Thursday, July 31, 2008


Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Why does the human brain often feel like a vast library with no dewey decimal system? It's tough to keep everything organized inside your head. Just when I feel I'm on a good creative track, it starts to feel like a trap and I want to try something different. I wish I had the type of mind that can focus on one thing for a very long time and get very good at it. The only thing I consider myself truly good at is visualizing a concept.

Just last week I had the opportunity to give a talk to a group of high school design students taking a summer course at PNCA. The focus was using the computer to bring your handmade work to the next level. I purposefully did not discuss any technical aspects of digital art, such as scanning resolutions, filters, curves, the pen tool, paths etc... All the technical wizardry a designer could want is just a quick Google search away. Instead, I focused on instilling a sense of exploration. I believe that to fully explore and get the most out of digital design, you need to have an inquisitive mind, and a willingness to make mistakes. Most of what I have learned in my time practicing design has been self taught, with the aid of online tutorials. The more time spent designing the better the mind gets at deconstructing others' work in order to learn techniques. I finished off the talk with some advice that I try to keep close to my heart: Do the work that YOU want to see, not what you see other people doing.

I couldn't resist the urge to post another track. This one is from an Austin, TX band by the name of Sunset. Their new LP "The Glowing City" is an instant cult classic. Sunset weaves strains of Harry Nilsson, Pink Floyd, Neutral Milk Hotel and the macabre sensibilities of the Unicorns into a completely new tapestry. In an age of ten track LPs, "The Glowing City" is an epic 80 minutes long, 18-track journey. It's well worth the ten dollars on iTunes. Sunset, along with bands such as the Evangelicals and Animal Collective are ushering in the new psychadelia of the 21st century.

Sunset - Zombies

Friday, July 25, 2008

Into the Galaxy...

I don't consider this an MP3 blog by any means, but I want to post this track. This is the type of stuff that really fuels my creativity, so I figured I'd share it with you readers, whoever you may be. Give it a listen and send your minds out into the edge of the galaxy. The Midnight Juggernauts are definitely ones to watch.

Midnight Juggernauts - Into the Galaxy (Metronomy Remix)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Back in the stu-stu-studio...

I'm back from what I would call a very successful camping trip. We ventured out towards Mt. Hood, with a certain camp spot in mind and ended up getting it. Situated right next to the Salmon River we set up our tents and camp stove. Mostly it involved a lot of campfire, s'mores, whittling and eating. I sat up on a rock for an hour or so and got some drawing time in. It was great to have a break from the rigid right angle geometry of the city. The organic, rounded forms of nature provide so much inspiration for a city kid like myself. Things in the forest take on such unexpected forms, dictated by the forces of nature. It was a great chance to recharge my creative battery and kick off a great summer. Many many pictures to come, soon enough.

Now I am back in the studio, surrounded by my digital tools. I have a fresh set of illustrations to tackle, along with some designs to finalize. The sounds of Ratatat's LP3 bubble from the speakers and I'm officially back in action. It feels good.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I be goin' camping...

Tomorrow I'll be heading out of town for some much needed natural inspiration and time away from the computer. With sketchbook and camera in hand I will return refreshed and ready to tackle another set of illustrations. I'll be back on tuesday, so expect a new post by wednesday at the latest. Time to hit the forest.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Where to now?

Lately I've felt as though I'm at a junction in my career. I have two options before me: hit the job hunt with full force or dive headlong into the world of freelance design. I am strongly considering the latter option. I did a good deal of freelance work during school, as a means to make some extra cash and bolster my portfolio at the same time. I have a website already built and I'm in the process of planning another. I've received some good exposure through the Cut & Paste competition, PNCA and the Portland Funbook. Now is as good a time as ever to try doing my own thing. I have no mortgage, outstanding debt or children (knock on wood). In other words, what do I have to lose? There are a lot of things I would like to accomplish as a freelancer, and I'm steadily moving down the list. It's great to be the art director on projects. Right now I have wrapped up a couple of great projects since finishing school. I'm waiting for them to be published to talk about them on here, but they'll be up soon enough.

On a related note, I'd like to showcase a few great illustrators and designers that have inspired me to keep pushing myself to the next level with each project. These folks are truly great. Just click on the name to check their portfolios. Note: All images courtesy of their respective artists.

Yuko Shimizu

Amazing inkwork, delightfully twisted subject matter and a sophisticated color pallate, what more could you ask for?

Ashley Wood

A painterly style with a graphic sensibility; Woods's work inspires me to loosen up and try anything with my compositions.

Mike Perry

Guru of handmade type. Inspires me to keep on playing with words.

Benny Gold

Super skilled, super slick. Benny Gold breaks down the design process to the fundamental level. His solutions are always elegant and remarkable.

Hope this little series gives you some bookmark fodder, these are definitely ones to garner inspiration from. I'll continue on with this series of tributes to my heroes, so check back.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday, July 3, 2008

About Me

My photo
I am a sketchbook addict. I live for the moment that the ink sits wet on the paper.