarf hunter's portion of humor.
Beyond the Octoroon Splinter, the Nefarini cast a formidable shadow of eternal hatred over human space. Were it not for the Galathan Ultimatum, Second Incinerator Stark would have passed on negotiating with these vile creatures and spent a long SolSpan in Sector Azurine.
by Shell Silverstein
The fanciest dive that ever was dove
Was done by Melissa of Coconut Grove,
She bounced on the board and flew into the air
With a twist of her head and twirl of her hair
She did thirty-four jackknives, backflipped and spun,
Quadruple-gainered, and reached for the sun,
And then somersaulted nine times and a quarter-
And looked down and saw that the pool had no water.
I'm thinking this is a Crichton thriller where quantum physicists discover an ancient conspiracy that reveals the REAL reason why organic food costs more than canned food. Mayhem ensues.
I think this could be a Wes Craven flick about Scientology and its strangle-hold on the shoe industry.
Now that it's been a few months since Rumsfeld has been out of the D.C. Shuck 'N' Jive Show, I"m having a hard time imagining him spending his days doing sodoku puzzles, finishing off a pot of Badger Breath herbal tea.
Part-time A/C repairman, Nick Webb rolls through the city's underbelly, scratching it and making it belch.
Been reading up on Rene Magritte lately....
This would be the first CD release by a North Carolina acoustic country trio that melded the raw heartache of Patsy Cline with the melodic soulfulness of Otis Redding.
This is a little thing I did for a local tavern that's celebrating 25 years of business here in Decatur. You can bet they'll get the fee I received right back.
This could be a story (taking place during Napoleon's campaign in Spain) about an old warhorse gone AWOL who disovers what life is like on the farm where he was born.
HERE WE GO: It's happening. I've stuck my toe into the comic book world along with two writers from Philadelphia and this is just a sample. It's a tale of GOOD vs EVIL and how a U.S. soldier makes his way through it. I'm in the midst of creating this 30 page story and a publishing date is imminant. STAY TUNED for all the glorious tidbits forthcoming. If you were ever curious about what a John Cox book would look like....here ya go.
Learn a little more about this project here.
I actually wrote a clean limerick. Why do limericks readily lend themselves to deviant verse?
Any angry, ill-informed white guys out there with blog aspirations? Here ya go, compliments of the house.
UPDATE: Congratulations Snowdog! Glad to see it out there. Hope you have fun with it.
My good friend and fellow darter, Bob Tuchow, asked me to try my hand at creating a logo for a prospective new team we've been talking about. What is a "mook"? Catch us throwing darts some night at Trackside and all your questions will be answered.
Played with an original drawing in PhotoShop. This feels like a Richard Ford story of a entomologist's epic fall from grace.
UPDATE: Took a hint from Terwiliger for a new take on the idea. Thanks, T
A little project i did for Keith Rose and his new site. Looks like fun.
Hounds of Love
One of my favorite albums. Sexy, heartbreaking, slightly dark,very moving. I'd love to get hold of a digital re-mastering of this.
This is the kind of work I do for Allen Forkum's newspaper, Automotive Report. If I can make this car stuff look interesting, my job is done.
This would be a collection of personal anecdotes revolving around what people were into during the summer of '74.
As for me, I was ten. I was into little league baseball, Cosby albums and listening to Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon".
I don't think radical Islam has enough leverage in western media....
This is an early attempt at telling a science fiction tale about an intergalactic census taker. A protege discovers his mentor is utterly lost among the vast star systems and the only clues to his whereabouts are these sketches and notations from a book found at his last known location.
The tiny scraps of writing are his personal notes on the flora and fauna of his last assignment.
The whole book is a compendium of the census taker's interplanetary missions.
Lifting an eggnog and Jack to all the gang....May the Holidays find you healthy and inspired!
General Khorxak couldn't stand having to take out The Frontier, but there he was, having to face the brutal Colorado National Guard....AGAIN!
Just finished this for Latino, a brand new magazine that will emphasize social and cultural news for the U.S.-Latino audience. They bought this for their piece on the future of Cuba.
Martin Lindeskog hired me to do his blog banner for his site,http://egoist.blogspot.com/. I thought it might be interesting to show the steps in its production.
This is the sketch I came up with after having read his suggestions.
I establish where the black tones (cityscape and other details) are in relation to the "finished" color pencil outline of the figures.
SAYS MIKE HUCKABEE.....
"There's only one explanation for it, and it's not a human one. It's the same power that helped a little boy with two fish and five loaves feed a crowd of five thousand people. And that's the only way that our campaign could be doing what it's doing".
There you have it, ladies and gentiles. This shmuck has the audacity to compare a Jesus miracle with a pointless vanity project in Iowa.
If he wins in New Hampshire, atheism here I come.
This is the 8" x 8" color rough for a cover of a book about Esther, the Old Testament queen who saved the Jews from extermination in ancient Persia. I'll show the finished piece later on.
NOTE: You may recognize the "Esther" from an earliler piece.
This blog would feature three sorority sisters with contrasting view points on campus life. There's Yvette, the darkly-clad pessimist in her third year of Icelandic poetry studies. There's Claire, the dance major who wants to treat the sick in Rowanda. And there's Jane, the 5-year arts grad student who is world-weary, yet passionate.
Each Thursday they tackle a local issue that MUST BE ADDRESSED. Or maybe they swap cookie recipes.....
1. A bowl of glass shards in the morning is a real eye-opener,
2. Jack Bauer can kiss my ass.
3. It's better to pull your own wisdom teeth. And your tonsils....as long as
you're back there.
4. Women love it when use cologne in your jockeys.
I was alerted by my Florida friend and fellow artist, Steve Mcafee, that he MAY have seen a snatch of my work on......wait for it.....the COLBERT REPORT. I was told I could catch the re-run and try to verify what he saw.
I was unable to be near a t.v at the Jan. 11 8:30 showing, so I called Allen Forkum to see if he could either watch the re-run and tell me what he saw (he could recognize the work) or maybe tape it and send me an image.
Well, here it is. Neat, huh?
1. Which Mid-Eastern paper ripped me off and (2) does Comedy Central know THEY didn't do the art?
3. Am I disturbed that the drawing possibly helped the enemy?
Kinda of weird....
Check the Cox and Forkum "Newsmaker Caricatures" archive and you can see the Clinton and Obama caricatures the newspaper stole.
This is a cover I did for Allen Forkum's Automotive Report newspaper in Nashville. The news item was about how mechanics must deal with future technological developments in the automotive industry.
This could a compilation of cutting-edge ring tones.
I thought it would be fun to illustrate a King cover. This story would be about a mute Holiday Inn housekeeper whose psychic abilities help the local police track down a demon-possessed '78 AMC Pacer.
This is my second shot at trying to nail our team logo.
This is artwork for Mitchell Halvorsen's boat and his crew. It happens to be based on another design of mine.
This is the final art I submitted to the publisher. You may remember the color rough I did a few weeks back (January 10th post). The differences are interesting I think.
The art director and I decided to tweak the cover illustration. Thank goodness I beat the deadline by a few days so I could have a chance at making changes.
I've been commissioned to illustrate a wine label for a tiny private vineyard in California. I'll add an appropriate visual with it later on, but for now, I wanted to establish the look and feel for the project by nailing the Dark Horse logo first.
This the work I did for Allen Forkum's Automotive Report this month. It was kind of tricky NOT making these people resemble a celebrity.
I sent along three illustrations to the vineyard owner and this is the one he chose. I love how these projects pop up out of the most unexpected places.
