Friday, May 20, 2011

Wayne Coyne cover for Dallas Observer

JAMES - I had the extreme pleasure of being asked to illustrate a cover for the Dallas Observer featuring the one-and-only Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips. The issue is out on the streets now - and if you're not in Dallas, I highly suggest reading the interview online here (and there's also a great photo-story about the record pressing plant Wayne uses - see it here).

Working with Art Director Alex Flores was way awesome - he consistently has some of the best 'weekly' covers in the country (proof here - total quality every week), and he really brought some great stuff outta me. At his request, I chronicled my creation process of the cover as best I could. Following are some photos of how it all came about:

Sketching Begins

Sketching Continues

Final Submitted Sketch

Final Pencils Begin

Inking Begins

Inking Continues

Final Inks, Ready For Scanning

Cleaning Up Inks

Adding Colors

Creating Vector Elements

More Vector Elements

Finishing Touches

Done Deal!
Anyone curious of the finer details: The ink drawing was done on this really nice Drafting Film (.003 thickness), using a Winsor & Newton Series 7 #2 brush and Dr. Ph Martin's Black Star Ink. Digital work was done using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It starts with a sketch

TOM - Thought I'd use this time to share some process 'before and after' type shots to show how I usually start an illustration. There's always a sketch, in fact before the sketch, there is often a 'thumbnail drawing', a really small scribble like drawing which usually only I can make out. From that thumbnail is where the sketch usually comes out of. Here is a look at a sample of some from the last few months...

Sometimes the sketch acts as a blueprint which I could then build upon and change as much as I feel it should...

...other times, the sketch really has all the information it needs, then the challenge is trying to maintain that energy and essence in the final...

...other times, it's just a matter of only using certain elements of the sketch and changing direction and expression to make a stronger image.

Hope that was somewhat enjoyable. If you liked this, let me know, I have tons of folders full of process sketches that I can keep posting periodically.

Until next time!

The Eraser

click to see bigger

JAMES - My Mogwai posters are now available through my site:

So psyched to make something for this band - they've kept me alive at 2am many a long night. So killer. This poster was for the Pittsburgh show on April 27 during their current trip to the US. It's a s7even-color screen print, including a Metallic Gold that I used as a finishing touch. 18" x 24" full bleed, on 100lb White French Paper, Edition of 100, signed & numbered. They're 20 clams each. Here's a close-up scan:

I was tweeting the printing session as I was making these. Below are the shots of each color as they were printed and tweeteded (the first four colors were done on day 1, the last three colors the next day). If you're on Twitter, follow me @thejamesflames.

Light Grey




Dark Grey


Metallic Gold

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Group Show in Brooklyn!

TOM - This Saturday I will be participating in a group show with some fellow friends and artists here in Brooklyn. I will have a few brand new drawings on display, including the black and white piece shown above. I might even have some prints of the colored version as well... If you're around this Saturday evening, come by and say hi!

Here's all the info:

A THEMEless ART show opening RECEPTION

Featuring the work of:

Brittany Bartley

C.M. Duffy

Greg Hedderman

Neal Iannone

Thomas Pitilli

At LAUNCHPAD -- 721 Franklin Ave. BK, NY
Saturday at 8:00pm - Sunday at 12:30am

OPENING RECEPTION will feature LIVE prose and poetry readings by authors and writers along with LIVE music

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hot off 'The Press'

TOM - Here's a quick look at some recent illustrations I've done for the NY Press. The topics of these range from husband hunting, to 'self love' in a bathroom stall, to Ripley's Believe it or Not. What a life. Until next time!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


TOM - Here's a new piece from a new series I'm working on...More where this came from coming soon!