Monday, March 23, 2015

emerald city comic con

My newest print, "pawnee national park", is 18x24, 6 colors(neon yellow and oranges, with a metallic light purple) run of 225 and will set you back $50. There's also a variant edition:

The variant is printed on a natural stock paper, is a run of 75 and will set you back $75. There's also going to be small edition of 30 variants printed on some nice,  1/2” Baltic Birch Plywood which will set you back $150.

One more!

"the legendary dewey cox" is 18x24, 2 colors(including metallic gold) printed on black paper with a run of 50 and will cost $30.

All of these will be on sale sometime tomorrow, the 24th, over at Bottleneck Gallery. I'll also have copies of everything but the wood variant of "pawnee national park" this weekend at Emerald City Comic Con! I'll be at table D-18, which, looking at the map, is somewhere around here:

Looks like I'm conveniently placed near some bathrooms. So, let's be thankful for that! I'll be there all day, every day of the show, although I am tentatively scheduled to be at this panel on Friday:
Rewriting History: The Next Chapter of Heavy MetalRoom: Hall E (TCC 303)Date: Friday, March 27thTime: 4:50PM - 5:40PMNearly 40 years after its American inception, Heavy Metal remains the world's leading illustrated science fiction and fantasy magazine. Now, "under new management," the brand moves into new territory in music, film, and traditional comics publishing. Join co-CEO Jeff Krelitz, along with surprise guests, as he announces upcoming projects, plans for further expansion, and a strategy to change the game on creator-owned work in comics publishing. With exclusive news to Emerald City attendees!
At my table, I'll have some older prints I've raided from my flat file for sale as well. First come, first serve. I'll be accepting credit cards, good old fashioned cash money and I'll even take Republic Credits! Looking forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Springfield Gorge - process notes

My latest print, which will be a 24 hour, timed release starting tomorrow at 10am PST over at Dark Ink Art. It's titled "Springfield Gorge" and is based on The Simpsons, season 2 episode, "Bart the Daredevil".

The first step was to get the general idea approved. I did a quick pencil sketch of what I had in mind, and I wound up pretty much following it exactly. I knew I wanted Homer jumping the gorge, and for him to be as small as possible so I could focus on the beauty of the landscape.

I scanned the pencils in and did a quick color pass, just to make sure I could pull this off without using too many colors. I also wanted to give the general vibe of the piece. After the pencil and color sketches were approved, I moved on to what I knew would be the next point of contention. Drawing a small Homer, with a limited number of colors to work with and staying on model.

I drew this out in pencil first, scanned it and shrunk it down the size I needed. I initially went with a more worried pose, which I later changed to triumphant. The colors are all from the color sketch and I knew that I could use them to build the rest of the image. I included the quarter for an easy size comparison and sent this off for approval.

Once I started building the pieces of the image, I realized it would be funnier, as well as just more pleasing to look at in general, if I went for an inspirational vibe. Homer at the crest of his arc through the sky, convinced he is going to land this amazing jump. Extreme optimism in the face of embarrassing, painful failure is a favorite theme of mine, so I decided to pursue that as I moved forward with this piece.

Here, I have all the foreground elements in place. I had done a pass on the clouds as I had them in the initial sketch, but, a beautiful sunset I saw driving home one day inspired me to ditch those and start over. I really wanted this to feel like some inspirational poster you'd see hanging in an unemployment office with "Reach for your dreams" printed in big type underneath it and I felt like beautiful clouds, almost as if the heavens were pushing Homer towards his victory, were my ticket to conveying that feeling.

I was a bit worried that I was maybe a bit too effective with the uplifting vibe, so, before I sent this off for final approvals, I wanted to diagram out Homer's trajectory so there wasn't any question that the image was holding true to the source material. I sent this along with the final and it was good to go!

I'm stoked that I got to do this poster. If I have my way, I'll get to do some more focused on different episodes. It'll probably depend on how this first one does, so, be sure to grab one if there's another episode you'd want a poster of!

And another thing! How come I can't get no Tang around here?

