Friday, September 7, 2012

The Sun Also Rises

Continuing my own personal series on the work of Ernest Hemingway with The Sun Also Rises.
J.S. Bach / Yngwie Malmsteen

Client: Total Guitar

When I got the call to do a full page portrait of Bach as Yngwie, I thought to myself "I am doing something right with branding". It's a fine day when you can find any excuse to draw a guitar on fire with a dragon. The illustration is for a guitar tab of Bach- Badinerie. Thanks to Leanne Ohara for giving me the call to do this awesome subject!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Survey Says: trying to figure out what to focus on

Survey Says: trying to figure out what to focus on

Proud to say that I got the opportunity to do a piece for the Aug Plansponser Magazine. To make it even more memorable it’s an issue with a cover by Marcos Chin, amazingly talented Illustrator and a former professor of mine.

I cannot begin to describe how refreshing it was to get to do an illustration that wasn't revolving around human figure and interactions.

Thanks to AD SooJin Buzelli!

( Ink and Charcoal )

The original version I sent was a bit on the darker side with the expression etc but I think it came together very nicely in the final.  It was a really nice challenge to finish this illustration as a lighter and happier image without losing my own personal touch.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Gymnasts versus Swimmers for Grantland

I've been fortunate enough to get the call to do a few Illustrations in the last 2 weeks for Grantland.
I did this one this week for an article by Bill Simmons titled

"The London Chronicles, Vol. 3: The Dr. Jack Breakdown (Swimming vs. Gymnastics)"

My frist thought with an assignment like this was, " THISSS IS GOING TO BE FUN".I've been illustrating with NBC on tuned to the Olympics all week and my basic cable has been mostly getting swimming and gymnastics all week so this was just perfect.

  My second thought was that it was really important to me to make it dynamic and crazy while still being focused.  This was my first assignment to final in 24 hours, and I did not want haste in anyway to cause the final product to suffer.

Here's a link to the great article on the Grantland Homepage right now
I'm also lucky enough to have a thumbnail of my illustration on!!!

Thanks to AD Juliet Litman for the great assignments, and thanks to Bill Simmons for the awesome article!
and a special thanks to Mickey Duzyj for pointing Grantland in my direction.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Warrior Gene

The Warrior Gene / Born to Rage

"About 30 percent of all men carry what’s known as “the warrior gene” – a tiny bit of DNA that predisposes them to violent behavior."

I thought the term "short fuse" was appropriate for this condition.
Here's a link to the full National Geographic about it, if anyone is interested. Hosted by Henry Rollins.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Snows of Kilimanjaro

 This is the start of a series of pieces I plan on doing in my spare time on Ernest Hemingway short stories.  I've filled my portfolio up with enough portraits to last quite a while, now onto some storytelling.

  So, why not tackle a heavy hitter first?  So here's a piece on The Snows of Kilimanjaro.  Without going into it too much ( because I enjoyed the work enough that I'd like for it to speak for itself, and well... Hemingway doesn't really need to be summed up and simplified.), it's a story of work unfinished, the depths a human being and sink too when faced with a fate they cannot change, and the ability to accept it.  I chose to focus in on the protagonist's urge to destroy his own possessions rather than leave them behind.

Here's a link to the full text online if anyone is interested!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"Bid-ness as usual" Time Out Chicago

I did this piece last week for Time Out Chicago on the uneventful end of the police auctions in the Chicago area.

Really fast turn around, and I had a blast working on it.
Thanks to AD Josh Engleman

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Rooney Mara ( + process )

I decided I'd post a little process for this one because lately trying to explain how I end up doing things confuses even me.  I chose to do this as one of the portraits because I thought it would be more of a challenge for me to draw her like this, and well more interesting.  I'd rather be drawing a girl with bleached eyebrows and tons of metal in her face than a pin up any day.

(Charcoal, Ink) 

I don't have any process shots of the actual drawing stage, but I normally use a yellow erasable colored pencil to block everything out then I'll go over that with a blue mechanical pencil before I ink it.  I just find this helps me separate the blacks easier once I bring it on the computer.  Saves me from a ton of gross graphite smears too.  I have a tendency to add more lines than I need to faces because it's easier to take them out than it is for me to put them in later.

So because it's a likeness the first thing I did when I got it in photoshop was a bit of plastic surgery and scribbled in some values on the face as a rough to make sure something wasn't terribly off.  Once I've sorted that out I move onto the print outs.

