I havent posted in a while but here are a few things I've been up to-
One thing I am determined to do regulary is to revive my project of painting something for myself every day, even if for only a few minutes...
I had the honor of doing the cover illustration for" "The Ballad of Black Tom", which just became the first title to be acquired for Tor.com’s new novella line by editor Ellen Datlow.
"H.P. Lovecraft is a polarizing figure nowadays—even if you ignore all the hugely problematic elements of his writing. But he still pioneered so much of what we love in horror and science fiction. So award-winning author Victor LaValle decided to create a literary tribute to the Master." Art director Irene Gallo
Something a little different, I was asked to paint Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes for the Rolling Stone record review earlier this year.The band reminded me of Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company, (who I had the good fortune to see when I was in in high school) - so I wanted to incorporate some almost retro - psychedilic color into the piece. Matthew Cooley, art director.
BroadGreen Pictures is a new major movie studio, and I was fortunate that they asked me to design a logo and motion logo. The colplexity of the original ideas was beyond the scope of my animation resources and I contacted Tippet Studios, and working together we produced the 21 second animated version of my painted logo. It was a lot of fun, and a lot of work.
I will do a more comprehensive post on this project soon. For now, here is the painted logo and the animated version.
Last Fiday night my wife Lynn and I attended the Society of Illustrators Book and Editorial 2015 opening in New York. For me it was a night to remember.
Illustration by Brian Stauffer
There was a lot of great work this year- I managed to snap off some iPhone shots of some of the work...
Owen Smith's painting really stood out.
My students know I'm not much into comics so they might be surprised to learn that I am a huge fan of Wesley Allsbrook's work. This year I finally got to meet her!
Brian Stauffer's Op-ed illustration for the NY Times article on the missing Malaysian airliner. For my money this extraordinary image- or lack of an image- is the smartest and best conceptual illustration in the show, hands down.
One of many cool illustrations in the show by Yuko Shimizu.
There were tons of really interesting illustrations from tons of amazing artists, young and old, old friends and people I never heard of, in all kinds of techniques.
An increasingly large percent of the work was presented in digital print format-I know lots of this work starts as analog drawings - I really wish more of the original drawings could be on display!
One of several standout paintings by Jody Hewgill
An absolutely amazing painting for Nautilus magazine by Tim O'Brien. When you see these in person you start to appreciate what an incredible level of craft he brings to his work.
SooJin Buzelli received the Richard Gangel award for Art Director of the year.
One of what seemed like a hundred great pieces by Victo Ngai
The Balbusso Twins also had many great pieces.This is from The Canterbury Tales
Edward Kinsella won a Gold medal. ANother artist I have wanted to meet for a long time, I finally got a chance to meet him- what a nice guy. His work really stood out at the show.
A really strong piece by Jeffery Decoster
The great Sam Weber
Chris Buzelli authored several pieces in the show, this was my favorite.
The great, great Adam McCauley.
After the awards, we went upstairs- and PEOPLE WERE ACTUALLY GETTING ROBERT HUNT (temporary) TATTOOS!
(the tattoo art was being done by Ted Michaelowski)
Now art directors are getting these tattoos! What the hell is going on??
I guess it's because - I won the Hamilton King award!
With Art Directors Gerry Counihan (who gave me my first job in NYC) Anne Twomey, Maggie Olson (Former CCA student now an AD at Penguin), AD Deborah Kaplan (Also from Penguin) and my wife Lynn.
Here's a tip- If you have to get you picture taken- surround yourself with beautiful people!
Eric Skillman with the Hamilton King award. They gave it to me but I wouldn't have gotten it without him, and many others.
I gave a speech and I was so nervous I literally almost collapsed after I got back into the crowd. Everyone told me I didn't seem nervous but let me tell you, I really was. A number of people asked me to post it so it is available here
On the way out of the building you have to walk part this incredible vintage magazine illustration by Dean Cornwell.
It was a magic night and I know I will never have another experience like it. I never expected any recognition and this was something I never imagined in my wildest professional fantasies. This could have been awarded to many people, I am gratefull to those who voted this honor for me. It was an amazing, incredible night and this post serves to me as a sort of closure- time to get back to work.
On the way out of the building last Friday night, I walked past the great Dean Cornwell painting on the landing. As I went by it whispered to me: "You have a long, long way to go."
