Friday, June 29, 2012

Making of my LA Weekly cover feat. Keith Apicary!

Good day to you. Hold on to your butt, this is my longest, most in-depth blog post ever.

Got the call to do the cover of LA Weekly featuring these characters above. Nathan Barnatt aka Keith Apicary, the NEO-GEO arcade expert/dance ninja and The Fowler sisters, Elle (blonde) and Blair (brown hair) - valley girl fashionistas with the world on a string. Videos below. Youtube SENSATIONS, whatta world! Been doing a lot of of interior editorials lately for LA Weekly, working with the fantastic Brian Guillian and Darrick Rainey. Was really excited to get this opportunity. I've been working in a more linear style recently but Brian and Darrin at LA Weekly referenced the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia illustration I did for the cover of Royal Flush Book 7 HERE a while back in terms of what they were looking for, a more rendered style, a cartoon-y realism I like to call it. I was more than happy to comply, I love getting detailed in my work.

The idea was to have Keith doing his crazy dance with the Fowler sisters looking on in judgement/disgust.

I watched the video of his Kimberly Cole audition and grabbed a bunch of screen shots of him doing his thing then started sketches, did a couple heads and a couple bodies.

Thought this one was pretty good, captured his nerdiness mid-thrust and gave room to fit the girls in big next to him.

Got my lovely wife to do some posing in the backyard for reference for the girls, then used my light box to do some pencils over them. Worked up some pencil off their heads and placed them on the bodies.

Put it all together with a pink background and sent it off to Brian and Darrick as a rough. They really dug it, a great first round, but wanted them all closer together but then...

...they decided to go with this pose!

Definitely the right call, more dynamic and spastic.They came up the blue background the the white source as well, loved it.

Started on the Keith final, developing this pose and his face.

All along the way I am developing the girls, tweaking their expressions, dressing them in outfits, getting reference for each individual element - New Balance sneakers, sunglasses, hands, hair, fees etc..

Here are all the files I used for all the imagery. Reference, sketches, in progress.

For the girl's expression I google imaged the term "bitch face". Tyra Banks and Kristin Stewart came up alot. On a side note, I wish the Fowler girls all the success in the world, dont mean to give them a hard time but orders are orders :)

My wife and I even got into the act, using the Mac app Photo Booth to take some fantastic reference shots, haha.

As I go along, I save alot, number each new save. I worked on each character separately, bringing them all together now and again.

Wasn't feeling Keith's hands so I redid them and and popped them in.

... voliĆ”! This is the final art I sent. Detail shots below.

Elle Fowler, the icy blonde.

Blair Fowler, simply aghast at the horror before her!

and Keith, in the zone, his passion for the dance consuming his very soul.

Notice the Sega NEO-GEO fanny pack. That game rules. I also have no problem with fanny packs, very functional - gives you easy access to your carried items without cluttering up your pockets and without the bulkiness of a backpack.

When I sent off the final artwork, I had everything on layers so Brian and Darrick could move the figures around to make the cover design work however they liked.

VoliĆ”! They ended up slanting the girls a bit and creating this dope radiating line light source, love it. Excellent work fellas, thank you for pushing me to take it to the next level.

And here's Nathan Barnatt (his website HERE) holding up a copy. Rock on sir, keep on dancing, talking classics!

I hear Bieber is holding auditions next Thursday on Van Nuys.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Joker and Harley Quinn get Hitched!

This is a much belated wedding gift to my friends Josh and Mara Bernstein. Josh and I go way back, I helped launched his killer cult magazine ROYAL FLUSH and were in the Lower East Side's infamous pyscho-rockabilly post punk - haha - band The Spicy Rizzaks together (sandwich here) back in the day. He's now killin' it as the creative director of Revolver Magazine. Well, my wife and I gave them a gift last year at the wedding but during the course of it I drunkenly promised Josh a portrait of them as the Joker and Harley Quinn, who also cutely sat atop their wedding cake. It took a while, started off as a portrait but kept evolving - but I finally came through. Shipped them off an 11x17" print. Finito! Congrats Josh and Mara!

Pulling back the curtain, here's a screenshot of all the files and imagery I used to make this. :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

GOBLIN! In Progress


I've been working on a vast amount of primarily unseen fantasy/monster/fairy tale artwork over the past couple years. Been experimenting with digital and traditional visuals, learning a bunch of different techniques but generally suffering from the Goldilocks syndrome, not satisfied with certain elements and the overall look of things - that was too much, that was not enough. Trying to find a visual sweet spot. Work like this means so much to me that it's hard to let go. But I think I just figured a big piece of the puzzle out. I'm redrawing everything I've done thus far in old fashioned pencil and overlaying in over top then going from there. I'm getting back to my roots, where it all began. Will go much more in depth about this later but for now, here's a little glimpse of what I've been up to. Will be posting a slew of imagery this fall. Tally ho!

Friday, June 22, 2012

PEACE DAY 2012 Poster


Peace Day 2012 is right around the corner. The organizers asked me to do another poster, so I snazzed up the image a bit from last year, check it out. Went cosmic this time! Check our their website for more details.

There’s a Facebook event page as well HERE join up, spread the word, share it on your wall, invite your friends to participate. PEACE!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

HOW Magazine Portraits July Issue

Got a bunch of portraits on the contributors page in the July issue of HOW Magazine on stand now. It's a cool issue focusing on the future of type and designing for the web. Oh hey, that's me with the pink beard and green background :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Recent Editorial Work - Atlanta Magazine & LA Weekly

Kristin Chenoweth "Wicked, GCB gone country" for Atlanta Magazine

Congressman Howard Berman sinking in quicksand for LA Weekly

LA Weekly - The 818 area code gets a lot of flack.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Long long ago, Beings from another time and place visited our species in it's infancy.

They would visit us again thousands of years later, bestowing us with gifts of incredible knowledge, helping to advance our mortal capabilities.

But perhaps it wasn't out of kindness or grace.

Perhaps they were just buttering us up...

For The Slaughter.



Director Ridley Scott returns to the scifi genre this June.
Here’s my tribute to the forthcoming movie.

fyi, I have no idea if that's the plot, just following the logic ?? of the trailer

Below are some of the separate components that made up the whole. Had a blast doing this, I have a bunch of other movie poster planned this year. Stay tuned! Thanks for stopping by :)