Most recently I entered a long-term partnership as the lead illustrator with a Southern California start-up that is creating weekly planners and journals. The first project involved creating a set of stickers to mark various appointments (e.g., hair, dentist, doctor, chiropractor), which I initially sketched out by hand and then vectorized and colored in Illustrator. Physical planners are near and dear to my heart (i.e., my life would crumble to pieces without them), so I’m crazy excited for this new partnership and the opportunity to do some more fun and cutesy digital illustration for print products.
I recently had the pleasure of participating in a fundraiser/inaugural event for Sugar Space Gallery, where artists from across the state created unique works on post-it notes priced at $10 each. It was a nice opportunity to take a break from my more time-consuming work and have fun with simple black ink sketches of some of my favorite things.
The second it dips below a balmy 72° my mind starts drifting further and further away from the Siberian-esque morass known as winter for the Midwest. The most recent bout of daydreaming resulted in me digitally illustrating an array of luggage designs from Hermès to Gucci, when I remembered the best bags of all were those featured by Wes Anderson in The Darjeeling Limited: bespoke safari-print suitcases monogrammed and marked 1 through 11.
While these were made specifically for the film by Marc Jacobs during his reign as creative director for Louis Vuitton, you can find reincarnated (and affordably priced!) replicas by Very Troubled Child.
I've gotten so used to (happily) slaving away at handmade cards for all of my family & friends' birthdays and holidays that it never dawned on me to save time and energy by illustrating them digitally instead. So, for my mom's birthday I designed a simple illustration as a clear and concise way to convey how cool I think she is. It may not be pen on paper, but at least I incorporated a grunge pattern texture to give it a bit more of that handmade vibe.
Adobe Illustrator + Photoshop CS6
Trying out watercolor pencils with a quick poppy study.
I can't mention my favorite flower without also noting one of my favorite installations, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, the 2014 brainchild of ceramic artist Paul Cummins. With the help of stage designer Tom Piper, 888,246 ceramic red poppies were planted in the Tower of London's dry moat in commemoration of the allied fallen in WWI. I kid you not, 30 seconds after reading the original post on Colossal, I was prepared to drop everything as I looked up plane tickets to London - only to realize the installation had already been dismantled by that time. I'll just have to keep my sights on the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve (or the Eastern Mediterranean?).
For the brother who has consistently managed to squeeze an Arrested Development quote into e.v.e.r.y. s.i.n.g.l.e. conversation we've ever had. Happy Birthday, ya rube. Steve Holt!
Side note: For the most part I've always relied upon the safety of traditional realism (via dimension/detail/color) when it comes to rendering figures and portraits, which can get to be pretty stifling and unimaginative. So I've actively been sketching people (particularly males, since my entire portfolio is deluged with females) with more fluidity and without dimension, because capturing the likeness of someone/something is a far more challenging endeavor without any shading to shape the features. Buster Bluth, with his uniquely doughy features and pseudo-double chin, was an exemplary case study in this regard.
Can you tell I have a thing for nostalgia?
While Time to Pretend, MGMT's synth-soaked 2007 hit from the formidable Oracular Spectacular, is nothing more than a satirical cliché of rock star dreams and the lives of those in the spotlight, the weight of this middle verse has been tuggin' at my heart strings since the early days of high school.
(I based the landscape in the background of this sketch on my favorite Gustave Baumman print, Palo Verde and Ocotea, 1928. I fell in love the moment I laid eyes on it at the IMA's Baumann exhibit earlier this year.)
Obviously I felt compelled to combine my favorite photo of Bowie (by Terry O'Neill) and a portion of my favorite Bowie lyrics (Memory of a Free Festival) into an illustration with some necessary gold leaf thrown in for added measure.
"I received an email from him seven days ago. It was funny as always, and as surreal, looping through word games and allusions and all the usual stuff we did. It ended with this sentence: ‘Thank you for our good times, Brian. they will never rot.’
I realise now he was saying goodbye."
-Brian Eno on David Bowie 1/11/16
I've been wanting to practice creating animals in simple black line for a more illustrative effect than I'm used to. So, understandably I thought to myself, "what better way to do it than to combine my favorite unsullied creatures with the sometimes depressing, sometimes crude, and most always offensive musings of Charles Bukowski?"