Thursday, January 28, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Dragon Tattoo

This one goes back to the summer of 2001 when I was successfully freelancing (until 9-11 changed everything.)

I got word that a local tattoo shop near my home was looking for a large detailed flying dragon for his client's entire backside. The tattoo artist only wanted line work, but it needed to be made to scale to fit the gentleman's entire back.

GIF scan of the top portion of a pencil sketch made for a tattoo created circa summer of 2001

The instructions were to create a dragon with huge wings hovering over flames. I had to do the design on two sheets of paper to fit the dimensions needed. I remember wanting to scan a copy of the work to keep on record, but I had a hard time trying to scan such a huge image back then.
Now, I only have this small GIF scan of the top half; I've no idea why the bottom half isn't in the same folder.

I never got to see the finished tattoo -- but when I got paid, the tattoo artist gave me back the original artwork, which I quickly archived into my portfolio. Unfortunately, a few years later, that entire portfolio was lost when I applied for a job with Fisher-Price. They insisted that I send my portfolio to their New York office and then they lost it several weeks later. They claimed they never received the portfolio, even though someone signed for it when it was delivered. ( Yes Fisher-Price, I still remember how unprofessional that whole portfolio fiasco was . . . )

Perhaps I'll find that bottom half one day. But I learned my lesson that year:
If you like an original piece of work, NEVER mail it out in a portfolio.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Throwback Thursday: A Graduation Card circa 1997

This one goes back to around 1997. A graduation card that I gave to several people back then. Like all work from the past, it could be better. So much of the card bothers me now . . . but I still like the sequential joke and pacing of the card.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Looking Back: Character Design circa 1998

Before the popular TV series of the same name, I worked for a place called CSI (circa 1998). I was an animator, hired along with a group of artists, coders and website designers. We were all hired to create an educational website called

Long story short, the project lasted about a year before the Internet bubble burst. Stock shares plummeted, our investor pulled the plug and our group of artists, coders and web designers had to be let go . . . all except for a handful of people who remained to do other websites. I was one of the few kept on the payroll. But the work just wasn't the same. After another year, I left CSI in 2000 and went back to freelancing.

But in that first year, I had designed many characters to be used for the SchoolKidsOnline website. This character, Chip, was never used for the site. He was one of about 25 characters I had developed to interact with the main children characters.

It's a shame the website never got to see it's launch. The idea was fantastic. It would have been a website that teachers could use to test their students, get automatic test scores, a database study of each child's progress and it was able to retrain each child on specific lessons they found difficult.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Daily Quick Sketch: Happy Monkey Cheese Day

I created this sketch over the Holiday break. Pretty much just doodling.
I thought back to my childhood, a time when silly words and phrases could really make me burst out in laughter. Silly names and phrases always got my attention and it is probably the key reason why "The Phantom Tollbooth" remains my all-time favorite children's book.

There is an art to making silly names, words and sayings; it can not simply be gibberish.
A good silly name needs rhythm. It needs to be colorful and playful. But the most important element . . . it needs to make you stop, think and imagine. That's what weird, creative and strange things do -- they make us stop, think and imagine. The funnier the words are, the longer they stay with us.

"Monkey Cheese" was pencilled then colored with Copic alcohol markers . . .
and "No", I wasn't drinking the markers' alcohol when creating this image!

"Monkey Cheese" is a phrase that always made me laugh as a kid. It made no sense. It's also something I thought only I created, but if you googled that phrase today -- apparently many similar like minds have thought of the same saying.

So this is my visual image of Monkey Cheese. Does it make sense? No.
Doesn't have to . . . but having created this little sketch did bring a smile to my face.
NOTE: The Urban Dictionary even defines "Monkey Cheese" as: " Term often used to describe a random, pointless act or outburst. Commonly used in an attempt to draw hilarity where none is found. "

Happy Monkey Cheese Day everyone . . . 

Friday, January 1, 2016

UPDATE: Daily Quick Sketch: Happy Baby New Year

UPDATE: New Digital Version of New Year Baby for 2016

5 gooder than 3! Much gooder!!!

Did a quick digital ink version of my 2013 marker comp image of Baby New Years. This time dropping the top hat and making it a little more about everyone world-wide.
This is a much cleaner drawing process than the Copic markers version (see that one below.) I've decided to not shade or highlight this time too. This technique also allows a transparent background, so it's nice to have the option to place this image on or over any background image or color.

Can't believe 2 years went by so fast.

Black ink lines were created in my latest art program, Mischief -- and then colored in Photoshop.

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Originally posted on Monday, December 23, 2013

I know it's not even Christmas yet, but I had a vision of this Baby New Year in my head and needed to put it on paper before the image faded from my memory. (That happens often -- thinking/imagining a character (or idea) which I don't get down on paper in time - forever lost.) 

Baby New Year, kicking off the new year . . . 
I would like to thank everyone who visited this blog over the past year and wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year! There are more drawings to come in the upcoming year!
The original Pencil sketch of Baby New Year
Added a new sketch version of the baby for illustration Friday. The word of the week is "Reflect", so I created a "reflective" version of the New Year Baby 2014 with an Old Year 2013.