(Graphite wash, Ink, Charcoal)

I'm not working on any sort of really special paper, just something thick enough to hold a wash.
I really enjoy working like this because it gives me the ability to nitpick and the mental freedom of working on something that isn't precious.

Combine them all and with a bit of luck..

Some Doodles

Apologies for the lack of updates lately.  The work is still going and going.. ( never stopping ) but I just haven't had as much to say.

Anyway, many more updates to come.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Farewell to Arms

I've been kicking this picture around in my head for a very long time, it's nice to finally get it on paper.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

portraits continued..

still going strong, couple more to go.. then something big!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Brian Fallon

( Ink, Charcoal, Graphite, Ballpoint pen, Open Acrylic, Digital finish )
Yeah... it's a large group at the end of the field.. but what can I say I'm really enjoying the mixed media

Here's another simple portrait of a musician, this time Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem and The Horrible Crowes.  I'm having a ton of fun with this Watercolor Graphite lately.

Monday, January 23, 2012

WHY THE HELL DO I ... blow up on climbs?! - Client MBUK

So here's another one of the spots I've been doing for my monthly for Mountain Biking UK.  This one is definitely my favorite so far, and I've been waiting anxiously to post it.  I'm going to keep this post short seems to be a pretty self explanatory image, as always thanks to James Blackwell.

Friday, January 20, 2012

David Bazan

Ink, Graphite, Ballpoint pen, Charcoal, Digital

I've been a long time fan of David Bazan's work.  It's about time this portrait happened.
I find myself at a complete loss of words to do Bazan and his work justice, so I'm going to have a good friend, a far better writer than I, jump in and take the reigns. 
I will say one thing though, it's amazing for someone to make such a beautiful body of work, but it's incredible to create one that's also consistently so genuine.

So without any further of my babble, here's Michael Glasney.
Thanks again Mike, it's an honor to have your words up here.

"I have 78 Pedro the Lion songs on my Ipod. I have a playlist which contains 37 of them. It should say a lot that I consider half of their songs "favorites." (I like the other half too).

David Bazan was the songwriting mastermind behind the group, and his music was a slowly acquired taste for me. Typically very  sparse and slow in tempo, I suppose many people would find his music boring. If you are an active listener though, I suspect you will find, like I did, that his albums are among the most rewarding listens of the last decade.

I suspect that part of the reason he remains as unknown as he has for so long stems from the fact that much of his early work dealt with questions of faith. Pedro the Lion, who released their final album in 2004, was a christian band; Bazan attended bible college and his parents were deeply involved in evangelical circles. 

But this was not the Christian music you might be accustomed to, nor were his songs always about religion. 

Much of Pedro's lyrics approached the subject of God with apprehension. While Bazan was raised in an evangelical household, he spent most of his musical life wrestling with his own doubts and his own anger about his faith. He also frequently wrote about divorce and substance abuse, both of which seem to have played a great role in his personal development. In spite of that, he was a man of great faith, or at least tried to be. As his doubts overtook him began to drink heavily, and in 2006 Pedro the Lion broke up. He has since sobered up, I imagine much in part because he is now raising children.

Recently, he has released  work under his own name, and has taken to performing solo sets. His current work is, in many ways very much like Pedro the Lion, with one stark lyrical difference: he has abandoned his faith completely. Much of his lyrics lament his former belief system, and disparage organized religion and right wing politics. 

His first "solo" album, 2009's Curse Your Branches was almost entirely about god and organized religion, which sort of made it the most god centric album he had ever made. Of course, with Pedro, God was ultimately the answer to the quandaries he faced, whereas he is now a question mark, and a source of mental anguish. Last year he released Strange Negotiations, which continued the trend, but came across as significantly less angry, and perhaps musically closer to Pedro the Lion. (An interesting tidbit regarding this album: the recording was funded entirely by fan pre-orders.)

When Kyle asked me to write a post about Bazan, I  thought that I simply could not quantify what is was I loved about his work, but I will try:

What makes Bazan appealing as a songwriter to me are the poignancy of his lyrics, which I will decline to post of out of context at the risk of robbing them of their impact.

He is a brilliant storyteller with a keen sense of metaphor. His struggles are relate-able, and his telling of those struggles are profound and striking human portraits; lyrically heartbreaking and melodically infectious. 

If you have the time, I suggest you get into Bazan; Stecker and I love the guy."