Sunday, December 27, 2009

The next decades mantra "DO YOUR BEST"

It's four days until 2010. It's kinda surreal when you think about the fact that it's 2010. My grandfather always said that their would be flying cars, and food served in pill form like some Jetson's experience in the 2000's. Though we aren't quite there yet, I am still waiting for something futuristic to happen, like giant destructive robots or aliens or something that would seem so 2010. Alas, I will settle with the reality I live in.

2009 has been an interesting year. It's been the first 6 months where I consider myself a full time "freelancer". This is especially true now that I don't feel strange hiding that I am a undergraduate student, while working as a freelancer like I did shamefully at ICON5. I feel more comfortable now saying I am working on my MFA at SVA while working as a freelancer. I don't know why it's more comfortable. All I know is, I am greatful for every new experience I have been presented with at SVA MFA. I am starting to see new connections and ways to use symbols in my work. Also I see my craft getting stronger and stronger.

More so I am greatful for all the bands and publications that I worked for this year. I am glad that you took the risk, to give me assignments to make illustrations, designs, and in some cases even screen printed editions for your magazines, publications, advertisements, record/cd covers, and t-shirt designs. Your making the idea of living off of drawing and painting more possible week by week, month by month.

Lastly I want to thank all of the awesome folk I've met, talk to on a week to week basis online, commented on my blog here and on Ohger, gave me insight/career advice over the phone, all the new friends/studiomates I am sharing my experiences with and those whom stayed in touch from Philadelphia, and else where. Again thank you so much! Just to shout out of few folk that have been super nice and helped me out at some point in some way in 2009 - Tim Durning, Daniel Hertzberg, Pete T. Ryan, Maria Filar, Tae Querney, Lauren Moyer, Jaclyn Sinquett, Brad Haubrich, Gina and Matt, Joe Game, Kyle T. Webster, Chris Whetzel, Julia Breckenreid, Jude Buffum, Molly Jacques, Tim O'brien, Richie Pope, Ashley Benham, You Byun, Christine Larsen, Megan Berkheiser, Collie Mills, Jessica Hische, Zina Saunders, Mike Wohlberg, Dan Campbell, Chris Henson, Ester Pearl Watson/Mark Todd, Edel Rodriguez, Robert Zimmerman, Alex Eckman lawn, Graham Palme, Rosae Reeder, Mark Tocchet, SVA MFA, my roommates Rachel Burkhard and Matt Templin, and soooooo many others.

Before 2010 comes, I will leave you with a mantra that my former teacher at UARTS and co-owner of Apple head Factory, Joe Didomenico, told us on the first day of class senior year.

"Do Your Best".
The idea is simple.

Put 120% into everything you do. Make more sketches than asked, work earlier on an assignment and later to get it right, and get things done and sent before they are due. When you aren't working on an assignment, make personal pieces and experiments to keep you fresh and always forcing yourself to try and get better as an artist and a business person. It's the very thing I live by and keep in the front of all my sketchbooks and above my studio spaces in Manhattan and Queens. I think it's a helpful reminder everyone should have written somewhere.

Have a Happy New Year Everyone and hope to work with you in 2010!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Web Update + Sustainable During The Holidays

If you are visiting my website now, you will notice changes in how you view my portfolio section and also how my blog is now snug inside of my website!

I want to thank the fine folk over at Escape from Illustration Island for setting up that web forum on critiquing my web portfolio's display, and pointing me in the right direction on how to improve it. I want to thank my pal Bradford Haubrich, and my teacher at SVA MFA Matthew Richmond for also giving me some solid website advice. Thank You.

On another note, I have been very fortunate, to be doing some editorial illustration lately. Most recently, I did a piece for Art Director, Jamie Leary over at Philadelphia's very own, GRID Magazine. I remember before class during my senior year at the University of the Arts, going to last drop coffee house on 13th and pine, getting some joe, and grabbing this free magazine. It was a good way to start the morning to enlighten myself on different sustainablity issues that come to people who are more environmentally conscience.

When I got the email and accepted the job, the article was pretty clear. The author, wrote about being tempted to spend a lot of money during the holidays that put aside living sustainable. It acted as a reminder that the holidays weren't about spending a lot of money on gifts but the togetherness of the holiday.

