December 4, 2008

Team of Hawks

For TIME column by Peter Beinart on Obama's foreign policy team of hawks and how he (the author) believes they are a cover for actually making peace.
Art director was Patricia Hwang.

The article wasn't written when I got the assignment which is typical for a weekly, and kept changing focus after the first and second round of sketches, ( I'm not going to bore you with them all), so when there was only a few hours left, the story came in with the headline "Team of Hawks".
Since we were running out of time, I could just quickly paint a group of hawks, but I just had to give it another layer of meaning.
A few weeks before I had done a MC Escher-like full page piece for Money magazine, so I still had a bunch of MC Escher reference around.

So a simple ripoff of Escher, although it took about 5 attempts to come up with my version below, which I sent it in for a quick approval.

And the piece on the page.

November 24, 2008

SI 51 Annual and Alt Pick Awards

Just found out this piece I did for This Old House magazine on windpower was accepted into the editorial category of Society of Illustrators 51. Art director was Hylah Hill.

and this piece won 1st place in the 5th annual AltPick Awards. Art Director was Richard Weigand at the New York Times.

October 21, 2008

Emotion on the brain

Full page illustration for a Newsweek article on emotion and the brain.
AD was Patty Alvarez.

Here are the rough, Patty liked the smiley face ones, but I need a better composition for a full page.

In print

This one ran inside the article.

Also included in the package were 3 other articles about the brain.
Here's one on music.

And the roughs.

In print.

October 13, 2008

Ryder Cup ESPN

This was for a full page in ESPN the magazine. It was about how the European team usually beats the American team despite it's star power. According to the writer it is because the european team travels and parties and plays together, while the american team are lone wolves, albeit chauffeured ones. Art director was Lou Vega.

My first set ideas were too much about the concept of team golf. ESPN wanted to highlight the fact that the team travels together, so below is round 2.

Lou picked the carts, but I needed a much more interesting composition to hold a full page, especially a page in ESPN which is 10x12! Made me anxious, because usually I count on a memorable idea to do the heavy lifting.

Here's the preliminary drawing, I must have done atleast a dozen rougher ones trying to get an good composition. Orchestrating multiple figures isn't my specialty so this took longer than usual, but it was fun - it's sports.

I decided to keep the final more sparse and graphic to try to hint at the european union flag and american flag.

Ironically a week later the Americans won the Ryder Cup! So I don't know if this ran or not.
If it did I'll update this post with the accompanying design in print, which in that magazine is always amazing.

August 27, 2008

$4 a gallon gas... Yes!

This was for a BusinessWeek package on why cheap oil is bad for America.

Art direction by Ronald Plyman.

If only we could have had sustained $4 dollar gas awhile ago, we could be so much farther along the path of getting off oil and instead of being second place in the boom of green tech, America would be leading it.

But then we might have not "won" the cold war, since the huge and sustained drop in oil prices in the 80's and 90's had alot more to do with the demise of the Soviet Union than is realized.

Anyway here's to dreaming we can do it!

partial spread

quarter page

the roughs.

Georgia On My Mind

I got to draw for Mikhail Gorbachev's OpEd on Georgia in the NYTimes last week, titled "Russia Never Wanted a War", which was a real treat and for the first time work for the new OpEd AD Leanne Shapton.

Mr. Gorbachev's piece was a good non-western point of view, if you can ingnore his brief kiss-up to Medvedev, but hey if I was living in Moscow surrounded by the FSB, well you can bet I would too.

the preliminary drawing

the roughs.

A few days before TIME had warmed me up on the subject of Georgia, which helped. For a Power's article on Putin's Pride a key reason to the invasion.
Art director was Patricia Hwang.

Progressive Cover

Got the opportunity to illustrate the cover of this months Progressive.
Subject was about teaching to the test aspect of No Child Left Behind an educational reform here in the States.
the rough ideas
It doesn't get much better that getting to spoof a government logo...

The cover, design and art direction by Nick Jehlen.

Here's some other covers I've done for them over the years,
the tank with coffin tracks got into PRINT's regional design annual.

