December 13, 2010

Evolution of China

Here's a experimental piece I just did.
I've had the idea for awhile and hoped to use it for an article but the right fit never came up, so I decided just to paint it.

Here's some of the studies.

November 30, 2010

Fight Pollution

Here's a piece I really enjoyed doing for Nick Jehlen at the Progressive.
It was about how powerful the fossil fuel industries are and how it would take a grassroots effort to fight their influence. The article was specifically focused on the aftermath of the BP oil spill and the government, so I covered that in my roughs that I submitted, by I always like to include ideas that have a universal appeal to them, and Nick often seems to pick those.

Of course it would need a much better composition.

Getting the white clouds to work together and read separately at the same time took a couple of failed attempts. Getting closer here.

November 18, 2010

Work selected for American Illustration 29 book now out

2 pieces of mine are in the American Illustration 29 book, just out last week.

If you didn't get one at the party go here to order:

November 15, 2010

WIRED etc.

Here's my first piece done specifically for the iPad.
Art director was Rina Kushnir at WIRED.
It was about de-mystifying the writing of software code.

And along the tech theme, was this piece for the Washington Post Book Review of the new book "What Technology Wants" also by a WIRED editor comparing the evolution of technology to biological evolution.

Some of the roughs I sent. There were more, but these were my favorites.
And the layout, just sent to me by the wonderful Carrie Lyle, who smartly art directed this piece.

October 18, 2010

Memphis to Boston

This was for the Boston Globe Magazine about a woman, who when a girl moves from Memphis to Boston for a scholarship. She ends up staying for career and marriage, but never quite feels at home in the North.

She ponders this, from the article -

"Now, though, I wonder. The prompt is Isabel Wilkerson’s magnificent new
book, “The Warmth Of Other Suns,” a dense and moving exploration of the
Great Migration. Wilkerson chronicles both the highs and lows of that
fifty-year, nation-altering event but mainly suggests it was ultimately for
the good. Was it?"

For some reason I really responded to this piece. Perhaps because Jacob Lawrence, the great artist of the great migration, was one of my favorite artists as a high schooler. Or perhaps because I have never really felt at home no matter where I live.

One thing I do know is, I wish I didn't have to do so many color studies to be happy!

Update March 2011: This piece just won a Silver at the Society of News Design.
Thanks for submitting it Grant!

October 13, 2010

Curse/Bless Photoshop

On friday I did a quick piece for the NY Times Week in Review, on the tricky relationship between the U.S., Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Taliban. At the last minute it needed a quick color change because of a color clash with something else on the cover. It happens and it's totally unforeseen and because of Photoshop this is so easy and routine I don't even think about it anymore, in a few minutes it was done. Bless Photoshop.

It reminded me I forgot to post this piece I did for Columbia a little bit ago.
The article was on over-population, mainly in Africa.

This was the rough they liked. Only direction was "make sure the nest looks like Africa"
Which I did and the editors were happy. Sent off, done and invoiced.

A week later, just hours before they go to press, the slightly stressed AD calls and says the editors just decided they want the nest NOT to look like Africa, they want it general.

I was pretty worried at first I would have to repaint the whole thing, since my work is mainly non-digital. (Of course they offered to pay for the repaint)

But in about 30min I had it done, all thanks to Photoshop.

Bless Photoshop.

Or was it because of Photoshop?
Since everyone is so used to being able to make such last minute changes, perhaps this allowance for more indecisiveness is sometimes a curse.

Curse Photoshop.

September 27, 2010

Recent Work and Coincidence

Got busy and behind on my postings.
Here's some recent work and a coincidence....

Best Primary Schools in Denver, for 5280 Magazine.

Design and art direction by Dave McKenna.

For ESPN on NBA owners, Siung Tjia AD.

For Los Angeles Magazine, a beautiful mag I drooled over in Pasadena for ICON, so I was thrilled to get a call from them after I got back. Carol Wakano AD.

Fun subject for Washington Post Magazine on mini-skirts lengths. Lori Kelley AD.

For the Progressive on our oil economy and the gulf. Nick Jehlen AD.

At lastly I ran across this ad a few days ago, and thought it had an uncanny resemblance in composition and concept to an illustration of mine that was in the CA annual a few years ago. Probably just coincidence.