There was a clear metaphor in the article in using a tire wheel as a 21st century version of a advent wreath, with candles and greens. Originally, peasants made Advent wreath's, during the medieval times using the front wheel of a wooden wheel barrel to wrap flowers, greens and candles. I thought a bike tire would be a better image since Philadelphia is a huge bike city and more symbolic of sustainable living. The problem that happens sometimes being an illustrator is getting a great idea to quickly. It seems to good to be true and you hesitate on coming up with other solutions to the visual problem. I pushed through and submitted other sketches that acted as a gradient from concrete idea's to more abstract idea's/artistically liberal approaches that could of loosily tell the story of the article. Below were the sketches presented.

Jamie ended up choosing the advent wreath image, which was a relief. So I went out and started drawing the image...

Final Image

I want to thank, Jamie Leary for contacting me to create a piece of artwork for GRID magazine. It was truly a pleasure working for them. The printed magazine hits stands Tomorrow, and the digital copy is already online to view for free.

Tear Sheet

Friday, December 4, 2009

Michael Cera

I was very excited when I received an email to do an illustration for Alex Chow, over at Nylon Guys Magazine, because Nylon is on my top 10 list of magazines to do illustration for. So to do a illustration for Nylon Guys, is close enough to count as doing an illustration for Nylon. Plus, It is doing the second thing I love to do next to conceptual illustration. Likeness Portraiture.

Alex asked me to do an likeness illustration of the actor Michael Cera for his role in the new movie coming out this January called "Youth in Revolt". It's a movie about an awkward boy who falls in love with a girl, who doesn't like him because he is sorta emo/nerdy/whimpy. So, he creates a bad-ass alter-ego, who blows stuff up, get's him laid, and a bunch of other awesome stuff.

When it comes to the illustration itself, it's pretty much a weird surreal, mirrored image of him in his trailer (totally relate), and inside the mirror total bad ass. The hardest part of the illustration was the likeness itself. Thankfully, I was able to really workout the likeness till it looked close enough to pass as Michael Cera in time to meet the deadline.

So look out for this magazine soon, and also look for my awesome contributor piece in the magazine too!!

I wanna thank Alex Chow, and Kristin Eddington over at Nylon for this awesome opportunity.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Soon to come...

At the end of next week I will have some new work on my website. Some personal pieces, Some Editorial work as well.

Above is a preview of a published piece I did. More on this later....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Long Distance Relationships

We've all been there before.....

Monday, November 16, 2009

Communal Sketchbook

"Ode to New Jersey" - around 11"x14" Acrylic, ink, charcoal, conte

So There is a sketchbook being floated around at school. A communal sketchbook.

I happen to get my grubby hands on it and fill it with some maddness. I didn't use reference at all so alot of it is screwed up. But what I found out of this hour and a half discord was something. I am not sure what, but something is going on that I really like.

I think I am going to sit with it, create pieces in my spare time that are alittle more controlled and see where it leads.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Upsides

"The Upsides" - Due out Jan. 26th 2010

I was asked by my good friends The Wonder Years to provide some hand lettering to go on to their new album, "The Upsides" coming out in late January.

When I talked to one of the guys 9 months ago while they were in pre-production, why they were choosing to use photography for this record whenever other records they put out had been beautifully illustrated; the answer was simple. They wanted to try something new, and had a lot of friends that did photography they wanted to try out. None the less I was glad to draw up some hand lettering to go on the cover of their new record. Below is the chosen piece you can click to enlarge in the first round of colors sent off to the band.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Animated Gif's the future of illustration?

Is the future of illustration in Animated Gif's in the markets of Advertising and Editorial's new mediums of E-Paper/E-Ink, and The Kindle?

I think it's a matter of time before illustrators will start to discus the pricing and ethical use of Animated Gif's made by illustrators. In 2 years time I will have a portfolio of 10 to 15 images that will be animated as a precaution to this new frightening yet exciting time we live in. Who knows when illustrators will start getting jobs to animate things. I will start in basic gif's in photoshop, and then possibly work my way back into flash and after effects though I am not that good in either of those just yet.

Monday, October 26, 2009

If I were to.....

...illustrate and design a postcard for the American Museum of Natural History, this is what it would look like. To bad it's just a mock up and not the real thing.

My website has been updated, with sweet image swap technology(aka Java Script).

Also I don't know if I mentioned this or not, but all my screen prints in my store are marked down to $10-$15.

So go buy some of my screen prints for your walls. Postage is included!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

3 Years of Duality.....on Blogs.

Starting today, I am now going to blog on Ohger, which is a blog simular to Drawger but it is more focused for Senior Illustration Majors, Graduate Students, and Recent Grads one year out of art school.