Paul Thomas Anderson's "There Will Be Blood" features this years's best (STUNNING, I say) acting performance by Daniel Day-Lewis. Watch this film and try not to be awed by the complete immersion of an actor into his craft. I dare ya.....
Cool little job for Richard B., motorcycle enthusiast.
Did I ever tell you the one about the dragon exiled by his idiot cousins?
I don't know who's in this one, but Charlize Theron ain't.
KEEPING AN EYE ON THE DARWEEN WASTES FOR THE THURZALID HORDE WAS ZVELF'S LITTLE HOBBY. IF NOTHING ELSE, HE ENJOYED THE SOLITUDE OF VELBEK'S CRATER
Grand Vizeer Grimash XXI (U. Forge, StarDate 3371)
wax on silk
Not much is known about artist Upland Forge. Known for his demented forays into color theory and inventing the color "Bleen", this painting of his father-in-law was his last masterwork before vanishing into the Omega Barrier with nothing but a desk lamp and a tub of margarine.
Been reading Grouchy Old Cripple . Funny @#%$!
THE SEA WAS CALM, BUT RATHBRAZE WAS NOT...
This the latest cover I did for Automotive Report, Allen Forkum's newspaper in Nashville.
How cool is this? Thanks, Allen. I'll be toasting your efforts tonight!
(You can see the original art on the FEB 24 "illustrations archives" post.)
The feature story by Robert Tracinski deals with the "Clintzilla vs.Obambi" myth.
This is NOT a goof.
I'm auctioning a fun-filled day here in Decatur, Ga, with a goofy-ass cartoonist/painter (me) that includes (for that ONE lucky individual):
*An art lesson or two, if you like.
*Dinner at my favorite French restaurant. ($75-$125)
*Drinks at my favorite watering hole. ($50-?)
*Showing you around my favorite city in the world. (cost, no problem...)
*Owning your choice of any original oil painting from my studio. ($800-$1,100?)
*AND and an original color caricature of you that is yours to take home. ($100)
BIDS WILL BE POSTED ONLY AT THIS POST'S COMMENT THREAD. I WILL IGNORE PRIVATE OFFERS AT MY E-MAIL ADDRESS.
The only stipulation is you'll cover travel costs and hotel costs. I'll pay for any shipping the art may require.
PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT for charity. It's just a wild idea I had and I wondered if there are any brave, art-loving souls out there looking for a fun adventure.
Bid will start at $200 (with $10 increments or higher) and run from tonight until midnight Thursday, April 3. I will notify highest bidder of the results and if that person is unable to follow through, then I'll take the next highest bidder, and so on....This is based on notification of highest bid being actually paid.
I'm curious what occurs.....aren't you?
I was hired recently to do caricatures for a book club's calendar gift that features Austen, Shakespeare, Wolff and Vonnegut.
The ship was doomed and the crew knew it. Having to thread the Straits of Slagash during the winter typhoons was like....like...CRAP, thought Thalbane. WHEN ARE WE EVER GOING TO INVENT METAPHORS?
This is an upcoming cover for Robert Tracinski's "The Intellectual Activist"magazine. The feature story is about Barak Obama's array of political stances.
UPDATE ON AUCTION: A little reminder that the bidding for a dinner and artwork ends tonight at midnight tonight. PLEASE LEAVE BIDS ON THE ORIGINAL AUCTION POST COMMENTS THAT APPEARED MARCH 27..
It looks like Roger Parian squeaked in the last bid for "Dinner With Me" at 11:58 pm Thursday, April 3 and will be my guest in Decatur! Congrats!
And a special shout-out goes to George for kicking off this auction and being so enthusiastic about the whole process. George will be receiving a signed book for all his effort and hearty thanks from me for all the kind words.
If this works out, I'm sure I'll be doing this stunt again.
This would be the first CD release from an Egyptian soul band that did Nine Inch Nail covers.
I'd get a big kick out of illustrating a "tell-all" reference book that outed the Boogie Man, Loch Ness Monster, Moderate Muslims, etc.....
This was an identity image I did for Michelle and Marcie Phillips, a local graphic design team I happen to meet over a beer a while back.
I think this could be a cover for a collection of Indonesian poetry that focuses on nature and holistic lawn-care.
I thought it would be fun to do a cover illustration for one of my all-time favorite novels. I only wish Toole would have stuck around longer. Can you imagine what fun he would have had lampooning the characters of post-Katrina New Orleans?
Doing a little daydreaming about an ultimate cover gig. Looks possible, doesn't it?
If you can think of a title for the piece, let 'er rip.
This is my workspace. There are many like it but this one is mine. My workspace is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my workspace is useless. Without my workspace I am useless. I must paint true. I must paint better than my enemy, who is trying to dis me. I must up-stage him before he up-stages me. I will. Before God I swear this creed: my workspace and myself are defenders of my country, we are the masters of my critics, we are the saviors of my life. So be it, until there is no cynicism left, but contentment. Amen
Again, playing with the idea of illustrating some of the books that had a substantial effect on my "world view". Not necessarily my favorite Heinlein book, but it was the one that turned me into a huge fan. Totally knocked me out.
Just started "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress" today.
"Ancestry: Part XII" would be a musical ensemble based on Celtic and Morrocan rhythms that explore themes of resurrection, hope and affordable housing.
This is a little job I did for Allen Forkum's "Automotive Report", trying to get the idea of "more advertising is good" across to his automotive industry costumers.
This is another fantasy illustration of a book that rocked me. I read it for the first time when I was 24 years old and it changed my politics FOREVER.
Worked with Allen Forkum again for the cover his Nashville paper, Automotive Report.
Hey y'all! It's a year to the day since I posted my first big hello to the blogship. Over 500 posts later and I've come to the conclusion that the Post-Cox and Forkum Era wasn't about apathy and regret. Quite the opposite! It's been wildly entertaining getting to know (and meet!) you guys. The fact there seems to be a tight little group of viewers who dig the ricochet nature of this site has been very, very heart-warming. Many, many thanks.
Keep those comments coming and let's do another round, eh?
I'm not exactly sure of the storyline, but I'm thinking it involves alot of clandestine wheeling-and-dealing....AND AWESOME BELLY BLOWS!!
DEEP IN THE BOWELS OF THE CORDON BLEU, JEAN-CLAUDE ANXIOUSLY LURKS, WAITING UNTIL THE LAST MOMENT TO BURST INTO THE KITCHEN TO SAVE A WOEFUL HOLLANDAISE.
This was a fun read. Espionage and such. I've had this idea of using my photos of reference material and an actual chess board I designed. A little Photoshop....TA DAAH!
8" x 11"
I did another fantasy illustration of one of my favorite books. Poignant and bitterly funny, this was published in 1969, so it is rife with "free love" and what a pain in the ass it is.
The 1987 release (Wim Wenders) is utterly sublime.
Released in "85, this is my favorite Tom Waits album and I thought I'd bring up to date with my style of photoshop design.
Photo credit belongs to my friend, Steve McAfee.
My religion... INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS
My bible...THE CONSTITUTION
AAAaaaye, m' heartys! This is my updated cover illustration of one of my favorite classic sea novels. Long before there was a flitty, spastic Jack Sparrow, there was a wiley, bloody Long John Silver.
I was asked by Michelle Rougier to do the poster for the play she is directing in Alabama. It's a very stark production and we thought the artwork should get across some of the foreboding in Arthur Miller's classic play.
NOTE: The playdates are going to be added by their in-house production.
This is a recent illustration job for Allen Forkum's "Automotive Report". The cover story is about how mechanics can trim waste and benefit from leaner business practices.
Here's to a long life and a merry one,
A quick death and an easy one,
A pretty girl and a true one,
A cold martini and another one.
