Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Handsome Hammers

This is line work for The Handsome Hammer's logo being made by Marissa Dinello. I would go into detail about what the group does, but it involves movie production, and my knowledge of technical terms and equipment is pretty limited, so I'll just say they move stuff and look good doing it.

It's also worth pointing out that it's the first official day of winter. So go out and enjoy it by laying face down in a snow drift!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Not-So-Daily Sketch: Mad Science

Because nothing is more exciting than pouring test tubes into beakers while laughing like an idiot.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Out with the old, send in the elephants.

If your job involves political illustrations, at some point, you're going to draw a donkey and an elephant. It's a fact of life. My job involves political illustrations and I thought I would make it past four issues of Great Lakes Life before I went to that old well, but here we are.

You've bested me again, beasts of burden.

This piece is about the house majority shift and is in the December issue of Great Lakes Life magazine. Go out, buy it and rave about it to strangers on the bus. I promise your life will improve greatly. You may even find a ten dollar bill in your jacket pocket.

Here are the original two concepts:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Can you dig it, Jive Turkey?

I don't know what the flip side is, but I assume it looks like this.

This was a good excuse to mess around with some bolder colors.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Have you ever looked at the head of a turkey? I mean have you really taken a moment to examine the details of a turkey's face? Before drawing this piece, I took a look at some google images of turkeys and they look like some sort of Lovecraftian demon bird.
All the saggy nastiness probably isn't helping. Someone needs a plastic surgeon.

And a fun side note: I actually own that disgusting green button-up sweater in the picture. That's how Dave rolls.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bigfoot Loves the Funk

Sasquatches are naturally drawn to the Epiphone Jack Casady Bass. I'm not sure why. I'm not a bigfootologist.

Also, I'm just now realizing how much easier the photoshop line tool makes drawing a guitar. That's number 398 on the list of things you'd think I would have figured out by now.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Family Road Trip Survival Guide

With the holidays just around the corner, lots of families will be loading into vans for loooooong rides to Grandma's house filled with I Spy, missed turn, fast food and the buildup of silent rage. Great Lakes Life Magazine ran a survival guide to help make the venture a little more...jolly. The first image (above) was the main image for the guide, the others are just sidebar illustrations.

Fun fact: the car they're driving is some strange mixture of a Honda Element, a VW Beetle and a PT Cruiser. It seems like the perfect combination of ugly cars.

The next image is a family who isn't having such a good time. I wanted to go very simple with the coloring of the sidebar illustrations. I find with very small illustrations, simple looks better (I also realize this isn't really ground-breaking information).

Another one of the sidebars talked about the greatest family road trip movies. Number one was obviously National Lampoon's Vacation so I did a lil drawing of Chevy Chase. I'm amazed how much more difficult it is to pull off a good likeness of someone when he have pants on his head. For some reason facial features take a backseat to the fact that there are pants up there.

One of the other movies mentioned was The Muppet Movie (yes we know the Muppets aren't technically a family) so I was originally going to have Kermit in the back seat of the car, but thanks to Conan O'Brien, I can no longer draw him without adding vomit. That sort of thing doesn't tend to fly.

The final sidebar deals with taking the kids to Chuck E. Cheese's (kids need to eat on the road, right?). I'm amazed how ridiculous I was allowed to go with this one. The only major change was the removal of three hanging children. The image got a little hard to read with so many little fellas coating the mouse.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Who Wants a Free T-Shirt?!?!

Great Lakes Life Magazine (where I work) is teaming up with Last Exit to Nowhere to provide 5 people with free t-shirts of their choice. If you're not familiar with Last Exit to Nowhere, they make some of the coolest movie-reference shirts I've ever seen and I strongly encourage everyone to enter for a chance. If no one does, I'm just going to enter a bunch of fake names and try and win them for myself.

Visit HERE for your chance to win and if you aren't feeling lucky, there's a 15% off code that you can use on shirts.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Battle for Cuyahoga

Ohio's Cuyahoga County has developed a reputation for political scandal and corruption. Hopefully, the upcoming election will solve all that with the restructuring of the county's government and the creation of the position of County Executive. This illustration was done for a Great Lakes Life article on the subject titled "The Battle for Cuyahoga."

Below are some concepts for the piece that didn't make the cut. Because the article went to print before the election, we couldn't feature the actual winner, so a faceless politician sounded like an interesting visual. Once I actually started to render it out, however, it took a creepy turn. I still like the concept, but it doesn't really fit the article. So instead we went with something flat and graphic with a lil Russian propaganda influence.

