Monday, December 31, 2018

Field trip to a live set

A few weeks before the end of the semester, I was tasked to do a series of shooting boards for an Ally Bank series of commercials by Larry August of Avalon Films. It just so happened that on that multi-day shoot, I was allowed to bring my Intro to Storyboard class to attend the live shooting of the spot. The students got to see how commercials were shot on a live sound stage. The class got to see how a director, camera people, make-up artists, audio techs, actors, and a massive group of talented and skilled people it takes to get a commercial shot.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Convention displays

It's been a mainstay for the last few years where I get to draw mock-ups for convention floor displays. It's a little tighter than what I generally do for advertising and commercial clients but it's just another avenue for storytelling. One has to be able to explain to clients what their floor spaces at these big conventions look like. Adding little things like people, cocktail tables and other relatable elements really help them get a sense of scale to their displays too.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Photoshop fun

I've been lucky that I get to work on some of the art for these folks at, as they let me play around. They give me some fun stories to work with and they give me a super wide berth for creativity- but the best thing is I also get to go into Photoshop and monkey around with some of those filters, curves, masks, layers, and other obscure tricks that's loaded into the program. It's been a fun learning curve!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

My boss Tom.

Years ago when I was in college, I was asked to fill in for a friend at the local billboard company. He was getting married and the company just needed an extra warm body to help out around the office. The gig was only for a few weeks but I was introduced to my boss, Tom. He was an artist from another generation. He showed up in a suit and tie every day. He'd light up a stogie from time to time. He had amazing stories about his young days in the business. But most importantly he was patient with me. He taught me the business, how to be quick and effective. To this day I still hold a Design marker just like he taught me when it came to single stroking typography.

For the short time I was there, I was taught how to utilize their stat camera, set type, and be Tom's runner down to the guys on the paint floor where they would take his sketches and layouts to be projected onto a billboard. It was magical to see the guys take a small drawing/ photograph, enlarge it up to size and project it onto rolled out sheets of paper. They would "draw" the images with an electrically charged pencil that would perforate small holes into the rolled paper. Once the sketch was "drawn" onto the paper, the rolls would be then unfurled onto the actual billboard sections. A charcoal pounce bag would be used to dab and transfer the image via the small pinholes left on the paper.

The painters would then spend the next few days painting the image onto the billboard and building any extensions that would go beyond the edges. Once the paint dried, the assembly team would de-construct the billboard, load it up into their trucks, drive out, and re-assemble the board on location.

It was a magical few weeks working with Tom. He never meant to be intimidating but he was to this twenty something kid as the business was brand new to me. Tom even let me design a PGA billboard during my short stint there that was erected on I-75. It wasn't anything spectacular by any measure but it was nice to see something I worked on make it to print and to that scale too.

I still think of Tom fondly and can almost smell that cigar smoke in the air. He was a good guy.

Monday, July 30, 2018

New brushes- digital & traditional

Quick doodle with new traditional inking brush, scanned, and then added in super quick colors with new digital brushes. Ever since I was a little kid, I always loved going to the art supply stores and checking out new supplies whether they be paper, pens, markers, board, tools or whatever. This technique isn't that far off of that path.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Some fun Fantasy Football art

For awhile I've been doing some fun artwork for the website. They're a fantasy football website, great to work with and give me some pretty wide latitude with creativity. Here's the latest piece I did highlighting one of the main editor's advice column.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Tighter car event renderings

The last few months I've been tasked with doing automotive events and staging. Much tighter work but this is where some decent skills in perspective and an ability to draw decent automobiles help. It's not always the most glitzy sort of work but it pays well and it also keeps my skills sharp.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Matty the Flying Boy

Inspired by Matty- a young man I met last September for a brief moment while on a flight back from Vancouver. I'm still not 110% where this concept is going to go just yet but I still fondly remember how smart, savvy and mature-beyond-his-years Matty was on the flight. He's one of those magical kids that's just being raised right and gives me hope for the future.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

People at the airport

Always one of my favorite subjects to draw. Every time I travel I always take the sketchbook with me and the people that appear at the airport are always a great subject matter to draw. One sees all kinds! It's also a great place to see all walks of life and from all sorts of cultures.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Travelocity TV spot

Thanks to Former Co, I had the opportunity to work on doing the shooting boards for a recent Travelocity TV spot for gnome staring

Saturday, January 20, 2018

New Ford Mustang Bullitt

Just recently I was tasked to help on the launch of the new Ford Mustang Bullitt. The spot was used in the launch at the North American International Auto Show (affectionately known as "Auto Prom" to the locals here). It featured Molly McQueen, Steve McQueen's grand daughter reprising her grandfather's famous driving scene in the iconic 1968 movie. Instead of the streets of San Francisco, it was a take on the Mustang taking on the notorious Dodge Charger in a parking deck for the last spot. Over 110 shooting frames went into the presentation to figure out the complex shots.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

15 years ago

It's hard to fathom that fifteen years ago I got the call to do the storyboards for Eminem's "Lose Yourself" video. It was an overnight project and I had to meet them downtown to get the premise of the video. Notes were taken fast and furious and the boards had to be assembled for the next day. I don't recall if I had to pull an all-nighter for it but I'm sure it was a late nighter at the very least.

The video eventually wound up winning a Grammy as well as an Academy Award for Best Original Song. It's Eminem's most successful commercial release to date.

From that video, I ended up doing a few more of his video projects as well as some members of his crew. They've always been professionals about things and a breeze to work for.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

That one job...

I've worked on numerous projects over the years that have gone absolutely nowhere. Whether it be for a lack of budget, a client changes their mind, a new direction or whatever- I realize that it's a part of the creative process and a part of the business I've grown to accept over the years.

But if ever there was a project I had hoped would fly would've been this one where I would've had to come up with a series of abominable snowmen/ yetis and Chevy trucks. That would've been so much fun! I recall doing this as a sample for the project... only to have it dropped for whatever reason. It happens. I was bummed but being the forever optimist I knew there were other fun projects down the pipe. Maybe not as fun as this one could've been but one never knows what's around the bend.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Elementary school prodigies

Thinking back to elementary school, there was always one child prodigy in one form or another. I was always the art kid. It was easy for me. I could just quietly do my work, show it, and pretty much hide behind it or even run away from it if I wanted to. But for the ones that got chosen because of musical or vocal ability, they had to have the raw nerves and skills to stand in that auditorium with all eyes on them as they performed. Bravo to them for all of their talents and courage.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Old school wrestling

During the early 1970's I used to watch Big Time Wrestling on TV. They were broadcast from one of the local arenas. This was long before the glitz, glamour and theater that modern day wrestling is now. Some of those guys were the stars that I found out made a decent living by doing a circuit of nearby cities. But then there were the other guys who would don a mask who were nearly guaranteed to lose. I'm sure some rose up the ranks and made some fame but some of those guys probably went back to their day jobs as auto mechanics, butchers or some other mundane day job.