Thursday, May 19, 2011

Roller Derby Bout Poster

Got to create the bout poster for Black Rose Rollers' first home bout. Wanted to do something bold and simple to easily get the message across to the conservative-leaning town of Hanover, PA. Future bout posters will def be with more elaborate artistic snobbery. I write that word with loving affection.

5 colors to make transfer to screen an eventual, easy process.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Cover Illustration for Weird Episodes From The Zero Hour

I had the privilege to work with Jason Butkowski and Anthony Schiavino for their pulp inspired anthology series, Episodes From The Zero Hour! They asked me to illustrate the cover of the next volume in the series, this one appropriately appended with "Weird..." into the title. 

This volume collects original stories of the strange, odd, creepy sort, and having gotten the chance to read most of the tales, I'm excited to own this in its final format. They're totally entertaining, and the best thing about pulp stories is their exploitation of the imagination.

Regarding the illustration, this one was a great challenge. Having only done one other pulp-inspired illustration, (Mike Oliveri's Winter Kill, available ON AMAZON), I wanted my second piece relating to the genre to be both just as good as my first, if not better, as well as in this anthology. The cover illustration for the first book, (available here), was done VERY NICELY by the mucho talented Douglas Klauba (, and he set a high bar for my reach.

Below are screenshots of my progress for the piece:

I started off with freedom. Nearly complete freedom. Anything that'd I'd like to do, so long as it had a 'weird' theme to it. After going through quite a few ideas unsuccessfully, I decided to delve a little deeper into the anthology for inspiration and further integration.

More than half of the stories featured unique eras or the traveling between such, so I chose that route for my concept. Since this is to be WEIRD, I figured I could get away with letting my tendency in life of being odd in my storytelling (or vague) to be a strength here.

I decided upon a thumbnail that included a typical pulp hero with a treasure/ item in one hand and standard sci-fi laser gun thing in the other, exotic lady princess from another time, and a neanderthal, all three escaping on the open seas from Vikings. A little weird.

My loose grayscale concept that I fleshed out after numerous thumbnails...

 After the grayscale sketch, i took to photoshop to play with some colors, and decided upon this scheme...

Felt too monotonous, and my clouds weren't popping like I hoped they might, so I done did this...

Mmmm. The Viking ship was fun...

...And the final designed layout for the cover...

 Overall, I'm pleased with it, will add it to the portfolio, and I'm psyched to help promote this piece. Jay and Anthony are great folks with good ideas, and have the experience to get it done right.

Stay tuned to Jay and Anthony's Episodes! site for more information on the upcoming release, including where you can purchase, and in what formats!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

Jumpin' Pulpy Press Release!

I like when things become all official-like :)

I'll be providin' the cover and and interiors for Volume 4 of Episodes From The Zero Hour, an anthology I've been looking forward to for some time now. And believe it that I'll be pushing to make this look like the BEST volume.

Check out the official site HERE


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Roller Derby Etsy Banner

I joined roller derby a few months ago as a referee, Having not skated in my life prior to that, (aside from an unsuccessful attempt at a cute friend's birthday party). I'm a good bit better now, gotten a better grasp of my form, (I practice like I'll actually play one day, which I plan to next year), balance, and speed. As I'll be a ref in my current league, (Black Rose Rollers in Hanover, PA), I also need to learn rules... a lot of rules. What's legal, what's not. What's a Major Penalty, what's a Minor, what's a No Impact No Penalty, blah blah, and all that other (seriously no sarcasm), fun stuff. But time-taking it be. I'm also on the arts committee and plan to be doing quite a number of  designs for merchandise, bout posters, etc, which I'm of course absolutely stoked about. And that produced a great segue to this piece.

I was asked to create the banner for our Etsy page. I've been a fan of Etsy and all it stands for for a few years now, but have only visited it a few times during that period. I had no recollection that there was a little banner customization opportunity. But here it be, and the steps I took in creating it...

1. Quick Sketches. 
Seeing that this isn't a paid project, and I had more freedom to merely enjoy my progress, I didn't spend much time as I typically do on concept. I had a couple images in my head that I thought I'd give a shot. I did a few, including the ones you see here, and eventually settled on the middle sketch shown.

 2. Vector. 
I took that sketch I liked and opened it up in Illustrator. Then I vectored the poop out of it.

3. PhotoShop.
Saved the Illustrator file, and opened it up in PhotoShop. I took a photo of an old piece of paper, (I have lots of these saved for I USE lots of these... don't want to reuse the same textures over and over, or fans of your work will begin to notice). I set this to a multiply layer on top of the banner, adjusted some opacities, and settled on the following...

4. Splotches.

I added them. Yep. Splotches. It was brought up by the officers that the league's colors are black and maroon, and we can reference that in the splotch color. So goes the edit.

 5. Final
Cropped. Ready for posting.

I should do a banner for this blog. Someday... now that I know how easy and fun it is.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sketches For 31 25 Days Of Santa

Just some of the doodles I saved from this project...