Anyone else find it odd when actual political subjects are raised on this blog? It gets oddly serious. Maybe the next post will have a fart joke...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

I hope everyone had a fun night of ghosts, goblins and supporting childhood obesity. I know I did.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Not-So-Daily Sketch: Wolfman

Halloween fun fact: I've heard that the term "werewolf" comes from warg-wolf, which in Old Norse, translates roughly to Outlaw Wolf. I like this substantially more than werewolf because "outlaw wolf" sounds like:
1. a late 80's metal album
2. a terrible anime
3. A news story about a mutated wolf who has learned to use a firearm and has yet to be caught

*Note- When I use the word "heard," it often means "according to wikipedia." This would be one of those occasions. Also, you can expect my solo album Running with the Outlaw Wolf just in time for the holiday season. It will be hoooooooooorrible.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Not-So-Daily Sketch: Candy Apple

Halloween is almost here! What's everyone going as?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Not-So-Daily Sketch: Grimace

You know the Grimace from McDonalds? Well, years of stealing milkshakes and scarfing McChickens have caught up with him and now one of these bloated beasts resides at every McDonalds. They hide in the darkness of the basement and do quality control.

Also, I feel obligated to quote Clerks: The Animated Series: "Nothing can kill the Grimace!"

Fishing Derby Promo

The Mechanical Contractors Association of Northwest Pennsylvania wanted a teaser image for their fishing derby. I showed them this version and a much cleaner, bluer version and the reaction I got was, "go with the dirty one. It looks like Lake Erie."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Kathy Dahlkemper

The latest issue of Great Lakes Life was centered around power women and included an interview with House of Representatives member, Kathy Dahlkemper. One of the issues raised was the hostility toward Dahlkemper from tea partiers, which lead to the first illustration. Initial sketches had Kathy taking on Alice's role at the mad tea party with the March Hare and Mad Hatter, but with the fairly recent Burton movie, Alice in Wonderland references seem a bit overused.

The second illustration focuses on the duality of Dahlkemper. While she is a politician and partial company owner, she is also a mother (grandmother at this point) who stresses family values. The old phrase "bring home the bacon and fry it in the pan," came up and I've been wanting to play around with a split illustration like this for a while.

Here are some of the original concepts for the illustrations.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Is everyone aware that Troy Polamalu's hair is insured for one million dollars? We all know this, right?

Anyway, this is an illustration of Polamalu for Great Lakes Life Magazine. This is my second month with the magazine and I'm slowly weaseling drawings into various sections of the publication. The print version of this image is only about 2 inches by 2 inches so details weren't the highest priority.

Be sure to check back soon, because the October issue just hit stands so I'll be releasing other images from it shortly. I'd post them now...but I'd much rather eat some eat some leftover pizza.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Man's Drink

The other day, I was at a steakhouse, seeing how much prime rib I can suck down before I actually start to sweat au jus, when I noticed two enormous bikers sitting at a table next to me. Typically, this wouldn't be a big deal. I expect to see bikers at a steakhouse. What was odd is that they were both drinking large, neon colored margaritas, complete with fruit spears.

I suppose it takes a big man to order a girly drink...and that's where this came from. Now who wants to nurse some lemon drops?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Not-So-Daily Sketch: Jelly

Jellyfish on toast. Is this the most original or funny idea ever? Absolutely not. But back when I did the Devil Went Down To Georgia and Wolf in Sheep's Clothing sculptures, a really loose pen drawing of this jellyfish got scribbled down as a potential third 3-D piece. That project never took off but every time I flipped through my sketchbook, I would see the little doodle and something about it seemed appealing to me. So the line work got a face lift and I threw some color on it.

I think he's meant to remain two dimensional...but that could just be the laziness talking...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Not-So-Daily Sketch: Tricycle Cavalry

Admittedly, "unicycle infantry" is a cooler name, but it's horribly inaccurate. And based on the drawing, you can clearly see I'm all about historical accuracy.

Drawing inspired by THIS

Monday, September 6, 2010

Not-So-Daily Sketch: Show Brah

People like this are why I dislike going to concerts. Regardless of the music genre, at least four of these bro-dads seem to manifest and fill my body with hatred.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

GLL Wine Cover

Hello, all! Summer is winding down which means sleepless nights due to insane heat will soon be replaced by sleepless nights due to insane work. I hope you've all gotten your fill of beaches, hammocks and mojitos (but I think we can all agree, enough is never enough).

My summer as a tanned, jobless bum ended a few weeks ago when I was hired by the nice people at
Great Lakes Life magazine. I do a lot of different tasks there, but by far the most enjoyable thing is illustration, and here is the first published image I've done for them (and their first illustrated cover, ever). This is the cover for their annual food and wine issue and I was asked to have a wine bottle and have something growing out of it, while having a psychedelic feel. Artists they gave as examples were Romero Britto and Peter Max. The only real guidelines I was forced to follow were image size and room needed to be left for headlines. The turnaround for this project was really short, and with that considered, I'm pretty happy with the piece. It's very different from the stuff I usually do.
So if you're in Ohio, Pennsylvania or New York, go out and pick up one of these bad-boys. If they sell enough, maybe I'll get to do this sort of thing again.

