I am delighted to announce my work on the cover of American Way Magazine for their Oct 15 feature called Fright Night. They have gathered the creepiest, longest-running and most entertaining Halloween events in nine hallowed cities.
On the cover a Cyclops, a Raven and a Rabbit Aviator contemplate venturing up to a predictable Victorian mansion. Inside the issue they knock on the door and enter to find that they are a bit under dressed for the occasion. A true ‘nightmare’ if there ever was one.
There were also three small spots scattered through the feature.
Here are a few details of the character sketches and close up shots of the characters.
special thanks to Photo & Illustration Editor Betsy Semple for the project.
some of you may know that i do the monthly covers for Angie’s List Magazine. I have worked with art director Tanja Pohl for over a decade, starting back with a YA literary magazine called READ. most of the time work gets the best of me and i don’t slow down enough to post about the Angie’s List covers, even though they are by far my most viewed images.
this month’s cover made me stop.
it’s about rebuilding after a disaster. being a father of 3 and working in my garage, my home is the core of all i have. losing it is one of my recurring nightmares. i know it is a material thing that can be rebuilt, but being that it is the HQ of my life it still scare the shit out of me.
for this illustration, the smoke plays just as much of a role as the character.
originally the smoke was going to be drawn and then layered over the photo in post. when i was burning the boards to get the charred look, i noticed the smoldering smoke and how it reacted to the light.
catching that smoke in the right light and at the right time was tricky, and after over 400 shots, it worked.
here is a recent cover for The Progressive on the subject of school vouchers.
while i can’t say that i completely agree with all of the writers on this subject in this issue, i agree that the topic does conjure up some interesting analogies.
Thanks to Nick Jehlen for the project.
for the series of interior images, we decided to continue with the apple theme and show the gradual wasting of resources overtime. although they ran in black and white i prefer how the red works in the images.
I haven’t posted much on the behind the scenes process of the making of The Beginner’s Guide to Running Away From Home partly because I knew of a feature coming out on the expansive Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blog. The delightful Julie Danielson sorted through an enormous amount of images to compile a cool little peak into how the book came about and evolved. I had even forgotten about a few of those behind the scenes shots. Check out the link above and settle in for a mixed media breakfast!
This spring I was delighted to travel east to speak and visit at RISD and lead one of my stop-motion workshops at the Society of Illustrators.
Molly Walsh is the student who spearheaded my visit to RISD, she is a student with excellent drive that will lead her to amazing places.
RISD holds a dear spot in my heart, as I spent a semester there in 1995 as part of the Mobility Program where students in a network of private art schools can attend another school for a semester to take classes that their home school doesn’t offer. If you are a student you should inquire about it, it is/was a vastly untapped resource.
Anyways, I went to RISD to study scientific illustration, I spent practically all semester in the nature lab and spent my nights in the basement of some building at Brown Unv. drawing cadavers that the med students studied during the day.
I also was fortunate to take a watercolor class with the amazing Thomas Sqouros who sadly passed away in 2012.
After a semester I discovered that scientific illustration wasn’t exactly the right fit for me and I credit Jean Blackburn for sitting down with me and telling me that I had a drive that needed to explore other realms of illustration and image making.
and enjoyed a coffee at Carr House with SooJin Buzelli and Sota.
I then took the train to NYC and visited with the fine folks at Schwartz & Wade to talk about PR for the upcoming book The Beginner’s Guide to Running Away From Home.
I was able to pick up a copy of the April 22, 2013 issue of The New Yorker at a stand on Broadway to see my series of spots in it. Just a little thing, but was a pretty cool experience for this farm boy.
That evening I had a chance to sit down and chat with Sam Weber as part of his audio side project Your Dreams My Nightmares. I enjoy listening to his interviews (although I wasn’t able to listen past 10 minutes of my own). If you are not familiar with the podcasts, you should check them out. My interview is here.
this was my view overlooking Roosevelt Island
Next on the agenda was the main event at the Society of Illustrators. 4 hours of slap dash full throttle stop motion animation.
It was a packed house with 22 participants. Everyone was randomly paired with a partner, each pair was assigned a puppet and a prop or two. I gave a 30 minute demo and then set them loose. I am always amazed at how everyone just jumps in and goes at it.
Its a very small stage and folks have to practically work on top of one another and it soon becomes a large collaboration with several puppets and animators working simultaneously and taking every imaginable risk with the animation.
I absolutely love this shot with all the hands on stage.
We did have a rogue pair that took to setting up their own scene complete with handmade iphone tripods. It almost appears to be a stereo-optic animation in the making.
All in all, they ended up with roughly 20 seconds of motion. Not too shabby for 4 hours:
and here is the result of the iphone breakout session. Credit to Wonil Suh:
Thanks to Molly and her cohorts at RISD and a very special thanks to Anelle, Johnny, Kate and Katie for allowing me to take over the Society of Illustrators for an afternoon.
this winter i was asked by Irene Gallo of TOR books to illustrate a gritty short story by Christopher Rowe called Jack of Coins.
when Irene described the story like this, i was hooked:
The story has a great atmosphere. (The writing is just odd enough to feel unfamiliar but not so much to be distracting or overly self conscious.) A urban dystopian setting. A group of young men without enough to do…And then an oddly dressed stranger comes in to give them some direction.