(Thought I'd have a little fun with the Sistine Chapel....)
A rare sight: a swarm of peanutbutterandjellyfish
Had a little fun with the "Dark Knight" hoopla....
These guys are racing to the center so fast I fully expect a head-on collision of such mythic proportions that you might see them share DNA.
I like to read this one about once a year. It serves as a reminder that childhood and later life is fraught with wonderful (and scary) moral choices.
This is the final for that pencil I did about a week ago. I got a kick out of how they just cut me loose on this and kept all the nuances I suggested.
A collection of tall tales about a certified nut bag.
Not a particularly fabulous book, but it certainly is my favorite King novel. Really wanted to play with the crow image.
"Baby, can you dig your man?"
I was interested in producing an image that had less flash and more heart than the spiffy ones I've seen so far.
And did anyone else out there think that the opening ceremony in Beijing seemed creepy? Having tens of thousands of citizens perform like soulless cogs in a jaw-dropping pageant DID NOT uplift my spirit.
And you thought The Razor's Edge was sad....
The good people at LATINO MAGAZINE had me do this one for their enlightening article about Hugo "Hugo-rilla" Chavez and his self-righteous delusions of victimhood.
You can check my Dec. 26, 2007 post to see the first illustration I did for them.
Allen Forkum's art design/my illustration for Allen's recent cover of Automotive Report.
John Gardner's "Grendel" (1971) is the Beowulf saga told from the monster's point of view.
I thought it would be fun to do this cover for "Bullet Park"(1969), a novel about suburban angst and amorality among a neighborhood's cocktail set.
Had this guy stomping around in my dreams a couple nights back.
Today be Talk Like a Pirate Day. Hoist a tankard of the wench's fine grog and set to talkin' like a salty dog whose booty lay under Davy Jones' locker. May a fair wind foller ye!
Burrowing into the putrid underbelly of Stankville, Flinchy the Clown breaks up the black market falafel ring.
Along with Allen Forkum's stellar design sense, this is my illustration for his paper's October issue cover. It made my "Top Five Faves".
I've been reading up on mental disorders * NO YOU HAVEN'T, YOU POMPOUS LIAR,*...shut up...and I came up with this visual.*GOD HELP US.*
The host of "The New Yankee Workshop" carves a roman a clef that gives new meaning to "dovetail joint". Bob Vila is not happy.
I had a ball mimicking the old Moaist posters for Tracinski's mag.
HEY, ya'll. Been out of town for the last four days. Did the Big Easy. I'll get 'er going IMMEDIATELY. Stay tuned.....
This is my illustration for Allen Forkum's Automotive Report. It's an ad for his paper that reminds his customers how rough economic times require aggressive advertising to keep up with the competition.
Crazy Nude Baghead Guy would drop by on Halloween in my old neighborhood and I'd give him a couple of airline bottles of Jim Beam and call 911.....just in case.
Back in '75 I was eleven years old. I was listening to standard AM pop. Pink Floyd WAS NOT on my radar.
But later in high school, this album knocked me out. To this day, "THEY" are trying to get me to change heroes for ghosts....hot ashes for trees.
UPDATE: NOV. 15, 1877...
TURNS OUT THAT THE LOCAL VAGABONDS PREFER GROUND CAT MEAT OVER PUREE OF SILVERFISH. MUST TRY ADDING GLASS SHARDS TO BATCH #51 AND OBSERVE ANY CHANGES.
This is an upcoming magazine cover I did for Robert Tracinski's The Intellectual Activist. The main article is a discussion on how Marxism is creeping into mainstream America.
NOTE: The wall space under the graffiti is where additional copy goes.
This is my illustration for Ray Bradbury's classic cautionary tale of censorship and creative oppression. Published in 1953, it still resonates to this day.
Watched "Immortal Beloved" recently. Gary Oldman is terrific as Ludwig Van Beethoven. And of course, the music is profound and utterly monumental.
I like my holidays like I like my turkey meat: dark.
This is my idea of up-dating a cover illustration for an all-time classic.
SECOND INCINERATOR STARK PLUNGES INTO THE XANKHA UNDERWORLD TO UNRAVEL FAMILY SECRETS...
Had fun taking the famous Portrait of a Man by Raphael and giving it the ol' Photoshop treatment.
Been diggin' on Talking Heads "Little Creatures" (1985). The last cut is "Road to Nowhere" which seems poignant these days. Overall, though, it sounds and feels like a party album.
I was asked to design and illustrate this logo for the band Lag Wolf. They described their music as "heavy metal-country".
This is a pencil rough for Allen Forkum's "Automotive Report" this month. Once we both agree this is the way to go, I'll turn this humble scramble of pencil lines into a ravishing watercolor illustration.
I'll post the finished art soon.
From pencil rough to finished watercolor illustration...
I thought it might be fun to reproduce a Guido Reni rendition of St. Paul using a trompe l'oeil theme and a bit of Photoshop.
Even when I'm not working on a paying gig, I find it extremely helpful to mess around with classic images to stay sharp and possibly pick up a trick or two.
One of my all-time favorite novels about individual responsibility and the courage to pursue one's bliss.
This is more than an idea. More like a personal dare. I'm actually gonna try to write and illustrate this one myself.
This is the March cover for Allen Forkum's "Automotive Report".
I combined a figure study (oil on masonite) I did a while back with a wall texture I found in a book about the ruins of Pompeii. I played with the light intensity and the shadow depth to emphasize the emotional impact.. Too bad it's not on canvas.
This is the April cover I illustrated for Allen Forkum's Nashville paper.
This is a pencil rough that will be turned into a full color illustration for the next issue of Latino magazine. After submitting three different illustration ideas, this lay-out was the one that worked best. I'll post the finished piece soon.
I just finalized a deal with the folks in Beijing to sell 1.2 million of these t-shirts in the Forbidden City this summer. What can I say? I finally caught a break. Apparently, they're big fans of my work and were looking for something new and catchy to offer in their souvenir shops.
Philip Chalk (design director) at The Weekly Standard used my caricature of Ayatollah Khamenei in this week's issue (page 13).
This is a take-off on an actual satiric novel written by Jimmy Breslin in 1969. The contemporary symbols are mine.
This is the new cover I illustrated for Allen Forkum's paper.
Goofin' around in Photoshop....
Combined a landscape photo with my automaton illustration to re-imagine a cover for a classic sci-fi collection of short stories by Isaac Asimov.
This is no band I know of specifically. Just a good name for a band that does dark, electronic pop.
This is an upcoming cover for Quality Paperback Book Club. They're showcasing Shakespeares's comedies.
I did this for the recent issue of Latino Magazine.
This would be a story how three generations of the Gundersons experienced military life through the '60's, '80's and now.
This is the recent cover illustration I did for Allen Forkum's "Automotive Report".
Recently finished this job for Direct Brands. The art director took my original pencil rough and played with it in Photoshop to give me an idea of the final design incorporating the cover graphics. From there I can go to finish and make the illustration as eye-catching as possible.
This the work I did for Automotive Report, August issue. I was asked to go for Flagg's take on Uncle Sam.
7:30 AM, LAST TUESDAY.
MELLISSA LOOPNER TOLD ME THAT TIA KUPCHEK IS BLEACHING HER PUBES!! I KNOW MELISSA HAS GYM CLASS WITH HER, SO SHE CAN'T BE MAKING IT UP.
In 1994,Christopher Buckley inflicted his satiric wit on the cigarette industry. I just finished reading this novel. Very, very funny. Very dark.
This is an illustration I constructed from a photo I took and then messed with in Photoshop.
