Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
When I lived in London a few years ago, I looked forward to getting Shortlist magazine every thursday before I hopped onto the tube to go to work. It was a great read - covering everything from sports, to gadgets, to films and television. Even after I got to the office, my thursdays were much less productive as I found myself reading the articles instead of concentrating on work. It was a nice surprise to be contacted by the creative team at Shortlist a few weeks ago to illustrate the cover for their tech issue. There was no way i could say no after all the relaxing thursdays they provided me when I lived in the city. Hopefully the issue I got to work on will find its way into the hands of someone like me, who was too drunk by thursday and needed something interesting to keep him awake on that long train ride headed to the workplace. You are a life-saver Shortlist!
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Taking an occasional break from your day job is essential in order to clear your mind and return with fresh & exciting ideas. When I take breaks from the office job, well, I still find myself creating even more art for galleries and stuff. Okay, let me get more specific here. I'm talking more about the posters I design during the day, and the additional ones created for galleries and magazines in my free time. After years of working in that two-dimesional, rectangular format, I really look forward to trying different mediums and breaking out of the box, if you will. Sculpting is that something that feels just as creatively challenging as designing a poster, but completely different and freeing at the same time. For the Adult Swim tribute show at Gallery 1988, I broke out the Magic-Sculpt, carving tools, and paint to create my very own Brak tiki mask!
After dabbling with Super-Sculpey for years to create little sculpts of random stuff, I was turned on to Magic-Sculpt which is more of a resin. The beauty of it is that it's a lot more durable than Sculpey. Unfortunately, it hardens on its own in a few hours which leaves you a lot less time to perfect your sculpture. But after a while, you just learn to work quickly and plan out what you're gonna be able to sculpt realistically in that short amount of time.
I start with a quick sketch and then build a rough 'skeleton' with foam and a glue gun. The resin gets really heavy, really fast, so the foam helps to keep the overall weight of the sculpture a lot more manageable.
The resin is then mixed and sculpted directly onto the foam. I'll work on one section at a time such as the forehead, brows, and eyes and let it harden before i go onto other parts. Believe me, I'd rather carve a tiki mask out of actually wood, but I suck with saws and would probably cut a finger or two off, so resin is the safer option for me. After the sculpt is complete, I'll airbrush the base coat of paint then add in the detail touches with a brush. Those are bamboo shoots that make up his headdress.
That's a quick summary of my sculpting process. I really do find myself feeling like a kid playing with Play-Doh on a project like this. It definitely is a nice change of pace from the 2-dimensional work. And no, there wasn't any particular reason why I made Brak into a tiki god other than I thought it was random and funny. See, I'm not as conceptually heavy as you may think ;)
Ok, now back to the poster thing....
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Being creatively inspired and motivated each day is one of the greatest things about working in the same environment with other artists . I'm lucky enough to work with people who love collaborating and energizing the rest of the group by initiating fun personal projects that are a nice break from our daily duties.
Eric Hutchison, a fellow artist at Disney came up with a cool idea to create our own stylized piece based on one of Disney's famous villains. These interpretive pieces would eventually go into a hallway gallery on campus which showcased each artists' take on a familiar foe. I chose Scar from The Lion King.
Since I LOVE combining imagery and typography, you can probably guess what I chose to do. That's right, another movie poster (yawn!). My take on The Lion King is from Scar's standpoint, as the one who will do anything to be king. Therefore the tone is a lot darker as Scar's presence looms over the kingdom.
A project like this, which really has no limitations and reflects our own personal style is always exciting. Seeing where the other artists took their chosen villain was really inspirational. Although we all work in the same office on a lot of the same projects, we definitely keep our own individual aesthetic and personalities going. Hopefully we get to do more of these in the future.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Every December for the last 10 years or so, I've created a holiday card for everyone at the office. What started out as a silly joke, featuring a gingerbread man eating parts of other ones, has gotten progressively worse over time. The reaction I get from coworkers is usually an 'Oh no..' as I hand it to them, an uncomfortable look at the card, then a 'What's wrong with you???' reply. Some may say that I've been this twisted all along, but I'd like to believe that they've gotten worse as I've gotten older and my dementia kicks in.