August 18, 2010

Runner's World

Important lesson: If you use your spouse as a reference model, do not make her LOOK fat.
Especially for a magazine she and all her friends subscribe to.

The magazine was Runner's world which is an honor to work for because it's always chuck full with great illustration.

Subject was mental grief over injuries and how to recover faster. Marc Kauffman was the AD.

Rough ideas. Marc picked my favorite, but I knew the comp needed major consolidation.

Color studies, and now I start to get into trouble....

My wife posed for this, and she thinks I made her look fat. I totally disagree. She was convinced the magazine would make me repaint the figure thinner. Surprise honey, they didn't.

But I still can't convince her, and she may never pose for reference again. Perhaps you all could help.

Here's the main piece in print.
Lucky for me the other one is small on the turnpage.

July 26, 2010

ESPN the Magazine

Got to illustrate the "Messiest Divorce in Sports", yeah even messier than Tiger's...
That of the owners of the LA Dodgers for ESPN the Magazine. Art director was Ed Mann.

A few days after I finished the piece, I got to see Dodger Stadium for the first time when I was in LA for ICON6.

Had fun with the roughs, I even gave them a typographic option. Why? I just couldn't help myself and got obsessed seeing if it would work. Fortunately Ed picked the more compact solution.

Whenever I'm lucky enough to do a spread for great designers, I'm so excited to see what they come up with after I turn in the artwork. I love being surprised and at ESPN they always deliver.

July 19, 2010

George Steinbrenner killed my NY Observer cover

Well actually not him exactly... his death did.
Last week right when I was almost done with this conceptual portrait of notorious developer Shaya Boymelgreen, for the cover of the New York Observer, news came in of the Yankees owner's passing. Which was much bigger news. Actually, I've been in this business long enough to be totally used to things that happening.

Here's my tight color sketch in the mockup. And the cover that had to replace it.
Kudos to Kathryn Rathke for cranking out that portrait of George in probably less than an hour!

Here's my final art that did run inside for the same budget, thanks Nancy!
We didn't want to make fun of his features so the caricature aspect is toned down and Nancy wanted the buildings in his beard to be subtle, which was really nice to do that way.

July 13, 2010

July Progressive Cover

Got to tackle the complicated issue of the Arizona immigration law for Nick Jehlen at the Progressive.

Some sketches...

Some reference....

Apologies to Georgia O'Keefe, I know you worked in New Mexico.

And this is why Nick Jehlen, is my favorite art director in the whole world!
Because he let me do this spoof of those kitschy southwest lizards, for the inside.

June 30, 2010

NY Times OpEd today

For today's OpEd in the NY Times on talking to terrorists.
Writer argues that, engagement over time can change terrorist groups to be more mainstream like Nelson Mandela's ANC, which was once listed by the US as a terrorist organization.
Maybe... but the article's mentioned group's goals seem a bit more specific, achievable and platable than say Al-Qaeda's. But the writer does acknowledge this.

I finally got approved on this job late in the day and was worried, but Sen. Byrd's passing bumped it back and gave me a extra day for the finish.
Aviva on the other hand never sounds worried, how she does that with all those tight deadlines is beyond me.

First set of roughs, when I thought the article was mainly focused on talking to terrorists in order to understand them better in order to kill them.

Second set of roughs after I got the focus right.

May 28, 2010

Energy Biz Cover

Got to do a fun job on one of my favorite subjects: green power.
I know it's a power hungry world and green power still seems like a fantasy, but here's to hope!

Art directed by J├╝rgen Mantzke who is also an illustrator. He had the interesting direction of trying to show the future by hinting at the past, which was fun to explore.

Here's a smaller piece I did for inside.

Some color studies, they preferred the dark blue, better for the loads of typography.

Ironically immediately after I finished this job we went on a kayak/raft trip down the San Juan river (4 corners area) and found this petroglyph. There is something cool about sticking your nose right up to 4,000 year old artwork and no alarm going off.

I considered putting this one in the SI:EARTH Fragile Planet show, but went with my original entry.

I'm actually going to fly out for the show, hope to see you there! You won't miss me... in order to neutralize the carbon impact from the jet fuel I'll burn, I'm going to wear a loincloth I weave en route out of opaque plastic shopping bags.

And after the show I'll recycle the loincloth it by giving it to my petroglyph friend above.