Friday, November 23, 2012

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Artist Trading Cards

(From left to right; Splinter, April, Shredder, Michelangelo,Casey Jones, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, Krang, Slash, the Rat King and Foot Soldiers).

This was a personal project and labor of love that started about a year ago in an effort to go back to a time when I really enjoyed drawing. I still enjoy it, but something (at the time) felt "lost" and I wanted to go back to that time as a kid, sitting at the dinner table in the evening and not worrying about what a client wanted. Plain and simple; drawing for the fun of it.

I'm finding that there are many benefits to creative side projects. I learned a lot along the way; about art and about myself. I would also like to say a big THANK YOU to my awesome girlfriend, Heidi for her honesty and encouragement. Her thoughts, feedback and just listening to me talk (and blab) about how much I love the Turtles means a lot.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you're Holiday season is a great one.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cartoon Monster Designs

This was an embroidery design assignment from work and I wanted to share a little bit of my process. The top image is the sew out of the design after being digitized, the middle image is the vector art and the bottom image is the pencil rough. My job is making the drawings and the vector art. You can find the machine and hand embroidery files at Urbanthreads.

I usually start with a pencil sketch to get approved before going on to Adobe Illustrator and drawing it again on the computer. The process seams to change depending on my confidence with the subject. Sometimes I use thumbnails, sometimes it's really loose and gestural drawings. In this case I stayed pretty tight and clean and also tried to keep each monster unique. I get so much inspiration from animation and character design artists and am always looking for ways to plug that into my drawings at work.

Thank you for stopping by and checking out the art. And thank you everyone out there for making your own creations and sharing them with the world! Cooking, quilting, designing, crafting... everything. It's a treat to share art on this blog and a treat to experience what everyone else it making in the world.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Lil' Death Paper Model

Happy Halloween! 

This is my first paper model based on the Grim Reaper himself. It was fun to try something new and think three dimensional for a change. You can get your own Lil' Death paper model here! For best results, print on card stock or heavy paper. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thank You

This was a recent typography design done for work (back to school series). It made me think about how important teachers are in every one's life. I also thought about the teachers that really helped me through the years, including my mom who was a first grade teacher. The art teachers though, really come to mind as a few of them really helped me find my way over the years. Even if it wasn't about art, they always had an ear ready to listen about things that weren't even related to art and always sound advice and encouragement that was so generously given. There were a few nights my roommates and I would talk to our instructor Ron about art, life, career, etc. well past an hour or two after class. They were more than teachers; they were friends, mentors and sometimes therapists. And so this blog post is meant to be a gesture of gratitude to all the teachers of the world that give so much love to their students.

Thank you.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

Christmas at the Beach

Here's a series of cartoon Christmas characters I did not to long ago. The theme was Santa, Mrs. Claus and the gang relaxing at the beach and enjoying the off season. The art was created for machine embroidery and the designs can be found at

I really worked hard on these and tried to have fun with them in the process. While drawing the roughs, I was looking at a lot of character design blogs for inspiration. Lately, it's been a lot of about silhouettes and shapes for me. The computer has been a huge tool (sometimes a crutch) in my creative process. In Adobe Illustrator, I'm constantly using the mirror tool, flipping back and forth to find wholes and week spots. Also, filling in all the shapes with a dark value helps me get a good read of the silhouette and adjust/tweak where needed.

I'm due for some beach/outdoor rest and relaxation time as well. Too much going on this summer, but it has been a fun one to say the least. Looking forward to playing some golf this weekend and hopefully getting out to do some hiking soon, too. Best wishes to you and hope you have a good rest of the summer :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Superheros and Villains!

The first image are some character designs of superheros for kids. This was sort of like a dream to get this assignment for work. Definitely would like to do more cartooning and character design art in the future. 

The bottom image is a drawing of my favorite Marvel villain/vigilante, Venom. It was drawn today over my lunch break. The goal was to do a 15 minute sketch but it turned into 30 minutes. It was exciting; giving myself a time limit really made me think about how I was going to make what was all ready created in my head, and then actually do it on paper. The drawing was made with an ink brush and white out on blue construction paper glued to the back of computer paper.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Flying Monkey

Another drawing that makes me happy :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012


by Charles Swindoll

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on my life. Attitude, to me, it is more important than facts. It is more important the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, gifts or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable.

The only thing we can do is play on the one thing we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pirate Cat

Just having some fun :)

The paint splatters and scribble inspiration comes from Skottie Young's awesome Cable/Deadpool comic book covers. Here's the reference.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Zombie Girl Sketchcard

It feels so good to do art for myself. To be honest, the day this card was made, I stayed home sick from work. I couldn't help it; even with a running nose, that "itch" to create was still there.

