Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Gambling in the Locker Room

Just finished a drawing for ESPN The Magazine about the astonishingly pervasive practice of gambling in professional athletic locker rooms. A recent gambling altercation that lead to Washington Wizards superstar Gilbert Arenas bringing multiple guns into the locker room to frighten a third-stringer indicate the extreme stakes of these wagers. Superstars have been known to lose hundreds and even tens of thousands of dollars on a single game of dominos, pool and the bet-inducing card games like "Hit the Post." In this insidious betting game, when you lose, you don't just pay in your share but match the whole pot on the table.

Perhaps this visual idea seems obvious (or inevitable), but using the look and palate of Vegas was an exciting solution to explore in my sketches. I barely had 5 days for this, so I didn't have much time to look around for other ideas. The scope of the drawing would take a majority of the time. So I was eager to get started on something.

I sent a super rough idea for a quick "you're on the right track" approval. I wouldn't want to spend 6 hours solving this drawing if they hated the idea of a vegas locker-room.

Once they signed off on the concept, I had to add some new player likenesses and adjust the layout accordingly. And they took out my favorite part, that the devil was dealing the cards. All the players are specific likenesses, though none anyone would really recognize.

The final art was executed in about 36 hours (not ideal)- which did allow time for a rough color study, above (which I ended up mostly ignoring). I rarely get a chance to use a garish high-saturation palate- so I went all out. Perhaps too far out. The drawing will run across the top of a magazine spread, and their format is a big larger than most magazine- a full 10 inches wide. The full drawing will be seen at about 20 inches long. A few details below.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Just Enough Jeeves

W.W. Norton & Company are re-issuing the classic British early 20th Century novels about "Jeeves" - the uppity valet. (He is NOT a butler. Butlers manage the household, Valets manage the man!) This collection of several stories, called Just Enough Jeeves is the first in the series.

I liked both of the final sketches I sent, above. they picked the one with many different Jeeves, a challenge once I got past number 15, but really enjoyable to draw. The full cover including spine and back cover below.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Drawing in Church- 3/14

We have started a long trip through my favorite book in the Bible, the Gospel of John. The book is loaded with powerful metaphors, stark descriptions of good and evil and the quiet moving narrative of Jesus' closest friend, John. I'm looking forward to a good season of pew drawing. Here is Nicodemus, on the day he met Jesus- and the question that changed his life.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Battle of the Books

Just got back from an amazing event in Chicago, put on with a collection of area libraries, including the Bartlett Public Library called Battle of the Books! The audience was full of a couple hundred kids who were thrilled to talk about books and especially Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek. Thanks to everyone who made this such a great event. A few pictures from the night.

The winning team from Centennial School, above, the winners got a copy of John Brown: His Fight for Freedom for their school library.

A view of the audience before I went on- these kids were truly awesome. They love books!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

IAM Conference Sketchbook

I just returned from the International Arts Movement Encounter 10. They kindly brought me up to enjoy the three day conference. I was asked to join a panel discussion about the intersection of the digital and the handmade world.... but more importantly the IAM folks commissioned my sketchbook to do some work, with the title "Conference Illustrator" (like I'm a journalist!) I drew throughout all the sessions and documented as many ideas, quotations and concepts as I could. I decided before I arrived that I wasn't going to draw anything from observation from the weekend. The result is a visual salad of symbols, metaphors and typography. What a fun weekend- hope those of you who were not there can imagine you were.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

New World Order

With great thanks to Matt Kirkland and the folks at Brand New Box, I have a brand new design for my website and blog, and couldn't be happier with how it looks and functions. Lots of new goodies on my site with new work, new features and a much more cohesive look between my blog and website. If you see anything that needs fixing, let me know!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Drawing in Church- Redux

During the course of any particular week, there is always a moment or two when I wish I could sit down with my sketchbook for an hour, but deadlines and other work prevent it. Recent annual submission deadlines have given me the excuse to waste some time on these again. Since the day I've made them I've been meaning to sit down with these pages and have a little fun with them or finish them/ruin them. A few from the greatest hits catalog, now in color.