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.


home brew art

home brew art

Are you Smitten with the Mitten?

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.

smitten with the mittensmitten with the mitten

Below is the oooold version side by side with the sketch of the new version.

smitten with the mitten

Back to the Future — But, like… not.

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!

halo vs mario bros

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.

mario rampage

MDOT – Michigan Dept. of TransporDOTitude…

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.


michigan map poster

Boughs of Folly

I’m back!!!  Isn’t that exciting?

That image is, well, I dunno… hyperbolic?  We’ll go with hyperbolic.

In any case, if there’s anyone that cares, I’m sorry for going AWOL from the blogosphere.  For everyone else, I’m sorry for the gentle but no doubt false assertion that anyone might actually miss my updates, for what passes for blogging here at WillyWally is more accurately a not-so-thinly-veiled front for shameless self-promotion… Which brings me to the crux of it: Self, did you miss talking about yourself and showing off your pretty pictures?

Well, yeah, I guess I kinda did.


Bears love me ’cause I’m crazy huggable

That’s the line we’re going with around here these days, folks.

More to the point, I have created a bear.  It lives on tee shirts and makes the tee-wearer more huggable.  It could also very reasonably be said to lend the wearer extra strength, in addition to tiger-face and some sort of unqualified electric fish powers.

In short, this shirt gives you powers.

I designed this shirt with powers in mind because it is the official shirt of a very important & strange annual event, called “Tundig,” and sometimes extra powers are needed to fully understand or enjoy it, if not survive it.  Extra powers could come in handy when–while ensconced in a remote & undisclosed corner of Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula–one must evade a Whiskey-Otter™, rise from the drunk, slay a wendigo, win a round of custom Apples-to-Apples, or, well, fight a North American Black Bear…

The shirt, which, after a hundred more words than I thought would be necessary to get to this point, is pictured below and represents the first shirt I’ve designed and printed in a while that was created –wait for it– just for fun.

Fellow designer, citrón:ade, caught in an attempted demonstration of the motor-booty powers…

Beastie Boys!

Not those Beastie Boys.

So a little while back, shirt.woot asked some of its artists if they would like to submit a black & white character for use in their New Year’s MashUp tee.  I decided to draw a tyrannosaur unicorn with caterpillar arms. . . in a tux. . .  They didn’t use it, which was a shame, but I enjoyed the settings I had used on the brush tool and whatever so I doodled a few more Creaturely Mistakes of Morhology and came up with these fellers below.

Grippely F. Creeper:

Bateye Tuskerfluff:

And, of course, the nasty forerunner bugger:

In other news, it appears that my first new job of 2010 may be designing a map for a pirate treasure quest themed scavenger hunt.  Fun!

So, it appears that my first new job of 2010 may be designing a map for a pirate treasure quest themed scavenger hunt.  Fun!

A few forgotten blogables: 2009

And here we have an entirely different 2009 in 2010 post– one in which a bunch of stuff created during 2009 and likewise intended for blogging in 2009 somehow gets all lumped together and blogged about here and now, in 2010.


Quite simply a drawing of a fire-breathing pterodactyl (FOR SALE):Portraiture run a muck (Also for sale </lol>):

I didn’t really realize it till I posted this, but these two pieces (somewhat poorly) demonstrate a shift in my technique, if not style (if I actually have such a thing) lately.  The pterodactyl was created in Illustrator by the pen tool, for the most part, with occasional lazy assistance from the pencil tool, and entirely with a mouse.  The portraits, while also accomplished in Illustrator, were drawn on my Wacom tablet using the brush tool. . . It’s one of my very first attempts with the brush tool/tablet combo and the closest I’ve ever come to actually “drawing” digitally.  Since this piece I’ve been practicing a lot more with these tools —with varying degrees of success— and, for the most part, enjoying it.  Perhaps 2010 will be The Year of the Brush Tool for me.  I kind of hope so, because dammit, the pen tool is slow 🙂

ScoutForce business card design:

The going gets weird

Fresh viewables today, of the somewhat wacky, bizarre, or otherwise questionable variety.  I really have no idea where all the eyeball-related what-have-you came from.  None-the-less, it makes perfect sense to me that if a pirate gets his eyeball cut out in battle that that eyeball would then be “dead” and could reasonably take the form of an eyeball skull…  So there.

In other news, it is currently about 6AM and I haven’t slept yet, so good luck with the sense and the making of it by me.

Larger individual versions can be scoped at the ol’ flickrbox:  //Evil Eye //Pirate Eye

In the category of illustration that is merely needlessly gory, I give you the following:

You see, despite having had a Wacom tablet for a couple years now, I have only very recently discovered that the “brush” tool in Adobe Illustrator is pressure-sensitive.  Yes, astonishing quickness, I know.  Anyway, I have been trying to take full advantage of this lately, as well as trying to get as much practice with it as I can.  Another thing I’ve been meaning to practice more lately is the comic book type of character, such as ol’ Wade Wilson up there.  So there it is.  Clean dynamic line-weight + comic style illustration.  A match made in… well, Illustrator, I guess.

There’s another Deadpool below in which I tried to flesh out the color a little.  Foolishly, I decided to do this before I actually finished drawing the character.  Given my my lack of practice, it is probably going to take me about 10 more tries to achieve any sort of passable foreshortening with that semi-machine gun he’s toting.  Maybe I should give him a lollipop instead.

The things we do when we lack things to do…

Also known as, This Recession and All its Buddies can at Least Buy Me Breakfast.

Anyway.  I have been lacking client work lately.  There has been, as they might say, a dearth of client work.  And, left to my own devices, as they say, I have seen fit to spend my time doing all sorts of things that are–they might say– unproductive… For instance, I have been catching up on my reading (about 2,000 pages in the last three weeks thankyouverymuch).  But mostly, I’ve been making foolish stuff like the following.

