The Red Dragon

Last year I had the pleasure of painting this Dungeons & Dragons / Pathfinder inspired dragon for the Fantasy Adventure Deck. It was the first time I have painted a dragon since college, so much fun.  I finished this up just before Gen-Con last year and did not have time to get prints made of it before the show. The painting itself sold to another artist and off it when, my new baby out into the world. A few months later when I tried to get prints made, I noticed that my file was not the greatest, in fact it was actually pretty bad for larger reproductions. Somehow I had lost my original scan. Thankfully the artist that bought it was a talented photographer as well and was able to send me this hi-quality photo. I got lucky, really lucky. There are several lessons in there about not rushing, backing up files, etc. Im just glad it worked out.

I'll be debuting prints and mounted panel prints of this guy at Gen-Con in about two weeks and will then be placing them on the site.

"Red Dragon" 2015. acrylic on illustration board

"Red Dragon" 2015. acrylic on illustration board

Hometown love and bad photos.

"Dude, you got Cthulhu and some Star Wars goons on the walls of the Evansville Museum". Yes I did. I was one of 16 former students of Joan Kempf Dejong selected to show at the Master Teacher exhibit in celebration of the University of Southern Indiana's 50th anniversary. Many of the 16 selected were former classmates of mine. Joan was a great teacher, and we had such a great group those few years. It was great to catch up with many of them that I had not seen in many years and great to spend some time with the ones that I have been working with since I graduated. 

"Ephant Mon" and Cthuhlu's Tide hanging in the EvansvilleMuseum of Arts, History and Science. The lighting looks so harsh in the photo.

"Ephant Mon" and Cthuhlu's Tide hanging in the EvansvilleMuseum of Arts, History and Science. The lighting looks so harsh in the photo.

Matt and I worked on these 3 Tin Man pieces. They also won Gold and Judge's choice at the local AAF Addy awards last night. The two woodcut band posters were also collaborations between Matt and I. They were done in the early 2000s when we had Semisans, a design studio on 3rd Street in downtown Evansville.

Matt and I worked on these 3 Tin Man pieces. They also won Gold and Judge's choice at the local AAF Addy awards last night. The two woodcut band posters were also collaborations between Matt and I. They were done in the early 2000s when we had Semisans, a design studio on 3rd Street in downtown Evansville.

Some of the other work in the show were Tin Man pieces, submitted by Matt Wagner. These were pieces that Matt, Aaron Tanner and I collaborated on. Matt also entered these into this years local Addy awards. The Damascene can and the vector series both took gold and received a jurors choice.

Evansville AAF awards. Two Gold and Judge's choice awards for Tin Man Brewing.

Evansville AAF awards. Two Gold and Judge's choice awards for Tin Man Brewing.

Not a long post. Just wanted to share the good things that come from working with friends. I've been fortunate to have had a wonderful teacher and friend in Joan and great classmates that I continue to work with today, 14 years later.

Brewing Up Retro Robots

Over the past year or two I have had the pleasure of working with a craft brewer start up in Evansville, IN called Tin Man Brewing Co. All their branding, interior and merch were designed by two friends and former co-workers of mine, Matt Wagner and Aaron Tanner. When they asked me to help with some can and glass designs I was super excited. The fact that I loved their beer and all the people there are great folks made the job even better. Check out Matt, Aaron and Tin Man!

Damascene

For this can, I was charged with making art that had to be reproduced as in 3 colors only but we wanted a pulp art look to it. I made the pallet very limited for this piece, maybe 6 colors. So much for warm highlights and cool shadows, its a color plus black for shading in the end. Once I had the image painted and scanned in, I then masked out each color (orange, green, black and the can substrate that would show through). Next I created new channels for what would become each of three pantone colors and started pulling values from my CMYK channels until I had a three color image that was reasonably close to the painting. There was of course some loss of subtle hues but that was to be expected. Aaron then drop the art in layout and created 1 bit tiffs of each color channel and sent them off to the printers. Fingers crossed and lots of waiting...

The art for Damascene is being featured on BeerLabelsArt.com right now.

The art for Damascene is being featured on BeerLabelsArt.com right now.

The ADDYs!

As I sat at home, sick on a Friday night, I started getting tagged in various social media. The Evansville Addy Awards were going on and two of the cans that Matt Wagner and I had created took home some awards. Matt handled all the layout work for both. The main image on each can is where we collaborated. On both we would start with a few sketches and a crude vector rendering of the image and then we would pass it back and forth making changes and talking about it. After a half dozen hand offs, we came to these two designs below. Matt has a very graphic look in most of his work and is able to break things down to their essence where as I get consumed in the details and rendering. Working with Matt always pushes me out of my comfort zones but it always works out well and is a lot of fun. 

  Two collaborative pieces made with Matt Wagner that brought home Addy Gold. 

 

Two collaborative pieces made with Matt Wagner that brought home Addy Gold. 

I may as well go ahead and show this Tin Man Overlord can which was the first collaboration with Matt Wagner. It also started with a few sketches and was passed back and forth many times till we reached a final image that we were both happy with. 

Thats all for now. Cheers!

Starting year 2 as an illustrator.

So I made it through my first year as a full time professional! Looking back there was a lot of sleepless nights and not a lot of money to be had but I did make major progress with my art and understanding about the business.

With the start of 2015, I am retooling my goals, web presence and outlook on how to craft a business and navigate my new career path. As I search out new clients and strengthen relationships with existing ones, I have become aware that I can be my own client too. That was probably my biggest realization of 2014. This year I am starting to do more work for my self. I have exciting projects announcments that will be dropping soon. Sign up for my mailing list on the about page if you want to stay informed. Also on the schedule are a series of personal works that will be appearing at shows this spring, summer and fall. These works are aimed at getting back to the imagery I loved when I was creating just for myself and will hopefully push my client work towards what I naturally wish to paint.

As part of my web re-vamp, I am starting fresh with the blog. These will be infrequent post about process and business practices and is aimed at fellow artist and fans. Instagram and Facebook will have a more continuos feed of visual material if that is what you are after. As aways, Im happy to discuss further if you feel like hitting me up on email or the social media of your choice. Thanks for visiting my new home on the web. And with that, lets continue on with the Art Adventures!

The image above was a sketch for an unfinished ArtOrder challenge. I'll have to finish out someday soon, just for fun.

The image above was a sketch for an unfinished ArtOrder challenge. I'll have to finish out someday soon, just for fun.