Monday, February 28, 2011

Banned in Boston

This faux-vintage paperback book cover is just me purely goofing around...even though the font is really hard to read and I would probably never use it on a real job, once I tried it on the title I was determined to make it work. You can judge whether I pulled that off.

The "Boston" part of the title has no significance, I just liked the alliteration. Banned in Boise just doesn't have that same snap.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hollywood Glamour: Joan Crawford - 2002

I did a series of old Hollywood Glamour-type portraits of leading ladies past and present in 2002, starting with this one, Joan Crawford--not sure why, since I was never that big a Crawford fan (compared to, say, Myrna Loy, Rosalind Russell, Theresa Wright, etc.). But start there I did.

After doing a whole run of these (which I'll post on subsequent From The Vault Fridays), I decided the design I was using was too ornate and busy, so I stripped all that out and went with this approach--just the name in simple type, white and grey, strategically placed. I think this worked much better, and put the focus back where it belonged--on those amazing faces.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Strip Till Dead

This would normally be where I'd post one of my faux-vintage paperback book covers...except this time around I'm posting an actual book cover!

This is Strip Till Dead, a crime novel by author Mike Gerrard. Mike contacted me a few months ago asking if I was interested in doing one of my vintage-y covers for his book, since that was the kind of look he wanted for his book, involving murder in the world of stripping. I said sure, and had the pleasure of reading the book while trying to come up with a concept.

This idea of the stripper's shadow being a police tape outline hit me a few chapters in, and at that point I was just finishing the book for pure pleasure, because I was pretty certain I knew this was the way to go.

Mike liked what he saw, and before long I had the finished version, which adorns the book. You can purchase it as an e-book on Amazon, which I recommend to anyone who likes a good old-fashioned crime thriller.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Misadventures of Valentine Vickie

"I'm not sure, but I'm betting I'll have to come up with another one of these for Valentine's Day, the smuttiest of all holidays."--me, 12/6/10.

Well, here we are, and yes, the third of my trilogy (such a high-falutin' word) in my "Misadventures of..." series, which started with Halloween Harriet and then Mistletoe Missy, is here in time for Valentine's Day.

My first instinct is to say this is the last in the series ("Independence Day Irene" just doesn't have that alliterative snap), but of course I've said that so many times before I wouldn't trust me on that. I don't.

Friday, February 11, 2011

From The Vault: MBA Jungle Portraits - 2001

These are three portraits of a series I did for MBA Jungle magazine, back in 2001 when that mag was still around (from top to bottom: Jerry Stiller, Tara Reid, Bill Paxton).

They had a regular feature where a new celebrity each week would pick stocks, and then the magazine would measure those stocks' fortunes against other celebrities. Maybe it was this kind of "its all a big game" attitude toward our financial sector that got this country in the trouble we're in. But I digress...

Anyway, the feature was fun, and it was one of the first regular assignments I had gotten in this style, so it taught me a lot about getting things done on time and looking consistent. When I look at these now, I'm generally unhappy with them: the grey tones are too heavy and hard-edged, giving the likenesses a rockier look than I like. But, like a lot of things, it was a learning experience.

I did something like a dozen of these (some of which I have on my website proper), and then the magazine decided to drop me in favor of another artist. Eventually, MBA Jungle went belly up. Coincidence?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Charles Schwab On Investing - Winter 2010

Every time I post a project I did for Charles Schwab On Investing magazine, I always say the same thing--it was an enormous challenge and it was drastically different from all the other pieces I've done for them. But those cliches were extra true this time around!

I was asked to do four sports-centric illustrations for the Winter 2010 issue, using football, soccer, hockey, and sports-stadium-centric images to represent each of the articles' points. It required a lot of pre-planning and prep work to put together all the various elements, and since the images were all different I went for a cohesive set of colors for the minor elements and background, figuring that would help the four pieces spread across the article feel like they were of a piece.

The hardest one to do--and the one that was most satisfying when finished--was the last one, with the jumbotron. I generally don't get asked much to draw objects, or scenes like this, but I thought it came off pretty well.

I'm hard at work on another piece for CSOI, I'm happy to say!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pick Your Poison

Another faux-vintage paperback cover, this one's just a crazy jumble of images--kind of like how you feel after you drank too much the night before AND EVERYTHING JUST SEEMS TO BE SO LOUD!

"Liquor and women...both led to death!"--one of my favorite taglines, if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

ESPN Head Shots

I was commissioned by ESPN magazine to do these eight portraits for their "Scale of 1 to 10" feature, and because of the MLK holiday it was a bit of a mad scramble to get them all done in time.

Because the final illustrations were only going to run at about 1.5" high each, I didn't have to get into as much detail as I normally would have, which helped getting them done on time and presented me with a challenge--capturing a decent likeness without being able to represent every little color and detail found in real life.

In the end, I thought they all came out pretty well, and ESPN was happy with the results. Unfortunately, as it was explained to me, the subjects of that week's installment changed and none of these illustrations ended up being used in the magazine! So it was either post them here or never let them be seen.

Like I said, ESPN was happy with what I did, so much so they commissioned me to do another set, for the next issue, which I'm hard at work on as I type this. I've done stuff for the magazine before, but its been a long while, so let's hope there's no last-minute snafu and this second set actually shows up on your local newsstand!