Monday, December 29, 2008

Her Master's Voice

JAMES - "So she is this debutante, the daughter of a fashion mogul, who became the object of affection for a quite boorish, so-called photographer whose reputation for ______ is only outdone by his ability to ______ his victim's ______. The prick. Lord only knows, her debut was a smashing success."

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tiger On The Doghouse

JAMES - a new poster for the Orange Peel. the bands are pretty country-western, and when i came up with the tiger , i thought it was real cool, but wasn't sure if it'd work for a country group. but i was also trying to solve the problem of what to do with the dark area on the right side, and so adding the upright bass and making the claw marks be the strings solved both problems. the tattered ribbon with a scrawled serif lettering was the clincher.
i did a pencil drawing, at full size 11x7, and then inked it on two layers of very nice, smooth, translucent vellum (one layer for the tiger, one layer for the ribbon and lettering). all with the usual #2 Raphael brush, Black Star india ink, and a Japanese Nikko G nib for the lettering. the lines come out just so smooth on the vellum - this may become an obsession.

detail shot

originally, the poster was commissioned as black & White, but i felt like the introduction of color, especially the 3-D magenta/cyan colors, made it alot more eye-fetching. if you have 3-d glasses, enlarge the top image and try it out. totally works.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


TOM - Here is this weeks illustration for New York Press. It's about a guy's frustrating experience with a hot girl who doesn't want anything to do with him, but keeps inviting him over because she loves the attention.
Continuing to experiment adding more dimension with color and texture. Had fun with this one.
More new stuff soon!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Summer Night

TOM - Recently, I was finding myself hitting a bit of an artistic wall. I've been doing alot of art"work" lately, but unfortunately not enough digging through my head late at night to see what I can find, then spewing it out on the page. Last week though, I had one of those nights and over the course of the following couple days, I nursed this image along. I took alot of joy in slowing down and experimenting with drawing techniques, Photoshop coloring, and incorporating type into the piece, which is something I've been fooling around with in my sketchbooks recently. I also allowed myself to loosen up conceptually, resisting the urge to try and create something that would appeal to a certain group of people or potential clients, and rather try and make something that comes as directly from my head and straight on to the paper as I can. Maybe it's the weather starting to get cold here in NYC, or the days getting shorter, but I think this drawing might have something to do with missing the summer. After coloring it though, there's something about the colors and the way the letters turned out that are reminiscent of Christmas, which might have something to do with the unavoidable influence this time of year has on someone, for better or worse.
Here's the black and white version. 'Till next time!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Octopus Bike

JAMES - i'm psyched to finally post this. It's a 1978 Raleigh Record Ace that i custom painted for Renaissance Bicycles, a local company that specializes in customizing and restoring vintage bikes. Bryan at Renaissance took the finished frame and tricked it out to make it a serious track bike.
the bike is for sale by Renaissance - here's a link, and it lists all the equipment specs:

when Bryan first contacted me, we talked about possible design directions, and i did some sketches. this is what i came up with.

when i got the frame, it had been stripped of it's original paint and decals and a nice white primer coat had been applied. i mapped the whole thing out with a pencil and an eraser - my body was twisted in and out of that thing trying to get just the right angle to draw on it. i wanted all the tentacles to attach to the head in the front, and keeping track of all the tangles was quite a challenge.

when i got it just how i wanted it, i rubbed it down with alcohol and painted it with enamel paint. the kind you use for sign painting. in retrospect, paint markers may have been an easier way to go, but there's no way i would have gotten some of that texture and flow without the thick enamel paint. but damn, those fumes killed!
i did use paint markers for the black outlines and the white bubbles, and for the lightning bolts on the rims. i'm super proud of how it came out, and i had no idea Bryan was planning to dress it up so nicely. this thing's a monster.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Don't Remember It....

JAMES - another new illo. nice and big, too - 17x18. actually finished it in early November, and finally did the lettering recently and scanned it in. it's all #2 brush, ink on bristol. i'm still not sure if it's strong enough as a straight-up black & white, or if it could use 1 or 2 colors. what do you think?

detail shot

original sketch, 9/24/08

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Protecting The Myth

JAMES - a new illustration, 11"x11", acrylic and ink on watercolor paper.

detail shot

Thursday, November 13, 2008

CMJ and the Odd Couple

TOM - Just catching up on some New York Press posts. Above is lasts weeks 'Flavor of the Week' illustration about a girl on the hunt for love at the CMJ music marathon which took place here in New York City a few weekes ago.
Then, this weeks is about a rocker chick who gives up on long haired,tattooed guys and falls for a preppy, khaki wearing lawyer.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

All Four Seasons

TOM - I tried to keep these as honest as possible, reflecting on each of the seasons and drawing what came to mind. I also enjoyed working in the 'strip' type of format. I hope to experiment telling more stories this way.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

We Nighting

JAMES - just finished this tonight, started last week. kind of stream of consciousness|plan|stream of consciousness style. the nightingale telling his fairytale.
acrylic and ink on tan Rives BFK paper, approximately 8.25"x12".

detail shot

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Joyce, The Pediatrician

JAMES - "if you don't cry, you'll get a lollipop."

