Recent Posts

Thursday, March 31, 2011

commissioner gordon

I'm always a little hesitant to take on commissions these days, it feels like a gamble half the time. In some cases the direction can be so heavy handed that it really feels like labor. This was not one of those cases. The level of trust and freedom was great; given enough guidelines that I could build a nice box to work in and out of, and I was allotted the chance to pay homage to my favourite brotherhood, the Pre-Raphealites.

reluctant bride #002
graphite on BFK Rives, 20"x21"

I tried to consistently document the process of the piece, you can see some areas where I get caught up in a certain nuance and ultimately have to scrap it to make the image work as a whole.

I'm working on a few more of these dream projects right now. I can't wait to share them with you.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Radiation Fun - Jason Raish

The big earthquake hit 232 miles from Tokyo, but I was working on a huge advertising project so i just had to continue working through the aftershocks and the threat of nuclear radiation. I ran to the bathroom with my laptop many times that day during a big aftershock (what we deemed to be the safest place in our tiny tokyo apartment) in order to keep working. That project literally could have killed me. The exciting life of an illustrator right? Eventually after the radiation scare got bigger and all the foreigners I knew were leaving Japan i decided there is something going on here and maybe i should get out too. So on came the triumvirate of stress of moving my whole life out of a country, the biggest ad project i'll ever work on, and the stress of aftershocks and radiation. I had no time for any of this, i had over 3,000 animals to draw in 10 days!

bread and some other kinds of food was no where to be had even in tokyo. they were talking rolling blackouts until the summer.

a refugee scene and mass exodus at the Narita airport. that line goes faaaar back and around corners. It took two hours for me and everyone else to check-in for flights to Korea. everything was over booked and every flight was bumped and everyone was p!ssed and stressed. I am now living as a nuclear refugee in Seoul at my friend's house for a month until i move to Barcelona.

for my whole earthquake story see my travel blog:

another full page illustration for Risk magazine about financial terms I know nothing of. Thank god the AD boils it all down for me. instead of darwin's evolution of man they wanted the evolution of swap pricing with monsters. it's a pretty good day when you get to draw monsters for hours. We had a hard time nailing the evolutionary stages. At first i went too early with a single eyed blob organism and then there was a phase where it looked like a baby growing up into an adult as opposed to evolution.

spot for THE (time higher education) in the UK. its dealt with something about possibly losing funding but that it wasn't really a big deal if people relaxed and the title of the article was "The end is not nigh"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Common Ground

It seems like I hit a pocket of education-based commissions recently. No complaints there. It is admittedly fun to trick myself into thinking I'm smart enough to have my work in front of scholars. Like I sneaked into the teacher's lounge by proxy.

Then I read the paragraph I just wrote and reality comes crashing down.

Anywho... I was contacted by the American School Board Journal to create a cover for their March issue. The topic was the implementation of common core standards among US public schools. I had to convey the idea of unifying educational standards while raising them higher.

My initial round of sketches was pretty loose, as they've tended to be recently. When the art director leaves the solution very open ended I try to get as many ideas communicated without polishing them too much. My theory is that this will result in a quicker approval and more time to paint. However, after seeing Chris Whetzel's sketches, I think I may just be tricking myself into being lazy.
   The art director chose the obvious best choice. I knew the large grad cap was the best, but I really wanted to paint the tall hat crowd. I knew it didn't really make much sense, I just really liked how ludicrous it was. Sigh.

A big thanks to Carrie Carroll for the opportunity.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Jeffrey Kaplan for The Deal


A portrait I recently drew of Bank of America's Jeffrey Kaplan is in the current issue of The Deal.

The full-page portrait appears in the feature article "A Deal Guy's Goodbye." Although the deadline was really quick with this, it was great to do a portrait and I was pleased with how it turned out.

This was drawn on watercolor paper with a brush. The original art by itself is here.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Wind Beast, NYTimes new illo

This illo is about "Touring around Asia by Air" for the NYTimes Travel section. The article is online already and will be in the Sunday's paper.
I have a lot of creative freedom and tons of fun thanks to AD Corinne Myller.
Great thanks also to Yuko Shimizu who recommended my works to Corinne.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spectrum Silver Medal

In a feat of high improbability, luck, astrological alignment, wishes on a monkey's paw, and, I think, a possible gas leak at the judging....  I won a silver medal in the Unpublished category for this year's Spectrum Fantastic Art annual competition.
This happened.
I am beyond shocked and deeply honored.

