Senin, 29 Oktober 2012

Walking Portfolios

'Chris Weiss, another fan of my 'Tribal Tattoo' artwork.'

For the past three years I've received emails out of the blue from people who have stumbled upon my tribal tattoo art and liked it so much they made a lifetime commitment to it. Meaning, they pull it off my web site and get it tattooed on their body in not so subtle ways like Claude Montreal.

I have two emotions in response to such emails. I am obviously flattered someone likes my art this much. I know personally I could never commit to my art to that degree, I'd get sick of it and regret doing it. A few moments later a feeling of irritation takes over that someone didn't even bother to ask permission and thus I can't help but view it as "Flattering Copyright Infringement."

'My Original Artwork.'

I am glad Chris liked my art to the degree he does and I am more than happy to grant permission to others who may want to get a tattoo based on my work. All I require is that you simply just permission to do so first.

Not everyone however uses my art with out permission. An advertising agency guy named Ruben Salavert not only liked my work, he went out of his way to commission me to illustrate the original tribal bat tattoo.

The inset pic is another example of someone using my art without permission.

I'd like to think that only good looking people would snag my art off my site and have it tattooed on their body, but clearly that isn't always the case. Obviously my art looks better when it's found in context of a well-proportioned, toned body type be it male or female. ;-P

My tribal bat tattoo art has really taken off of sorts. So much so a popular tattoo web site reported on it here.

I still think a good story line for a law show could be written about this type of situation. Some artist sues a person who took their art and tattooed it on their body and now has to get it surgically removed. Maybe a Hollywood weasel trolling for ideas will read this last paragraph and rip that off?

Evil Clown

Evil Clown Illustration. "Tickles The Clown" (Click image to view larger)

I've been invited to speak in Ohio. Never have been to Ohio, but I am looking forward to it. I get to hang out with my art rep Scott Hull and hook up with my books publisher too.

To help promote the event they asked me to design a poster. They left the content up to me so of course I gravitated towards something practical, an "Evil Clown."

I'd been wanting to illustrate a doodle I had done of this back in February but just now got around to it. I've decided to name this character "Tickles The Clown." You know, you'll laugh so hard you'll cry, which is "Tickles" real motive after all since he is an evil clown.

Event promotional poster.

The one and only clown I ever enjoyed was "J.P. Patches" he did a local TV show out of Seattle when I was a kid and along with "Captain Kangaroo" he entertained me with all matter of witty banter.

As I got older however I ran into other clowns who I didn't find fun at all. Frankly speaking they more or less creeped me out or just flat out scared the crap out of me. I've always wondered who was the first person to dress up like a clown and whether or not he/she got beat up? LOL

"Tickles The Clown" iPhone Wall Paper.

Just in time for Halloween I have an iPhone Wallpaper version. Just nab the image above and drag it to your desktop and it's ready to load on to your iPhone. For other iPhone wallpaper check out my links in the right hand side of this site or visit my good friend Paul Howalt site where you can download a ton of cool iPhone wallpaper as well.

Jumat, 26 Oktober 2012

Stick it in your ear!

My friend and talented icon illustrator Gedeon Maheux proposed a fun blog posting topic idea via Twitter a few months back called "Favorite Story Songs." Well due to my schedule I missed the coordinated post and am only now getting around to it.

I had fun thinking back about the music that influenced me in one way or another over the years and have picked "6" diverse story songs that I've enjoyed over the years.

Music and Me
Growing up I didn't listen to a lot of music mainly because my parents couldn't afford to buy me a nice stereo system. This didn't stop me from knowing all the popular music growing up because my friends had stereos and I just listened to their music all the time. This led to some of my first ever paid art gigs too because my friends couldn't draw and would pay me $3 to draw a KISS band member on their pee-chee or $5 to draw Iron Maiden's Eddie on the back of their jean jacket. Not bad coin for an 11 year old up and coming artist. It also funded my baseball card and MAD magazine purchases as well.

