Sunday, December 11, 2011

Psych Out / Mountain Biking UK December

 This is the piece I did for the December issue of Mountain Biking UK, about why you get psyched out doing drop offs.  This I'm more than too familiar with from skateboarding, stair sets were never something I was comfortable with at all because of the dropping off factor.  Anyway those who know me, know I will jump at any excuse to tiger stripe things so I had a blast with this one.

As always, it's been a pleasure working with them for the past couple of months, looking forward to more illustrations in the new year!  


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Troy Polamalu

Here's a pretty simple portrait on the duality of Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  I personally find when working with something as overworked as the subject of duality, it's more effective most of the time to just attack it plain and simple, rather than over think it conceptually ( which just ends up turning it into something reeking of cliche ).
(ink, charcoal)


The thing I find particularly amazing about Polamalu isn't just his dominance on the football field,  it's the balance between the soft spoken saint of a man, and the terror on the turf which would scare even the bravest of men.  His hits are nothing less than vicious.  I find myself cringing at the TV and screaming an exclamation when he takes down another player, and I can't help but daydream of a perfect world where he was also a defensemen on the Penguins.  There's another side to the man though, a polite, well mannered, all around great guy, who is thankful just for the opportunity to play the game of football because he loves it.
This to me just strikes a chord, after all this silliness with the NBA lockout which left me personally disgusted.  There's a professional athlete out there who's just happy to play the game, who doesn't need live in the biggest house possible with the biggest TV.

At this point, I'm just baffled. Although his ferocious tackles maybe some form of letting out aggression, I began to suspect maybe it's something more, a heightened state of being, concentration and thought.  Normally in my experience, hits like this in sports come from a place of anger and hate, but with Polamalu I find this find this impossible to believe.  It seems to be a man with an amazing focus to push himself to the point where his body wants to quit, and explode past that marker.  This to me doesn't just make him an great athlete, but instead an incredible man.

Here's a good article on him from GQ.com that's fairly old, but I enjoyed how it's more about him as a person and not just as a football player.
http://www.gq.com/sports/profiles/200609/troy-polamalu-pittsburgh-steelers-super-bowl