Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Art of Science- Rogue Waves

Chronicle Books is publishing a visual anthology called The Art of Science and I was asked to participate in the collaboration. Each artist was paired with a scientist to answer a mysterious question. I was assigned "Do Rogue Waves Exist?"

Julia Rothman, the art director/curator, (for lack of a better description) described it like this:

We have been working with a huge group (more than 50) scientists from all different fields: Anthropology, Physics, Chemistry, Meteorology... They have described some of the big mysteries in their fields and the theories behind them. From the big picture (What existed before the Big Bang? What is dark matter? Are there more than three dimensions? Why does the Earth hum? Can evolution outpace climate change?) to the little wonders (Why do we yawn? Can trees talk to each other? Why do cats purr? What is the smallest unit of matter?). In many ways both scientists and artists are exploring the unknown, and we hope this book will amaze readers with both science's mysteries and artists' imagined explanations.

Needless to say, this is 100% fun, and the essential reason I love my job. Here are a few sketches, color studies and other thumbnail ideas from the creation process below.


I might be most proud of that super flat yellow, which was not created digitally. It is like I'm working in the 19th Century! 

Didn't realize I used the golden rectangle... (sort of) 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Come See the Design-ustrators!

I'm happy to announce an upcoming Gallery Talk at The Society of Illustrators in New York, featuring Chris Silas NealJennifer Daniel and myself titled Illustrator As Designer. It will be on October 1st, from 2 - 4pm at the Society of Illustrators, 128 East 63rd Street, New York, NY.

In all corners of the graphic world, the traditional line between designer and illustrator has been redrawn, smudged and reinvented. From book jackets, magazine spreads, hand-drawn type and informational images, illustrators and picture makers are no longer limited to the edges of the traditional art box. 

Come see this three-ring-circus presentation about designed images, drawn text and the creative process. Featuring John Hendrix, Chris Silas Neal, and Jennifer Daniel.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ghosts in the Floorboards

A few overly-cute spots for Popular Mechanics about the troubles with living in old houses full of squeaky noises and mysterious sounds.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Dragon Detector

The amazing art director from Asset International, SooJin Buzelli, gave me a fun assignment a few weeks back for the magazine Plan Sponsor. Now, this magazine has is about mutual funds and financial instruments that are way above my pay-grade and interest level. The particular piece I was given was summarized: Following the struggles of the financial crisis, the index providers are more important than ever for European plan sponsors. This is a very dense and not very enticing synopsis. But, SooJin asked me to respond to the prompt "Knowledge is Power." This is much easier to define for a visual metaphor, which is part of what makes her a great art director. (Take notes, student designers).

I had just seen one of my former students, Andrea Taylor, in a wonderful production of "The Hobbit" here in St. Louis. She played the Elf Queen but ALSO she created and built a wonderfully massive Smaug puppet for the shows final scene. I'd been in a mood for drawing dragons ever since!

Above, a very bad picture of it, I'm sure she has a better one somewhere.  

I sent three sketches that focused on some kind of tactical advantage because of tools or intelligence, and they all involved dragons! 

I did a few color studies and tests to figure out if I wanted to draw it all by hand or color it digitally. It ended up being a mix of both. Thanks for the piece SooJin!