Thursday, September 29, 2011

(V) We Are Rest Stop 2

Ever wondered what life on the AIDS LifeCycle is like? This past summer I brought my camera along and put together a mini documentary about our experience on Rest Stop 2. YouTube has a fifteen minute limit, so it's split into PART ONE and PART TWO. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

(I) Norway

This is an image I created in response to the recent horror in Norway. To read more, check out my blog with artist friend Matt Gaydos by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

(V) Negotiations

There's a new video on YouTube from The Non-Permanent Parliament - all your dreams are real! I made this one with some incredible people from the cast of Equus, and I can't get enough of it. Also, it's not part of a series - no Morty or Zombie Bruce this time around - which may be a plus or a minus for you. Watch it anyway!

Check it out by clicking HERE, and please take a moment to rate, comment, and/or pass this video to a friend. Please help me beat Morty the Pug for viewers - we can do it!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

(I) El Bizarron - Illustration Fail

One time, when I was but a wee freshman in college, I took this career test, a test to determine what our aptitudes were and where best to put them. In addition to a number of other things that I've forgotten, this test told me I work best under pressure, that I'd be great as a journalist or someone that needs to meet high-pressure deadlines.

These test results have stuck in my head since then. I was a procrastinator before then, but after I was a procrastinator with proof that procrastination was in my best interest; this is how I do my best work! Just like a journalist!

Most of the time it's true, if exhausting. But sometimes, as with the above image, it just doesn't work out. I made this painting last minute for a friend who was having a benefit for his mother, who's very sick. She's originally from Cuba, so I found a Cuban folk tale: How El Bizarron Fooled the Devil. It's about a simple man who goes to do manual labor for the devil, tricking him into believing he is too strong and formidable to be trifled with. (Why the dude goes out to work for the devil is not really explained.) I planned to paint his mom kind of hovering in the air, serene and beautiful, holding a large red flower, with the devil curled around her feet.

I've posted the part of the painting I like, and the rest is too awkward and shameful for viewing. Censored! Have I learned my lesson? Of course not. I work best under pressure!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

(I) Update - A Tree Grows in Bako mounted!

My friends who commissioned the three-panel tree painting "A Tree Grows in Bako - Say Amen!" just sent me pictures of the finished product, mounted in the front entry of their home in Bakersfield. It's an incredible piece, and I'm honored that they love it enough to give it such a place of pride.

Monday, July 4, 2011

(I) Bad Ant

My latest contribution to my blog with my artist friend Matt, known informally as The Goo Blog. To see the ongoing artistic conversation, CLICK HERE.

Friday, June 24, 2011

(I) Secret Projects - Shut Up!!

I haven't been posting much recently because I've been working on a few large projects that are either presents or commissions (or both), so I gotta keep 'em quiet for now. Above is a preview of one of them - more soon!

(V) Rest Stop 2 Documentary - Preview!

Every year I have the enormous honor of participating in the AIDS Lifecycle, a 580+ bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I rode it in 2006, and I've been a roadie for four of the years since. This past year I decided to bring my video camera along to document the work we as Rest Stop 2 roadies do for the seven days we all get to be together. (All right, we have a little bit of fun here and there as well.) Click here to see the preview for the forthcoming documentary.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

(GD) Almost, Maine poster

An image for my high school teacher friend (see All In The Timing poster, Midsummer Night's Dream poster). I haven't seen or read the play, but I got a basic sense of it from the internets- love stories, isolated northern town- and threw this thing together very quickly. Approved!

There's a few big projects coming- stay tuned!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Day Job Doodles

My latest entry in the blog I share with artist friend Matt. For the complete story, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

(OPP) Kyle Cummings

Kyle Cummings is a friend of a friend of mine and I've been following his work for a while now. He makes 'cute' things with a decided edge, a thoughtful undertone that gives them an interesting complexity. He sometimes does movie reviews like the one I've made below, and I've discovered a bunch of new music from his posts as well. What follows is an example of his work, my movie review homage, and my own list of recent music that I've been listening to (some of which have come from Kyle's blog). You can check out more of Mr. Cummings' work at

Angela Surf City The Walkmen
Cry Baby Cee Lo Green
Broken Robert Downey Jr.
Getting Ready for Christmas Day Paul Simon
The Beautiful People (From "Burlesque") Christina Aguilera Little Motel Modest Mouse
Don't You Want Me Atomic Tom
Give a Little (Radio Mix) Hanson
Love the Way You Lie (feat. Rihanna) Eminem
When Love Takes Over (feat. Kelly Rowland) David Guetta
Come Back Song Darius Rucker
Alligator Sky (feat. Shawn Chrystopher) Owl City
We Rule the World Dragonette
Missing Beck
Futile Devices Sufjan Stevens
Bullets Editors
American Honey Lady Antebellum
Blackout Linkin Park
Rabbit Will Run Iron & Wine
The Only Exception (Glee Cast Version) Glee Cast

(I) The Inside Series Update

Rejected for being too cartoony. Back to the drawing board!

Monday, April 4, 2011

(I) A Tree Grows in Bako (Say Amen)

A friend commissioned me to do a painting for his living room, a surprise gift for his wife. He didn't have a really specific vision, just that he wanted it on three panels, and that it should depict a tree or, possibly, a root system they'd seen together. I was stoked with the final result, and I did manage to snap some photos along the way.