Springfield Gorge

This Monday,  Feb 16th at 10am PST until Tuesday, Feb 17th at 10am PST, my latest print, "Springfield Gorge" will be on sale at Dark Ink Art for 24 hours! It's 12x36, 6 colors and will set you back $50. The edition size will be determined by how many are sold.

I've been watching The Simpsons since the Tracey Ullman days... and my parents were both cool enough to let me watch the show when it was controversial that Bart got bad grades and told both parents and teachers to "Eat my shorts."

My Dad taped the show on VHS, and when I was old enough to have my own VCR, I carried on the tradition, recording the daily reruns, intently focused on the commercial breaks so I could press "pause" button at the right moment to cut them out. VCR set to "EP" mode so after a weeks work I would have 6 hours of uninterrupted Simpsons I could watch over and over again at my leisure. Knocking out the little tab on the cassette so there could be no accidental recording over my precious, commercial-free cartoons.

The show got better and better. Thanks to my Dad pumping my brain full of pop culture and things I was probably too young to be exposed to, I got the majority of the references the show made. When Bart enters the scene like Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia, it blew my mind.

"Bart the Daredevil" is also notable in my mind for the premiere of the "Do the Bartman" video premiering after it aired... but more notable for maybe the funniest thing I had ever seen on television up to that point. The build up of Homer about to make that insane jump over the gorge, him being so excited about the imminent crowning achievement of his entire life, immediately followed by the halt of momentum, plummeting into a series of hilarious, bone-crunching falls down the cliff edge... only to be air-lifted out of the gorge, packed into an ambulance which crashes into a tree, opening the doors of the vehicle and sending Homer back down the gorge. I lost it, it's the only time I've blown soda pop out of my nose and something that is just etched in my memory.

So, when I had a chance to work with the fine folks at Acme and Fox on a Simpsons poster, this was the first idea that came to my mind and now it's really happening. This is the greatest thrill of my life! I'm king of the world!

Friday, August 29, 2014

director series 2 - closing prints

The opening of my second solo show at Gallery 1988 has come and gone, but the closing is tomorrow and there are a few new things being released.

First up, my newest silk screen print, "life will find a way" will be available in the gallery(west location) at 11am PST and online at the Gallery 1988 website sometime later that day. It's 12x36, 6 colors, run of 200(150 available at the gallery) and will cost $60.

I really wanted to zero in on the idea of Dinosaurs functioning as a family unit. I'm a father of a two-year-old boy and that has drastically changed the way I perceive that bond.

It's one thing to be somebody's kid, being on the other end of that relationship is the weirdest and most wonderful experience. It feels a lot like tapping into some kind of primal, shared conscious that transcends time and species.

There's also an, "unplucked variant" in which the t-rex family has feathers. These are 7 colors, run of 50 and will set you back $100.

While, not canon in the Jurassic park films, or 100% proven when it comes to Tyrannosaurus Rex, there is a very good possibility most dinosaurs were walking around with feathers.

 I chose to go with the idea of a male with loud plumage to attract the less flashy female. The juvenile has lost his downy coat completely and has starting sprouting feathers.

The original painting of the T-Rex used in production of the poster will be on sale at the gallery as well. Without the matting, it's 10x15 on watercolor paper and I used colored inks.

Also, with any purchase or my work at the gallery tomorrow, you will be entered in a raffle to win a signed and framed variant of Jurassic World! Stroll on in any time from opening to closing and pick something up from the show to be entered in the raffle.

I'll be at the gallery from opening for an hour or so... if you can't find the place, just follow the screams :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Jurassic World - giveaway details and a word about composition

2 days ago Colin Trevorrow, the director of Jurassic World, tweeted the debut of my poster and the response is just phenomenal. It got picked up all over the internet and response has been humbling to say the least.

I also got some pictures from the printer, Martin Hammond at Diamond Hill and he knocked the ball way out of the park this time. When it comes to printing my work, nobody does it better.

More details have been released as to how to get your hands on one. There will be a giveaway of two sets(regular and variant) at my Facebook group, given away after San Diego Comic Con.

