Tuesday, February 26, 2008

News & Tributes

"Laying The Hammer Down"

JAMES - a few items of note: first, prints of my recent poster for Henry Rollins' show here in Asheville are on sale here - they're high quality digital prints, big 18" x 24", on heavy 100# cover stock. each print is signed and numbered (edition of 95) and they're 10 bux each.

"The Graveyard Shimmy"

also, this week, my Halloween poster for Unknown Hinson had the honor of being awarded "Poster of the Week" from Gigposters.com. hip hip hooray!

lastly, thanks to our friends at Art Burn, i've recently become addicted to Patchblox.com. a great resource for great illustrators and designers - check it out!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wild Card

TOM - This week I did an illustration for New York Press. It was a bit of a departure from the sex themed illustrations I usually do for them. The story is about a guy who's good friend was killed in an underground poker game last fall. A true story that reflects on a senseless death as well as the recent death of underground poker itself. The Art Director had this specific idea in mind for the drawing, so I put my energy into creating a nice composition and playing around with color. Edowyn recently gave me some tips about adding texture with Photoshop, so I've been playing around with it. On a separate sheet of paper I made an ink wash, scanned it, adjusted it a bit, then added it to the color.

Before all of that though, it was drawn in pencil, inked with brush. Check out the article in this weeks New York Press, or read it right here. Later.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Martha, Martha, Martha

TOM - I know this has nothing to do with art at all, but I'm secure enough to admit that I attended a live taping of the Martha Stewart Show yesterday. Stephanie got the tickets 'cause she has some weird obsession with her, so a group of us went to check it out.

I must say the set is beautiful. It's really big, really clean and nothing is fake. From the kitchen to the greenhouse, to the 'craft corner', everything is real, no props, which is pretty cool. And everybody who worked there was really nice. We all got the 'Stewart treatment' when we arrived we were served croissants and bottled water before being seated. Once we sat down, I felt like I was swimming in a sea of suburban housewives, and they all looked like different variations of Martha herself! creepy.
Wow those were a lot of lights! I felt really intimidated being underneath them. I started to realize that you REALLY have to love being the center of attention in order to get in front of a camera underneath all those light everyday. Not quite for me. And there she is, Queen of her castle, Martha Stewart. She has always struck me as a very cold person, and seeing her in person only confirmed my assumption. She makes it very clear that she is the boss. Ten minutes before airtime, she was in the kitchen testing the food out, and making sure everyone was on there toes, just like any head chef would in a fancy restaurant. No smiles. She did not interact with the audience until after the show was taped, when she took a few questions from the crowd, but before that, it was as if the audience wasn't even there. As cold as she is and as much as I would probably never want to work for or with her, you have to kind of admire her success and her ability to withstand obstacles, move with the changing times, and go against the odds. I mean, she's more successful now, than she was before she did time in prison! All in all, she's an interesting character. A portrait of her might be on the way.
I now open the comments up for abuse, go easy on me...

Sunday, February 10, 2008


TOM - Here are two recent sketchbook entries. Just playing around with color and different themes. These are mainly done in black ink with brush, and colored inks, and a regular writing pen.

Friday, February 8, 2008


JAMES - a sketch i did the other day. just a brush and composition exercise, with some obvious Zeshin influence. i was too lazy to get up and get some water to thin out the colored ink, so i used some of the apple juice i was drinking. tasty.

Monday, February 4, 2008

En Garde!

JAMES - having a lead story about a fencing instructor definitely starts me off on the right foot for a good cover. like the Roller Girls or Fire Dancers before, the topic already suggests a dynamic image - so i just have to basically live up to the hype.

i offered these three sketch ideas, and i really had no preference. i think any of them would have worked pretty well this time - the top one was a ghostly image in the background with silhouetted fencers in the foreground, that woulda been a challenge and lots of fun. but in the end, i think the one they chose worked best as a 'cover'. i think the positioning of the characters and direction of the action compliments the logo nicely.

i illustrated it in three parts. first, i drew it up on a 11x12.5 sheet of bristol, and tightened it up with black markers (not pictured). i used that as reference, and lightboxed it onto a fresh sheet of bristol (top painting), using watercolors and acrylic for the background colors, and some white and yellow inks for the characters. the shoes and swords i colored in with a metallic silver sharpie. i knew the end result wouldn't have been printed with metallic ink, but i thought i'd be able to more easily manipulate it in photoshop to actually look like shiny metal.
then, in keeping with my experiments on vellum, i laid a sheet of translucent vellum ontop and inked the outlines (lower drawing). i was trying to achieve the same thing as the "Hanging on a String, Girl" poster with the softness of the lines coming from the vellum.

i scanned them in separately, and joined them together in Photoshop. i did my best to accentuate the texture of the painting, and really make those colors pop, while keeping the outlines soft and kinda brown-ish. i did the logo almost the same way as last month (using parts of the painting to 'color' in the logo), but took it a few steps farther. they loved the idea so much, we've designed the new business cards around that. the issue came in last week, and it printed PERFECTLY. everyone's psyched with it, and so am i. tom, i think this may be a better combination of my usual illustration style and my more recent paintings - i'm curious what you think.

don't know what next month's cover assignment it yet....hope it's a good one.