Friday, December 18, 2009


for my final project for Mr Chuck Gillies, I made an image for the cover of a hypothetical book on Greek mythology

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

hot off the presses

For Cathy Gendron's Editorial Painting class we were assigned to create a cover for Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis.
After executing the illustration we had to compose a cover that included the title, author's name, and original illustration. I apologize for the cover. I had wet paint right up until the last minute, so the if the graphic design is lackluster . . . I spent all of 5 minutes on it (don't tell Cathy that).
As for the painting, I'm pretty pleased with it. Hope you like it, too.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Merry Christmas, Sports Fans!

way back in October, I produced an entry for the annual NFL Detroit Lions holiday card contest. I was procluded from posting it until after the contest results were in, so you are seeing it now. I figure tis the season anyway.
The Detroit Lions are a nightmare client. Its very corporate and limiting. You cannot say Merry Christmas, only the more inclusive phrase "happy holidays." No references to anything even remotely Christian will be tolerated. My proposals that involved peace doves were axed because there was too much room for Christian interpretation. While Jesus is not allowed for fear of offending the heathens, Santa is also totally off limits because he could offend the Christians. All characters peripheral to Santa (reindeer and elves) are also not allowed. Any depictions of children become extremely risky unless you have minorities represented, and not just a bunch of happy white kids.
This is the second time I've entered, and both times the project became more about avoiding disqualification than about winning.
This time I settled upon a simple and tasteful monotype in 3 colors. I was very pleased with the results. I usually struggle with registration in multi-color prints, but i managed to totally ace the registration this time.
In the end I didn't win, but my homeboy Jesse Martin Kassel did, so all is well this holiday season.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Return to Dr Sketchy's

Saturday night I found myself back in glorious Grand Rapids for the holiday weekend, and as luck would have it, Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art School was being conducted that Saturday at the Sazerac Lounge.
The model this time was a scrawny character going by the stage name "Big Little the Kid."
My only qualm would be that some of the poses were too much costume and not enough model for my tastes, but I still got some sketches I'm proud of out of it
and . . . I WON SOMETHING! I won two free passes to a movie for my sketch in the contest division "draw the model at a petting zoo"

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dream Analysis

This is my piece for Mr. Chuck Gillies book cover illustration course
It is an illustration for the cover of a hypothetical book about analysis of dreams.
I wanted to do an engaging portrait that is vaguely surreal and symbolic, but not too much
The model for the image was Mr Rafael Dos Santos, although this isn't the greatest likeness of him because I tried to make him look a bit younger and softer than Mr Dos Santos ordinarily would (as you can see in the sketch)

hope you like it, team

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Teaser Sketches

these are some preliminary sketches for some projects that are in the works. Yes, they are all portraits. But I promise they will have interesting things going on in their negative spaces, but you will have to check back for the finishes to find out what!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


hey team

these are some recent projects

the lad with the peace cranes is my amigo Kikko. I did that portrait for my senior studio class. The badass female with a violin on her face is a character I made for my children's book cover. She's called Fiddlehead. Because she has a fiddle for a head.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mr. Anderson Cooper

this is a painting that I did for my first senior studio project of the year.
this is the process that Im using for my senior thesis body of work. Its an oil painting on top of a carved linocut print, mounted to board.
And it is trying to make a little bit of a statement.
hope you like it

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dr. Sketchy's- Grand Rapids

Last weekend I went to Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School at The Meanwhile bar in Grand Rapids. Dr. Sketchy's is a global franchise, with chapters in cities all over the world, including one in Detroit .

Dr. Sketchy's hosts a different live model every week for artists to draw from. They use unconventional models (cabaret performers, burlesque girls, etc) and since it takes place in a bar, drinking and socializing are encouraged.

Heres how it works (in Grand Rapids anyway) you pay 7 dollars at the door (not bad for 3 hrs of live models) and that gets you in the door plus you get one ballot to enter a contest suggestion. The evening was hosted/timekept by my friend, burlesque girl Vivacious Miss Audacious, who calls the times, arranges the poses, and randomly draws the contest suggestion. Suggestions at this Dr Sketchy's included "best Art Nouveau" and "draw the model as your astrological sign." At the end of each pose, the celebrity judge (who in this case was Corey "Happypants" Ruffin from Super Happy Funtime Burlesque) chooses a winner who recieves a prize such as liquor, a groovy t-shirt, tickets to shows, and other good stuff.

The model at this Dr Sketchy's was Jacinya Sanchez, a drag performer with the persona of a 1950's housewife and mother. She was a real pleasure to draw, and a unique opportunity. Our professors at legit art school never gave us husky drag queens to draw.

I had a great time, and not only will I return, I intend to investigate the Detroit chapter.

note: In the one sketch there is a wee calf in the upper right corner. That's because I had sketched part of that page at the County Fair earlier that week.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Summer of Sketches

Hey team
I know I haven't posted anything in a while (but it's not like anyone reads this thing anyway)
It may have appeared that I hadn't been working, but that simply isn't true. I don't know if I've ever been more disciplined about sketching than I was this summer, I just haven't had access to a good scanner.
In NYC I had access to a lot of good resources. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History are both free (well, suggested donation actually . . . and since I am broke as a joke I donated $0 and walked on on in) and so I visited them both once a week, sometimes more. Also, at Society of Illustrators I went to sketch night every Tuesday and Thursday where I had access to the live models. My book was totally full with still a week to go in the city.
Now I'm back in Detroit . . . more sketches to come soon!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sketches from the Met and Society

as the lowly unpaid intern at Society of Illustrators, I get to go to the sketch nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays
Today I went and warmed up by sketching classical statues at the Met beforehand

Friday, May 8, 2009

Not Posted Until Now: The Eldest Magician

This is an illustration for one of the Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling. This story is "The Crab that Played with the Sea" about how the crab got its claws

Monday, April 27, 2009

Joel Grothaus

this here is a portrait of Joel Grothaus I did for children's book illustration. It is a watercolor with ink

The imaginary client would be whoever it is that is publishing the "so you're going to be a grandma . . . " book that Joel has been working on these last few months. Its a proposed book-jacket illustration. Never mind the impracticality of having a book jacket illustration of an illustrator done by some other illustrator.

Check Joel out, he's in the blogroll.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


heres a blast from the past

this painting is from way back in 2008, but I only just now got around to properly documenting it and disseminating it throughout the internets

its my portrait of Kurt Vonnegut. The assignment was to do someone famous and meaningful to me, but who was dead. I almost didn't do Vonnegut because it seemed like such an obvious choice, but no matter how much I brainstormed, doing anybody else seemed insincere.

The Heartskull

So as you may recall i showed you the sketch for this one a few weeks back. This isn't the crop that we will be working with for the final edition, but this is how she turned out.
In case anybody wants to assign meaning to this, it pretty much means that I only think with my heart these days. What a sap, right?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

so this week I attended the Southern Graphics Council printmaking conference in Chicago
here are some highlights that I saw while there
there's my print on display as part of the conference's portfolio exchange.

this is from Columbia's book arts gallery. Some of those really are rocks, but most of them are books that have been sanded into rock shapes. every podium in the book arts gallery has gloves and they encourage viewers to put them on and handle the books

Columbia student's handmade papers

I don't know how well you can see whats going on here from the picture I took, but this box contains 15 or so screenprinted sheets of plexiglass suspended with an inch or two of air in between each of them. The effect is pretty cool.

Woodblock printing applied to 3-dimensional art.