THUSDAY, at lunch
Mary Carapoulis sneezed on Jeffrey Balco's tuna and peanut butter sandwich. She told me she's allergic....to certain cooties incubating on a certain boy who is so utterly unpopular that her nasal passages flare into a snotty rage.
This is a real book cover for a work on how the free market is having a hard time catching on in Russia.
I came across a few baseball pieces I did a few years ago and I think they have a certain romance and nostalgia that is refreshing.
This is the first of four pieces I did based on America's Pastime. Look for the rest of them this week.
10" x 8.5
This is the second piece of a series on baseball I did a few years back.
10" x 8.5
This is the third piece of a series on baseball I did a few years ago.
10" x 8.5"
Fourth and last piece in this baseball series I did a few years ago.
I thought this group of work would be fun to offer up. Please note that the pieces are laser prints and ARE NOT MATTED AND FRAMED. I just wanted to show what they could look like on a den wall.
The bids are for all FOUR pieces only. Please, no offers for individual pieces.
SPECIAL NOTE: There are no reproductions of these prints. This collection is the whole sh-bang.
(from top left, going clock-wise)
Old School: Wet One (10" x 8.5", laser print), signed by artist
Old School: Stretch (10" x 8.5", laser print), signed by artist
Old School: Dispute (10" x 8.5", laser print), signed by artist
Old School: Thievery (10" x 8.5", laser print), signed by artist
ALL BIDS SHOULD BE POSTED ON THIS SPECIFIC COMMENT THREAD
AUCTION BIDDING STARTS AT $190.00
PLEASE BID IN INCREMENTS OF $10.00 ($10, $20, $30....etc)
AUCTION ENDS THIS SATURDAY, AUG. 22, AT NOON, EST.
(the official time is the time stamp on my comments thread)
Hope you guys have fun with this and good luck!
I wanted to do this illustration to present a tough question: Is our interest in Afghanistan beyond current American financial practicality? Your thoughts.....
It seems a clever song parody on YouTube included my caricature of Obama. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IQSbJUj7u8
I'm certain there are gazillion books on American architecture, but I was fooling around with this illustration and thought it might make a neat cover.
Page 1 goes like this:
DEVON WENT A-WALKING
TO SEE WHAT HE COULD DRAW
HE HAD A SIMPLE PLAN TO SKETCH
EVERYTHING HE SAW.
If you think you can maintain the rhyme scheme and rhythm, contirbute a verse! (HINT: the more visual, the better.)
ANOTHER HINT: Keep it to ONE verse so the story path seems a bit more random. It develops breathing space for the next one. HEE HEE!
The first paragraph goes like this:
I have to admit, it was beautiful. The spit-shined soldiers doffed their black peaked caps just like they were ordered to, exposing their razor-cut pates to the gentle rain. The lacrimose bureaucrats, shuffling along the parapet with a studied pathos, mumbled among themselves about the latest poll numbers burning a hole in the front pages. And there I was, an old anarchist who knew too much and cared too little, sprawled on the marbled steps of St. Stephen's, leaking blood in artful pools amid shattered limbs no one was going to put back together.
I always thought it was a shame that Toole left us with only one novel while he was alive. His "A Confederacy Of Dunces" is a wonderful comedy classic that follows the hapless (and gaseous) exploits of Ignatius J. Reilly, trouble maker extraordinaire, among the odd-ball environs of New Orleans.
Can you imagine a book where Ignatious is cut loose among the passionate, secretive denizens of Venice? Total chaos.
This is the October cover I did for Allen Forkum's Automotive Report.
I've been considering a new career path: going on the road with toy pianos doing children's music. Our next gig is at little Tiffany's. She's turning SIX!!
A little fun with one of my all-time favorite books. Holden Caulfield is my hero.
A U.S. Army soldier wanted my work on his arm. I created a few designs and this is the one he really liked. I got a kick out the opportunity to do something so permanent.
This a portion of a double-page illustration I did for LATINO magazine. The headline is: MAKING FRIENDS (subhead): Both the U.S. and Mexico Hope for Better Relations.
1N THE YEAR 1247, A YOUNG LONDON BOY IS ACCUSED OF HERESY. HE MUST FACE....
The evildoer doesn't have a name (yet!).
This is an illustration I'm doing for Allen Forkum's Nashville paper (minus the graphics). The article is called "The Year in Quotes".
Mr. Dodge contracted me to illustrate and design the cover for his new book.
This is something I created using my actual illustrations (man and sledge hammer) combined with some Photoshop magic. "Iron Horse" would be a collection of tall tales from the American frontier.
This is what my illustration would look like on the subway.
Have a joyous, inspiring Christmas, y'all.
Magrita thinks she knows what's up in Mr. Hempstead's attic...
I was asked to do the cover art for Andrew Ian Dodge's new book,"And Glory".
The year is 2034. Power lies in Europe with the bureaucrats in Brussels and London is the centre for the Western Provinces.
The Supremo Manipulator of this conglomerate of nations is Pius, with no religious connections and a diminishing hold on power the Union is sustained by nepotism, violence and musical chairs of political appointees. The disintegration of the Union is imminent.
Rob, an English tech nerd together with his accomplice David, have to use their cyborg intelligence to survive in this oppressive Euro society in the Western Provinces. The assassination of Teresa, Rob's girlfriend, and a busload of tourists along with the murder of a Czech student at Hull European University, provide the catalyst for Rob and David's dangerous involvement. Together with their minders, Michaela and Kiara, they head full speed into their deadly adventure. Death is catching.
With a touch of humour, a satirical political edge, characters that you come to know well and a flowing writing style take the reader through a techno thriller deep into the 21st century. We see the ambivalence of the revolutionaries, who never intended serious action, faced with orders to destroy and kill. Europe will never be the same again …
This the February cover for Allen Forkum's Automotive Report. The cover article is about how vendors work to bring shops unique services and products.
Mr. Rye commissioned me to to design and illustrate the banner for his new blog. He suggested a particular direction and I just ran with it.
By the way, look up the word "ketosis". You'll find it to be a hint of where he's going with the blog.
NOTE: IF THERE'S ANYBODY OUT THERE WHO'D LIKE THIS KIND OF WORK FOR THEIR OWN BLOG, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I'M HAPPY TO KICK IN ON YOUR PROJECT FOR $100.
This is the pencil rough for Allen Forkum's Automotive Report issue for March. The cover article considers the ramifications of the shift from state regulation to federal regulation in the insurance industry.
From this stage, I'll get input from the art director and go to finish later on today.
The art director and I decided this piece could have an editorial feel if I used a pen and ink technique. It's not the full color cover they usually use, yet the boldness of the inkwork holds up nicely.
Carson McCullers' 1940 debut novel is beautiful, darkly-lit story of John Singer, a deaf man searching for meaning in a Georgia mill town.
Combining photoshop techniques with my elephant and donkey drawing.
Have a glorious St. Patrick's Day.
HERE'S TO BEING SINGLE,
AND SEEING TRIPLE.
This the most recenct cover illustration for Allen Forkum's automotive newspaper which Camille Ourbre art directed with aplomb and joi de toone.
The up-coming issue of Robert Tracinski's The intellectual Activist features a piece on "Climategate". I illustrated the cover using graphite and ink.
This is the illustration I did for an up-coming cover for "The Intellectual Activist" magazine. It is entitled "All In".
I discovered a pastel study I did way back and wanted to combine it with a little 'shop magic.
I really enjoy creating contemporary images for classic literature. I relish contrasting old-school illustration techniques with clean, eye-catching graphic design.
I toyed with this idea: What if Agatha Christie wrote a graphic novel featuring her detective extraordinaire, Hercule Poirot?
