I am an illustrator / designer in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I began my education at the Savannah College of Art & Design in 2000. I was captain of the cross country team there, which was a lot of fun, but a close call with an alligator convinced me to transfer out. So it goes.
I finished college at the University of Michigan where I received my BFA in graphic design in 2004. I liked it a lot and learned all sorts of great things there, but none of them were how to breathe underwater, which has been a long standing goal of mine. So it goes.
When I’m not working on important projects I tend to invest my time in any number of trivial pursuits, such as: Foot races, writing mediocre poetry, hiking, thinking myself in ridiculous circles, reading, brachiating, and kicking dead horses. Also, come to think of it, I’m mildly obsessed with otters…
Aside from my dramatic foray into The South, I also had a stint doing the Unemployed Young Person in Chicago Thing. Though it seems I always end up back here near my family and friends (they’re a nerdy bunch of weirdos, but they’re dear to me). It probably helps that I’m actually completely in love with Michigan, right down to its snow-covered underbelly.
I met Greg Elizondo several years ago and easily came to the conclusion that he is a pretty swell guy; if I needed any further evidence of this it was recently delivered in the form of a personal invitation to create the first art print for the launch of his exciting new brand, Hoppy Press.
Formed jointly by Greg and Paul Finn, Hoppy Press is “an online gallery specializing in beer art for home brewers and beer lovers.” Their goal is to “create beer art that really captures the spirit of homebrewers,” but also to create exceptionally high quality print products that will stand out from the cheap, flimsy digital reproductions that clutter so many walls. To such ends, they worked with word-class screen-printers, Industry Standard, of Portsmouth, NH who helped ensure that the prints turned out top notch – using 110# French Paper and environmentally friendly soy-based inks made to last a lifetime.
For my part, I was really excited to work on something related to one of my newest passions: brewing up boat-loads of homemade booze. My girlfriend and I have been brewing for a bit over a year now, successfully concocting a few patches of dandelion wine (under the names “Sunshine Fuzz” and “Raccoon Baby”), as well as a very fine India Pale Ale we dubbed “Two-Headed Boy”. I think the most exciting part for me in terms of creating this print for Hoppy Press was the opportunity to work on some fun custom typography, and to combine that with simple yet lively shapes and textures. I’m happy with how it turned out, and I encourage you to pick up a print if you feel the same; there are only 100 of them, and having seen the final product that Industry Standard put together I can say they’re worth every penny.
Good morning and good day! That’s what my friend Chelsea Martin – self-proclaimed “Granola Ginger” – says to her bevy of beautiful buck-bucks (chickens) each day when she sallies forth into a sea of hen nests in search of fresh eggs to collect and sell.
Recently, Chelsea commissioned me to create for her a chicken character and a mascot for use on her website, “Adventures of a Granola Ginger” wherein she relates photos, recipes, and fun stories from her budding farm life.
There’s an old design of mine that I’ve been wanting to update with a flashy, typographic flair for a while now, and the other day I finally got around to it. I’m relatively pleased with how it turned out. This, of course, will do little to stop me from attempting to redesign it again in a few weeks.
Below is the oooold version side by side with the sketch of the new version.
Here’s a lil mascot I did for a friend of mine, Chelsea Martin, the Granola Ginger – self-proclaimed “feisty and sassy ‘ginger’, who loves news, politics, great food, sustainable living and social media.”
Here’s an illustration I did for the Feb issue of Wired Magazine UK. It was a lot of fun to make and it was exciting working with the folks at Wired UK. The illustration is about a “story-driven zombie fitness game” that you can play on your mobile device — specifically while out running… from zombies.
So, I’m in a video game gallery show in Chicago in February, and thought I would post a few concepts I’m working on… starting with a Halo / Super Mario Bros Mash-up. SMB is —shockingly— the fist/oldest video game I can remember playing, back on the ol’ NES. Halo, is for all intents and purposes the “newest” game I play. And look! I’ve mashed them up!
The next idea is a full blown, almost comic style Mario going all “Mission Impossible” on us. This is the first of several ideas that center around the notion that a couple of badass dudes from Brooklyn might not venture into magical demon-infested realms quite so lightly equipped. I mean, these guys are from New York in the 80s… damn right they’re packing some heat.
I think I must not have recieved the memo about how starting in two thousand twelve, January will be required by unnatural law to behave exactly like March. If I was March I’d be so pissed to have my unique role as “The Crappiest Month Alive” snaked out from under me.
In other news, I think my blogger spell-check is on the blink, because whenever I’ve clicked it lately something other than flashing red lights and miles of highlighted text appeared. So until further notice, my spell check is broken. I consider the odds of the computer software (whose only purpose in life is to fix spelling errors) being messed up as being far better than the odds of me, after 29 glorious years of inneptitude, having learned to spell.
So yeah, while I’m at it, I hope everyone had a lovely holiday. And by everyone, I of course mean most people. For instance, I don’t particularly care if Lindsay Lohan had a lovely holiday. I hope that Glen Beck’s holiday was downright rotten.
What an awful shit I am.
But you, gentle reader! I hope your holiday was lovely and fantastic! Joyful, even. And triumphant!
Anyway, my holiday was pretty nice. Those of you who have suffered my company over the years in even a peripheral sense have probably gleaned some notion as to my enthusiasm for the electro-shock-injected sport of whirly-ball. It has become customary for me to claim to be planning holiday whirly-ball outings. It has also become customary for these claims to be treated by my friends as invitations to be baked into a giant pie and eaten ala mode by a monstrous hill person.
Needless to say, whirly-ball matches never ever come to fruition.
Never, that is, until this year! This year marked the first time in a long time that I was able to flatter, bribe, intimidate, seduce, or otherwise force enough people to commit to a game of whirly-ball, which made me very happy. Moreover, I think everyone had a good time. I, for one, had an excellent time. This was due –at least in part– to having been struck by an inexplicable fit of competency (see mad skillz), which resulted in the best played whirly-ball game of my life and, eventually, the only time you will ever see someone blog about how good they are at whirly-ball.
In any case, thanks for tuning in. And happy Twenty Dozen!
The latest Mighty Mitten print is full of dots. The state of Michigan is, in this print, defined by dots — whereas the actual state of Michigan is defined by imaginary political lines and, well, lakes an stuff. In this print, the role of imaginary political boundaries and lakes an stuff shall be performed by… you guess it… dots.
This! This is a video from The Happy Hour Guys, who seem to pass their time traversing the countryside in search of the latest tasty brews. I hate them.
But! There’s always a but. This episode they have journeyed from what I assume is afar to visit my fair Ann Arbor and, more importantly, my beloved Wolverine State Brewing Co., where I serve as humble designer/art director.
I made a new Mighty Mitten print recently – It’s a robin / apple blossom combo, with some other Michigan iconography to boost its potency. Anywho! You can buy prints and stuff by clicking on the image below.
“I used to, but macaroni kept proving archivally inferior to digital mediums, and peeling Elmer’s off your fingers gets old eventually. I mean, it’s no good having a bunch of glue flakes stuck to your hands when you’re trying to seduce a woman, I’ll tell you that much.”
I thought it might be nice to display the finished art that came out of the “Blood Bears” sketch I posted a while back. Pretty straightforward interpretation of the sketch, which is always nice. Anywho, enjoy. I hope it’s not too gross.