Friday, December 02, 2011

2011 Advent Calendar...complete with CHIPMUNKS!!!!

So here's this thing I did in a few minutes...

...and by few minutes I mean like 2,500 minutes.  Maths.

Anyway, take a look and tell me how great I am at making cute things.  Hopes and desires to be a serious artist doing serious work?  NO.  I'll just draw some effing chipmunks.  Why can't I escape drawing sweet things?  Where are all those dragons and monsters...and dragon-monsters.  Sigh.  Oh well.  A wise man once told me not to fight drawing what you want to draw.  I think it was Joel.  There's a good chance I just made that up and only think I remember it.  Good times.  I should add that I've inserted the version that contains todays spot already in place.  You're welcome. 

If you want to see last year's calendar just click here:

Without further ado...  (is that right?)

Friday, November 11, 2011

More Krampus sketches and some wolves.

Every day I'm draw wolves that don't suck.

Friday, November 04, 2011

2011 Holiday Comic stuff

Krampus sketches!  Well, Krampus HEAD sketches, anyway!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Back in the posting swing!

But probably not really. I wish I posted more frequently, but given that I have a full-time illustration job at a newspaper and I'm teaching two illustratino/comics classes this semester...I'll just have to accept my limits.  I feel old and tired these days.

I'm in the process of scanning lots of pages from one of my most recent sketchbooks so I'll probably make a HUGE post with that soon. In the meanwhile I offer a few old illustrations.

First is an illustration about setting boundaries. I don't know that it's as clear as it should be, but the girl has painted a line in her mind and she's not letting anyone get past that line. The story was about not letting people walk all over you. I hope it reads that way and not as if she's just not letting anyone in.

Second is an illustration about the wave of republicans that replaced all our favorite democrats a couple of years ago. I think this ran BEFORE the elections. At any rate...I really like my foaming wave crest of elephant heads and trunks. Didn't notice before? Now you do. And yes, I'm that awesome.

Thirds (I meant to put an s on thirds) is an old one from...(I'm going to check the date)...(I'm back from checking the date)...December of 2005! I was just a kid then! Not really, but it was my first year at the CA and I love Christmas-themed illustrations. Partially for sentimental reasons, but mostly because of the colors and the general feeling of being warm when it's cold outside. That has little to do with this illustration, but whatever. This was about being surprised by your gift on Christmas. I wanted the kid to look surprised, but not necessarily in a disappointed or pleasant way. Just surprised in general so the viewer could project their own feelings into it.

And that's it for now. More after the sketchbook scan.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Finally finished.

This has been a hard illustration of which to let go.  I'm still not completely happy with it, but I doubt I ever will be.  This one is very close to my heart because J.C. Leyendecker is my God.  He was an amazing illustrator.  Simply amazing.  My attempt at homage falls so short of what he deserves, but I can at least say that it is from the heart. 

I printed most of the posters tonight, but I have a few left to finish tomorrow.  There's a limited number and they'll be available for sale this Friday evening at the This Poster is Gay show held at Harvest downtown.  See previous posts for the link providing details.  50% of the proceeds go to the Memphis Gay and Lesibian Community Center!


Saturday, June 11, 2011

I inked them

and I'm not that crazy about them.  I guess I'll stick with the digital Leyendecker-ish painting.  It just makes me feel like a poser, though...because he was the shit.

And yes, I know the hands are too big and in the wrong place.  I did lots of hands and then composited them in the right spot.

A love story

Hey kids, I thought I'd post some progress shots of my poster for the "This Poster is Gay" show on June 24th.  (I'm almost done, Michael, I swear!)  I just want to try an inked version with flat colors and then I'll put the type back on.  It'll totally be done today.  I swear. 

And now...a little back story.

I chose J.C. Leyendecker (my all time favorite illustrator) and his lifelong lover Charles Beach as the subjects for my poster.  Their story is a sweet, but sad one.  J.C. Leyendecker painted hundreds of Saturday Evening Post covers, created the concept of the New Year's Baby and he created the famous Arrow Collar Man.  Norman Rockwell admired Leyendecker so much that he moved into the same neighborhood and pretty much stalked Leyendecker until they became friends.  Many years later Rockwell would serve as a pallbearer in Leyendecker's funeral.

