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.