I find creating the cards to be my favorite project all year. I enjoy the challenge of squeezing even more sickness outta this brain and it's one of the only things I get to do that doesn't involve clients, art directors, buyers, and movie studios...wait, I enjoy those challenges too. Okay, I'll admit, I think I love working on these things so much because of that precious moment when I show my grandma the card, she takes a look and realizes that her grandson is an idiot, then she smiles uncomfortably and hands it back to me. I'll say "But grandma, I made it for you!", then she'll just pat me on the head and roll away. I live for those moments!
Have a happy holidays everybody!
Thursday, October 13, 2011
The Disney fan site, D23, recently visited me at work for an interview. They quizzed me about everything - from my creative process to what my favorite Disney films are. If you read all the way through, you'll basically feel like you spent way too much time with me!
Check out the interview here.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
UPDATE: The 'Eerie Eric' painting is now on sale HERE.
As a kid, there wasn't anything as cool to me as baseball cards, comic books, action figures, Mexican candy and Garbage Pail Kids. They really did define childhood and when I see any of those things, I'm instantly brought back to those days. I think the combination of the Mexican candy and GPK cards really affected my brain and shaped the twisted sense of humor that I have now.
Gallery 1988 had the awesome idea to ask a bunch of artists to re-interpret their favorite Garbage Pail Kids. I always liked the werewolf know as 'Eerie Eric' for obvious reasons so I chose to work on him. Instead of working digitally and doing the prints I usually do, I decided to pick up a paintbrush and acrylics and do it old school just like they would have in the 80's. I found painting to be such a nice & relaxing change. When I think about it, I'm in front of the computer pretty much all week, so breaking away was a good thing. With my version of 'Eerie Eric', I paid homage to the original by using the same elements such as the moon, the trees, the bats, and his bone. I changed it up a bit by giving him a tuxedo shirt, a little bat bow tie, and more of a distinguished gentleman type of attitude. That's the part of me that I added. I'm not necessarily as suave, but I try. The painting itself is 8" by 10" and is painted on oak. My friend Mike helped shred the frame and I got the bronze nameplate from a trophy shop.
Be sure to check out the show if you can. It starts September 2nd.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
One of the projects I've worked on in the past that gets the most "Hey do you have any more of those???" is the Tiki Stitch that Mindstyle released a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, I think that one sold out. Fortunately, they released a 2nd "Lava" version that I finally got to see at this years San Diego Comic-con. "Lava" Stitch is an exact replica as far as size and detail, the only difference is that's he's painted this crazy lava rock black. He looks a bit more menacing, in a Darth Vader sorta way which I like. You can get this devilish guy over at Action Figure Express.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Wired posted the 1st look at a series that was assembled under as much secrecy as a S.H.E.I.L.D. operation. Captain America: The First Avenger flies into theaters in the states this week, just in time for the annual San Diego Comic-con. Mondo, who has a booth for the very first time at said convention, will release these at some point, as well as a wicked vintage set by Olly Moss, and an insane one-sheet by Tyler Stout. I truly admire the work of both artists, so it really is amazing to be included in this series.
This is also a ridiculously awesome project for me. My brother, my cousin Jeff, and I started collecting comics when we were grade school kids and have been attending the con for almost 20 years. After flipping through all the Marvel books, I'd try my best to draw all the different characters - from the Avengers - to Spidey - to the X-Men. It was definitely a goal to work on these characters one day so when this project came about, I actually reverted into a total fanboy. I really never thought I'd get the opportunity and I really hope I made the most of it. It really is a childhood dream fulfilled.
Visit the Mondo booth #433 if you can make in to the Con. The Captain pieces are priced at $80 for the set of two 18-inch-by-24-inch screen prints that will be sold in a limited edition of 220.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
A HUGE thanks to everyone who traveled to Gallery 1988 for the Crazy4Cult opening. It's always cool to see that show come together and enjoy the different interpretations of all the cult films. For those of you unable to make it, the show is now online at Gallery 1988. And you can also purchase my 'In George We Trust' print HERE.
