Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Drawing in Church- Merry Christmas

An advent sketchbook drawing. Onward to Bethlehem...

Monday, December 19, 2011

States of the Union

A fun spot for use in an online project, for Alissa Levin, at Point 5 Design. How I love billboards!

Friday, December 16, 2011

New York Times Book Review

Great news, my new book A Boy Called Dickens got a very nice review in the NYT Book Review this Sunday. Here is a preview of how it will appear in print.

UPDATE: here is the web link to the review.

Outside of the minor criticism about my figures, "for my taste, John Hendrix's illustrations of London succeed better than his figures" the review is very positive and features one of my images... which happens to include figures. Pretty amazing. Here is a readable image, thanks to blogger new image settings.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Running with Psychos

Peter Sagal, the host of NPR's quiz show, Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me! writes a monthly column for Runner's World, and I've been asked to illustrate it this month. When Peter travels on tour with his show, he often calls local running clubs to see if he can join a morning run with some other folks... often getting rides from total strangers in the middle of the night. This of course makes him think about 
being murdered by some psychopathic marathon runner... 

Had an initial idea for the color that worked in theory, but not in form. Wanted to make it spooky and unify the group in blue shadowy colors... but you lose the fun of seeing all the props. In fact, some of the characters need local color (as opposed to analogous colors) to help identify who they are. So, I came up with another color idea, which worked better. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Drawing In Church - 11/27 (with Jack)

This week's church sketchbook drawing was inspired by this hairy robot that my son Jack drew the other day. So cool! His is much more interesting than mine I think.

detail of the flowers and head

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Post-It Show 2011

Here are some of my silly Post it Notes for the Mark Todd's annual show at Giant Robot. Get'em at the opening for ten bucks each. Always wish I had time to do more each year.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

SI 54 Award Winners

A big year for me at Society of Illustrators, I got 9 images in the show and also another piece I art directed. So thankful and humbled. The most prestigious illustration show in the world! I can only show 8 images, so I need to pull one of these, any thoughts? 

All six from my Rolling Stone Trivia package, in the series category: 

Three from my dickens book:

Not to mention I got a piece in as "Art Director" the amazing ICON poster!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Drawing in Church 11/6

First page of a new sketchbook. This drawing came from a sermon about the book of Amos.

Friday, November 04, 2011

10 Year Anniversary

Ten years ago today I turned in my first professional illustration job. I'm going to surpress my cringe reflex and post some images from that project, a interior full page for The Village Voice.

 I have no idea what this was about, something about globalization and corporate pirates. (Nice idea!)
Here are a few of my thumbnails from that, and as I remember it, I think it was Minh who suggested the pirate ship idea. Note the "sails are dollarbills" stroke of genius in the bottom right.

My portfolio was a mess at the time, full of drawings and full of paintings, (I could do about ten posts on that alone) but art director Minh Uong saw something in there. He gave me a cover of the Village Voice arts guide, that ran inside the magazine. I'm grateful for him taking a chance on me, and for calling me afterwards after I gave him a sort-of-ok-not-amazing-image the first time around.

I don't want to get too wistful and self interested here, but I do want to say I'm incredibly astonished and grateful for what I've done professionally in the last ten years. In some ways, I've done more than I thought was possible in an entire career. Eager to start the next ten years of imagemaking.  Thanks Minh for that first call! 

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

50th Anniversary Cover Type

Thanks to Alissa Levin at Point Five Design, I got the chance to do this cover package for Columbia Journalism Review about the future of media and reporting. All they wanted was big beautiful type on the cover, celebrating 50 years of CJR. 

I did some portraits of a few prominent figures in the conversation, as well as this funny Mad Lib homage for the opening spread. 

A few of my other ideas for the cover... 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Drawing in Church- 10/16

Here's one from a few weeks ago I just finished. FYYI: Neon spray paint looks much better in person than on screen. A better example of spray paint and drawing. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Drawing In Church- 10/23

This is the last page in my current sketchbook, and I was hoping I could close it out on a good one.

As I sat in the pew, I saw that the passage preached on this week was from Luke, about storing up a treasure that cannot be destroyed by moths or rust. Giant moths are in the air this week, with apologies to Chris Buzelli, but clearly I was inspired!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Here is a sneak peak of my spread in the upcoming Chronicle Book, by Julia Rothman, called The Where, The What & The How: 75 Artists Illustrate the Wondrous Mysteries of the Universe.
It looks like it will be a great book, a few thumbnails below from other artists. I'll post details for the release date soon.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rolling Stone Trivia Issue

Rolling Stone asked me to illustrate their entire Rock Trivia issue. It was a huge commission, six images, 28 portraits covering 60 years of music. One image for each decade of Rock and Roll.  Two weeks for final art! Many thanks to Joe Hutchinson for the amazing gig. I have practically the entire issue to myself. The issue isn't out for a few weeks, but, I'll post some images of the full spreads when I get them from the magazine. 

I drew in different colored pens to add some graphic edge to these images, since the concepts for the images were less important than the drawings. 

Here are the image by decade: 1950s






Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Illustrator as Art Director - ICON7

Being the president of the upcoming ICON Conference, I had the amazing opportunity to art direct the ICON7 poster design. The theme of the conference is collaboration and the power of community, as represented by headline... Drawn Together. (Credit to board member Mark Todd for that beautiful piece of copy writing!) So, I wanted to create a poster that represented a collaboration: A two-sided poster that was an unusual collision between a design-ustrator and illu-signer. Ideally, I wanted each of the artists to influence the work of the other, if not co-create some of the elements.

My first choices were Jessica Hische and Chris Buzelli- total dream team... but perhaps unlikely pairs for something like this. One phone call and they were on board!

Here was my big idea in sketch form that I sent to the artists. Thankfully, at this point, I'm really in the backseat of the process of making these images. (Just like any good art director, right?) So grateful to these amazing artists donating their time to a great organization that promotes the illustration community. They took a silly scrap of an idea and made it way better than anything I could come up with alone.

I'll leave it to Chris and Jessica to post more images from the process, but I do want to show the best part of the collaborative design and illustration process, in my mind.

Chris actually designed the letterforms for the headline and took a shot at painting them, but Jessica thought sharper type would look better. So she took the baton and crushed it as usual with her uncanny vector-whispering.

I would not be prouder of this poster even if I had made the image myself.  I see why art directors really love their job. What fun to set great pieces on the board and let the game play on!