I do have to say that my parents did get me a small record player but the only record I really played on it was my Star Wars Talking Record. I'd sit in my room listening to it an drawing pictures. Because of that I still to this day have nearly all of Episode IV dialogue memorized. Handy when you're a geek like me.

In high school the walkman and ghetto blasters hit the scene and all of a sudden music was portable. Sure my brother had an 8 track stereo he saved up and bought, but if I touched that and he found out I'd get some major body blows. The Eagles "Hotel California" wasn't worth that kind of pain.

As a kid I enjoyed all kinds of various music, even some of the albums my parents liked had grown on me like John Denver and Roger Whittaker. I kind of look at this now as audio indoctrination of sorts. ;-P

Each year our family would take summer trips and we'd always drive. On one of those trips we went to visit family friends in North Dakota so we listened to a lot of radio along the way and I grew fond of Glen Campbell's "Rhinestone Cowboy", not so much because of anything it was saying it was just the rhythm and melody I enjoyed. My dads audio penchant for big band resulted in some cool Jim Flora album covers that played a big part in inspiring my artwork actually.

Growing up I had friends mixing and sharing their own custom compilations as well. My music tastes over time became very eclectic to say the least. I had my favorites of course but nothing that completely dominated my attention.

We now live in the digital age where music is every where and easily accessible both legally and illegally. The quality of the recordings has improved and new genres have developed both good and bad.

My Six Picks
Below are six specific songs from various points in my life which captivated me not just because of their mere melody or beat but rather because of the story they tell. I am a visual thinking person being a designer and illustrator so when I listen to these songs it flips that movie projector in my mind and images start flashing before me as I listen to the artist sing the lyrics. They may not all be well-known songs, but I sure do enjoy listening to them because they managed to hit on a deeper cord, the one not found on a music sheet anywhere.

• • •

1. Rush - Moving Pictures
The first time I really noticed and picked up on the story within a song was in high school. A friend of mine let me listen to his tape of "Rush" and their song "Tom Sawyer." I still love this song, it's classic rock and the story behind it is just cool. If a music video was done today I could easily see it done in a graphic novel style.

Song Title:
"Tom Sawyer"
Listen to sample via iTunes here.

• • •

2. Chris Rice - Smell the Color 9
I have to admit the title of song was what attracted me at first. But after listening to the music it just made me smile at how clever the concept was. The tune was awesome but the story was even better.

Song Title:
"Life Means So Much"
Listen to sample via iTunes here.

• • •

3. George Frideric Handel - Water Music
I remember years ago pulling the CD insert out and reading about the history behind this music and now every time I listen to it the unique scene forms in my minds eye. Read more about it here.

Song Titles:
"Suite in F major, HWV 348"
"Suite in D major, HWV 349"
"Suite in G major, HWV 350"
Listen to samples via iTunes here.

• • •

4. Classic Sinatra - His Greatest Performances, 1953-1960
Love crooners in general. Whether it's Blue Eyes, Dean Martin or Tony Bennett, I've probably listened to this song more then any other song in my life. In a certain respect it sums up my life in many ways and that aspect of the story makes it resinate with me.

Song Title:
"Young at Heart"
Listen to sample via iTunes here.

• • •

5. Harvest Worship Band - Praise Worthy
Lets face it life is short in the grand scheme of things. Our time in this horizontal hold we call life quickly comes into eternal perspective when you take into account what really matters in the end. This songs story does this for me, it's a healthy audio diagnosis of my life priorities every time I listen to it.

Song Title:
"Better Than Life"
Listen to sample via iTunes here.

• • •

6. Louis Armstrong - Golden Greats Vol. 1
I love the scratchy quality to Louie's singing. Every time I listen to any of his songs I have the vicarious urge to suck on a throat lozenge. A few years back I bought some of his music on iTunes and this song about life in the south intrigued me.

Song Title:
"Blues in the South"
I couldn't locate the exact song but Louie has a ton of good tunes.

• • •

You can also listen to all of this music listed above in it's entirety for FREE by setting up an account on or download the FREE Pandora iPhone app here.

