Thursday, June 30, 2011

Front Magazine: Live Like a Pirate

My latest Front magazine illustration just released stateside in issue 155. As you can see, it's for a feature about how to live like a pirate in your own home!

This has to be one of my favorite pieces I've ever done for Front. Not from a subject standpoint necessarily, but I'm really happy with the quality of illustration. Usually I continue to nitpick my work long after it's completed, but for whatever reason I'm still really satisfied with this one. Here's hoping I can continue do more Front illustrations that are this successful!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Press Links Roundup

I have a few press links I've accumulated that I need to share, so here they are! Thanks to everybody who alerted me to these and to the sites themselves. It's so cool to see this stuff pop up on the internet; always amazing to me and I always appreciate it.

/Film: Fan Artwork

IGN: T-Shirt of the Day: Great Shelled Dragon

Thrillist: Glen Brogan Tees

/Film: Cool Stuff: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Art Exhibit in Philadelphia

Friday, June 24, 2011

Autumn Society Logos

A while ago I created some custom banners for the Autumn Society site, and this week I was asked to take the logos from those banners and turn them into one color vector graphics to be used as part of a site redesign.

The official logo for the Philadelphia based Autumn Society is a leaf with an inset liberty bell. The logo on the left is based on Mario Bros 3, with a leaf powerup and racoon tail shadow for the bell, while the one on the right is more of an original creation.

This was just a quick project I completed as I'm getting back into the swing of things after being out of town for a month of mural and FestivALL related activities.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Camp Firewood

Now at Galley 1988's Venice location is Camp Firewood, an art show that celebrates the tenth anniversary of the film Wet Hot American Summer.

I originally did this piece as part of Gallery 1988's comedians show Is This Thing On? I was told that director David Wain saw it and got really excited to be involved in the WHAS tribute show.

A new edition of 30 signed and numbered prints have been made for the show, and you can buy one here!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mural Dedication Ceremony

Today was the official dedication ceremony of my mural. I was nervous because I knew I had to speak in front of a large group of people which included the mayor, so hopefully I did a decent job! Right before the ceremony started I was interviewed six times in quick succession, so I think that helped me loosen up a bit. All three of our local news stations were there, as well as two radio programs and the newspaper.

What was really awesome to me, though, was that so many people showed up. Tons of my friends and their families came by to take part, which really meant a great deal to me. It was the middle of the day so everyone had to take time off from work and and make a special trip to be there; I mean what better gesture could you ask for than that?

Of course I am extremely proud of everything about this project, but I never imagined it would be such a big deal and get the attention of the community in the way it has.

But this...this has to be one of my favorite things of all time. The Bluegrass Kitchen, the restaurant where I painted the mural, had a lunch special today that was the Mural Burrito. I had a menu item named after my artwork. How awesome is that?

A huge thank you to everybody who made it out today.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


This Saturday is the annual art parade which marks the beginning of FestivALL, a week long arts festival held in Charleston.

Local NBC affiliate WSAZ has asked people to send in drawings of Beeper, the station's unofficial mascot, so they can use them to decorate a news van for the parade. Since I did a piece featuring Beeper for last year's FestivALL I jumped at the chance to participate. The entry request was primarily aimed at children, of course, but there was no age limit, so who am I to stand idly by and let gradeschoolers have all the fun?

Beeper was the sidekick on Mr. Cartoon, a local children's television program that ran for many years on WSAZ. I did an in depth post about it last year, so you can check out my Mr. Cartoon history lesson if you'd like.

I dropped the drawing off today and as I'm writing this I've been told that it's going to be shown on the 6:00 news this evening, so keep an eye out if you're in the area! And be sure to come to the art parade on Saturday!

Monday, June 13, 2011

StreetWorks 2011

For the last three years I've participated in the StreetWorks art project organized by East End Main Street. This year's project is the same as the last: local artists have been asked to create designs that will be transferred to bricks, which will then be installed on the east end of Charleston. I chose to do a piece celebrating the Vandalia gathering, an annual celebration of bluegrass music and West Virginian culture that's held on the state capital grounds. I absolutely love bluegrass music, and despite the stereotypes you may have heard about this area it's not as common as you'd think for people my age to like bluegrass, most like the same music that's currently popular in the rest of the country. I tend to think bluegrass requires a little more talent and spirit than a lot of music that's popular today, but that's just my opinion!

Sort of like last year's piece I used a contrast of cityscape and mountains, though this time I included actual Charleston buildings. Also I assume that like last year the brick design will be reduced to one color before it is transferred, so I made a black and white version for that purpose, hence all the halftones and things I used. That way I can still get a wide range of values from a design that's entirely one color.

The original pieces will be auctioned off this weekend, so if you're in the area you should come by! All the info is on the flyer above which you can click for a bigger view.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Exclusive Pizza Box Print

I'm pleased to say that The Autumn Society's Shell Shock Ninja Turtles tribute show was a huge success! The opening reception was last week, and available for purchase were exclusive sets of prints, stickers, and buttons that came in a sweet custom pizza box. I was asked to contribute a drawing of April Oneil, and as luck would have it I had just finished a piece featuring her anyway. I needed to modify it to match the color specifications of the prints, but that didn't take long. So here's the modified version of my April piece that was available in the pizza box set.

Here's a look at the finished prints and the variety of styles and characters that were included.

And the stack of pizza boxes, ready to find loving homes!

I'm so happy that this turned out to be such a huge show, and I'm really glad I was able to contribute not just my two regular pieces but art for the poster and print set as well.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

DK Demolition Co.

This only makes sense for DK given his skill set. A new shirt design that you can vote on now!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Finished Mural!

Here she is in all her glory! After a full of week of painting and sweating it's finally done.

To pick up where my last post left off, you can see that we continued to add one color at a time then stand back and see the results.

Quite a few friends stopped by to help, which was great and of course very appreciated. It made the work pass by much more quickly and everyone did a great job.

Even Trace Cherokee of Seth Martin & Friends lent a hand!

One of the most unexpected aspects of working on this project was all the people who showed support as they passed by. People yelled out compliments, offered to help, honked, and stopped to chat for a bit about the mural. I never would have guessed that so many people would want to express how much they liked the design. And not just complete strangers, but tons of people I knew stopped by as well. Kyle had a theory that if we stayed there long enough we would see everybody we knew in Charleston which wasn't far from the truth. Even people I literally hadn't seen in over ten years stopped by to check it out. I was also interviewed by the local paper and a couple news stations.

We ended up adding the background color last and it really brought the whole piece together. The off-white I picked turned out to be a little too pristine and when it was brushed over the primer it didn't seem to make any sort of difference, so I cautiously decided to mix some yellow in and make a color closer to what I had in mind. I knew I wanted more of a cream color, but I was worried about ruining a $30 gallon of paint.

I would say the toughest obstacle we had to face during the whole process was the heat. It really got to me a few times, and I started to get concerned about things like heatstroke. I figured it was a small possibility, but still something I shouldn't dismiss altogether.

This was an experience unlike anything else I've ever done and I can only hope that this mural will be a part of Charleston for a long, long time.

I need to take some time to thank the people without whom this project wouldn't have been even remotely possible. First, Ric Cavender and East End Main Street for creating opportunities like this for Charleston artists. Second, Keeley and Jon Steele, owners of the Bluegrass Kitchen who not only let me paint giant cartoon characters on the side of their building but made sure I had plenty of free food while I did it. My uncle Harlan, who lent me a much sought-after projector which was the missing link of this project for quite a while. All my friends, family, and the passers by who stopped by to show their support. Dave and Carrie, who gave up their weekend to paint in the blistering heat, and my girlfriend Hillary who picked up a paintbrush on the weekend and stopped by nearly everyday after work to check on how things were going.

But most of all, a huge thanks to my dad and best friend Kyle, who not only worked on this project all week but worked extremely hard. Without them this would not have happened, period. None of us are strangers to painting and planning, but they had the foresight, quick thinking, attitude, and experience a project like this requires. Most importantly, though, was their willingness to put their own lives on hold and offer up a whole week of hard work. There are no two people on the planet I would trust more to help me with something like this, so thanks!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mural Progress Part 3.5

Well, I have more mural progress to report but Blogger doesn't seem to be allowing any images to be uploaded due to an error on their end. I apologize for the lack of daily updates, my schedule has been mural, sleep, mural for the last seven days and I haven't had much computer time. I'm pretty beat at the moment, the heat was pretty intense today and working on top of 20 foot scaffolding with the sun blasting at your back all day tends to make you a bit fatigued, heh. So hopefully once I get some rest Blogger will have worked out their kinks and I'll throw up a mega post with the remaining mural progress and info. I have a lot I want to say about this amazing process and experience which was unlike anything I've done before.

Until then!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Mural Progress Part 3

Day three meant it was finally time to add some color!

This part seems to be the most time consuming but it's also the least strenuous in a lot of ways. Building the scaffolding was a lot of physical work and the planning aspects are mentally taxing, but this is just good old fashioned paint by numbers as we fill in all the shapes.

One of my favorite parts is to stand back after we finish a color and see how the whole thing is taking shape. It's also really cool to be able to walk a couple blocks away and still see it. It's an interesting feeling to have your artwork so prominent and out in the open like that.

I was interviewed by the local paper and a couple news stations throughout the day, and you can read the Daily Mail writeup here.

More tomorrow!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mural Progress, Part 2

We've been at the mural for three days now but I'm a bit late posting the progress because I've been at the mural site more than I've been home.

First we, *ahem,* tested the projector.

Then day two started with priming the brick. Measuring out a perfect rectangle that's 19 feet tall takes some work, and we got up around 6 am to beat the crazy heat wave we've been having.

Next we waited for nightfall so we could project the design onto the building and trace it with sharpies, which was the toughest part of the process so far. Not only did we have to work until about 1 am to get it done, but we also had to build a separate scaffolding rig to get the projector high enough and line up the image on the wall perfectly. It's pretty tricky to project an image that's not distorted in any way, so we spent a good deal of time just figuring it out.

My original plan was to project the design in sections, but even though I created a series of registration marks to line everything up it proved too tedious to make multiple projected images match up perfectly. So we sat the projector on its side and did the whole image at once, which I was trying to avoid because I knew making a computer image 19 feet tall would just produce a blurry mess when we got close enough to trace it. To solve this problem we used printouts of the design as reference to make sure we were creating accurate outlines.

It was one heck of a long day! More progress will follow!