Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Pink Guy

Although this wasn't the first illustration I did in this style, this is a very early one. I've thought long and hard about why I started doing this sort of thing... big eyes, distorted proportions, etc. I think it all started with Roger Rabbit and Philip Burke. Roger Rabbit interested me because this was the first full-length live action feature with animated cartoon characters in leading roles. Great pains were taken by the filmmakers to make the Toons have a realistic affect on their environments. Cartoon characters had realistic shadows, highlights and ambient lighting.

I think in some part of my mind I wanted to see what would happen if they had given them other three-dimensional characteristics like skeletons, musculature, etc. I think these early pieces were my attempts to distort the human figure into ridiculous cartoon proportions and see how funny it was. The result - older people especially said "Why do you draw so many monsters?" Then they would give me a piercing look like they thought something was seriously wrong with me.

I think the other thing that influenced these early figures was Philip Burke's caricatures from Rolling Stone (even though I didn't recognize it at the time). Here was a caricaturist who had taken it to an almost cubist extreme. One eye might be larger than another and half of his face might be green, but you still knew it was a portrait of Paul Simon. His work is really astounding.

Bird Nest Head

I'm not really sure where the inspiration for this one came from. I know that I wanted to get more women into my work. I have a terrible habit of drawing nothing but men... especially old men.

Also I think this is how I felt a long time ago when I started living in cities. I came from a very rural area with lots of the type of creatures you see here, but in moving to the city I found that there was much less peace and quiet and little creatures and people had lots of things on their minds. I've become quite a city person now. I like my convenience and my modernism and I think buildings can be beautiful and back alleys aren't as frightening. I never would have thought I'd have adapted like this.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


I think what prompted this one was probably a couple of things. First, I recently discovered an amazing, authentic sushi place in Berkeley that's all vegetarian. Second, I visited Monterey, CA recently where they have a huge aquarium. There are really some amazing and beautiful creatures there to see. The curious thing, however, was in the bookstore where I was surprised to find a vast array of seafood cookbooks. It's almost as if the aquarium was saying: "Now that you've seen all of these beautiful creatures, here's how to cook 'em up for dinner." Most meat-eaters don't agree with me, but that's just how I see it from my perspective.

The most fun I had with this one was painting the tongue. There are about 5 layers in there. The dark red under-painting, a layer of bumpy highlights and shadows, a layer of veiny textures, the reflections and finally the bright white highlights. In combination, the tongue looks really disgusting... hopefully more-so than the unidentified tentacled creature.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Washington's Little Secret

For Illustration Friday: Here are a few suits.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Higher Self

This is an extremely old piece that dates back to a college art show in... 1994 perhaps? It was originally done in colored pencil with an india ink background. Anyway, I still like it, so I've refurbished it and updated it with a new background color. The original idea came from just a doodle in my sketch book that I thought looked cool, but when I finished the piece, I thought it probably said something about religion or spirituality or something. I'm probably telling too much. I should just let the viewer decide what it says.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A "Smoke is Free" Workplace

A friend and former co-worker of mine is visiting from Chicago next week. At the place we used to work together, both of the firm's principals smoked like chimneys. The whole place was coated in a thin layer of nicotine. In this illustration the workplace is probably inspired by that unmentionable environment. However, the boss man here looks more like a different former employer of mine. This particular old man of which I speak not only perfumed all of his employees with the delightful scent of week-old Marlboros, but also used to pick his toenails while you were talking to him and neglect bathing for weeks if he was on a deadline. Here's to self employment!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Captain Obamerica

This one is for Illustration Friday's word for the week: Super Hero. Yay! I finaly got one done in time to post. The subject was my fiancé's suggestion, although I chose the Captain America outfit.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Big Oil's Greatest Weapon

This is a piece I started nearly a year ago that I finally feel is finished.