Tuesday, December 29, 2009


This is a (relative) quickie I did earlier this month. I think it's the first time I've created a piece of art to be simply hung on a wall. It's also a rare instance in which the first sketch and final art all occurred on the same piece of paper. Usually I have 12 sketches for each final piece. When this went out the door, it left hardly a trace behind. Thank God for scanners.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

From the Brains of Babes

In September, I created this half-page illustration for California Magazine. It accompanied an interview with Alison Gopnik who was discussing her new book "The Philosophical Baby".

My first instinct was to show an x-ray of a baby's brain, and the humor would come from all the crazy stuff packed within. This solution has the added benefit of letting the baby and the reader in on the joke, while leaving the medical profession somewhat in the dark.

Here is the original sketch, with physics equations.

Here is a second concept with a focus more on philosophy. I spent more time figuring out what to call this baby, than I spent naming my own children.

The editor liked the first option, but wanted to take the text from sketch two to shift the emphasis to philosophy. Sometimes playing mix 'n match with sketches gets dicey, but she was absolutely right. I gotta say that coming up with the infanto-aphorisms on the wall was half the fun.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Smart Seal

This is a trademark character I created several years ago for a line of pool coating products.

When doing characters like this, I'm working in that grey area between illustrator and graphic designer, and it often becomes necessary to deviate from my typical style. In this case, the end-user is a contractor and predominantly male , so it wouldn't do to create anything that evoked cereal boxes or TV animation. I drew inspiration from industrial-looking characters from the 40's and 50's, and went heavy on the black.

Here are some early sketches:

At the eleventh hour, some concerns were raised about the design of the seal's face. Fortunately, the budget allowed for some experimentation. Number two below was chosen and then revised somewhat to arrive at the final character.

The response to the designs once implemented, was very positive, and I created three more versions of the seal in various poses. I give a great deal of credit to designer Cheryl Smith, who was fabulous to work with. She even provided me with the exquisite image at the top.

Click on any image to see a larger version.