J.C. and Charles met when Charles modeled for one of his illustrations.  One illustration turned into many and before long the two were inseparable.  Eventually Charles moved into the Leyendecker mansion shared by J.C., his brother Frank (also an illustrator) and their sister(kinda crazy if I remember correctly). 

Leyendecker lived in the golden age of illustration when an illustrator could make GOBS of money and a mansion, expensive cars and lots of clothes.  Unfortunately, he also lived in a time when being gay simply was not accepted.  He and Charles spent the rest of their lives together, but did so in secret.  They enjoyed many happy years together, but the stock market crash of 1929 wrecked the economy and his commissions declined.  The already quiet illustrator became even more reclusive and his death at the age of 77 in 1951 went largely unnoticed.  A heartbroken Charles Beach died just one year later.  The saddest part is that while J.C. is buried with his family in New York, no one knows where Charles is buried.  Two men who devoted themselves to one another had to live and love in secret.  Two men; two HUMAN BEINGS who spent their lives together couldn't be laid to rest beside one another in death.  That's heartbreaking.  The info on J.C.'s wikipedia page is ok, but not as detailed as it is in J.C. Leyendecker by Laurence S. Cutler and Judy Goffman Cutler.

This is my homage to Leyendecker's Arrow Collar Man who usually emerged from a black background and was accompanied by a girl in a colorful dress.  Since the Arrow Collar Man was actually modeled after Charles Beach I thought it'd be sweet to give J.C. the same tux and have them emerge from the darkness together.  The only moments that are visible are their quiet glances, the crisp white shirts with vests and their hands held proudly in the other's.  I've also posted the pencil sketch and some of the painting before I added the black.  Few pictures exist of the reclusive Leyendecker and almost non of Charles Beach.  I've posted a photo of J.C. and a few of the Arrow Collar Ads featuring Charles Beach.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Um...I do? I think?

Who's that handosme blue silhouette?  Me.  It's me.  It looks like I have a tumorous growth on my back, but I swear that's just the way my shirt falls.  Anyway, I'm not going to spend too much time talking about this one because I'm not that crazy about it.  The story turned out a little differently than did the synopsis I'd received earlier and upon which had based my illustration.  Needless to say, the night before it was to print I had to completely rethink my ideas and whip out something new.  Many thanks to the ever awesome Lindsey Turner for reading the story as she put it on the page and for not only signaling me that my original idea wouldn't jive, but for also helping me come up with a solid concept to match the actual story.  Basically, the Amazon order fulfillment station(s) they're building in Chattanooga mean herald Amazon getting some special deals with the state of Tennessee that the other businesses in Tennessee don't find fair.  Plus, there's some ther stuff about stepping on the TN constitution.  To be honest I was having a "my brain's not working" kind of day and it really just didn't click.

The other illustration (which should actually appear at the very top) is my favorite from this week.  It's about cutting the cost of your wedding.  Well, not YOUR wedding.  You might not be getting married.  And if you are, someone as high-toned and fancy as yourself may not NEED to cut costs.  Whatever.  Anyway, the article is also about sustainable, eco-friendly, green weddings!  But I was told to just focus on the cost cutting part.  I'm really pleased with this one because I think my groom doesn't look like me.  My male charactes always look like me...or so I'm told.  I completely disagree.  You know...apart from admitting to using my silhouette in that other illustration...for which you're welcome.  :)  Anyway AGAIN, I think he looks like a more handsome Nathan Lane.  My bride looked like Jennifer Lopez at one point (by accident, of course) but during the inking stage some of her features changed slightly and she ended up looking like she does in print...which is cute...I think, anyway.

Someone say something about these things.  If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm really just a child shouting out in a big ol' effort to be the center of attention.  Only, I cuss more than most children and ride a pretty badass motorcycle.

Monday, May 30, 2011

I forgot about this one

A while back there was a sports section story about the fabled Tennessee Panther.  Supposedly, there ARE NO panthers in Tennessee, but that doesn't stop hunters, hikers, campers, bikers, fishermen, and whoever else does stuff outdoors from "spotting" them.  So I came up with this idea of a "Panther" obscured by the trees and the shadows.  Nothing groundbreaking, really, but it doesn't look much like my usual illustrations so I like it.  Sadly, this one ran in black and white and not color.  Oh well.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sink or Swim...or float

Evenin!  It's like 1:08 in the morning and...well, I guess I shouldn't say "like 1:08" because it IS 1:08.  I just waited until it turned 1:09 so I could say something smarmy about how I was kinda right the first time because now that it's ACTUALLY 1:09, my previous statement of "like" 1:08 was more correct...because 1:09 isn't 1:08.  Don't think about it to much.  Just accept it.  Shhhhhh...