Flattering Copyright Infringement

'My Original Tribal Tattoo Art.'

I created the above artwork about two years ago. It was something I did for no other reason then to have fun. I've used it on several creative projects and a t-shirt design I give away when I do speaking gigs. It now seems this art is making it's way into the whole tattoo art sub-culture and people are helping themselves to the visual imagery and having it applied to their body without my permission.

Sure I am always flattered in a wierd kind of way by this type of artistic commitment, but I'd at least appreciate a request for permission first. My morbid curiosity wonders if I could sue them for copyright infringement and then legally have it removed?

'My artwork now graces the forearm of a German man.'

'A hostage quality picture of my art kidnapping the back of some headless body from God knows where?'

Neither of these two gentleman asked permission nor did they pay me a usage fee, but I digress.

In any regard I wish them well, I hope they enjoy it. But as I've said before: As for me and my torso I prefer a blank canvas. I just can't make that type of artistic commitment.

Selasa, 23 Oktober 2012

Drip.Dot.Swirl - Pre-Order!

"Drip.Dot.Swirl. 94 incredible patterns for design and illustration."

My pattern book is now available for pre-order on

As the title states the book features "94" unique patterns. Each of the patterns is tileable, so you can fill any size space needed seamlessly. The patterns are fully customizable too, meaning you'll be able to adapt them to your own projects by changing colors, simplifying the content or combining more then one to create additional options.

"FREE Bonus Set of "12" Patterns for those who order the book."

Pattern names for each in order from left to right.
- Funkus
- Willamette
- Single Cell
- Grate Expectations
- PinWheel
- Alyssa Joy
- Synapse
- Windoze
- Latte Java
- Darjeeling
- Techno Shard
- Scorn Thistle

No-Brainer Deal.

The books DVD will also contain an additional "12" patterns not featured in the book and if that wasn't enough I am also offering a bonus set (shown above) for anyone who pre-orders the book! So when it's all said and done that is a total of 118 different patterns.

How to get the FREE bonus set.

To qualify and receive the FREE bonus set of patterns shown above just follow the following steps.

1. Visit and pre-order the book. Click here.

2. Make a copy of your pre-order receipt and email it to:

3. Once my book is released on or around May 2009 I'll email out a link where you can download the FREE bonus pattern set.

Tiled Patterns Demonstrated.

"Magic Beans" Pattern.

"Psychotronic" Pattern.

"Retrograde" Pattern.

"Grate Expectations" Pattern.

"Crystalyn" Pattern.

"Synapse" Pattern.

Download "3" Sample Pattern Tiles

"Solaris" FREE Download Sample Pattern.

"Spiro" FREE Download Sample Pattern.

"Chaos" FREE Download Sample Pattern.

Sample pattern download includes both CS2 and CS3 Ai Files.
Download sample pattern files.

Download additional sample patterns and preview book spreads at

Minggu, 21 Oktober 2012

European Small Business

Build Your Guitar Logo.

The internet is a fascinating thing. I've had a blast sharing my art and meeting people all across the globe. It truly is amazing.

Recently I was contacted by a gentleman in Austria who creates custom built guitars and has started a business to teach others how to build there own guitar.

He had seen some character based logos I had done and wanted the same type of approach for his small business identity. The personality I developed was a fun, approachable character mark.

Secondary Build Your Guitar Logo.

I like to give my clients two format options for their logos. It helps them to use it in multiple contexts easier than one size fits all.

By now you've probably noticed Gill Sans, the typeface I decided to use. I don't think I've used that typeface in over 14 years. It's not my favorite typeface but I thought it fit this project well and matched the art style. The client loved logo and the type.

Concept Marks.

As I created this mark all kinds of fun concepts came to mind so I decided to provide my client with a component system that he could use for secondary brand graphics. Clever slogans the character is speaking. Note the speaking bubble itself is in the shape of a guitar pick.

Potential for T-Shirts.

To help my clients see how they can use their new mark I like to show them application samples such as this t-shirt design.