Dinosaur War - Work in progress

Turtle Transit Authority - WIP

Something Strange, as they say...

Speaking of reading.  One of my recent reads was Cormac “Turbo Buzz-kill, as they say” McCarthy’s The Road.  Good book, but dire.  Nightmarish, as they say.  Jiminy Cricket.



1 day. 40 artists. 9,000 gallons of beer.

You may remember a post from a while back about my acceptance to the 7th installment of the Shadow Art Fair, in which I probably promised updates regarding product lineups and other such improbable silliness.  Well, tSAF came and went.  As might be assumed from a tagline like “1 day. 40 artists. 9,000 gallons of beer” it was loads of fun, as always.  I displayed a few new shirts and a few new posters and made a few new dollars, not to mention a few new friends.

Folks proved excitable when confronted with the Ypsi-Ynvaders poster of our infamous water tower (above) and the Scyptsy shirt (below)


But one of the best things to come out of this summer’s Shadow Art fair was this wicked sweet video by Mike Ambs.  Make sure to keep an eye out for me and Heather (0:49), the Hide-a-Turtle (1:23) and the Ynvaders poster (3:08):

1 day. 40 artists. 9,000 gallons of beer. from mike ambs ☂ on Vimeo.

(I apologize if this thing isn’t embedding properly.  WordPress seems to hate Vimeo, which is a shame.  But seriously, you really should follow the link to the vimeo page because this is a truly charming little recap of a great event!)

Shadow Cats! Part III

Found out last night that I’ve been accepted to this summer’s Shadow Art Fair, which makes me happy.  I’ve participated in the summer installment of this fine event for the past two years and I know that they (The Michigan Design Militia, and yes, you read that correctly) like to shake things up when they can and that they’d received over 150 applications for roughly 40 spots, and so I had a feeling I was going miss the cut on this one.  But hey, GIGGITTY.  I’m in.

The Shadow Art Fair has many charms, but perhaps none so alluring as its venue, The Corner Brewery, which aside from being roomy enough to accommodate throngs of art vendors and enthusiasts alike, still has room for live music in its ample beer garden and, perhaps most importantly, the constant availability of quality brews.  Nothing to loosen up folks pocket books and broaden their appreciation of the arts like a few (or a few too many) fine tasting fermentations.

And here, my friends, are some of the slides I sent as part of my application, outlining some of the shtuffs that shall be made and sold at The Booth of Wonders — Yes, Wonders:

brian walline

ann arbor ypsi

ann arbor


michigan hand map

walline posters

michigan posters



Thought I would post a couple fun lil diddies from the whole “Flickr-Pedia Debut Album Art” meme that burst on the scene a while back.  They’re just so fun to make!


rabit transit



1 – Go to Wikipedia. Hit “random”
or click
The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 – Go to Quotations Page and select “random quotations”
or click
The last four or five words of the very last quote on the page is the title of your first album.

3 – Go to Flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 – Use Photoshop or similar to put it all together.

Old Stuff is the new New Stuff

So I was going through my bookcase looking for where I stashed that Faesthetic Mag I brought home from Chicago this week (so that I could poorly photograph it for posterity) when I stumbled across a relic of my past… A relic that I also chose to poorly photograph for posterity, considering I’m not sure if I have any digital copies of it anywhere.  Seems unlikely though.  I’ll have to check up on that.

Anyway, what I found was a comic I made in undergrad that was published in the collected works of Phoebe Gloeckner’s first ever U of M comics class.  Short story is that everyone made at least two comics in that class, and that at least one of them was then published in a book called Empty Pockets.  Y’know, so that we had something to take home and show mom and dad.  It was all very charming.  Most of the stories had at least one penis in them…

Yeeeaaaah, anyway, here are a couple tantalizing glimpses of WTF, by Brian Walline.  lol



At its core, WTF is about a deadbeat boyfriend crawling out from beneath his deadbeat girlfriend…  Inspired, no?  Sadly, the last page was not printed, which makes the whole reading experience a smidge more crappy than it might otherwise have been.  If I ever find the digital copy I may post it here in its entirety.  Wouldn’t THAT be special.  There’s also another comic floating around out there of a woman who adopts a lizard monster in a bunny suit, only to have it murder her cats while she’s in the shower…  Don’t hold your breath for that gem to surface on here any time soon 🙂

Think Faest, I’m in a magazine! :)

So last week I blogged about my mysterious Google Analytics splyglass findings.  Further investigation led me to North Broadway in Chicago where the Threadless retail shop was peddling shiny new copies of Faesthetic #11: Ghost Stories.  A brief scanning confirmed it, Sea Ghost is in Faesthetic.  Case closed.  Epic win.

In my excitement I managed to inform the store employees that I was included in their mag, but hadn’t known it ’till I held the little beast in my own two hands.  They took pity on me and gave me a copy.  Of course, they were giving anybody who wanted one a free copy with any purchase, but that is neither here nor there.  The point is that I was important enough to be included a wicked sweet magazine… Just maybe not important enough to be notified of it.  Bah, who cares.   Mission Accomplished!

Here are the obligatory visual aids:


My promo photography skillz have been measured, and have apparently been found wanting…

Adventure. I’m IN it.

So a while back an ingenious fellow on Threadless (torakamikaze, one of the alumns and a prolific blogger) suggested that it would be cool to put together a Threadless Alumni coloring book.  I agreed, but failed to get my act together in time to be in it.  So it goes.

Many months later I somehow managed to weasel my way into the second to last spread, which made me very happy indeed.  Even more exciting is that the book has been assembled and is now available for purchase on lulu! It’s called “Adventure” and it’s way cool.


Here are some of the obligatory visuals, beginning with my page: