Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Basic Space

JAMES - My poster for the xx is now available online on my website. The show was last Thursday up in Carrboro at the Cat's Cradle, and man, it was incredible. The xx has gotta be one of my favorite three bands right now, and they just killed it! The show was sold out, and I met lots of great folks. All the posters I brought with me that night sold out. But I did set some aside, so get them while you can.

Somebody put a bunch of pics from the show on Flickr - check them out here:

The actual illustration for this was done back in January. I did a ton of sketching as usual, but the final sketches that you see above just kind of came about when I stopped 'thinking' about it, and just let it flow. As you can see, the final is pretty faithful to the sketch - once it hit me, I knew exactly what I wanted.

detail shot

Eighty percent of the final illustration was actually done in Adobe Illustrator - the vector lines make it real smooth. The lettering was all hand drawn on paper, then scanned, and painstakingly traced in Illustrator to keep it as clean as the rest of the lines of the figure. The eyes and lips were done with charcoal on paper - those are the only things not vector.

2-color screenprint, 19"x25", on 110lb. Smart White French paper, edition of 70

This was one of the first things I printed at my new print shop, and they came out really great. The blacks are deep, and the paper is extra heavy and super bright white.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


JAMES - Earlier this year I finished this Album Cover of "Moonscapes" for the band Dangermuffin. They just had their CD Release show, which looked to be a great success. I just got my copy in the mail, and man, it looks really sweet.

I used a bunch of different techniques on this - charcoal, pencils, markers, and lots of Photoshop stuff. Which was really freeing. I was working on so many projects at the same time as this, and they all were for screen print stuff. So I was in a real "use less than 4 colors" mode. This was my relief from that - getting to expand my palette, utilize texture more - but still making sure it reads simply, like the screen prints.

Those three guys sitting on the beach are the guys in the band - they're totally great guys, and thier album's real good. Check it out.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Let 'It' Out.

TOM - There's this guy here in New York that sings in the subways. Well, there's a lot of people that sing in the subways of New York, but there's nobody quite like
this guy in my opinion. He's probably one of the best singers I've ever seen in person. I've only seen him sing three times in the past two years or so, the third time being just last week. He has this amazing voice that sounds kind of like a cross between Percy Sledge and Marvin Gaye. He sings all these 60's Motown songs with pure perfection. He sings over karaoke tracks of songs like 'My Girl' which blast from his old, beat up boom box. His voice is so strong you could hear him from the end of the platform, even across the platform, all without a mic. That's how strong his voice is. He sounds so authentic too, a little too authentic actually. It's as if he was signed to Motown back in the day, was just about to make it big like Marvin and Smokey, but he let the booze and possibly drugs get to him first. This guy sings like he's in a studio booth somewhere, never misses a note and never gets drowned out by the subway noise. He sings effortlessly while he counts his money(which he collects alot of) and flirts with all the women. He sits the whole time, making little dance moves with his hands while singing out the side of his mouth. He's
old and missing some teeth.I don't know what his life is like when he's not singing. Maybe he's homeless and spends the nights on the street or sleeps there in the subway. Maybe he's a grandfather and goes home to his wife at the end of the night. I don't know. All I know is when I saw him last Friday on the L platform in Manhattan, he made me really enjoy waiting for the train. I took my headphones off and just stood there, watching and smiling. Unlike most subway
acts, I don't think he's crazy. I also don't think he's looking to get 'discovered'. He doesn't need any validation, he's a pro. It seems to me like he does it because it makes him really happy. I think that's the thing that really impresses me about him, he doesn't try too hard, or at all. 'It's' in him, all he's doing is letting it out.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On the Side

Tom- Here's my latest illustration for the New York Press. It has to do with a guys unwillingness to commit to just one person.
If you look to your right, you can now click the 'follow' button and become a follower of the blog. I'm not exactly sure what that mean myself, but come join the social circle anyways!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Printing a Beach House Poster

JAMES - I've gotten great use of my new printing studio this past week, finishing three great posters for upcoming shows by the XX, Yeasayer, and Beach House. The last two days I spent printing the Beach House poster - a four color poster on beautiful "Grape Jelly" paper. I just made a quick little video roughly documenting the printing process. I'll elaborate on the creation of the poster once it's closer to the show date (April 30), but for now here's what I did this weekend:

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Anatomically Correct




JAMES - This month I'm proud to be a part of the "Anatomically Correct" group show at Miss Scarlet in the Parlor Gallery in Los Angeles. Eliza Frye, who runs the gallery, is one of my favorite artists and it's a pleasure to show my work alongside hers. And the other artists did not dissappoint, either. Some great stuff all around.

I spent the better part of February working on these, and in the end, I'm very proud of what came out. They were conceived individually, though they do work as a sequential narrative, too. All three are 22" x 30" on Somerset Velvet paper, using India Ink, Acrylic Paint, and Enamel Paint. I made good use of some glittery-metallic colors on the face and flower petals of "Awakening", as well as the labia parts of the butterfly on "Arousal". And the tattoo that our friend Bones is getting in "Activation" is inspired heavily by the real-life ink of none other than Tom Pitilli. Word up bro!

Unfortunately, I couldn't attend the opening on February 20th, but I heard it was a great success. Eliza posted photos and videos of the night here:

My three pieces are for sale and will be on display at Miss Scarlet in the Parlor until March 20th, so if you're in the L.A. area, please go check it all out. If you're like me and don't live near L.A., you can still purchase the originals through the gallery at this link here.

Model Drawing

TOM - Here are some high(or low)lights from the last few model drawing sessions I went to. In the past, I used to bring a big ol' pad with my fancy charcoals and watercolors in attempts to make some 'serious' art, now I just throw some random pencils, markers and colored pencils into my bag along with a smaller sketchbook and I've been much happier with the results. I'm having more fun experimenting with the figure and my approach to it, rather than trying to create a finished piece. Thanks for checkin' in!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

You're the one for me, Fatty.

TOM - Here's one I did for this week's 'Flavor of the Week' for New York Press. In other news, there's alot of new and exciting things I've been working on recently but can't post them just yet, keep checking in though, the next few weeks should be exciting!