Screen Print 24x36
Numbered Edition of 500
All will be distributed for free at San Diego Comic Con
2 drops Thursday
2 drops Friday
1 drop Saturday
The first 75 to 100 people at each drop (tbd location) will receive a card to hold their place in line and will then exchange for a print.

Drops will be randomly announced through the below channels. Text will be quickest for you.

Twitter - @JurassicPark
Instagram - @JurassicWorld
Text - Jurassic to 834567

You don't need a badge to get these, they will be given out at locations near the convention center.

11x17 digital print
1,500 produced
These will only be distributed to those who show up for the drops and do not get a screen print.
Our good friends at Legendary will have a small quantity as well so follow them and stop by their awesome booth!

Screen Print 24x36
Numbered edition of 100
These will be distributed online for free exclusively through Jurassic World social channels, Worldwide!
We will hold daily challenges and chose 15 to 20 random winners a day.
Ok, now that business is all taken care of, how about some quick art discussion?

My primary concern when making a poster is to tell a story within the single image. The most effective tool to achieve that goal is careful attention to composition. Above is a guide to how I laid out the composition in my poster to showcase particular bits of the image in the order I wanted.

Most of us read from left to right, top to bottom, so my starting point is there. Even if you don't naturally start there, I tried to force your eye into that spot with the hanging, leafy vine overlapping the orange clouds which leads you to the bigger helicopter(#1).

If you continue to follow the orange cloud path, it will take you to the Raptor's face(#2) and then to the building being constructed(#3). The clouds path ends here, but the palm fronds point directly toward the wheel well where the nest lies.

From the nest, there are scratches on the Ford Explorer that point toward the "04" painted on the side and more scratches lead you to the exposed tree roots which make a path directly to the logos on the bottom.

Besides all of the work that goes into just producing the image, rendering textures, choosing colors, etc., there is a lot of planning and forethought as I try to serve a larger purpose, beyond a striking image. 

I'm beyond ecstatic at the response this work has generated. Thanks again to Universal, Colin, Chris and everyone who has supported me leading up to this. I have a lot more coming in the near future and i hope you all stick around to check it out!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Jurassic World

My newest work is a teaser poster for the latest in the Jurassic Park series of films, Jurassic World. It's 24x36, 7 colors, 1 metallic and printed on black paper by Martin Hammond at Diamond Hill. The regular has a run of 500 and will be handed out during San Diego Comic Con.

For more info, Text JURASSIC to 834567 for updates on when and where to pick up the poster at SDCC... it also may be a good idea to follow @JurassicPark on Twitter and @JurassicWorld on Instagram.

The variant will be an edition of 100 and will be distributed online... I'm not sure how that will work, but I do assume you will want to be following @JurassicPark on Twitter. There will also be a charity auction for the original art produced while making this print.

A couple of months ago, Universal Pictures contacted me out of the blue and asked if I'd be interested in working on a teaser poster for Jurassic World. I normally don't do posters for films I haven't seen, as I like to nail the feel of a movie, or at least an iconic scene, in one image. Chris told me I'd get access to to some of the concept art and maybe even get to chat with the director, Colin Trevorrow to get a feel for what the film is going to be straight from the source.

So, being a huge fan of the Jurassic Park series, I decided I may as well dive in. It took some time to get a look at the materials from the movie, so while I waited, I decided to try and come up with a concept on my own.

I'm a huge Disney nut, so the name, "Jurassic World" immediately conjured "Disney World" in my head. Along with everyone else who follows movies online, I saw those concept art photos that were floating around and noticed a monorail going around the island, which further solidified the connection in my head. The first idea I came up with was a take on a vintage Disney World ad, incorporating their iconic, "monorail swoosh" into my design. In order to get families to feel safe going to this park, I figured any sensible advertiser would show kids happily interacting with baby dinosaurs and tourists snapping pictures of a curious Brachiosaurus.

When I eventually did see the actual concept art, and exchanged some emails with Colin, it became clear to me this first idea wasn't going to work. Also, I found that as a Jurassic Park fan, the image didn't really stir up much excitement for me... it also didn't help that the idea felt thematically a bit too close to Kevin Tong's awesome Jurassic Park poster.