The piece in question is this one here.

And the full video announcing the award winners can be seen here.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

New Illo for Runners' World Mag

"Wingman"-a new illustration for this month's Runners' World magazine. The top image is my original version and the one below is the tweaked version in the magazine.

Runner's World magazine uses tons of illustrations, so I was really excited when I got the job from the wonderful AD Marc Kauffman. So glad to be in the same issue with other wicked great illustrators such as: Marco Chin, Josh Cochran, Michael Byers, Pete Ryan and many more.

Friday, March 11, 2011

myself would like to introduce.....myself

Pleasure to be brought aboard the Illostop with these fine talented folks. I will do my best to update regularly and keep up the high standard of work.

Here's a cover I just finished for Night Shade Books. An obvious spoof of Grant Wood's "American Gothic" painting, mixed with a bit of "Twilight" ....but not too Twilighty or we get sued!

oil/digital mix



Thursday, March 10, 2011


GROOVY!!!!!! So I want to get some more portraits into my work seeing as I have done a few lately for commissions. This is a little work in progress of just that, which I have been working on in my spare time. I am really a movie nut so I want to do more film oriented portraits from some of my favorite movies. We will see what comes of these. I am not sure if I will do caricatures for the other images but I couldn't help myself on this one. Plus I have never really done a caricature. More to come on this....hopefully soon


Hi guys!
Here is PART 02 of ILLUSTRATION SURVIVAL. This time we will discuss some basics so that we can define the most important elements before you start working on your website.  As a reminder, the things described are reflections of my personal experience. The images of some of the artists are only random examples I used to make a point.
Please remember that the best method is still the one that works for you, so don't ever feel that there is only one way! And most importantly: Enjoy yourself as you enter the industry. It's not the big, dark, depressing world so many make it out to be.

Thanks for reading guys!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Dragon 397 and a little process...

Recently I did another cover for D&D's Dragon Magazine, Issue 397. The scene depicts the True Priests battling their corrupted brothers in the defiled holy temple. Jon Schindehette was AD on this and as always it was a pleasure working with him.

For this post I thought I would include a little process or step-by-step on how I approached this illustration, and pretty much how I approach all illustrations. I start with a super rough thumbnail keeping it loose. There were a few others, but I just included the one I went with. I usually do a little value or lighting comp over these thumbnails as well, but on this project I was working a bit fast to hit the deadline and I skipped some of my usual steps. After the tight pencil I normally do a full value comp and a fairly rough color comp. I basically lay the colors I am after over the image in Photoshop so I can see where I want to take the finish. Then, magically I paint the finish! Ta Dah! I would like to post an actual timelaps painting process video, but that will have to wait until I can figure out how to do it.

Cheers! Dragon 397


Hi guys!
I've decided to start a series of tips on marketing strategies and suggestions for rising illustrators and those looking to take their illustration career to the next level. These observations and suggestions are all based on personal experiences and studies, so please keep that in mind as you read through. You are free to share this post as it is my goal to help rising artists and reach out to established illustrators across the world to make this industry as accessible and enjoyable to the newcomers as it is to the ones who made it their life and career.  Click on image below to view full size.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New Illo for Rhode Island Monthly

Hello illostop friends,

Here is "The Best Places to Live in Rhode Island"- a series I did for Rhode Island Monthly magazine March issue which just came out a few days ago.

This is probably the most epic editorial assignment I have done so far. I finished these five illustrations in 1 week and a half, time was a little tight but it was a fun challenge.

I was really happy when AD Dean Welshman called me for the project. Rhode Island is like asecond hometown for me, it carries 4 years of wonderful college memories.

Also, Dean was just really great to work with. He understands that artists work the best when they are given the most creative freedom. So yeah, really fun project!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Hi guys, here is a redrawn version of Sarajevo, page 1 of The Spark Graphic Novel. I've also redrawn the third page to match the new direction, so this will be one of the last images I will share before the comic is completed.

Below is an illustration for Crain Communications-Workforce Management. It's for an article titled The Thought Police and talks about technology that will allow employers to spy on what employees do on work computers, especially monitoring social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by everyone,