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

TOM - Here is this weeks Flavor of the Week illustration for the New York Press. Looking at it now, it has a little Halloweenish feel to it. It's about a women who accidentally throws away her favorite vibrator. Ooooo, spooky. I had fun with this illustration.
This one appeared in the last issue. It's about a one night stand that turns out to be a schizophrenic.
Have fun out there tonight, and remember, check your candy before you eat it!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Oh, Don't Worry

JAMES - i got a new brush.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Figure Drawing

TOM - Here's some highlights from last nights figure drawing session.
I've been trying to go as often as I can, and hopefully will be posting more of these in the future.

I try to play around with different approaches everytime I go. Yesterday was really focusing on the face.

See you next time!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm Jealous!

His Majesty, The Umpire // edition of 75

Hangin' On A String, Girl // edition of 75

The Umpire, His Majesty (reverse)// edition of 25

JAMES - it's been quite the whirlwind in the past 2 months or so, and it all culminated in my visit to London last week, where the above three prints were unveiled at the opening of Jealous Gallery.

the short story is that i was contacted by Dario Illari, who was opening a brand new gallery (and print studio), focusing on fine limited edition prints by folks such as Warhol, Hirst, Hume, Kapoor, Banksy, D*Face, Jamie Reid, Nick Walker, etc etc, as well as young and up-and-coming artists. eneter James Flames. we began a collaboration on these two illustrations to be printed in their studio by Matthew Rich - a master printer who, amongst many prestigious credits, worked on all the early prints for the Hacienda and Factory Records bands in Manchester, early 80's - so cool. sketches and many emails back and forth with Dario, then i sent them the artwork, and finally they printed them. it was a great collaboration and i think we worked really well together. they're about 50cm square (20inches or so), and i think they did an incredible job. the black is deep and velvety, they put a varnish over the grays so they shimmer slightly, and the blue really brings it all together.

well, i needed to sign them, and so instead of fedex-ing them back and forth, they figured it better for me to just go there personally. and i'm so glad i did. i arrived last monday morning, started signing right away, and then for the next two and a half days i became a part of the family - watching Eddie paint, asking Matthew a bunch of printing questions, and doing whatever i could to help get the place ready for the big opening on wednesday night.

^signing my prints, my hand was about to fall off by the end of the day. yes, that's a real Damien Hirst behind me.

^here are the two main prints, masterfully hung by Adam Bridgland.

^the front of the studio right before opening

^the "Menu", which went with the theme of the evening. i hand lettered both sides. quite a roll call of names on that list, an honor to be in their company

^the Jealous family. (L-R): Me, Jacqueline, Dario, Eddie King (and his latest piece - i got one to take home, thanks Eddie), Adam, and Matthew

^at full swing, the place was packed from the front door to the backyard. great food, and great company.

^the view from across the street, the place was poppin'

i'd have to say the night was quite a success, for everyone, and myself included. my Umpire print was the first thing sold that night, and by the end of the night myself and Eddie King had the most prints sold - more than i think anyone expected. it was such an incredible feeling to see them there, and to get such positive and insightful feedback. i'm still reeling.

the next morining i was back on a plane to come home. a truly amazing trip - i've never recieved such generous hospitality as i did from Dario and his family, both at home and at the gallery. it was quite an experience, and an honor to know that someone would put so much work into my own work. incredible thanks to everyone.

the prints have continued to sell well since, and are available online here. they'll also be showing at another gallery show later this month, i'll follow up with more details. and we're already at work on the next print. psyched!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

English man in New York

TOM - Here is this week's 'Flavor of the Week' illustration for the New York Press. It's a story about a young British college student in New York City who's uptight and repressed attitude keeps him from enjoying the many strange and sexual encounters he keeps falling into.

In other new, my website has recently been updated with a bunch of new work! If you get a chance, check it out at

Monday, September 29, 2008


TOM - This political race is all everyone seems to be talking about, and for good reason. Here's my illustrated contribution to the whole situation. Go Obama!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Who's YOUR favorite?...

TOM - A one pager I did for an upcoming issue of Dapper Chap Quarterly. Alot of great artists involved. More info to come on when/where it will be available.