After milling over what I'd like to see as a fan, I decided to try and incorporate elements from the previous movies and try to connect how they have led up to the newest story in the series. Jurassic World takes place back on Isla Nublar,  where the park from the first movie failed before it even opened. I wanted to subtly establish the setting, the theme of nature overtaking technology and that a new park with a new story was being built on what had come before... I also just wanted a cool shot of a Raptor.

Above is what I came up with... A Raptor having built its nest in the wheel well of the crushed Ford Explorer that fell out of a tree, almost killing Dr. Grant and Tim in the first film. In the background, the new park is slowly beginning to take over the island. I submitted the idea to Colin and he liked it, with a few additions and guidelines from Mr. Trevorrow, I was off to the next step.

I enjoy drawing dinosaurs, I drew them a lot as a kid... I know the canon Jurassic Park Velociraptor is way too big, and is more likely a Deinonychus, but whatever... Amphibian DNA can do wacky things. I drew this on big paper, 15x20, knowing that when I scanned it and shrunk it down I'd get a lot of implied detail out of it. This is my first 24x36 poster and I wanted to make sure not to wuss out on the fidelity of the image.

While I worked on my Raptor drawing, I started work on the background, figuring that would be the element of the poster most open to scrutiny as it contains elements from the new movie. I drew the main building I noticed in all of the concept art, figuring a construction crew would want to establish a secure base camp right away. Once that building was more or less complete, the crew could then clear the rest of the forest and start building other structures as well as lay down the monorail track.

I had helicopters air lifting dinosaurs, I figured either they were stragglers or injured dinosaurs that couldn't be effectively herded. Colin suggested I used the harness they used for the T-Rex in Lost World. Which I thought was a really cool callback.

I took out one of the the helicopters because the arrival of a single dinosaur is treated as such a tense event in the previous movies, that it seemed like poor planning to have two arrive at once.  I did bring the stegosaurus back in the variant, though.

I also started blocking in the jeep and I removed the color white... I figured I would need to replace the white color(which wasn't adding much of anything), with a muddy yellow color to get that Jurassic Park Ford Explorer looking more on model and recognizable.

Boy am I glad I added that muddy yellow color. At this point I had slaved away getting the details of the Ford Explorer right and rendering tons of leaves. I just had to draw a few more plants stuck in the undercarriage and that was that.

I really have to thank Colin Trevorrow. He was an invaluable resource and I can't thank him enough for being extremely available throughout the whole process. I also want to thank Chris Johnson at Universal for bringing me on board for this project in the first place... it turned out to be a real dream come true.

Best of luck to everyone going for one of these in San Diego and online. Nobody could've predicted that I'd have collaborated directly with a studio and movie director on a teaser poster for a Jurassic Park film. That's, that's chaos theory.

Friday, June 20, 2014

look at this stuff, isn't it neat?

My latest poster is called "look at this stuff, isn't it neat?" and it's a 36x12 lithograph on sale here until June 30th. They will be printed on nice sturdy paper and have an overall UV gloss varnish to really make those colors shimmer and shine... it will give the image extra protection. So, this isn't your average litho.

When Acme asked me to be part of Disney inspired series of posters, I jumped at the chance. I have a long list of Disney prints I'd love to do and I saw this as a great chance to get my proverbial foot in the door.

I've wanted to do this Little Mermaid poster for a while now. It's one my top Disney films... Glen Keane and Mark Henn delivering an amazing Ariel performance, Howard Ashman and Alan Menken redefining the Disney Musical... the beginning of the so called, Disney Renaissance.

I couldn't help but hide some stuff in Ariel's grotto... the biggest of which hidden right in plain sight... don't see it? Here:

Congrats if you caught it without the guide. A friend of mine couldn't see Prince Eric until I drew this for him, so I decided I might as well share this so no one is left out.

I'm happy enough if this is the only Disney poster I ever get to do... but I wish I could be part of that world.

After the sale ends, they will be gone and not reprinted again! No variants, either. So, click on the picture below and grab one while you can!