"The way is long and winding, the rewards.....eh, don't hold your breath. At least your friends will think you're cool."
This the the May cover for Allen Forkum's Automotive Report. The article is about all the new laws that deal with the automotive industry.
Recently, LATINO MAGAZINE had me illustrate their article on how the U.S. Latino population graded President Obama's first year in office, particularly in regard to this administration's approach to confronting illegal immigration.
He did not make the Dean's List.
SOCIETY HAS PERISHED.
ALL THAT WAS IS OVER.
ALL THAT IS KNOWN IS STRANGE
IN THE DYING DAYS OF GALGOTHA IV,
ZHANG CUIDADO ENTERS THE CITY.
This would be a collection of essays based on the provocative lines in Shakespeare's "King Lear. Such as:
Have more that thou showest,
Speak less that thou knowest,
Lend less that thou owest.
KING LEAR 1.4. 230
I created this Mother's Day illustration and I thought it would be fun to 'shop it into an unlikely place. A subway train partition.
Hope everyone can hug or call their mother on Her Day.
I did this illustration with the idea of it being for a pop band with Southern roots.
I had a bit of fun imagining, then inking (MUCH INKING) just a single page of what might be a Tarzan story. In this instance, the actual plot is not nearly as important as the look.
How cool would it be to have a budget to pull off a full blown book?
This is the June cover for Allen Forkum's "Automotive Report". Camille Oubre, the art director, did a wonderful job of nailing this one. This kind of colaboration is particularly interesting in that I had no idea how Camille was going to work out the spray painted type. I just furnished the sprayer guy, she did the rest.
I took one of my older paintings and designed this cover around it. This book happens to be one of my favorites, too.
If there are any home brewers out there, I'm game!
When I create cover illustrations, I like to make up book titles and then I'll check it against a Google search. Turns out Richard Harding Davis (I just used "Richard Harding" on the cover) wrote a book entitled "A Question of Latitude". Maybe I'll read it soon. The actual novel may not take place on any beach, but I thought the title had a summery vibe.
I think "The Howling Monk" would be a good name for a brew house, too.
Having received the honor of paricipating as a judge (along with the esteemed Chris Miur and the distinguished Damon Shackelford) in this design competition, I'd like to congratulate the winners of C. Blake Powers "COOKING WITH THE TROOPS" logo contest:
First place: Tyler Scout
Second place: Erin Ingram
Third place: Pia Cantoni
Well done, gang. So glad to see your energy and creativity going towards such a worthy effort.
And a hearty shout-out to all the other worthy contestants who made this design competition a high-quality affair.
I came across one of my figure drawings and thought this would make an evocative visual for one my favorite books.
I was recently commissioned to do this illustration for Andrew Ian Dodge's up-coming techno-thriller. This is a follow-up to his previous novel, "And Glory".
Inspired by the Police song of the same name.
I gave myself the chance to play with a page design based on a narrow, vertical illustration. I'd like to have a shot at doing this kind of work where the art and type make for a fresh reading experience.
I thought I get back in the saddle with something that recalls the allure of travel.
This is an 10" x 8" male study done with ink wash. I like illustrating on paper that has a layer of gesso because the ink wash doesn't soak into the paper and I can get a transparent look to the organic background splashes. When I let it dry, I can add other thin layers to emphasize light and shadow. As I'm going to finish, I can rub out some highlights with steel wool (an eraser will not cut through dried ink). This techniques lends itself to spontaneous brushwork, yet has a solid permanence.
Getting a kick out of illustrating a children's reading program, "Vinny the Vampire", for a cousin who lives in the neighborhood.
My favorite beatnik-era poet. Eloquently gritty.
This one would be essays about the romance of the road.
This is the illustration I submitted to Steve Butterbaugh's PRINCIPLEX objectivist site. Please read what he has to write about the Obama mystique.
Neighbor and all-around good egg Bob is running for local office. He wondered if I would contribute my illustration skills and help him clean up city hall. Well, after studying his campaign message, I decided to invest my civic pride and energy to serve the greater good. I propound Bob embodies our town's dedication to hard work, compassion, ingenuity and an overwhelming belief that mediocrity conquers all.
(just kidding, y'all)
This is my re-imagining of an actual 1999 flick titled "The Hall Monitor". I haven't seen it ( don't plan to, either ), but it's NOT a Pixar spectacle ( RATED R ) that takes place in a middle school overrun with blood-thirsty juveniles bent on storming the teacher's lounge.
But first, they have to get past...THE HALL MONITOR.
Andrew Dodge recently commissioned this cover illustration for his up-coming novel about his weird, macabre near-death experience during a frightening hospital stay.
This would be the Mad Hatter's memoires that controverts Alice's account of her sojourn in Wonderland.
Just back from a family visit and was getting my nostalgia on.
I wish a blood-stirring All Hallows' Eve to my crepuscular commenters and their ethereal beastie brethren crawling the web.
I think it would be very entertaining to illustrate old classics as bold, shortened graphic novels.
NOTE: When I re-figured the illustration size, I lost the collected comments. Please try again!
Released in 1977, "Animals" is a searing aural trip. One of my favorite PF albums.
1. Pigs On The Wing 1
1. Pigs (Three Different Ones)
3. Pigs On The Wing 2
This month's cover art of Allen Forkum's newspaper was a bit of a challenge. Having to render stone sculptures depicting aspects of automotive service, yet still with a bit of whimsy, is the kind of work that makes image-creation fascinating.
Illustration Friday invites illustrators to submit work based on a weekly theme. I thought it might be fun to enter this piece and see what happens.
You can check out the the other "Phenomena" entries at Illustration Friday.
This is the cover for the upcoming January issue of Automotive Report. I look forward to the annual "Year in Quotes" issue because the visual solution tends to be more interpretive.
This week's theme on Illustration Friday was "Resolution". Check out the other entries for this interesting illustration topic
Martin Lindeskog (teaparty.nu) wanted a banner illustration that featured tea products for purchase. He'll also offer up a bit of commentary on political developments in Sweden as well the U.S.
This combined two sketches that I worked on a few days ago. The floral motif was mirrored and joined at the horizontal center then embossed in photoshop. Then I floated in the figure sketch (it got kind of Frazetta-y). I get a kick out of playing with unfamiliar effects filters and see where they may come in handy later.
I'd like to do a cartoonist's handbook ("The Tools of a Strange Trade") at some point. I'll try the French market just for kicks.
Messing around with Photoshop and some old snapshots of a mannequin I have haunting my drawing table.
This in one of my sketchbooks I've filled up over years. This is one dates September 29, 2009 through March 22, 2010.
Page 18 (watercolor pencil and graphite)
* Wire-bound soft cover
* 60 pages
* Each page is 9" x 11"
* Over 180 drawings
* Graphite, charcoal, ball point pen, pen and ink
WHAT IT REPRESENTS
Well, I have to admit that offering up this collection of work is a bit trepidatious for me. It's like offering a psychological dossier about myself. I happen to be proud of the steps and lessons learned in this sketchbook because it represents where I'm at right now, 100%. Yet, it does show, in high detail, the random paths of a working illustrator. I'm aware that there are those that may think owning a bunch of half formed ideas might be similar to watching hotdogs being manufactured; the final result is satisfying, but the process is messy.
I can promise you, though, the twists and turns of these images will surprise you and even delight you. How often can you peek underneath the hood of an illustrator that ranges from political art of Cox and Forkum to the whimsical nature of "Say What?"?
You will recognize quite a few sketches that turned into posts on my site during the time period I mentioned above.
I believe the utter uniqueness of an artist's sketchbook is virtually sacred and I'd like one of y'all to have it in your home as evidence that the creative process is a living, breathing thing.
Page 59 (ball point pen)
CONDITIONS FOR THE BIDDING PROCESS
* BIDDING STARTS NOW AND WILL END AT 9PM EST, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16
* Bidding will start at $270.
* Please bid in increments of $10 or more
* The comment button at the bottom of THIS post is the ONLY way to make your bid official. I won't accept bidding any where else.
* The final bid will be determined by the time stamp on your bid. Cutting it close to the final minute is not recommended.
* If someone wins the bidding and chooses not to follow through with payment, I will offer the sketchbook to the next highest bidder.
Wow. Thanks for the privilege of trying this. Let's see what happens!
This would be a collection of protest art from around the world.
Jim Rye was kind enough to contact me to illustrate his and Joe Vazquez's country music cd, "Stars n Bars". We worked well together to create an image that reflected the emotional depth of this duo's musical efforts. I really enjoyed the opportunity to do art that made a connection to my zeal for music.
(the complete cd folded out with the song titles on the back)
Technically, it required lots of thought and flexibility. The method of doing each layer separately gave me all the room to create the diffiernt lighting effects: LAYER 1, the musicians; LAYER 2, the bar front and landscape; LAYER 3, the signage over the door; LAYER 4, the bar interior and, finally, LAYER 5, melding all of them together and tweaking the lighting effects. Then, of course, the graphics required a couple of layers, too. Sense all the layers were independent of one another, the creative process never had the obstacle of having to redo anything as a whole. As we improved the image, all I had to do is make sure it came together as a unit at the end.
This process of illustration gave me all the freedom to do my own drawing style with all the advantages of doing my designing with Photoshop. Very pleasant experience.
This is the illustration I did for the April issue of Automotive Report. It lacks the cover graphics that describe the main article which is about "what works, what doesn't work and how your workplace can improve".
This was done primarily in 'shop. The only traditional drawing I did was a single paper doll cut out that was then replicated a few times. The tricky part was making the highlights and shadows convincing.
You may recognize the model reference from posts past. I did this one recently, relying on a looser, quicker style of brush work.
A smallish drawing where I enjoyed having the figure practically buried in covers.
This is my entry for this week's Illustration Friday theme, "Duet". Take a peek at the other entries.
This week's theme over at Illustration Friday is "Bottled". I thought this theme was begging for one of my takes on a fantasy beer label.
I thought this illustration had some of the romance and mystery invoked by this week's theme over at Illustration Friday, a website dedicated to showcasing illustrators with all kinds of technical and conceptual abilities.
This month's cover article investigates the economic imbalances showing up in recent legislature concerning the automotive industry.
I thought this was a neat opportunity to do an inkwash drawing with a little photoshop magic.
Any Steely Dan fans out there? I love me some "Gaucho".
A man can dream, can't he? If I ever get a graphic novel cover commission the unicorns will rejoice, the pond nymphs will feast on jelly bean wine and river trolls will frolic to the ethereal sounds of manatee songs.
This is how one of my illustrations would look on an inner city underpass.
Fresh out of high school, I seriously was digging this album in 1982.
I saw the previews for the new summer release, "Captain America: The First Avenger" and was totally blown away by the combination of 21st science of biomechanics and 1940's fight against Nazism.
Well, here's my rendition Captain America, inspired by what I should think is going to be a summer blockbuster.
I don't get a chance to do one of these too often. Most bloggers have a very clear idea of how the banner is going to look based on their point of view and quality of content; a visual along with some eye-catching type usually does the trick and can be done relatively easily with access to standard photos that flood the internet.
YET.....Martin Lindeskog who runs egoist.blogspot.com wanted something unique for his new blog that offers tea from around the world. Combining the lion (the town mascot for Gothenburg, Sweden) with an inviting pot of tea, the banner sneaks in a bit of whimsy as an intriguing welcome to all his brew-happy visitors.
If you're curious about how this kind of artwork can benefit your site, please feel to contact me at my e-mail address posted in my ABOUT box.
Another entertaining workout from Illustration Friday's continuing stream of weekly themes to challenge and tickle the creative muscles of aspiring image makers.
I recently did this cover and all the story illustrations for local Decatur author, Jordan Pearce, who just happens to be my favorite cousin. You can see what she's up to over at vinnythevampire.com.
Whimsical epic poetry to be swept away by...
Give me a go or no-go.
Bumper crop of neat illustrations for this week's theme over at Illustration Friday.
The book title and artwork was done by Devon. Maybe he has a story in mind...
His illustration was done with table salt on black paper. You may notice flecks of pepper in there, too. His illustration has a spooky underwater vibe that sets the mood for an international thriller that contains manhunts and highly-trained assassins.
He was inspired by the remarkable artwork here.
I thought this gesture drawing would be an interesting take on this week's theme.
This is my entry for this week's theme over at Illustration Friday: OBSESSION.
The road to Zinzaar
Is a road quite bizarre
With twists beyond imagination.
Where up is down
And square is round
In a state of wild consternation.
This is my entry for this week's theme over at Illustration Friday. Check out the other creative, "imperfect" entries.
I illustrated this as a picture puzzle. How fast can you name the famous American novel to which I'm referring?
ALERT: Try guessing before you go into the thread.
"Illusion is needed to disguise the emptiness within."
Any home-brewers out there who want a special label created for their unique batch of potent potables?
This is what I do.
This would be a sci-fi odyssey about how Obama negotiates world peace with the invasion forces from Avianyx, an aggressive alien culture bent on securing Earth's vast copper resources.
I wanted to do a king vulture study, sensing the beauty lurking beneath the grotesque details. Sounds like a Francis Bacon painting, doesn't it? Maybe it's the vivid coloration in contrast to the reptilian skin folds.
Trackside Tavern had it's Grand Opening this past weekend and this is the t-shirt design I created for Doc, the owner. It burned down January 20, 2009 and re-opened in just a couple of months ago.
You'd walk into this place, layers of mysterious dust covering the ceiling fan,Costello warbling about Allison. A fifty-ish, heavy-set nebbish, surrounded by Star Wars kitsch, is lecturing a soccer mom on the psychosexual themes of the Boomtown Rats oeuvre.
I find the possibilities of the Digital Age mesmerizing. Take a gander at more "mesmerizing" illustrations over at Illustration Friday.
Ugandan President Idi Amin was a ferocious, murderous head of state who was responsible for the termination of hundreds of thousands of lives between 1971-1979.
See more "ferocious" illustration entries over at Illustration Friday.
This is the illustration I did for the November issue of Automotive Report, Allen Forkum's monthly newspaper that examines current issues in the automotive industry. The cover story concerns the legal battles waged between shop owners and damage repair insurers.
Can it be that it was all so simple then?
Or has time re-written every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we? could we?
This week, Illustration Friday has "FUEL" as its illustration theme. This is my entry. It's a combination of my watercolor technique and 'shopped enhancements.
Check out the other intriguing "stripey" illustrations over at Illustration Friday.
I had a bit of fun indulging my favorite career fantasy...A TIME MAGAZINE COVER.
This is my entry for this week's theme over at Illustration Friday, "BRIGADE".
Ambrose Bierce did not write a book called "The Lost Brigade", but he sure could have.
This is the January cover for Automotive Report. The cover article is a collection of quotes that summarizes the automotive industry in 2011.
This is my entry for this week's theme over at Illustration Friday "Separated".
A little spooky for this time of year, but I tend to leap on illustration ideas whether it fits the season or not. Actually, this time of year has an inspirational vibe that comes out in weird ways.
Go and check out more neat entries over at Illustration Friday.
Alphie, the elf, confronted
the toxic materialism
that undermines the
true meaning of Christmas.
He was roundly castigated and
cast out from his friends and
family, never to be heard from again.
These are three stages of a cover illustration I recently did for the magazine, Scout & Engineer. It's a publication dedicated to the discussion of current events via the ideological and philosophical underpinnings of the story.
The cover article is about the view that knowledge is not sinful, but a value that should be highly persued. Pretty obvious, right? No so fast...
The pencil stage is to determine the layout and the overall theme and composition for the cover. This stage has always been the most fun and yet taxing. On one hand I have a perfectly blank space to fill up with no apparent hindrances, yet the responsibility of zeroing in on a given subject matter is the whole point. Here, the direction of the piece is agreed upon by the illustrator and the art director.
The art director doesn't see the next midway stage. But it's here where I make final decisions on placement and emphasis of theme elements. Generally, I prefer doing the tedious (and important) details first because it takes advantage of my initial adrenaline burst. I like to leave the "dessert" for last; the part of the illustration that really drives home my style and approach to the idea.
And, of course, the final. If you look carefully, you can see all the minute changes I made from the midway stage. I put all the lighting effects into play and try to finish with a certain bravado of technique and precision.
And there you have it; the illustration process in three easy steps.
MERRY, MERRY, Y'ALL!
Messenger of gods
Veering between cloud and moon
On a strange breeze borne.
For this week's theme over at Illustration Friday, "Highlight", I chose to enter this 10" x 10" graphite study I did based on a photo I took during my visit to Florence, Italy, back in '91. Though I've seen Michelangelo's "David" my whole life through photos, seeing it live has the "highlight" of my trip.
Kind of on a book cover tear...
This is my entry in this week's Illustration Friday theme: FORWARD
My good friend who hosts The Phantom Darkroom, Steve McAfee, is a skillful photographer of a high order. His work is known around the country and even HE has to refresh his business cards so they reflect his recent interests and techniques.
His most recent post was about that very thing, which I found to be inspiring. So, with a few hours available to really knuckle down and come up with my business card......I FROZE!
I didn't have a clear idea of what I wanted to present to the world as my "it", my specialty, that thing that makes my work stand out. I'm aware that I've developed a few looks, so I was a bit confused as to a stylistic direction.
Then, I took a deep breath and realized the work I've been showcasing on this site is the marrow of my artistic efforts: highly detailed cartoon work that emphasizes form, texture and light, with a certain wry humor.
And that's what I went with. WHEW!
I think it's hilarious that when it came to designing my own card, I was a bit befuddled. Had I been doing work for anyone else who required my illustration and design work, I would've gone about it with my usual confidence and focus. I-R-O-N-Y.
The cover article is about inking the deal and taking responsibility for reading THE WHOLE CONTRACT.
Otherwise, it just may backfire.
Check out the other shades of creativity over at Illustration Friday.
This is my entry in this week's Illustration Friday: SWAMP.
This would be a sci-fi take on the Portier-Curtis film shot in 1958. Two enemies chained together at a prison camp on the edge of the galaxy manage to escape.
This is my entry for this week's theme over at Illustration Friday: RETURN.
Next month, the cover article is a survey of how legislation differs from state to state concerning auto repair insurance obligations.
This is my entry on this week's theme at Illustration Friday: PUZZLED. Check out the other head-scratching creations over there.
This is my entry for this week's Illustration Friday: HEIGHTS. Check out the other heights of artistic ability over there.
This is my entry for this week's Illustration Friday:JUMP. See what other artwork is jumping over there.
Vibing Edgar Rice Burroughs, I think.
Americans do believe in freedom and there is almost certainly a kernel of a joke in the truth.
I get a kick out of combining traditional watercolor work with 'shop techniques. The advantages of both "looks" facilitate all kinds of visual possibilities.
This is my illustration for next month's Automotive Report. The cover article is about how independent body shops struggle with State Farm's overwhelming influence.
Crossing the Yorgon wastes, First Shielder Vark Gundra had to hurry. Qiznet Sun Ja was out of patience...and out of her mind.
I've always admired how the New Yorker covers are always illustrated with no article headlines to clutter the work.
This is my illustrated interpretation of this week's theme at Illustration Friday. TAKE A LOOK at the other shining examples of creative energy.
I blundered into some old Punch and Judy memorabilia (circa 1700's-1800's) and thought how odd it must have to sit and watch wacky characters pummel each other while they acted out farcical situations.
Boy, why does THAT sound familiar?
The July cover article is about how automotive shop owners should look after the physical well-being of their places of business, just like they look after customer satisfaction.
This is my entry for this week's Illustration Friday theme: REFRESH The site has been designed anew and it looks very engaging. Check out the other refreshing interpretations over there.
I was asked to illustrate this website banner for Elizabeth R. She regales her readers with tales of recipes conquered and taste buds thrilled; all for the edification of those brave souls who take spatulas and cooking thermometers in hand.
One of my "Favorite Read-Again" books. Vonnegut's drawings are as funny as his prose.
Of course, "Tropic Thunder" is a Ben Stiller comedy, but I thought the title sounded like:
a) An island cocktail for tourists
b) A variety of weed making the rounds on college campuses
c) A roller derby team out of Key West
d) A cologne for lonely retirees
This is my entry for this week's theme at Illustration Friday: CARRY. Check out how other talented sorts carry on over there.
I spent some time on this illustration with nothing specific in mind. Then I started to notice it might make a neat trompe l'oeil style mural. A little p'shop magic and...ta dah.
This is would be Lewis Carroll's "Through The Looking Glass" told from the Hatter's point of view.
Check out the other "Identical" illustrators over at Illustration Friday.
Check out the other imaginative works over at Illustration Friday.
This is the up-coming cover of Scout & Engineer I designed and illustrated, It was a rare chance to not only execute one of my favorite motifs (an old wall surface with attached drawing), but to determine the final placement and look of the logo. It was a wonderful opportunity to try out a complete idea with virtually no stylistic obstacles.
In this particular issue, the literary collection is themed around "Heroism" and the publisher/creative director was enthusiastic about this direction, once we chatted over the possibility of taking a non-literal approach. I've been looking forward to utilizing this style of work for quite awhile.
Thank you, Hannah, for taking a daring approach.
NOTE: You may remember the first one I did; a confident Eve unapologetically displaying the Forbidden Fruit (posted December 23, 2011).
One of my favorite contemporary writers, Michael Chabon, never wrote a book with this particular title, but I had fun supposing the possibility. He writes in a quirky, imaginative style that highlights eccentric behavior in odd circumstances. His prose is filled with sharp metaphors and poignant turns of phrase. I think it would be more than interesting if he told the story of a pensioner, a Holocaust survivor, ending his days in coastal Maine where he is visited by old acquaintances anxious to get in the last word.
If you're not familiar with Chabon's work, may I recommend "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay", "Wonder Boys" and "The Yiddish Policemen's Union".
I'm always a bit envious of those who read my favorite books for the first time because I miss the thrill of discovery that awaits new fans.
This is what the November issue of Automotive Report looks like at the moment. The cover story is about attracting and attaining sales idea for the industry.
I'll post the finished piece later on.
Transformation is a wonderful thing. What starts as some loosely organized lines develops into a full fledged, fleshed out concept. Whew!
I darkened the bottom third to provide contrast for lighter headline graphics.
I was a little disappointed when this recent pencil didn't impress the art director for a small magazine in New Jersey. He thought it was too scary. That's why they call them "roughs".
This would be a collection of short stories that take place around the Baja Peninsula.
This illustration, plus a few others, help tell the the odd coincidence of two Richard Parkers, one a Poe creation, the other an actual victim.