This is an original Artist Trading Card sized at 2.5" x 3.5" The medium used was marker, color pencil, ink and acrylic paint for the background.

Zombie Girl is for sale;


I'm really enjoying Bobby Chiu's new book, "The Perfect Bait." The information and wisdom shared has been amazing so far. HIGHLY recommend to the artist or designer looking to advance in their career (goals, dreams, skills, etc.) Right now, until the end of March, the audio version of the book is on sale for a generously low price at Schoolism.

Thank you, Bobby Chiu:)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tattoo Inspired Animal Designs

Some more art from work. The original concept for these started out a year ago with a peacock design I did and the style sort of evolved to an "inky" tattoo look. These were are a lot of fun to design. Because their simplicity, my favorite part of creating these was the decision making process; what to include and what not to, and making the image read as a particular animal. They are a bit abstract and hopeful they read well. For each animal, there are three designs to the series; a corner, a border and a feature (used for machine embroidery.)

Hope it's a great week for you and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Life Size Batman

I'm really happy to share this with everyone. This was a personal project done for a couple friends at church who have two boys that love the Batman. I thought it'd be cool to create the Dark Knight and give to them as a gift (something to hang up at home). To be honest, this project was more for me... I had a BLAST creating this start to finish. In my spare time, I like to draw comic and cartoon characters for fun... the difference with this project was that it was going to be for someone, and that made it all the more fun and close to my heart. Also, my girlfriend Heidi was away on a mission trip for three weeks, so this was a nice way to keep busy :)

The first step was drawing little thumbnails. Then, when I found a pose I liked, Heidi took some reference photos of me modeling in the front of the mirror. It was pretty funny and I realized how cool she is and lucky I'm with her :) Even though the photo shoot might have been unnecessary, I really wanted to "kill it" on this project, so I did my homework and gathered as much reference before starting the project (anatomy books, photos, etc.)

Next, I drew out Batman with pencil and inks on bristol board and scanned him into the computer for digital coloring. Since the final piece was going to be around five feet tall, I scanned the artwork in at 1200 DPI! The final digital file was under 300 megabytes, but my PC is sort of dated so every time I opened it or saved it in Photoshop, it took about 3-4 minutes to finish. After the coloring was finished, and I showed the art to a few friends for critique, I made several more adjustments and brought him to the printer. At work we have a plotter printer that I used. I think it's inkjet instead of laserjet so the colors where a little "less true" to what was seen on the computer.

The file took 30 minutes to be read by the printer and printed! The funny thing was that it didn't print the whole image and cut off a little bit of his foot! I tried it a second time with different adjustments in white space around Batman and the same thing happened. It wasn't a big deal though; I just printed off the part of his foot that was missing on the laserjet printer and pasted it on top of the big version.

The color difference of the laserjet and the inkjet is a little obvious but not a big deal. Prior to the printing, I found a big piece of cardboard at the recycling center and used it as a backing to the print out. The print out was spray mounted on top of the cardboard and then using scissor and box cutter, I cut out a silhouette of Batman from the cardboard leaving a white boarder around the figure.

And here's the final digital artwork.

My favorite part of this project was coloring Batman on the computer. The coolest part though is that I got to do something I love and then share it with others. With the second print out that cut off at the foot, I gave to my coworker who also has kids who love Batman and it was hung up above one of their beds. He sent me a picture and his kid's bed has Batman bed sheets so it looks rad hanging above it!

Our pastor at church said something really cool that stuck with me. He encouraged us to use our passions and find a way to fill a "need" in the world. I can remember experiencing this amazing feeling of joy when I was drawing caricatures at theme parks. There's something about doing a piece of art for someone who really loves and appreciates it that is so rewarding. When you can give someone something that you loved creating... it's pretty awesome.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

John Singer Sargent Quote

"Cultivate an ever continuous power of observation. Wherever you are, be always ready to make slight notes of postures, groups and incidents. Store up in the mind... a continuous stream of observations from which to make selections later. Above all things get abroad, see the sunlight and everything that is to be seen."

I love this quote. It reminds me of the importance of practicing mindfulness, being in the present (rather than you mind wandering in thoughts) and getting out to see the world.

On a side note, I've been drawing up the Dark Knight for fun in the evenings. The plan is to print it out to be five feet tall, mount it on cardboard/foam core and hang it up on a wall. The file is HUGE! Put it this way, it takes about three minutes to save and open the file in Photoshop :) More to come soon. For now, here are a couple screen shots of the work in progress. (The Magneto image is from the Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 game art and is being used for reference).

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Love Your Work

"Do what you love to do, and do it so well that those who come to see you do it will bring others to watch you do it again and again and again."

- Mark Victor Hansen