July 18, 2008

Zimbabwe for TIME

For a regular Samantha Powers column I draw for TIME, this week it was about how the international community (read the West) shouldn't invade Zimbabwe to get rid of Mugabe.

the roughs

preliminary drawing

June 20, 2008

The Green Wall of China

For a cover article on China's increasing interest in green energy.

AD was Wai Lam.

I had to stack the turbines tighter than they would normally be, so they would read as a wall.

I really love the subject of green energy, so I had alot of fun concepting this one.

In the roughs I wanted some China specific ones and some more general ones, since this was for a chinese readership so it wasn't mandatory that it read China as well.

But I'm glad Wai picked the more china specific wall one, because it fit well.

Here's the piece on the cover.
I wish I could read Chinese.
(I'm trying to learn it)

TIME magazine

For this weeks TIME Samantha Powers article about the history of U.S. Presidents negotiating with dictators, communists, etc. etc.

AD was Patricia Hwang.

Interesting point from the article

"In an effort to scuttle the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty in Congress, the Conservative Caucus took out a newspaper advertisement likening Reagan's position to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's dealings with Hitler."

Apparently Reagan was a appeaser too for talking to the evil empire.

I wanted it to be somewhat general but I did use scrap of Ahmadinejad and Obama as reference

Sometimes, like in this case, the article isn't written and only have a line or two to go on.
So I usually try to give a ton of different ideas to cover the myriad of directions the article might end up taking.

Since I'm on the subject of TIME,
here's the piece that ran the week or 2 before for the Samantha Powers column, this time it was on a commencement speech she gave. Talking about how young (an old) people can customize their media so much, that one can never get surprised and led off in a different direction.

I was glad Patricia choose that idea, because although it wasn't my first choice, it ended up being a better piece with a much broader application.

It's funny whenever I go back and look at old sets of roughs after a some time being away from them, it's so obvious which one is the best and it was 9 times out of 10 it's the one the AD picked. That's why it's nice to have a good set of second eyes not so enmeshed in the problem.

June 18, 2008


For a Businessweek article about Disney forming a new venture capital fund.
Art director was Don Besom.

the roughs, my favorite was the acorn obviously, second favorite the pig.

May 14, 2008

Communication Arts and American Illustration

Found out a few weeks ago, that I got a piece into the upcoming CA Illustration Annual.
It was for the bimonthly Generations column I illustrate for the NY Times.
This piece was about a young girl, who just couldn't fit in to pop culture, despite trying.
Something I personally related too. Art director was Richard Weigand.

Here are the roughs, the article mentioned Hairspray, Harry Potter and High School Musical.
I'm glad Richard choose the broader more conceptual solution. Richard also asked if gum always needs to be pink? Which got me thinking of a more interesting color palette that would highlight the bubbles, thanks twice Richard!

tighter drawing, composition was a bit tricky, multiple figures aren't my strength...
...and neither is color, so it took more than a few color studies.

This piece below was chosen for the American Illustration site.
It was for a Los Angeles Times Book Review, of the novel "Sunflower" which has femme fatale of sorts as one of the main characters. The art director was Carol Kaufman.

Here's the roughs below, that Carol had to choose from. I like including the roughs for two reasons to show the process of course, but also highlight how important the art director is in the process, from picking the best idea (half of the time I can't decide myself) to defending/selling the idea to editors.

May 8, 2008

CFO China

This was a piece I did for CFO China, in Hong Kong on all the new chinese business regulations which are well crafted but companies never know how they will be enforced. Wai Lam, AD

Some roughs,
I always give some extra ones, when trying to communicate across cultures. It does help a bit, (but not much) having lived in China for a few months. I lived just outside Panyu near the huge city of Guangzhou, I was there teaching english towards my last year of college.

Layout in the magazine, design by Wai Lam.
Below is some covers I've done with him in the past.

So when I decided I needed an intro page in chinese for my website, I knew who exactly who I wanted to do it.

Design: Wai Lam
I love how he echoes the train tracks in the treatment of the characters, with my name small like a train on a track, brilliant!

And here is the uncropped version, originally for Businessweek, it was on the how the chinese economy keeps growing at a steady pace despite commodity swings, I stamped it with a little stamp of my name I got when I lived over there.