The Crazy4Cult book is also available (that's me holding it) on their site. It collects work from the previous 4 shows and is a pretty wicked read if you ask me.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Another summer means another Crazy 4 Cult show at Gallery 1988. In my most unoriginal move ever, I paid tribute to the same exact film I did last year, Back to the Future. Yes, I LOVE the movie that much!
While watching it for the 257th time, something hit me. After George McFly knocks out Biff and dances with Lorraine at the prom, a couple next to them insists that the now-popular George runs for class president. I thought to myself "would George actually run??", which led to "if he did, what the heck would his campaign poster look like????". And that's where this little poster idea was born.
In my mind, George would never look as confident and as comfortable as Barack Obama might in the Shepard Fairey poster. Nope, he would look as if the photographer yelled "Say Cheese!!" while he was fixated on cheerleaders practicing at the other end of the gym. His hair would be straying all over the place because he had just run to the shoot after being 20 minutes late. The quote, which Marty took from Doc and relayed to George while they were hanging clothes, would still be fresh in his mind. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I think way too much about this stuff.
With so many cult films to choose from, I swear my BTTF kick is probably done after this and I'll come up with something fresh next year. Oh wait, I suddenly have the urge to create something Biff-related. Say hi to your mom for me!
'In George We Trust' measures 18" by 24" and is a 3-color silkscreen print from D&L Screenprinting. It's a signed & numbered edition of 200 and will be sold starting Friday, July 8th at the gallery. I hope to see ya there!
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Thanks to everyone who's already sent me pics of the Cars 2 'retro' campaign. It's really cool to see how many different places these things have be posted. Here's a pic of the prints that are up for grabs. I have 2 sets of the 4 prints and they are all scribbled on by yours truly. They are actually larger than I even thought they were (18.5" by 27"), so they'd make a nice addition to any room/garage/cubicle/bar area. Keep sending the pics in to get the chance to own one of these. See the previous post for all the info and keep snapping away! ;)
Monday, June 13, 2011
I never ever thought the Cars 2 campaign would get around as much as it has. Friends have been e-mailing me about different places where they've seen them. It made me want to gather as many photos as I can of them out in public. For me, stuff like this doesn't happen very often so I definitely would like to create a personal photo archive to capture this experience.
This is where you guys can help. And I'm willing to part with a few of my Cars 2 mini-posters (I have 2 each of the 4 different international cities) for the effort. All I'd really need is a shot of any of the 4 posters you see above, anywhere you find them in public (Just like the one of above, I'm that little dot). Only one photo per person/e-mail address will be accepted & I'll count only the entries received before 12PM Pacific Standard Time on July 30th, 2011. The 8 winners will be drawn at random and all photos I receive will strictly be used for my personal archive and/or blog. All winners will be notified via e-mail.
Send jpegs to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with your first name and the location where it was shot. I can't wait to see what you guys come up with! Thanks in advance for the help!
Monday, June 6, 2011
That's me in the middle of one of the coolest places on earth, the atrium at the Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California. They were nice enough to hang up the Cars 2 posters I had worked on along with my coworker Stephane Kardos and Pixar's Harley Jessup, John Lee, and Craig Foster. When you enter the Pixar campus, you can immediately feel the creative energy in the air. There's tons of development art, maquettes, and huge statues of many of their beloved characters everywhere you go. It's quite an honor for me to visit the place where all of those amazing films are generated and it's an even bigger honor to have something I worked on hanging up anywhere in their building, let alone the main area. Amongst my daily duties at work, the posters are definitely the most difficult and time-consuming projects. I believe this particular series stretched over 4 or 5 months. They also are the most fun because they combine everything I like to do - layout, illustration, and typography.
When we started the project, we knew that there had to be 12 individual pieces, rendered in different styles, that had to hang together in harmony. When I hear they're printed and ready to be hung, I always tend to panic a little because I never know if it will work, or look like a confusing mess. When I walked in to see them this morning, I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief and thought they actually looked pretty cool as a series. The idea of having Italian, Japanese, British, and vintage Spy designs as inspiration worked! Just when I could enjoy feeling that they were finally up and I was completely done, I got word that they may need a whole new set for their next film. Oh well, back to the drawing board. ;)