I bought the panels from a store called Scrap here in SF. They were about 1' x 5' each, totally recycled. Originally they were painted red, black and blue. I painted over the red and blue, then made a chalk drawing of the basic setup of the piece:

I then did a value painting for the top - I have no idea why painters do this, but I've seen it before, so...yes. I also knew that I wanted a light filtering through the roots, so I painted that in:
Then I went crazy with the paints and didn't really stop for the next few hours:
I was saved by the set of paint pens I'd bought for the project, they allowed me to get some nice-looking detail, as on the roots and the spray of gold lights coming through the roots:

I called it "A Tree Grows in Bako (Say Amen)". I thought about what to do with the tree - a redwood, looking up from below? A big oak tree?- but there wasn't a lot of space on the panels. When my friend sent me a picture of an uprooted tree and the complicated patterns therein, I decided to focus on the roots. If you've been to Bakersfield, you know there aren't a lot of trees- the ones that are there are mostly newly-planted saplings near strip malls- so this little guy made sense.

Commission accomplished!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

(I) The Inside Series

Illustration for a series of studio tours, commissioned by the Savviest curator in NYC.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

(I) Red Riding - Process

My friend Matt and I have a blog where we challenge each other to create art in response to each other's posts. Last week I created a piece based on the Red Riding Hood story, and I think it's one of the nicest things I've done in a while. Check out our blog by clicking here.
I'm a huge fan of artists posting articles on how they made their stuff - I don't have a lot of formal training, and I always learn something new. So, here's how I made this thing.
I usually start with an idea floating around in my head. Sometimes it takes weeks or months or even years to actually sit down and force it onto a page - it's like being pregnant and finally giving birth, except I can choose when to give birth, so I usually put it off 'cause it can be kind of painful.
Sometimes I'll make an initial sketch, just to make the composition clear, but this time I knew exactly what I wanted, so I started by gathering imagery. I knew I wanted to make an image of a kind of devilish Red Riding Hood surrounded by wolves, her cape swirling all around her. Somewhere along the line I saw the cape as a big watercolor swirl, so I could draw the girl and the wolves and layer the red paint in underneath.
The images come from a variety of places. The wolf I found online (a while ago, actually - I used this photo as a reference for the Midsummer poster I did a few months ago), that's me posing for the girl's expression, the swirl of paint I made (one of three), and an image by James Jean. I actually found the Jean picture after I had completed my own piece, but I include it because he uses techniques that I was consciously trying to put into practice.
James Jean starts his pieces with blue pencil sketches. I've been doing this more and more recently, and I find that though it adds another step (and thus extra time) it provides a kind of softer, less committed beginning - I can make mistakes and fix them more easily. Here's the blue pencil sketch:
I was originally going to make at least three wolves, but as I was drawing the second (the wolf at the top), I remembered there's only one wolf in the actual story, and having just the one makes the interaction between victim and hunter much more intimate. Also, the wolf at the lower corner came out looking kind of sad and submissive, and I liked that. My process is half purposeful skill and half discovery, being willing to flow with whatever comes out of my pencil.

I then use a graphite pencil to clarify the decisions I've made with the blue. You can see the second wolf has been voted off the island. This process is my least favorite part - the closer I get to permanence, the more uncomfortable I become. Using pen is a process I've almost completely dismissed lately. But pencil's a bit more forgiving. I'm also using this great paper that was given to me for Christmas - I have no idea what it is, but you can erase the HELL out of it, and it doesn't get worn out.

I listen to music or watch movies I don't need to pay a lot of attention to when I'm working, and when I'm looking at the piece later on, I get an echo of what was going on in the background. This piece reminds me of the movie Poltergeist, for no other reason than when I was coloring it in Photoshop, I was also watching that movie.
An interesting side-effect of modeling the girl on a picture of myself is that her general appearance is slightly more mannish than it should be, which adds to her predatory feel in an almost subconscious way.
Another technique that I got from Mr. Jean is masking the original black pencil lines with different colors, which is most evident in the pink lines around the ribbon; I also used it in some of the lines that make the cloak. It's a small detail, but I think it makes things look slightly more professional, though it was surprisingly hard to commit to; I usually leave the lines black.
The forest background was added at the last minute and I think it looks pretty sweet - now I know what that leaf-shaped paintbrush is for!
This design is available for purchase! (All your dreams are real!) T-shirt available or you could even get a poster! Go for it!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

(I) Owl Cards

There are times in a man's life when he needs to send a card, and I am no exception. But when I'm standing at that card section and I'm trying to work up the courage to drop five bucks on a piece of paper with a bird on it, the little illustrator in my head is always in agony, because I should be making cards of my own! And now I have! They're for sale in the owlhenrystore, and I've slapped 'em on t-shirts, too, just to keep you in fashion-forward mode.

Friday, February 25, 2011

(GD) Dual/REI

Savannah Spirit is a creative force I've known since we started elementary school together. Savannah sauntered out of the womb reeking of This Kid's Gonna Be Famous, and she's currently adventuring as a curator in New York City. She agreed to test my skills by occasionally sending me real projects (like her Dual postcard, below) and made up assignments (the REI ad, below that), and offering her critiques. It gives us both some good practice, and makes me feel more hip by association.

Get your Savannah on at

Saturday, February 19, 2011

(OPP) Dan Hipp

There's some fun stuff coming up here at the ol' blog - soon! I promise! Until then, check out the work of a recent find of mine, Dan Hip.

Friday, January 14, 2011

(I) LGP!

A friend of mine is leaving on a round-the-world trip. So, since it's also her birthday, I painted this LGP on the cover a very small, non-threatening journal to document her trip. My brother actually coined the term 'LGP', and if you don't know what I'm talking about, just think about it. It'll hit you. 3am: "Oh, that's AWESOME!"