Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lost in translation

This piece ran in last Sunday's L.A. Times. It was for the L.A. Affairs section, for a story that recounts the author's recent experience in that dark, dangerous, jungle we call the dating scene. She explains that after buying a beer for a guy she spotted across the bar, and after trying in vain to converse over the noise, asked if he wanted to step outside to chat (where the conversation might actually be audible). He (wrongly) interpreted that to mean: "Let's go back to your place, stud."

I wanted to show how her words went in one ear, and after going through all that machinery we humans have in our heads, is rearranged into something completely different. Read the essay here.

And in a first ever Draw Your Weapon Outtake, here's a thumbnail sketch that, while well received, was a little PG-13 for the section, and didn't make the cut.

She's only thinking about opening up another beer, he's thinking about opening her pants. I think it would have been hilarious. Oh well, the AD and I both really liked how the final turned out.
Thank you to the wonderful Wes Bausmith for this very fun piece!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


These past couple weeks I had been thinking that my illustration in 5280 would be out in next month's issue. Oops, nope, it's out now. Here's the piece, for an article about how Colorado has turned from red state to purple, and soon enough, due to the high number of Hispanic, young, female and urban voters, will be a pretty blue state:

Having a woman changing from red and purple clothes into blue seemed like a good idea, and combining the changing room with a voter booth just fell into place.

Like I said, the issue is out now if you want to check it out. Thank you, Dave!
Up next: L.A. Times.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Shell Game

I was commissioned for this piece for the Harvard Law Bulletin a few weeks back. The school's International Human Rights Clinic is  following a case being heard in the Supreme Court, filed by Esther Kiobel on behalf of herself and several members of the Nigerian Ogoni tribe, against Royal Dutch Shell oil company (alleging crimes against humanity). Ronn, the art director, felt that a simple image connecting Shell with the Supreme Court would work well. I came up with this:

I think Ronn knows his stuff.

To read more about the case, see the article here. Thanks, Ronn!
Up next: 5280.

Monday, October 15, 2012

LMU interiors

I know you've been super psyched for it... here it is, my recent project for LMU Magazine! I worked with Pentagram Design on the Fall 2012 issue of Loyola Marymount University's superbly designed publication (see recent awards here). I was commissioned to do four full-page interior illustrations:

For the first illustration, the client wanted an image that conveyed the idea of celebrating the success of the school, focusing on how it is a team effort. The second article is about providing access to  college, ensuring that the road to higher education is open (and features their famous clock tower). The third article discusses the school's endowment, and how it provides funding for education. They requested that the hill upon which the school sits be in the composition. So any Angelenos out there may notice Marina del Rey (or my simplified interpretation of it) on the left of the illustration. The fourth article examines the Jesuit tradition of charitable donations for education, dating all the way back to St. Ignatius himself. 
Most of my work is fairly simple, usually consisting of blocks or shapes of color (much like my piece for Harvard Law Bulletin that I'll be posting soon), sometimes with a small amount of photo-collage for texture and accents (like this). The client in this particular case requested that since the images were so large, that they have a lot of depth and texture, and not be too flat or simple. So they're a little different than my usual style and incorporate a little more photo-collage, but the Art Directors and the client were very happy with the way they turned out, and so am I. Thank you so much to Barrett and D.J.!
Up next: Harvard Law Bulletin.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

You Dirty Rat

I finished this cover for a few Village Voice papers last week. It should be in the free weekly newsstands in Seattle, San Francisco, St. Louis and Broward/Palm Beach. The cover story goes over the ten most corrupt loopholes in the U.S. tax system. Corrupt because they allow very, very, very, very, very rich people to pay lower tax rates than the average citizen. A loophole is always viewed as a sneaky way to get around the system, and in an article dealing with lobbyists and politicians, what better way to illustrate that concept than a bunch of rats?

(SF Weekly AD: Andrew Nilsen)
Having the illustration run on the cover of several different titles, it's a little tricky ensuring the type will fit in for all the different layouts, but they seemed to work it out well. Thank you, Tom!
Up next: LMU!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fandom of the Opera

Hello! Yes, I'm back from cryogenic hypersleep! Or so it would seem, since I skipped the whole month of September. I assure you it was due to an extremely busy month, and had absolutely nothing to do with laziness.

Anyway, as promised way back in August in my last post, here's a fairly recent piece from the Washington Post that finally ran this past weekend. The article centered around two books published this past year about opera. One of the books focused on how people fall in love with opera. The book makes the case that opera fans have more in common with sports fanatics, believe it or not.

This was just a little spot, and they wanted a very simple image showing a love for opera. Cupid's arrow through the fat lady's helmet seemed to be a good solution. Thank you, Kim!

Stay tuned for work in 5280, Harvard Law Bulletin, four full-pagers for LMU magazine and more. On another note, the Bordo Bello show is this Saturday night for anyone that's interested in attending. I think you have to buy tickets here to go. Six to ten, at Redline Gallery in Denver. Be there or be square.