So this is the viewpoint cover from today's (Sunday's) paper.  Actually, it's yesterday's paper now since it's LIKE 1:08 in the a.m.

Anyway, this one's ok I suppose.  The story is about the job market for college grads and the debate as to whether or not it's worth your time, energy and money to work very hard and earn your college degree.  There's no gaurantee you'll get a good job upon graduation and you'll likely have a hefty load of student loans to repay.  Sallie Mae WILL call you when you forget to mail them a check...and by "forget" I mean choose to wait an extra week...not that I know anything about that. 

Anyway again, the answer to that question is YES.  YES, you should get your degree because college changes you.  It betters you and opens you up to new opportunities and experiences.  No, I don't mean keg parties or orgies.  I mean meeting new people and being exposed to new ideas.  Different ideas.  So this illustration shows two extremes of many potential post-college job-getting situations.  Job-getting?  Man, I need sleep.  This post is getting on my nerves.  I'm so tired I'm not spell checking.  Deal.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Teu for Tuesday...and by "teu" I mean "two"

It's been a long time since I rock and rolled and maybe even longer since I had back to back illustrations...and by "back to back" I mean "two days in a row".  (Yes, I know I have a problem with overusing "and by something I mean something else" and I abuse the elipsis like it's my own personal, gramattical lackey.  Deal with it.

The Sunday Viewpoint piece was about false (forced) confessions while the Monday M cover was about counting calories and trying not to get I have been since I discovered the Truly Awesome Chocolate Chip Cookie (TM) at Kroger!  Mmmmmmm.

Enjoy.  (the illustration.  Not the cookies.  Those are mine so keep your damn hands off.)

P.S.  You can probalby tell I was in one of my "cops are dicks" moods.  Apologies to my friends that are cops.  I don't think you're dicks.  I just think all the rest of the cops are dicks.  ;)  (and by me I mean someone other than Shane McDermott)

Tiger thing

M'eh...I pretty much hate the background and the swords/shield situation is pretty much an afterthought.  This version was created as a print for a benefit.  It was originally created, however, as an illustration for the Southern Heritage Classic, a football game in which two schools (both with tiger mascotts) square off against one another every year.  The original has two orange tigers.  One with blue and white and the other with blue and gray.  Fortunately, the blues were a little different.  There were no swords and the shield was a football stadium.

Anyway...thoughts?  I like my tigers, but that's about it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Illustration dump-type thing

So the top illustration is about health care and how some folks without health insurance still get health care at the expense of increased rates for those who already have health care.  Some people are stepping out into the rain to consider and/or purchase their own  Whatever. 

and then...

"Are you trying ot seduce me, Mrs. Robinson?"  Feel free to subsitute "Mrs. Robinson" with any Annne Bancroft-esque Hogwarts instructor...if such an instructor exists.  This was a quick spot illustration from back in the day when I actually drew the spot illustrations instead of working in vector or with digital photo collages.  The subject was Harry Potter fan fiction or more specifically, Harry Potter porn.  Sad.  I know.  It was titled "Dirty Harry".

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Class Act

Hey gang!  Here's a little illustration about the lower class learning the secrets of the middle class so as to elevate themselves to said middle class.  That's about it.  All vector except for the gradients...which are all photoshop.  Because I hate vector gradients.  It's nothing personal, but it just feels less intuitive and fun making them there than it does in Photoshop.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It occurs to me...

...or well, it OCCURRED (past tense) to me that I never updated the Advent Calendar image for you guys.  By you guys I mostly mean me.  Not because I'm selfish, mind you, but because I'm not sure how many folks actually check in to see what's NOT going on and I can't blame you because there hasn't been anything going on for a long LONG time.  I'll remedy that soon.  I sware.  In the meantime enjoy some post Holiday sweetness.  (makes a sighing sound and swoons a little)