Behold the weirdness in this intriguing Strange As It Seems production.
You can check out other Strange As It Seems productions at the bottom of the AOL page.
I like creating pages in which I can explore visual story telling techniques. Fun little workout.
And, of course, the narrative is wide open....
When Allen came up with this concept for his paper, he called it an "infinity cover". Apparently, the repetitive illustration motif is it's own genre. Who gnu?
The title comes from a well-known Jack Kerouac book written about the same time as On The Road. I wanted to explore the dystopian connotations.
Love to do more of this. I'm fascinated with venue announcements that grab the imagination.
While working on another project, I wanted to utilize an illustration that didn't make the cut (wrong direction). Still, I thought it had potential.
This is my interpretation of a classic 1987 album.
Vibing some Steadman and wondering what HST would think of the present administration.
(The title is a play on a '73 Joe Walsh album.)
I'm pretty sure the world doesn't need more fish pillows, but these would work nicely.
I really like how this cover turned out. Considering the subject matter, I was able to enliven the image with warmth and a certain whimsical engagement. Even the driest subject matter can be inviting when the illustration is given a chance to expand beyond literal boundaries.
There is no boring subject matter, just boring illustrators.
It's here and I can feel my pulse again; baseball is BACK.
And may I highly recommend enjoying it on radio. Here's my "Top NIne Reasons to Stay In and Do It Marconi Style":
9...Sit where you like, I mean ANYWHERE.
8...You'll never have that urge to brain the fathead next to you who won't shut the hell up about his team's idiotic stats: HE AIN'T THERE.
7...No moronic antics and inane music between innings. If you can't stand the radio ads, kill the volume when they invariably pop up.
6...Can't beat the ticket price.
5...The beer and hotdogs you're eating didn't cost the price of a small sedan.
4...Your imagination fills in the game if you've ever played it growing up. I believe the game is MORE vivid.
3...Toilet access is MUCH better.
2...The opportunity to engage in another project while keeping track of game details. I love drawing in my sketchbook during broadcasts (I did this sketch during tonight's Braves game against the Phillies)
1...If the game stinks, CLICK and grab another beer.
This is the poster I illustrated and designed for talented composer M.Zachary Johnson announcing the maiden performance of his ambitious opera, "The Boston Tea Party".
I want to thank Mr. Johnson for the opportunity to lend a hand to such a heart-felt project and wish him the sincere accolades he deserves.
For those in the New York City area, check out his site of up-dates, performance times and general artistic backgrounds of the cast.
I did this work for Martin Lindeskog, an entertaining blogger out of Gothenburg, Sweden. He enjoys discussing and promoting American ideals and his line of tea beverages over at americanized.org.
I'll be submitting this design and illustration for the very popular Decatur Craft Beer Festival held at the Square downtown October, 19th. It's an open competition for artists of all stripes. The winner gets beer and a little pocket money AND the overwhelming notoriety that rivals a Pillsbury Bake-off victory.
This my Escher-esque cover for Allen Forkum's auto industry monthly, "Automotive Report". We decided on a surreal approach once we recognized the main article didn't have it's own visual hook.
Devon's school is looking for ideas for a t-shirt and such that touts their up-coming season. Their program will feature the music of U2. Doesn't that sound awesome? I've GOT to make one of their performances.
Devon is in his second year there playing baritone.
Goofing around with an art trend that predates Art Deco by a 20 years or so. I find it very informative to mimic older styles and try to explore how such aesthetics can be re-made and be used today. Kind of like going through a Goodwill store and finding a cool bowling shirt.
This is a 7" x 7" sketch for a larger oil on canvas piece I have planned. If you'd like to commission this at a specific size, I'd love to hear from you. Since it is somewhat monochromatic in concept, I can consider any specifically suggested hues. That's what I value about detailed sketches; more choices present themselves.
If you're among the many non-profit organizations that put on shows, I'd be very interested in hearing about your projects and offering my time and know-how.
Or creating a punk band...
Vulgar, yet hilariously thought-provoking, this short little tale is by Steve Krodman, a man of many talents and a gregarious nature whom I had the pleasure to meet a few years ago. He gave me this collection of 100-word stories that he wrote and published under the title, "Shorts in a Wad" (available at his site, Lost In The Cheese Aisle).
I went through it like John Madden through a Brett Farvre highlight film. It was weird, clever and disturbingly funny. I still peek at it now and again because I always think up some illustrations that might match each wonderfully goofy 100-word story.
So I took a shot at this wacky story called Abstract Art. I'm sure I'll do a few more out of curiosity. Designing the page to accommodate the illustration was the biggest challenge. The actual published work, with over a hundred little gems, has no illustrations.
By the way, his book has many sharply crafted tales that DON"T involve bodily functions.
This illustration is for Martin Lindeskog's webcast from Sweden. He's got a few irons in the fire over there and I've enjoyed helping him with his media ventures.
This is another entry from Steve Krodman's neat little book, "Shorts In A Wad", a collection of his odd tales all told within a hundred-count of nouns, verbs and the odd adjective.
The illustration is my own and not found in his book. This whole page is my attempt to explore how my illustration style might look along the side Steve's delightful writing.
You can purchase his book on his website, Lost in The Cheese Aisle
Allen and I puzzled out an angle to represent paint manufacturer's ongoing concern with misuse of their products in repair shops. This is why I like trade papers; it constantly challenges my desire for striking, "fun to look at" solutions to what might be considered wonky material.
The hostess will ask you if you know anybody there and are they expecting you.
The cover article for this month's Automotive Report is about how repair shops take on insurance companies in volatile court battles that erupt over damage claims and proper compensation.
A friend of mine wanted to show his appreciation for workmates who teamed up for a major project. As they worked through the "mission", he got to calling his group the "Bic Brigade". He was proud of their work and thought a sardonic nod to corporate reality was in order.
If you haven't read this in a while, do yourself a favor and dive into the ultimate revenge saga that follows the star-crossed path of Edmond Dantes.
My good friend Douglas is up in Maine chasing the Almighty Dollar, yet he finds time to shoot the local scenes where he's residing (for the moment). He sent me this wonderfully eerie photo of moored sailboats and I thought it might be fun to add my own twist to it.
Call it an illustration bomb.
British author Richard Epworth was bold enough to ask me to illustrate his new self-published book, "Bottleneck" and this is how it turned out.
And this is what Richard had to say about our collaborative creative experience:
"Having had my head inside my manuscript ever since I remember, I was stuck inside my fixed ideas of what message my cover should convey. I thought my cover had to somehow clearly reveal the message of the book. Seeing the beautiful quality and wide range of ideas in John's work on his web site, gave me the confidence to go with him and trust his judgement. This turned out to be a huge relief, as I had tried to control everything until then. With his encouragement I dared to forgo the sacred cows that had escaped from the pages onto my own draft cover, and return them safely to the pages where they belong. I now have a deliciously enigmatic cover that will lure people in. The whole experience brought back excitement into my project, (as my wife, family and friends etc. etc. will confirm!) It was such fun to have another creative individual involved, especially one who I wasn’t competing with. I’m really delighted with the final result, my only concern now is whether buyers of the book will be disappointed by the contents, my bit, but who cares, they will have a lovely piece of art to look at."
Hey Richard, you made it fun. Thanks
The September issue of Automotive Report is about how shop owners are collaborating to make themselves heard among auto industry movers and shakers.
You've may have noticed the last couple of days of have gone by without a new post. Well, I've moved crosstown and I'm finally settled in, ready to get back on track. Thanks for hangin' in.
I've been exploring intriguing ways to capture texture and shadow with a "fill-in-the-blank" kind of narrative.