makes (money) sense

So I've been working on some illustrations for Money Sense over the past few months. They have an ongoing info section about ETF's - buying /selling them, using them, boutique ETF's etc. Its a fun little series because the pieces are never overly conceptual, and allow me to illustrate in a much more narrative way than im used to, not to mention have lots of fun (and freedom) with the technique. Below are two recent series, the first about using different ETF's to achieve financial growth -The second set was about buying boutique ETF's - tried to conjure diagon alley a little, but fill it with classy old people Thanks to Money Sense for the fun.


we're not in Kansas, anymore.

I had the good fortune to work with Mike at City Pages on their cover this week. The story was about a neighborhood in north Minneapolis that was just totally decimated by a Tornado about a year ago. The neighborhood, and its people are still in ruins. They're mostly poor, and theres been little in the way of aid. The power of the subject matter aside, i grew up OBSESSED with, and terrified by tornadoes. We lived in the country, and in my mind that was the only place they struck - i used to hide under the basement stairs at even the sight of storm clouds. Lately, i've been working on making my illustration more autobiographical. I dont want to compromise the conceptual nature, but my pieces seem strongest when both co-exist. The image we settled on shows a cowering mans life being up, and taken from him. Thats really the biggest fear, right? elements of his neighborhood and life are sucked up (including an adorable Boston Terrier). I had a lot of fun painting this, and am unusually happy with how it turned out. This is probably a result of my continued fascination with the subject matter - and maybe aided by the 1996 movie "Twister" which i watched while painting, for good measure.


Oscar the grouch

Piece in yesterdays LA Times about the confusing new math behind oscar nominations for Best Picture. Lots of fun to work with Wes again! Thanks for stopping by


Speak friend, and the doors shall open

This piece was an over-sized full pager for Leap Magazine. The subject matter was pretty tricky, as it spoke about the harshness of cancer, and how talking about it - sharing your story - is the best was to deal with the pain. I worked on ideas for a solid day, and it was certainly tricky, because i didnt just want some conceptual one liner, but rather i wanted to connect with the article on an emotional level. I've been working on making my illustration more personal (in general) lately - for this piece in particular, across the road from the farm where i grew up there was a long field, backed up against another field - in the wintertime it becomes this expanse of bleak snow, with only a few trees breaking up the landscape. Remembering how that specific area made me feel set the tone for the piece and seemed like the proper setting for cancer. I thought about how spring always eventually came, and with it life and energy. Having the mans lines of speech BE spring seemed like a perfect way to show the power speech has. Some less than perfect roughs below, there were lots more:


i believe i can fly...

did a few pieces for HR mag recently - heres a full pager that went through a couple of steps -
The piece was about flextime work, and the freedom it grants workers from the clock. because its fun to paint birds i decided i'd make this bird fairly realistic - to really push that super graphic juxtaposed against realistic kick i've been on lately. Mari, the wonderful AD who i've worked with a number of times now thought that maybe the feet were making it look too real, and a little freaky. she's probably right, so i took to photoshop to take them out. We then adjusted the background colour, as the cover had the same yellow in it, and we didnt want things to get confusing. Not sure which one I like best, maybe still the yellow one - but im sure that the revised version works best for Mari, so I'm happy with that!


mac daddy

For MacWorld about their new advanced search engine. They pretty much had this idea completely in mind, so it was my job to bring it to life. Although we've all seen the concept a million times before i tried to add my own spin on its look, and thought it came out to be a pretty nice piece.


For Readers Digest Asia, about a father whos so afraid of his son getting hurt (no matter what activity he does) that he finds himself being obsessive and over-protective. i liked the idea of showing the father creating a force field with his over-parenting - ideally using some child like activity as his aid. Towards the end of the article, he comes to the conclusion that no matter what he does, his kid will never be totally safe - i tried to hint at this by showing the son breaking the bubble confines with his own bubbles.