The upcoming, beautiful design book Criterion Designs is going to be available Nov 25! It is available for preorder now.
I am honored to have my work included among that of so many great illustrators. Three projects I did for the Criterion Collection are included including my most recent, Picnic at Hanging Rock.
The book includes sketches, revisions, process shots and more form over one hundred illustrators. A treasure trove for anyone interested in illustration or film.
Art for Picnic at Hanging Rock. Used as the cover for an accompanying book as well as insert for the DVD.
A real challenge to make an illustration that tries to capture the languid, mysterious, atmospheric nature of the film.
close up detail
Here is a complete list of all the artists included in the book: Aesthetic Apparatus, Michael Allred, Eric Chase Anderson, Marian Bantjes, Michael Boland, Vera Brosgol, Evan Bryce, Art Chantry, Daniel Clowes, Tavis Coburn, Josh Cochran, Jorge Coelho, Darwyn Cooke, Béatrice Coron, Rodrigo Corral, Jordan Crane, Akiko Crowther, Fred Davis, Jack Davis, Paul Davis, Ian Dingman, David Downton, Ming Doyle, Laurent Durieux, Marcel Dzama, Marc English, Malika Favre, Gary Fernandez, Sean Freeman, John Gall, Robert Goodin, Geoff Grandfield, Turlo Griffin, Polly Guo, Sarah Habibi, Jason Hardy, Jaime Hernandez, Jessica Hische, Samuel Hiti, Human After All, Robert Hunt, Paul Jackson, Meredith Jenks, Rob Jones, Neil Kellerhouse, Victor Kerlow, Matt Kindt, Frank Kozik, Caitlin Kuhwald, Yann Legendre, Patrick Leger, Ron Lesser, Luba Lukova, Ha C. Ly, Andrew MacLean, Gregory Manchess, Benjamin Marra, David Merveille, F. Ron Miller, Scott Morse, Bill Nelson, Yuri Ono, Sean Phillips, David Plunkert, Paul Pope, Jesse Marinoff Reyes, Jim Rugg, Greg Ruth, Seth, Leanne Shapton, Jay Shaw, Yuko Shimizu, Bill Sienkiewicz, Eric Skillman, Sam Smith, Edward Sorel, Jhomar Soriano, Tyler Stout, Jillian Tamaki, Adrian Tomine, Riccardo Vecchio, Maurice Vellekoop, Ricardo Venâncio, Angie Wang, Barnaby Ward, Sam Weber, Kent Williams, Connor Willumsen, Ron Wimberly, George Wu, Lucien S. Y. Yang, Kate Zambrano, Danijel Zezelj, Vania Zouravliov
DVD cover art for Autumn Sonata, a film by Ingmar Bergman. I received a nice note from the girl in the painting, the now grown-up daughter of Ingmar Bergman and actress Liv Ullman (also in the film).
I am so pleased to have a chance to work with art director Eric Skillman, and to work with Criterion. To be involved with these films, this company and with this book is an opportunity to be associated, albiet obliquely, with some of the greatest works in film history. It's a great privilege.
Earlier this month I got a call from Matthew Cooley at Rolling Stone to ask if I could paint Tom Petty for the Record review opener.
Sketch. Nowadays I do paintings as sketches whenever the subject is simple enough to lend itself to this process. My thumbnails are usually on post-its.
Dale Stephanos emailed me this shot of the painting in the magazine. Its still a thrill to see my work in there. (I subscribe to RS but was out of town and hadn't seen it yet). Later i had the ultimate thrill of seeing it being scrutinized by a fellow passenger on a plane.
For those who are interested, this was painted in the same manner as the first demo I did at ICON, oil over a loose charcoal drawing on bond paper.
In progress shot. I really didnt want to go much further than this but the face still needed work. The trick, of course, is knowing when to stop. How much detail to satisfy that this is a specific model Rickenbacker without having it pull attention away from the face?
The first time I ever went to RS, the art assistant told me my work wasn't of the kind they used. I've been to the offices of Rolling Stone many times since then and stood in front of the work of so many great illustrators - I understand what she meant. Still- I wanted to be one of them.
Many years later, I'm still trying to get better. Getting in Rolling Stone was a long time goal. I eventually achieved it a while back - but it's still a huge thrill to get that call. Thanks Matthew and Joe at Rolling Stone for trusting me with this special piece of real estate.