I will still continue using my my blogger, and still post stuff from time to time on The Autumn Society of Philadelphia blog. I just have an extra arm to post about the awesome artwork I create.

Kudos to Matt Curtius for giving me the heads up on this awesome project.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Using Yesterdays Tools for Todays Job

Quote from "The Medium is the Massage" by Marshall McLuhan.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

October 16th

I will have available on October 16th, Sample Images ready to be sent out in the form of a Zine. Art Directors, who requested them will get them several days after Oct. 16th, and those who request them later on shall receive them as well.

Above is the cover of the Illustration Sampler Zine.

I am available for Face To Face Meetings with any clients in the New York Metropolitan.

Friday, September 25, 2009


I've gotten a few requests from potential clients to send in some samples these past two or three months. I have been trying to figure out a way to design something significant and memorable for a client to hold on to. For the past 3 weeks I have been designing and redesigning zines with images enclosed. It seems a bit unprofessional I think that I didn't just send something for the clients to look at right away, but I figured that I much rather make sure whatever I sent them looks right before I just send something.

Above is a title type thinger I designed for a zine I think I am going
to scrap.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Beauty in what we see

Just a crop in of something to come.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Rituals of Life - Proximity Gallery

"Rituals of Life" 11"x14" Acrylic on Shaped Wood Panel.

Here is my submission for the DIA DE LOS MUERTOS show at Proximity Gallery. I wanted to focus on the religious aspect of the holiday and how it brings people closer to those who have passed on. I had alot of discussion back and forth with my room mate, Rachel about the piece so that it would read well and clear enough to get the idea across I was going for.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It's Never Sunny in South Philadelphia

Another cool shirt illustration/design I did for The Wonder Years, a super cool Philly based Pop Punk band. Though the name of the shirt is similar to the tv show, its was actully going to be a song title for their split album with UK pop punk band All or Nothing. So instead of Its original song title it became "Don't open the Fridge!".

True story.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Success and Failure: Summer of Book binding

This summer, I took an independent study class at Harrisburg Area Community College with Professor Shawn Williams to further explore an area of interest I have. Book making/Binding.

I have learned a thing or two this summer about making books and printing for books like, its hard to hold detail in a screen printed image when its originally made for 8x11 and up and you print it in a 4"x4" area. None the less, even though the printing is not all that to be wowed by, the fact that I made my first printed book is an exciting experience. This is something that I plan on continuing and exploring so that I can then become a book maker.

Below is a close up to one of my favorite pages.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A few neat kudos

Think Faesthetic recently posted a nice link on their blog to my website as well as fellow peer Adrienne Langer.

Also I was also posted in the University of the Arts EDGE magazine, about earning Honorable Mention in our Senior Thesis competition. Props to Kate Lewis for posting this originally on her blog.

Culture Shock and Adjustment for Skidmore College

A week before I started to move my things from Carlisle, PA to Queens, NY I get an email from Kathy Hemingway Jones
Associate Director of Student Academic Services at Skidmore College asking if she could re-use my painting Dreamer for a packet for her international students orientation. I didn't have a problem with it, but I no longer had the original painting or a good photo of it. I still had the drawing, so I accepted the offer on the grounds that I could also design the packet.

This isn't an everyday illustration, since how do you do a mailer to a college you might say. She found me by accident through google in search of Youtube videos of a graduate who did a great lecture on culture shock whom goes by the name Daniel Fishel. I just got lucky she found my artwork. This job taught me a few things indeed about the business side of illustration and also getting back into using indesign. I havent used it in a few months so I was rusty and glad to get back into it.

You can also view the packet as a PDF by clicking here to view it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Buy my poster next week! (if your live on the west coast)

I just got done printing 100 of these bad boys, and sent them off to California, where the band The Motel Life (not to be confused with The Movie Life), will be playing a short 2 week tour. I do not have extra's so you gotta talk to the band if you want to get one of these posters for probably $5.

When the band contacted me back in July, they literally said, interpret the quote "(So Sorry) We're not what you're looking for" in your illustration. I took a week to think about it since the deadline was far enough away, and sent off sketchs. Got the final word a week later and did the finished image in a day.

The image they chose, was one that represents a 90's indie girl displeased with what she saw through her camera lens. Sketchs are below.