My original artwork before it was spruced up by the graphic designers:
Here are the original concepts for the piece:I've also got my hands in a few other cookie jars right now, but the projects are still "hush-hush" so it'll be a while before they turn up here. Now, go out and enjoy some sunshine.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bang Pop 1

My friend Joe hooked me up with some work, so to return the favor, I promised I'd do some doodles for his band "Bang Pop!" I'd try to explain what type of music they perform, but I feel like their official description does a better job than I ever could:

"It's exactly what most of us did when we were 16 years old, but now we're like 25 years old doing it.. So its way cooler? We create music from the sewage sounds of punk rock to RAP that will leave exit wounds all up in your dome.
Not gunna lie. Probably 95% of the lyrics are going to be written with booze. Because that's how the flow gets spit. ...I don't write the rules. We never make rules. ..But the booze stays.
We sing about the easy targets like Bro-Montanas and kids who do air dusters! But we also have a very large heart for the things that matter in life... Like eating good food for cheap and amateur strippers. Or both combined at a nicely priced $10.99 strip buffet that offers a fair range of morning fruit, to which would then play out as an adequate brunch if one chose to bring the family along as a last minute meal decision.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Not-So-Daily Sketch: Schnick Schnick

Another Sketch-2-Death thing. I'm not sure why I drew him with such a small body...

Wolvie simply wishes he could be as cool as Gambit. Doesn't everyone?


Here are some really early concepts for a Bigfoot image for a snow shovel company. Unfortunately, the project has since gone belly-up and now these lil blue guys serve as a silent reminder of what could have been.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tiki Bean Bag Toss

Some call it "Bean Bag Toss" while others call it "Cornhole," but the name really isn't important. What is important is that this is one of the few, oh-so-perfect sports that allows you to stand in one place and play while drinking a beer. It's almost as great as Bocce (which is clearly the greatest summer game, ever).

Anyway, a few months ago I dug these old toss boxes out of our shed and wanted to fix them up. I soon found out that my aunt and uncle were organizing a beach party for my little cousins, so I dressed these bad boys up like tiki heads and slapped them down on the shores of Lake Erie. With these, a limbo contest, hula hoops, box hockey, potted palm trees, tiki torches, fire roasted chicken with corn and one awesome sound system, I think it's pretty safe to say the party was a success.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing Sculpture

It's been freakishly hot lately. Not the sort of summer heat that can be solved with a cool beverage and a dip in the pool, but instead the humid, unrelenting type that doesn't allow you to eat or sleep or do anything but stew in your own juices.

The lack of posting as of late can be blamed on this heat, because it has taken my skull and turned it into a crock pot (which my brain isn't too fond of). So I've started about eight different personal projects, but shortly after they get started, they get pushed aside so that I can lay in front of a fan feel the life leak out of me.
On a lighter note, here is a sculpture I did a while back and some concept sketches to boot.

Also, those of you with a keen eye may have noticed that the blog got a major overhaul today. It seemed long overdue to knock out some spiderwebs and slap a fresh coat of paint on the place. I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Devil went down to Georgia" sculpture

About a year ago, I did a sketch of the Charlie Daniels Band's song "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." For some reason, when staring into a big pile of sculpey, the sketch popped into my mind and this fella came into being.
There are some pretty clear changes between the two pieces. Johnny is now taking a more active role in the piece because the old pose, while funnier, was pretty boring. The smoke has become more stylized in shaping and color. Also, the shaping of the devil is a little different and the sombrero, vest and arm tattoos have gone by the wayside. The vest and hat were sculpted, but for some reason just looked goofy when worn. I blame it on this devil's less pointy head. At some point, I'd like to rig up some red lighting to come up through the smoke to shine on the devil's face.

I have another one of these sculptures that should be up pretty soon. So keep your peepers peeping.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Not-So-Daily Sketch: Samurai

Pre-industrial Japan really knew a thing or two about snazzy head gear.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

When you dream...

...what do you dream about? Some people have told me the main character in this looks like a younger version of me, which is ridiculous. I don't wear flannel (ever), my hair always seems to have at least one cowlick, and I'm far less discrete about my day dreaming. I would have drooled all over my hand, causing my head to slip and slam on the desk by this point.

Here are some detail shots of the imaginary characters. I think they're enjoyable enough to warrant a close-up.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bon Appetit

Why not continue the food theme?
I've spent a majority of my summer sitting on my porch, sipping lemonade or coffee (depending on the time of day) and doodling around to keep my mind busy during the great job hunt. This image is a result of such doodling. If I were to ever write a cookbook for kids, this would be the cover.

