Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Skill of Walking




















There's always been something interesting and magical about the ability to walk. I've always been fascinated by the amount of coordination it takes for bipedal locomotion; the brain has to be able to juggle all of the sights, muscles, balance, and then somehow coordinate all of the muscles necessary to put one foot in front of the other. It's something many of us take for granted.

And for those people who want to make it happen in a mechanical way? More power to them with trying to process all of that information. It must be daunting.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

New Year, NPR & caricatures




















It's a new year and while on the holiday break, I'm one to tune into listening to National Public Radio (NPR) for my entertainment from time-to-time. One of my favorite shows to listen to is Terry Gross' Fresh Air program as she interviews all sorts of people. She gets diplomats, sports figures, writers, artists, entertainers, and every other walk of life.

And seeing as how in radio, they tend to do a lot of year-end Best Of shows, she had an interview with comedian Jeff Ross which I thought was very insightful. On stage he comes across as a bit of a slob with a barbed sense of humor but on this interview, Terry Gross really got him to talk about his childhood, his influences and his profession.

Every once in awhile I'll get asked to do a caricature and while I was listening, I couldn't help but look up what Jeff Ross looked like and draw him. I was probably too kind and cleaned him up far too much but it was still a fun exercise in line. Doing caricatures can be a mean business as you're supposed to pull out all of the quirks, facial distortions and exaggerate them. Here i decided to clean him up a bit and just have fun with it.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Winter football




















There was always something magical and brutal about playing football this time of the year. I have no idea how the professionals do it and at the caliber that they do. But I recall growing up putting on as many layers as possible to stay warm, fend off the dampness, and yet still be able to move around with some measure of agility. Getting tackled or dishing a hit didn't seem to hurt. Getting cut or scraped up didn't matter. That is until you went home, thawed out and found all of those multi-colored bruises all over your body.

But that was the joy of youth and a relatively quick recovery system.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Journalism at its best




















When I was in high school I nearly took the path into English/ Journalism. It was in between my sophomore/ junior year that I met Willis "Bill" Selden at Olivet College when he was running the Urban Journalism Workshop. He regaled us with his stories of being a photo journalist and was just the nicest guy around. He was an inspiration to me as he operated in an era when the printed word and images meant something. He taught me the ideal that as a journalist that we were supposed to be the witness for society. And while I didn't go into journalism, his integrity still rings true with me today.

This sketch is how I perceived him to be in his hey day. I know he was a hard nosed journalist and probably not prone to being shocked at any assigned story but I can only imagine some of the things he must've seen in his day.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Baseball season coming to a close


















While I'm happy for my Cleveland and Chicago baseball fans this post season, I'm always sad as the World Series are rolling around as it also harkens the end of summer. Baseball has always been one of those fun things to sketch and draw just because of the people that attend the games, the players themselves, the stadium architecture, and even the pace of the game.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Grubby artist sketch


















Just your typical kind of ne'er-to-do-well artist trying to pawn off their latest creation.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Faux super heroes 2


















Just because they're so fun and funky to draw.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Faux super heroes


















As a person who grew up loving and adoring comic books, I can't help but look back at some of the more offbeat creations that the comic companies have come up with. One has to wonder their motivation, inspiration and creativity. How realistic is it for someone (good or evil) to don a mask and sometimes a cape- and to live a separate life outside of their daily grind? It isn't but I think it's also representative of a simpler, less complicated time in the business. And using that as an inspiration, I've drawn plenty a totally ridiculous hero/ villain in my sketchbooks. This is just one of them.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Silly archived art




















I do a lot of topical art. If I see or hear of a friend doing something silly or odd, I've occasionally taken to making fun of them with a cartoon sketch. We all have a cheap laugh. And rather than just tossing the art into the garbage, I toss them into a folder on my hard drive. Every now and then I'll go through that folder and find some of the oddest things that I look back at and have no idea what the joke was about. I'd like to think it was funny at the time, but now? I'm not even sure what we were talking about or what the context was.

Prime example is this owl illustration for a colleague. I know I was making fun of her daughter but why the giant owl??

Digital sketching


















A few weeks back I did a lecture as to what I do for a living. I had one of the students in the audience ask if I did traditional or digital art. I did straddle both of those eras but to me, it's still drawing. Whether I use paper & pen or stylus and tablet- it really doesn't matter. My clients don't care. Is there something more genuine about one over the other? I'm not sure. I'd also like to think as things progress and evolve, digital will become folded into the traditional realm. I've often wondered what the old masters back in the day what they thought of this new medium "acrylic paint" when that medium made its debut. I'm sure back then it was looked down upon or scoffed at but a few generations later, it too has joined the traditional realm.

Friday, August 12, 2016

The lesser view


















The other day I had to crawl underneath my desk to reset the modem. I literally had to sit underneath my desk while fending off dust bunnies, untangling various cords, finding loose crumbs of food, and all manner of things most of us have totally forgotten about. This is a view I probably hadn't consciously thought about since I was probably a toddler and that view was my entire world.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Harkening back to dishwashing


















This was a sketch that recalled my teenage days when I washed dishes for a living. It wasn't the tidiest of jobs. It surely wasn't the most noble of professions but for a fifteen year old kid, it wasn't a bad way to make a few bucks. I never wore the paper hat because it was always a sweaty, sticky mess. I look back fondly to this job as it was the last time when I left work- work stayed there. When that apron was taken off at the end of the night and deposited in the dirty linen basket, work ceased. Now being employed as an artist I'm constantly aware of the visuals around me; I don't turn it off, nor can I turn it off. It was a much simpler, albeit greasier time.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Wrangler sketch


















Nothing more than just a sketch of a wrangler/ cowboy for the sake of crosshatching.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tight storyboard work















Doing much tighter storyboard frames is just another thing that I get asked to do from time to time. It's nothing I shy away from as it is a bit of a departure from the looser, quicker style, and it's also a nice challenge from time-to-time. The clients are usually pretty understanding that it takes a little more time and aren't afraid to pay for it.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Michigan's Mackinac conference




















Every year in the state of Michigan, the power brokers and influential people gather up in Mackinac Island to rub elbows and share ideas. Friend, Rachel Lutz wrote an article for WDET about the people that attended this year's conference and had an "illustration emergency" when she needed art to help this article along. Needless to say, she called me and I had to crank out this piece over night for her and the kind folks at WDET.