Friday, May 22, 2009

" me from this darkness..." *

the world does not need another Johnny Cash portriat, and sometimes, perhaps in the case of film and fans in recent years, it would be a more fitting tribute to not pay homage at all. Cash, like many of the great songwriters, left music that will speak for itself and last the test of time; in a way that artists (and certainly, sadly, illustrators) rarely ever come close to achieving.

but i have always been a huge fan. both prison recordings, though very different, earn the adjective of 'landmark'. if there was a personality test where you had to pick a set of cards with the faces of music icons (lennon, presley, hendrix, dylan, etc), Cash would probably be one i would instinctualy grab.

this is the first in a series of portraits i am doing about musicians/icons in an attempt to just do more portraits, and also to do a little more editorial work. it was important for me to do things with more to say than your average big head-small body caricature.

fellow Highwayman Kris Kristofferson once said in an interview (that i can not find on-line, it was in Filter or something around the time Blade 2 came out) how relationships and creativity rarely successfully coexist. That you are always sacrificing one for the other. if you're lucky though, maybe you find that one in a million...
so this piece is, in truth, a tribute to June Carter

thanks for looking

* subject quote from 'I See a Darkness', actually written by Will Oldham, but what a duet they made of it

Monday, May 18, 2009

Coffee Project EP!

the Coffee Project will have a new digital only EP available this summer through Paper + Plastick records! check out some other cool merch available!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

skeletor: pretty darned Metal

The Autumn Society is having their 80s Pop show soon, and there are some incredible intimidating exciting contributions yet again. personally, i'm not really that crazy about any of the pop media that came out of the 80s, and nostalgia for the wonderful 10 years i enjoyed during the decade (especially the one where i was born) make it only slightly better than the 70s, which produced almost nothing i would go bragging about (maybe Led Zeppelin and my brother Dan, that's about it)

but my parents were always so generous and i was always able to enjoy action figures and let my imagination run wild. the truth is there were some highly imaginative strange characters from pac man to thundercats to transformers to turtle ninjas and on and on, but he-man was my favorite early on. running around creating stories in my head, creating silly dialog and adventures and battles and such was perhaps a huge impact on where i am now as a creative person, not to mention i imagine that masters of the universe may be among the earliest things i ever drew (post smiley-face period, that is). the proof of that is a page from he-man magazine down below, circa 1985, when my brother Ray and i had apparently submitted an ally for the Eternian Universe.

so that's what i pay tribute to here more than anything. only as i write this am i realizing how important he-man may have been to me, or rather, how encouraging and supportive my family has been since day one with me, and how all these little things have lasting effects and contributions. a butterfly wing flap here, a hurricane there.



beet juice and inks (for real)

here's that little gem from my childhood; 100% authentic. note what a superfan i was at 5, and how unintentionally sweet and humorous these innocent letters are. click to read

Friday, May 15, 2009

Diver City

as always, click image for a nicer, larger view

the 7"

here's one that has a lot of reasons. i wanted to give my buddy Kyle Hussa Lietz a 45rpm 7" record that i had acquired by ill gotten means during a summer of my ill spent youth long ago, but i had no sleeve for it (abandoning the original was key to the coveted vinyl's attainment). Kyle is an amazing guy who makes fantastic art of all kinds HERE, as well as some of my favorite music HERE (and occasionally he even lets me ruin it a little).

He quietly and romantically proposed to his awesome girlfriend Alana while they were snorkeling one vacation. So when i figured Kyle should have a sleeve for his 7", i wanted to celebrate them both, because they were both huge helps, comforts, and support systems since we moved to NYC (and well before that).

with the 7" format, knowing it would be folded, i wanted something that would work as a mirror reflection (as the bottom would be flipped upside down if you turned it over to view the 'back' of the record), as well as unfolded and elongated, if they wanted to look at it that way.

i think jellyfish are amazing to look at. if you have ever seen how beautiful they are (behind glass), or even Tim Roth's 'room' in Werner Herzog's "Invincible", you will know what i hope an afterlife would look a little like

this piece also is a little reflective of our move to Harlem NYC, where there's excitement and wonder but certainly a degree of caution. Diver City.

it also got me over the hump of just DOING the first new piece of art in the new apartment/studio. we moved to New York on a saturday and 7 days later the drafting table and computer were up and the piece was done (and on the blog 2 weeks after, of course...)

thanks for reading! there's a LOT more new work on the way: political images, social themes, various portraits from the television ("note, i did not say TV. TV is a nickname, and nicknames are for friends, and television is NO friend of mine..."), and a new series of some of my favorite recording artists of yesteryear. next post though, is, dare i say, a 'gnarly' take on a popular and cherished toy icon from my childhood for the Autumn Society's show "80s Pop!" so put your OP and Skidz on and prepare to get radical and such!
take care,

Friday, May 8, 2009

Vegan Treats!

these have been around for a bit but they are finally at the printer!

Vegan Treats is an amazing Vegan bakery in Bethlehem PA (though available all over, maybe even near you!). i am not the biggest cake person in the world nor do i have much of a sweet tooth, however i constantly refer to her cupcakes as "Lifechangers" to everyone i talk to about this

Gary and Danielle are both amazing people to work with and i was excited to practice my design chops for such a great business run by such a great person. here are some business cards and the retail menu

here's an early sketch of the Cake Charmer!

and the human sweets swallower!