Next time I have a picnic, I'm inviting an anteater. It just seems like good problem solving, and I'm sure they would enjoy the company.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Kiss the Chemist

Sometimes traditions need to be broken. For years, my brother and I have given each other terrible DVDs as birthday gifts. Originally, the goal was to find a great movie for insanely cheap prices (Reservoir Dogs for $5), but as time went on, the goal switched to finding the most hilariously bad film available. Movies like Earth Girls Are Easy, The Super Mario Brothers Movie, The Godson, and Fern Gully now plague my DVD collection.

This past year, however, I decided to change things up and give my brother something homemade. He went to school to become a food chemist, and whenever people ask me what that is, I tell them he's a chef as an attempt to avoid explaining his real career. So for this birthday I designed an apron that took the typical "kiss the cook" idea and tailored it to his job title. Above you can see the finished artwork and below you can see the apron he received. As you can see, the multiple colors didn't make it on, which is due in large part to the fact that I have never silk screened in my life and after ruining a few aprons in sad color attempts, simple black lines seemed like a much simpler and safer way to go. Sorry, my brother refused to model the apron for the picture out of fear that he would develop a fleet of stalkers from this blog's RABID fan base.
Huge thanks to Rachel Dangerfield for guiding my through the process of silk screening. Without you, my brother would have simply received a box full of farts.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Maximilian P. Action: Alien Hunter

Imagine the theme song to "Rawhide" played with a keytar and a saxaboom and then you have a soundtrack for this piece.

Here are some earlier concepts for the idea of "Space hunter."

Apt. B-1

Let me start off by saying that this blog is not a sentimental nor emotional one. Never has been, and hopefully never will be. That being said, I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge a pretty big change in my life: I have graduated from college.
Now behind this door is where almost everything on this blog has been concepted and created. For the past three years it has served as my safe haven for painting, sleeping and drinking a disgusting amount of Mountain Dew. I'm now four hours away from that apartment and will never be inside it again.

It's an intensely confusing feeling...

I would just like to thank Columbus for being a fantastic city to wander around in, crazy homeless people for never mugging me (one of the most surprising aspects of college), CCAD for being an outstanding learning environment (I'm amazed what can be learned on essentially no sleep) and more specifically its teachers for being truly amazing human beings. Specifically, I want to thank Dave Groff (who, I'm pretty sure, will deny ever meeting me), Mike Boley (who, I'm positive, will deny meeting me), Mark Hazlerig (for being the only human to make a history class enjoyable), Steve McInturff (for pushing me to go weirder and weirder), Thom Glick (for having the balls to teach us as his first class and proving that there is no limit on how many elbows you can put on a human) and C.F. Payne (for driving two hours just to put up with our crap).

I would also like to draw your attention to the list of people on the right side of this blog. These are all freakishly talented people that I've graduated with and I cannot thank them enough for associating with me for the past 4 years. Especially Patrick Moore and Quinn Kellogg, without whom, I would have never returned to CCAD after freshman year's thanksgiving break. I never will properly thank you guys for being there (partially because I'm an emotionless weirdo but mostly because I'm sure I could never convey it properly). I couldn't have asked for better freshmen year roommates or better friends.

Thank you all for the memories, I hope that wasn't too gooey for you, and I promise the next post will have some actual art in it (since when are blogs for reading?)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dear Lord, Internet. I've been found. Part 2

I occasionally get bored enough to check the traffic on this blog, and when I do I have certain expectations. When the numbers jump drastically, I feel the need to do some snooping. Long story short, I found out that the always fun Super Punch blog mentioned my "Edward Sharkhands" piece in one of it's link lists. I mention this fact solely to give thanks to John Struan. Thanks John. So stop by his blog and show the man some love.

Now let's see what else I can slap shark-hands on.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Jumbo Size

Fun Fact: The amount of food consumed by the average American in his/her lifetime is equal to the weight of six elephants.

This man is clearly living much more life than the rest of us...and apparently washing it down with a two-liter of wine.

James and the Giant Peach

Giant fruit lands on skyscrapers while mutated, fully-clothed insects go on a grand adventure with a young, British boy. Sounds like another ho-hum day in New York City.
Oh and here are some concept sketches. There are actually far more bug sketches that are stashed away in some sketchbook because bugs turned out to be awfully fun to draw. Little boys? Not so much.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Not-So-Daily Sketch: NOM NOM

It's been a while since the last post, but I have a fairly good reason: I only have one week of school left. So pretty soon there will be all kinds of finalized projects ripe for the postin'. Until then, I hope this sketch will hold you over.