December 20, 2011

So long Kim Jong for NYTimes

Was salivating at this job when Matt Dorfman called me to do something on the future of Korea with the death of Kim Jong, because I love doing conceptual portraits.

The article had a lot to do with China's response and how it wants to keep Korea divided, so I had to cover that angle, but I was hoping I could get away with something a bit more timeless on the just the future of Korea.

Luckily Matt agreed AND was willing and able to go to bat for this idea. And he gave me an extra hour to do it, so from initial call to delivery was about 5 hours...

December 16, 2011

Ecology of Conflict

 This was for an article for California Magazine on the interesting fact due to the Somali pirates, tuna, marlin and wahoo populations have soared in that part of the Indian Ocean. Since I'm very interested in military history and the environment, this was an rare intersection of my interests to say the least.

 The article included other conflicts, so I had to cover my bases, but of course I was hoping for the Pirates.

Had to do quite a few color studies to come up with something simple that would unite the skull, RPG and marlin and still seem somewhat natural to what they are.

November 25, 2011

September 30, 2011

Doctors Without Borders


Doctor's Without Borders is holding a benefit auction in Ferrara Italy tomorrow.
I was invited to create a piece to be auctioned off.
The theme had to somehow include one of their missions and yet feel hopeful.
Curated by Emiliano Ponzi

"Phoenix" is the title, printed on canvas.

September 23, 2011

The New Republic

 Did this piece for the Joe Heroun and Christine Car at the New Republic for an article on the fate of American Industry and how to revitalize it.

So in the roughs I explored both the problem and the solution.

September 15, 2011

Fantasy Fiction Writing

I actually don't read much fiction, let alone fantasy fiction. But I do enjoy a visually rich subject like that. So I was excited to get a call from Kim Vu at the Washington Post.

The trick was how to show fantasy without being to specific tied to vampires, harry potter etc etc etc.
So we went with the eye.

Here's the piece without the type.

September 8, 2011

Yoga Journal

I've done a few images for Yoga Journal over the years, but about a year ago I really started getting into yoga more, so it was a real treat to get a call from Ian Goldberg there.

This piece was for a review of the book "Four Desires". The main point of the review seemed to be listening to your soul in order to figure out your higher purpose. But just in case I mixed in some roughs that could go with the "Four Desires" title. Luckily Ian saw the potential in the star to pearls sketch.

I probably did more than enough roughs, but when I get a spiritual story like this or something I'm really interested in, I can't stop concepting.

Here's the piece in print. Thanks Cathryn for sending it. I love when the AD's email me a quick screen shot or pdf of their design, because it means I'm going to blog about it!

June 30, 2011


Here's a full page for Hemispheres Magazine the inflight magazine of United and Continental.
The article was about a researcher who was able to increase healthier choices in school cafeterias by a few very inexpensive presentation tweaks. Art directed by Christine Bower-Wright.

And a few of my ideas...

June 17, 2011

Gold in 3x3 Professional Show No. 8

Found out my "Memphis to Boston" piece won Gold in editorial in the latest 3x3 Professional Show

This piece has also won Silver in the Society of News Design and 2nd place in the AltPick Awards.
Which made me feel good, especially since I had done 28 color studies, and probably a half dozen compositions for that piece!

I also received a distinguished merit award for "Evolution of China"

Which also made me feel good, because I painted it completely once, wasn't happy and trashed it, and started over on it. Which at the time bummed me out, because that was alot of hand painted hairs to throw away.

And a merit award for "Dodger's Divorce"

June 13, 2011

Creator or Copycat of a Copycat

Got a call from ESPN the magazine, not to spoof Roy Lichenstein of course, but to illustrate the Seattle Mariners rebuilding their baseball team and possibly trading their star players Felix Hernandez and Ichiro Suzuki. The editors suggested a garage sale scene or the player's sitting on a pile of dynamite, which I explored.

But after doodling the Mariner's logo over and over, I saw that I could turn it into an explosion, to go with the expression "blow up the team".

And the explosion I was drawing kept reminding me of my favorite Roy Lichenstein painting "Explosion" 1965.

Of course I could have easily drawn my own explosion, but I thought how fun would it be to spoof the Lichenstein, and maybe, just maybe, some readers would enjoy the spoof as well.
I knew the art directors would, and Oliver Yoo who art directed this, went for it, thanks Oliver!

I love spoofing famous artworks, just for the fact alone to closely study their compositions.

Of course I didn't want to hide this fact, so I wrote "Apologies to Lichenstein" along the bottom of my illustration, like Bob Staake wrote "After Escher" on his brilliant New Yorker Cover last July.

Later while researching the painting, I stumbled across this website "Deconstructing Roy Lichtenstein" put together by art historian, David Barsalou who has spent 25 years (looking through 30,000 comic books!) to find examples like these:

Which made me realize that I should have actually written "Apologies to some unknown '60s comic artist, because unfortunately, the original source of "Explosion" I spoofed wasn't on his site. Perhaps Mr. Barsalou needs to look through a few more comic books ; )

Of course everybody knows Lichenstein was inspired by the comics but I had never realized how directly he drew from them, including the text. I figured he had and but never really thought too much about it, because I got what he going for. But after seeing these maybe he should've have written "Apologies to Tony Abruzzo, John Romita, Jim Pike etc etc." under his paintings....

Here's "my" piece in print. My little acknowledgement at the bottom ended up being removed by the magazine, as unnecessary or distracting, which is probably correct....but it was necessary for me! It made me feel better.

And the Boston Globe article of which I spoofed their headline:

June 7, 2011

AI30 Selected

Just found out this piece I did for Ed Mann and Siung Tjia at ESPN got into American Illustration 30.

Thrilled because I mis-read the entry deadline and didn't enter anything, so I'm so glad the art directors at ESPN did, thanks Ed and Siung!

Which is cool, because they included the whole spread with the typography which isn't typical of AI.

May 23, 2011

Cover for Emory

How to illustrate 'Ethics' ?
That was the challenge Emory magazine Art Director Erica Allison Endicott gave me.

The issue was about how Emory taught ethics and character.

Inside she needed a full page for more specific story on Web ethics.

Erica took my roughs to the committee. The very word "committee" struck fear into my heart.
But when she returned with this idea approved, I knew she could have a second career as an corporate negotiator if she wanted.

Any art director that can take sketches on such an abstract subject as ethics into a committee meeting and emerge with an idea not being completely destroyed or 'frankensteined' could work at Camp David in my opinion.

And here's the instead spread in with my color sketch, last I saw of it.

The web story mentioned, among other things, how people can behave differently online.

May 11, 2011

Double Page Spread for APlus

This was for a Chinese magazine APlus about whether property tax will put a dent into soaring real estate prices in China and create an opportunity for homebuyers.

Raymond Ho, the art director on this, liked the bicycle one, but it needed more exploration.

Trying out some possible layouts and developing the idea a bit more.

Raymond sent me this layout to look at when I painted the final which was helpful.

A bit of detail from the center.

March 28, 2011

China's Split Personality for TIME

Story was about how dealing with China, diplomats never know which China they are dealing with, the business side or the military side.
Art directed by Emily Crawford.
Some roughs, one of my favorites was the panda. I had to throw some quick photo color into to see if it would work.
But we went with the dragon which was fine.

Here's a color sketch Emily put on the page and showed me, which was very helpful, because it made me realize it was a bit too symmetrical.

So I added some arms and body, which seemed to do the trick.
The illustration ended up running only in the international edition, which I don't subscribe to so I'll post the finished layout when I get a copy.