Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Digital Portrait

Here is a digitally painted portrait I made for Digital Media class at School of Visual Arts in NY. This was primarily a technical class, focusing on making images digitally. It was taught by Matt Rota, a really fantastic illustrator who uses digital practices in some of his professional work. 

This was my first digital portrait, and I did somewhat enjoy it. I gave myself the challenge of choosing a character who is very scary--this is Javier Bardem as that terrifying murder-y guy in the film No Country for Old Men--so that I could try to convey a mood within the art I was making. I gave myself this challenge because I can look at something and copy it pretty well when drawing, but it often just looks "copied" and sort of lifeless. In visual communication it is important to tell a story with whatever you are making, so I've been putting some effort into making my images work a little harder to convey a mood or feeling.

Here is the "under painting", completed digitally: 

Here is the stage where I put in most of the flats and was ready to blend things and get more detailed:

I give myself a C overall in terms of applying a mood to the painting. Not a super successful attempt, but not a failure either. He almost looks kind of dignified or something, which isn't great because his character is a deranged killer and he is not portrayed as dignified at all in the film.

More to come from the MFA Visual Narrative program in the future! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On-Site Drawing Series Part VII: Golan Heights!

Here is an on-location drawing I made when I was visiting the Golan Heights during my recent visit to Israel:

I typically prefer to make on-location drawings of people and movement, because I think that it's more challenging and forces the artist to make editorial decisions on the fly, but I think there is value in drawing a still landscape, too. This drawing in particular was somewhat of a challenge to complete simply due to time constraints. The trip had a jam-packed itinerary, so I got up early two of the days when we were staying at this hostel, and I was able to spend about forty minutes on it each of the mornings. I also went back into after I got home from the trip to add in a bit of detail. I hope to one day be a "pure" on-location visual recorder and complete the entire thing on-location, in a small time frame.

Anyway, I didn't get too many high quality photos of the trip, but here are a few I was able to snap with my one-use disposable camera (yes, they still make those!):

At a market in Jerusalem

Sunrise on Masada, think we got this moment covered
in the digital media dept.

Fellow travelers and myself in front of Jerusalem

Market near Tel-Aviv

On-location drawing pursuits aside, this was a very inspiring trip. If you haven't been there, get there! For me it only took getting over my crippling fear of flying across the ocean, but it was nothing a few pills and a couple glasses of wine couldn't resolve (just kidding, kind of)... l'chiam!  

Monday, September 23, 2013

On-Site Drawing Series Part VI: Brooklyn Book Festival 2013

Hi there, blog! How was your summer? Here is an on-location sketch I made this weekend at the Brooklyn Book Festival at a comics talk called "The Real: Comics Nonfiction" with comic artists/author Ed Piskor, Lucy Knisley, and Tom Kaczynski. I am grappling with how and if nonfiction plays a role in my own work, so it was great to hear insights from these three. 

Being semi-new to the area, it was also refreshing and fun to attend a talk that is so interesting and relevant to me and that is also a free, easily accessible public event! Something for everyone in this town, I'm telling you. 

This event took place at the Brooklyn Historical Society.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Mitsingen Mural for Playworks

Here is some artwork I recently helped complete for Playworks Chicago, a non-for-profit organization promoting play and recess for students in the city. They primarily focus on Chicago Public schools. The mural was completed through the mural group I collaborate with, mitsingen.

There were several challenges completing this mural for us both logistically and creatively, so I feel especially accomplished having come through the process with a unique product that will brighten Playworks' office space. 

On a related note, this will unfortunately be the last piece of art I collaborate on with mitsingen, as I am relocating to New York City! I will be attending a professional MFA program at School of Visual Arts called MFA Visual Narrative and continuing to pursue my career as an illustrator and designer.

Overall, my favorite aspect of the piece is the economy of space used with the figures--not a tactic typical to mitsingen, but I think it shows breadth in our toolkit of design skills. I also dig the approach we took to the buildings, inspired by 1960's illustration work. Fellow artist Brandon Waltz took this inspiration and came up with a specific design to fit the mural, which Leah Tumerman and I used as a roadmap to guide our painting. 

Monday, February 18, 2013


Now accepting commissions for cat art. 

I swore I would never stoop to this level! Curse thee Internet! I have submitted to the power of meme (and cuteness). Inquire within:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

On-Site Sketching Series: Part V

Here are some on-site drawings I made at Union Station in Chicago this past Sunday with my drawing club. They are made with micron pens, markers, and brush and ink. The girls sitting next to me when I was drawing Track 9 were from my hometown! I heard them talking about goings on in the town, amongst other hilarious college-aged banter (so over it, right?). Check out their insightful sound bite, and enjoy the art of live, on-location sketching!

You don't know it, but I think I have this woman gazing off at Pizza Hut in the Union Station food court. What, it's part of the experience, man...

I've been trying to work on refining my palettes and establishing a better hierarchy in the drawings, even if it means coming back in afterward and adding in flat color/other unifying elements. This requires some level of anticipation with the sketches. Like, I knew I would probably come back, at least in the first one, and add a semi-solid neutral color all over the foreground. It didn't make sense to take the time doing this while we were on-site. Too time consuming, and I didn't need the actual visual to make this design-driven element happen. You know? You get it.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Business of Freelancing Q&A

I attended a very informative AIGA/Artisan Group lecture last night at the COOP in Chicago. Freelancing can be a tricky business, what with keeping track of/making tax deductions, insurance, legal components and contracts. I actually really dislike dealing with all of these things, but I figure if I'm better informed it will feel like less of a pain. I think it was a great idea to facilitate an event like this; business is an integral component to freelancing and must not be overlooked! I would even venture to say... being "good" at the business side of freelancing is almost as valuable as being "good" at the creative side of things, if that makes any sense.

Here are my illustrated notes from the lecture:

The guest speakers were Martin Kamenski of Rockstar CPA, Chris Johnson of Johnsonese Brokerage, and Michael Komessar of Komessar and Associates, LLC. 

More work coming this month--I'm kicking it into high gear in 2013, who's with me?!