Urban Fantasy

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For your viewing pleasure today, I am posting my latest editorial illustration. I’m really excited about this piece for a few reasons. I’m quite pleased at how it turned out and I also feel that it marks a discovery for me as far as what works best for my work and concepts. That discovery is thanks to some fellow illustrators over at The Mighty Pencil (if you’re not familiar with this illustration collective, I suggest you check us out).

The piece was created for an article about a woman who leaves the city for a much more affordable small town. It all looked great on paper, but when it came to actually living in a small town where she had no real roots the town just didn’t cut it. After an isolating winter, she made the decision to move back to a large city.

The painting is available as a print here and I have also made cards (and other products) available here – seems like the perfect holiday/winter greeting, yes?

Filling An Empty Nest with Animals

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Some of you may have seen me tweeting last week about starting a painting over again and this is it. The illustration is about a woman who fills her empty nest with animals. She then realizes that she has spent her life filling voids with various pets. You can buy a print of this piece here.

I know I’ve talked about this here before, but I really do feel that starting something over is sometimes the best thing you can do. It’s always frustrating and there’s always a small part of me that wants to find a way around the inevitable. The truth is that even if the piece doesn’t come out ten times better because of it (though it likely will) you will learn something about what you did the first time and how you might approach things differently in the future.

Raising an Introvert

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More new work today. This is a piece about an extroverted mother and her attempts to draw her introverted, adult son into conversations of more than just a few words. In this story, she uses her broken dishwasher as an excuse to get her son, who is living with her, to help her wash dishes … and to talk.

After working with mostly digital paint on the last few pieces, or a combination of digital and traditional, I’ve gone back to paints on this one. I’ve been working in watercolor a lot but I’ve decided to give acrylics a try. What I love about them is that I can water them down and get them to behave much like watercolor when I want them to, but then I can easily add layers as earlier ones dry without the risk of pulling up the paint I had already laid down.

Never stop learning, right?

The Psychology of Speeding

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Another new illustration this week, this time for an article about the psychology of speeding and what cities like New York can do to help slow people down and prevent speed-related deaths. The last illustration I posted was painted completely with digital brushes but for this piece I wanted to do a combination. There’s a certain roughness that you get with scanning real paint marks that I have trouble achieving digitally. The all-digital stuff I do tends to come out a bit soft, in my opinion.

I love working with scientific subject matter. It really gives my brain a good workout in the concept department because so many of the topics are abstract to begin with and there can often be a lot of obvious solutions that you have to think past to get to something more original.

Go Ahead, Spice Up Your Investments

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This new illustration is for an article about how investors can spice up otherwise boring investments. I’m in constant experimentation mode and for this piece I decided to try an all-digital approach. I painted the lines traditionally (with ink and brush) but the rest is all digital paint and texture. I’ve been playing around with various digital brushes, particularly Kyle T. Webster’s brushes, and this was painted almost entirely with his new gouache set. I’m still working out the best way to combine traditional and digital methods and Kyle’s brushes are certainly a big step in that direction.

Adrift – New Editorial Illustration

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Last week I started a new class through the Tutor Mill. I am taking a class on Visual Metaphor with Chris Buzelli and Yuko Shimizu, two very talented and well-known illustrators. This piece is the final from my first assignment on the problems that are created when the sea ice that polar bears use for hunting melts too early.

Prints of this painting are available in my Society6 shop and the original painting is available here. For a limited time, prices on all the paintings in my shop have been reduced by up to $25!

Cover Illustration for Regent’s College London EBS Alumni Magazine

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Late last year I was asked to create a cover illustration for EBS London, Regent’s College London’s alumni magazine. It was a food and drink special with the tagline ‘The Ingredients of Success.” They loved the spaghetti and meatballs idea and provided the words they wanted to include within the pasta. They were such a pleasure to work with and I was thrilled to be working on my first cover. Below is a larger image of just the illustration.

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Christmas in Texas! New Editorial Illustration

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This piece was created for someone who wanted to announce to their clients that their business had moved to Texas. I’ve been playing with a new style of working and I’m thrilled with how this came out. Be prepared to see more work like this in the future!

Today I was informed that my new, custom, standing desk is complete. It’s in my hometown in Nebraska so I won’t be able to pick it up for a couple of weeks, but if I get a photo of it in advance I’ll share. I’m going to be working with the carpenter to either offer the desk for sale through him and/or offer a PDF how-to guide to building your own. And I’ll be sure to post a review once I’ve worked with it for a little while.

Happy Holidays everyone!

This piece is available as a print from Society6 if you’re interested!

Nutritionism – New Editorial Illustration

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Nutritionism is a term used to describe our current practice of eating foods based solely on their nutrients and not on the food as a whole. We take the nutrients out of context and completely disregards the benefits of eating whole foods. Instead we cram nutrients where they don’t belong, like extra fiber to cereals made of corn and sugar, and we get far less nutrition in return.

I created this editorial illustration after reading about nutritionism in Michael Pollan’s book In Defense of Food. I had originally created it for a separate food project I’m working on, but since that project has taken a slightly different turn, I decided to share this with you and to add it to my portfolio. If you’re interested in food and food-related issues, you can follow my on my second Twitter account here.

New York Magazine – The Junior Meritocracy *New Illustrations*

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These editorial illustrations are based on a New York Magazine article titled “The Junior Meritocracy.” It was a great article that addressed the issues involved with testing our children for advanced placement in schools at 4 years of age. It revealed the problems with testing at such early ages when a child’s IQ is not stable and certainly not permanent.

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“The kindergarten-admission process has always been about openly judging a 4-year-old and secretly judging the parents’ wealth, connections, and likeliness to give.”