All in all it was a fun project to work on. It didn't have a huge budget since it was a new small business owner but it's nice to know he has a good foundation to build upon now identity wise.

Sabtu, 13 Oktober 2012

Talkin' Heads - Sneak Peek!

Talkin' Heads Bonus Set.

I've always thought the absolute best job would be to get paid to doodle. You know, draw what ever you want and have someone think enough of it to then pay you for it. Well, this project is about as close to that as I'll probably ever get.

Veer approached me about creating a custom stock art set for them. They had seen some game avatar icons I created and wanted me to create a set utilizing the same style. The only limitation they gave me was they wanted all the artwork to be simple black and white and they approved my concept for a set very quickly.

My immediate reaction after such situations is a moment of dread however. Self doubt starts to leak into my conscience and I have thoughts like "If this sucks everyone will see your lousy art." or "What if they end up hating the art and pull the plug?" It didn't last long though. Because honestly I thought this was stuff I'd draw anyway just to entertain myself and now I have a major company willing to pay me to do it. It's a no-brainer!

The bonus set shown above is just a freebie set I'll be giving away to anyone who orders the original Veer set once it's released. None of the images shown in this post are part of the Veer set. This is just to wet your creative appetite.

If you'd like to be notified when Talkin' Heads is available through Veer you can email me to be added to my "Talkin' Heads" list and I'll notify you when it's released. Send your request to:

Sample Talkin' Head "Jester."

I spent hundreds of hours fine tuning over 50 heads in all. (Not including speaking bubbles etc.) They work big or small and the eyes on each head can be moved to make them look where ever is needed.

Talkin' Head File Specifications.
- Adobe CS2 & CS3 Ai Vector File.

FREE Sample File.
Download a sample Talkin' Head file and take it for a test drive here.

Selasa, 09 Oktober 2012

The Big "O"

Barack Obama. (Click image to download poster.)

My good friend Paul Howalt runs a cool web site called and since I gave him the Sarah Palin artwork to post on his site as free wallpaper, I decided to illustrate the big "O" as well.

Even though I am not voting for Barack Obama it was still fun creating the artwork none the less.

I had used FreeHand for 15 years and I have to admit Illustrator absolutely smokes FreeHand in terms of detailing. The core building of shapes was far superior in FreeHand and Ai still lacks in that area even with CS4, but you'd be hard pressed to do this type of detailing in FreeHand with the same ease as Ai provides. It's just fun.

Obama "Head of State" T-Shirt

Wear the "Big O" talking head tee at your next political fundraiser. A must have for any international diplomat wanting to appear hipper they they really are. And just in time for the inauguration. Get the full presidential briefing on this design hear.

iPod wallpaper version.

Be sure to download the big "O" poster using this link.

Sabtu, 06 Oktober 2012

Scary Palin?

Scary Palin Poster for Art Show. (Click image to download poster.)

I don't go out of my way to do a lot of politically motivated art. Frankly I think it's a lot of hot air and relatively pointless. I suppose it's a good creative vent for some and I guess that would be the case in point with this art?

So when I was asked by "Start Soma" to participate in their new "Propaganda" show I was intrigued. You see the focus of this new show will be centered around "Sarah Palin."

I would guess that most of the submissions will be negative, but to be completely honest I like her. Do I agree with everything she says? No. Then again I don't agree with everything my best friend says either so nothing strange about that.

I find it kind of humorous that so many are seemingly scared of her for many reasons and they love to rant on and on about it. That's fine, our freedom gives us that option.

I look at Sarah Palin and see a beautiful normal lady that has pursued politics locally in order to change it, not to merely gain power like so many other politicians. The fact she's been so successful seems to scare many people, so I decided to play off of that.

If you had never seen her and just read some of the articles written about her you'd almost want to picture a monster, not a beautiful woman. So I found that to be somewhat of a visual irony of sorts as well. So rather than force feeding my own pointless rant I left the interpretation up to the viewer to decide.

PS: If you'd like to see my previous submission to the last propaganda show click here.