Monday, July 27, 2009

You have to put some miles on top of that book learnin

You Don't Know Until You Go

The website is updated with six new images. Later tonight or tomorrow I will be updating the PDF and later on as well upload some of my sketchbook pages. I have reached 24 images on the main page so it looks like I am going to have to re-design the layout alittle soon so you art directors, art buyers, ect.... dont have to scroll up and down the page to get to my thumbnails.

The image above is also the mailer image I sent out this month. If your on my mailing list, you'll get it sometime this week, if not, email me I'll send ya one. I have plenty left over.

The image above was inspired by the movie "Henry Rollins: Uncut from South Africa". I am really inspired by Rollins, not only because he played in one of my favorite 80's hardcore punk bands, Black Flag, but because of the way he lives his life. Clear minded, Self-reliant and a thrust for knowledge beyond what a book can give. In the movie he talked about reading about townships in South Africa and made a ton of arrangements to go down there to go beyond the book to really see what is going on down there. I hope that I will be able to travel more internationally in the coming years to do just the same, but until then I will tackle New York City.

SVA MFA classes start in almost a month from now!

Monday, July 6, 2009


20x30 Acrylic, Charcoal, Conte on Cream Stonehedge paper.

Sorry I don't have a better photo. This was shown at the New Kids on the block show. I gave it to a friend as a gift for all of her help in the past year. Working on this piece was refreshing because I often put in alot of time to make the images I create look organic and traditional when really it is all digital. So to put in random mark making like Cy Twombly, and painting with acrylic to paper was something I felt I needed to do.

The piece is part of an on going exploration I am looking into. Not really sure what, but thats the difference between fine art and illustration. In fine art, you take your time and try to figure out the meaning of something and show it to everyone in hopes of some form of understanding. The viewer than can take their time to understand or enjoy the image as it sits on a gallery wall. While that is true of fine art, illustration, for me is more about creating an image in a short amount of time, to help the viewer quickly understand or help supplement whatever the image goes with. This could be an editorial piece on an abstract issue, a record cover to attract and give alittle bit about the bands vision, or even a picture book to challenge and inspire ideas. While a sketchbook is a good breeding ground to become more refreshed with new idea's and exploration, I also feel that fine art for the gallery wall is a more focused way of exploring just that.

Below are detail images...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Handguns - MMIX

Last week I finished doing the entire packaging design for Handguns new six song ep, "MMIX". Three of the six songs are on their myspace right now.

When I got a call from Jake, their guitar player, he said they were doing really well on their two or three week tour and wanted to get this packaging done before they go on Warp tour, but push came to shove and now it's going to be released in August. When I asked what the packaging should be of or a concept to run on, all he said was....

1.Use Bright Colors
2.Make it fun.
3.Nothing negative (inverted crosses, ect)
4. Make it like no other pop punk bands record.

So when I looked over the lyrics and heard the new songs, all of them had to do with some sort of internal/external conflict. Cheating Girlfriends, disappointing friends..... standard pop punk songs. So I had to use abstract symbols to show internal conflict and used an octopus as the external. Why use an octopus you may ask? Why not!

Back Cover

Outer Tray

Inner Tray

CD image

Heres a few old videos of the band before their new singer Brandon....

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hipster Girls

"So I don't know what it is about hipster girls that I am so into."

Friday, June 26, 2009

Handmade Sketchbook

So I made a sketchbook recently to save some money with some papers I had laying around my place, since I used my last sketchbook halfway to write in my contact list. I am not much of a book maker myself, and am taking a class with Shawn Williams this summer doing an indy study making a picture book. So why not experiment!

Below is a page I did where I am playing around with layering and drawing without reference. I am not quite there yet to do without reference but I have come far from when I was heavily dependent on it to now how I loosely use it. This was all drawn without pencil.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

WIP - Letting Go

Click on image to enlarge

So I am working on 3 personal pieces before hitting the rest of the 15 pages of my comic I wrote and am illustrating. This is an in progress shot of one aspect of the final image.

I will post one image later, and a few thumbnails as teasers. I will post those pieces at the end of the month, and possibly more personal pieces if I find time.

Friday, June 5, 2009

It's "O-Fishel"! - New York here I come

I did not want to mention this until I got all the financial aid worked out to announce that this September I will be attending SVA's MFA Illustration as a Visual Essay Program.

I will have an apartment with my friend Rachel in either Brooklyn or Queens in Mid/Late July, but I will not intitially move into the city till mid-August.

See some of you NY folk soon!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Portrait Study 1 of 10

Click to Enlarge

Detail Spots