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.

4016-RNS_rebuild_rough1 4016-RNS_rebuild_rough2 4016-RNS_rebuild_rough3

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.

IMG_4019IMG_4017 IMG_4025



catching that smoke in the right light and at the right time was tricky, and after over 400 shots, it worked.