ooohhhh baby i like it rawwwwww...

This piece was for one of my fav AD's, and all around nice guy Greg Crippen. It was about raw milk being illegal in new Jersey, and really, on a grander scale - the whole idea of people wanting to get milk straight from the source. The editor had an idea in mind, but i pitched some ideas too - I wanted to play around with it being illegal and all shady - thats a pretty funny way to show getting milk - i also wanted to show that its sad for the people who cant buy it, blah blah blahin the end we went with the editors idea of getting the milk straight from the source, and the udder acting as a tapI tried a more refined rough that "zoomed out" to show more of the scene but in the end we zoomed back it - which made sense, to have the focus show the tap and udder more. Check out the article here. Thanks Greg!! you're the man



This idea took almost two days to come up with.
I know, its crazy to spend that long concepting for a project - but sometimes its the only way its going to happen. a few weeks ago I was approached by UofT's law magazine "Nexus" to illustrate an article about finding a balance between the consumer/investor/corporate vs. citizen interests. The article stated how, due to a larger amount invested politically - consumer and corporate interests tended to be heard over that of the average joe. My job was to show the citizen finding room for their voice within this - thought it would be clever to take the lines from a bar code and use them as speech lines. not only does it take some space from the corporate, but gives some to the citizen. This was NOT AN EASY idea to come up with. i spent one full day working on it - and when i went to review what i had come up with, realized it was all crap and started again. at one point i thought about giving up illustration all together as i had "lost it". I freaked out, threw up my hands, then, like always - picked up the pencil again and went back at it. Another day went by (at this point the roughs were due the next day ... along with other projects) and finally, some good stuff. And thats what made getting some good ideas feel awesome - because it was so hard. correction - it IS so hard. the only shortcut is sitting at your desk, swearing to yourself, hating everything - until, ultimately, it works out.
At least thats my process.


Punx not dead

I did this weeks cover of OC Weekly - and boy, was it a fun gig!
Initially the story was sons following their fathers career paths - i was set loose.For a while - it was going to be bigfoot!!!Then it was going to be this one:Then there was a punk element added - father and son were musicians / punks / in the same business / businessmen, so i revised a few previous ones - and pitched a few new ones - how AMAZING would this tie image have been!?!?Finally, we settled on an image that suited the story best - a bit of a hybrid from a previous ideaThen I had free reign, and set out to make the most fun image i could. I loved how it turned out.Thanks Laila!!


Alberta Oil

A few months ago I was contacted by Alberta Oil to make some pieces for an upcoming issue. For the last year or so, i've tried as much as possible to take a real "try anything" approach when it comes to execution. Not at the expense of the piece - but finding the right tone and delivering that. This has resulted in work that is very graphic - to much more painterly. Consequently, these four piece each look a little different. So be it.
First article was about the oil industry in Alberta "growing up" - aging - evolving etc. this could have been cool - but just wasnt clear enough - wanted to show a kid growing up, leaving their sandbox - sandbox to represent dig sites. ...in hindsight maybe it made no sense?we ended up going with removing the training wheels from one of those massive dump trucks - seemed like a fun solutionNext article was about the cost of eco drilling - sort of a split article, because it was pro eco - but really wanted to stress the coststhe final was cool - i like painting money - and i like juxtaposing "real" with graphicNext was about this energy project in Newfoundland that involves building a hydroelectric dam. the issue - is that there is a lot of risk involved - maybe people wont buy the electricity - and its a big investment. I'm a really big fan of Tim O'Brien, and more "realistic" painting in general. Not that i can do it at all - but im always really inspired to inject a little bit more of that into my regular work. I try to be really careful with this though, as i dont want to step on anyones toes - people that may already work in this manner. its not super obvious in this rough, but i wanted the crack in the dam to be shaped like a lightening bolt - really liked the idea below, with the puffin trying to fly away (nflands "official" bird) and he is tangled in the wire / being held back a little - seemed perfect. I had a few more generic ideas too - heres onethen for the final my pitch of "painting a worried puffin, with electric outlet feet" was good enoughFinally, the last piece was a spot about "risky oil" ventures - Investors could sink their money into a refinery, but it might make them broke. some fun roughs for this one - but i'd like to hold onto them for a future project - heres that final: - the sky was really fun to screen.


hammer time

sample type layout above ^^
full pager for Canadian Wildlife about sustainable building projects


i like to move it, move it...

Here was a piece in todays Washington Post. It's about people, who's possessions are held hostage by movers they hire to help them move. Basically, the moving companies quote one price, and then once at the new home demand much more or they'll keep the home owners stuff. i really liked the idea of people's stuff being held hostage, or for ransom. the people are really trapped by the proposition. what are you going to say, "I dont want my stuff!"?? theres really no choice in the matter. Heres some ideas i had going in -I really liked the above idea, and pushed for it. Thankfully, Diamond the AD knew better.
She liked the idea of having the home owner in a jail - or at least trapped - and with this idea we moved forward a bit. here was the first attempt:Diamond wisely suggested that we make the person two people - and add a mover and moving van in the background. good ideas! Heres that revised rough:I've noticed my work getting much more ... comic-ee looking lately - that might not be the term i'm looking for, but its looking different. at first, i wasnt sure if i liked it - but im starting to. Who knows how long it will look like this, but its fun for now. (note, it may look NO different to you, the reader - I'm just a weirdo)