Friday, May 29, 2009

From The Vault: Dig It, Baby - 2005

One of my favorite pieces, that somehow ended up getting buried in the vault and pretty much never seen by anybody (until now).

I had just bought the font (Stereofidelic) and I liked it so much I was creating pieces to use it on, pieces that had the font's sense of fun and movement. I did a couple more around this time, but I really like this one's old-school, 1950s-style feel.

Not to compliment myself too much, but this piece reminds me just a touch of the work of Mitch O'Connell, a superb artist whose stuff I have loved for decades. That may be the reason I'm so partial to it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Time Out New York: Ed Helms

This week's "Hot Seat" portrait for Time Out New York was actor Ed Helms, currently on The Office, as well as starring in a new movie, The Hangover.

For the record, this makes the fourth Office cast member I've had the opportunity to illustrate for the Hot Seat column--Steve Carrel, Rainn Wilson, and Craig Robinson having come before.

Bring on Jenna Fischer!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Capital Thinking Magazine - Spring/Summer 2009

This portrait of oil (and now wind power) magnate T.Boone Pickens is the latest one I produced for the "Q&A" column for Capital Thinking magazine.

I've been doing these quarterly portraits for a few years now, and they're always pretty relaxing to work on, because I already the know the look and the parameters of the portrait, and its just a matter of making the piece look as nice as possible.

I put a ornate pattern on Pickens' tie; looking back at it maybe I could've made it a little more prominent to give it a little more contrast. Geez, why didn't I see that at the time?

Friday, May 22, 2009

From The Vault: Murder Man - 2003

In the Spring/Summer of 2003, I went on a streak of doing portraits old school-style, meaning with cut paper and glue, like I did back in the Paleozoic Era.

Most of them were animal portraits (some of which you can see here), but occasionally I slipped a human in there, like this one.

I have no memory of the inspiration for this, other than I wanted somebody sinister and spooky looking. I guess that's why in my files I titled this piece "Murder Man", because it looks like he's about to kill someone.

If I did this piece today, I'd get rid of that overused red brush stroke background, but I'd keep the brown/yellow color combo--I think that looks pretty cool!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Time Out New York: Christopher Guest

This week's "Hot Seat" portrait for Time Out New York was actor/writer/director/musician Christopher Guest!

Guest was promoting one of his non-Spinal Tap musical projects, hence him holding a guitar. Since as far as I could tell, this isn't any sort of comedy thing, I wanted to keep the portrait as straightforward as possible.

Maybe someday TONY will interview Guest again, but as Nigel Tufnel--that'd be a blast to draw...

Friday, May 15, 2009

From The Vault: Diamonds - 2006

This was a portrait I did for a company that sold diamonds, and they wanted artwork for some sort of print campaign.

It was done through a third party, so I never actually got to deal with the end client directly. They gave me a couple of notes/changes after I submitted the initial version, but last I heard they were happy with what I came produced.

Since I never saw where this piece ended up, and in what form, I never bothered to put it on my site. I had completely forgotten about it until I was digging through the vaults looking for something to post this week!

Looking at it now, I can see...either her head is too small, or her hand is way too big!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Time Out New York: James Carville

This week's "Hot Seat" portrait for Time Out New York was political strategist (and even some-time actor) James Carville.

After the high of getting to illustrate Simon Pegg last week, this one was more pure craftsmanship than authentic inspiration, but overall I thought it came out fairly well. I tried to do the whole red, white, and blue thing without hitting you over the head with it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Popular Science - June 2009

The newest issue of Popular Science (June 2009) features three illustrations of mine, for a segment in the magazine's "How 2.0" section.

I've done a lot of work for the magazine before, some of it portraiture, and some it a portrait/collage hybrid, which was what I had to do here.

When I'm working on these types of assignments, the combination of my artwork and real-life photographic elements always looks kind of weird to me, but when I see it all finished and printed in the magazine, I think it looks slick and cool.

I always enjoy doing work for PopSci!

Friday, May 8, 2009

From The Vault: Capt. Kirk - 1995

Yesterday's Simon Pegg portrait for Time Out New York was an example of a practical use for an idea I had for an earlier piece, in this case a portrait of William Shatner aka Captain Kirk, which I did way back in 1995, when I was still doing these entirely with cut paper.

I saw this idea in my head, and after cutting out the likeness, I used a flicked toothbrush covered in White-Out (an old trick I learned in art school), to create a cool-looking universe background, all adding up to a piece that one the closest times I came to getting down on paper what I saw in my head at the beginning of the process. I had this piece in my portfolio for a long time, I was so happy with it.

So when it came time to do a Trek-y shot of Simon Pegg, I simply re-used this idea, substituting Pegg for Shatner, and adding a lens flare effect. I love it when a plan comes together!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Time Out New York: Simon Pegg

This week's "Hot Seat" portrait for Time Out New York was extra fun for me, because it was actor/writer Simon Pegg, who I am a huge fan of.

I've enjoyed Pegg's work in Spaced, Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, and I think its brilliant, casting him as Scotty in the new Star Trek!

I got so into this that, as you can see, I did two complete portraits, and sent them both into the magazine, letting them decide which one to run. I did the first one, which was me nerding out, putting Simon in a Star Trek-y scenario. I then decided to do a second portrait, this one a little more generic if the interview ended up not being about Star Trek all that much.

I thought they both turned out well, and I was pleased to know TONY liked them both. I even got the opportunity to send these to Simon's manager, so who knows? Maybe he even got to see them himself.

Friday, May 1, 2009

From The Vault: Hold The Date - 2006

When I search for a piece to pull from the vault every week, I think about what's been on my mind the past week, and then look to see if I have anything in my back catalog that is related to it in some way.

Since I've spent the week listening to Bob Dylan's new album, Together Through Life, I originally figured I'd dig up yet another Dylan portrait, since I have so many!

But as I watched TV tonight, I caught wind of some nauseating comments made by a Congresswoman from North Carolina, about how the murder of Matthew Shepard was possibly a "hoax", made on the eve of passage of some new Hate Crime legislation in Shepard's name. Suddenly, the idea of posting another Dylan portrait seemed less important.

So anyway, looking back over a bunch of my old pieces, I saw this--a "Hold the Date" card I was asked to produce for an acquaintance of mine and her partner. I remembered how happy she was with the final result, and how well it came off--the color palate is softer than one I usually use, yet it still looks my like my work.

In the end, I'm very proud of this piece, for a number of reasons. And I can only hope one day the marriage that took place on 11/11/06 is no longer one that can be invalidated by a hateful ballot measure.