For the last few years I’ve illustrated a series of characters for my wife’s letterpress stationery company, Papillon Press. A couple years ago I illustrated the Troublemakers, and last year we debuted the Circus Freaks at the National Stationery Show in New York City.
This year I drew four new characters: Rascals. I wanted to show some various forms of employment for children during the early 1900s (and earlier, too). There is the Spinner, Bootblack, Newsboy and Pickpocket. We will be debuting this series at the National Stationery Show in a couple of weeks. Hopefully they sell as well as the Troublemakers and Circus Freaks have.
I illustrated the cover for a special feature magazine about UMass in the Boston Globe. I was asked to go through the article and pick out some of the most visually interesting topics. The idea of drawing a marching band sounded like fun, and incorporated in each of the letters are Natalie Cole, a farm to represent the UMass history of agriculture, Bill Cosby, a cow for scientific purposes, and the Minuteman statue on one of the campuses.
I laid out some more illustrations for interior pages on scanned encyclopedia pages. A few of the illustrations here include Dr. J, who played for UMass, some more indications of agriculture, and Abraham Lincoln who helped pave the way for the creation of UMass by passing the Morris Act.
My friends over at Illo Confidential have put together a blog post of Mad Men-inspired illustrations and I contributed this piece.
I didn’t really want to draw Don Draper in a suit and tie, and I honestly don’t like the guy very much. So I thought about drawing him before he became Don Draper, or at the moment when he made the decision to take his name [spoiler alert?]. It’s possible he was a decent guy, just a hard-working country boy trying to survive the Korean War.
I like to think of this as the last-known photograph of Dick Whitman.
I illustrated five portrait/landscape combinations for a Minnesota Monthly feature about authors who have written about the State of Minnesota. I illustrated each portrait with a landscape relating to areas they have written about or where they spent a lot of time.
The art director had seen my John Steinbeck illustration and thought that approach would work well for this assignment.
Here is a selection of various portraits I’ve illustrated over the last few months for various publications. I’m lucky to have had a recurring portrait in Cincinnati Magazine for the last year, and monthly portraits for Inc. Magazine and Fast Company for the last 6 months or so.
Sam Weber has been recording audio interviews with illustrators, art directors and designers for about 2 years.
On a recent trip to New York City he asked me to stop by his studio for a chat. We’ve been friends for 26 years, ever since we met in grade 1 in Deep River, Ontario. It was great to sit down and talk with him about comic books, illustration, my experience with school, letterpress, teaching and more.
I’m really honored to have had the opportunity to be interviewed. It’s about an hour long and you can have a listen below. Enjoy!
This illustration is for American Way, the in-flight magazine of American Airlines. The article is about collecting art and what to think about when you’re starting to buy artwork. What kind of work should you look for, how much should you spend, and where do you start looking?
I painted a few images in frames to hover in the sky, and my wife, Chantal, allowed me to use one of her paintings in the oval frame in the lower right. It was nice to find a way to have our work appear together. That’s a Picasso self-portrait you see as well, but I painted it myself, as it just didn’t feel right to include the ones I found online.
My brother-in-law’s girlfriend was around while I was working on this and agreed to pose for me. Thanks, Anne-Marie (sorry for making you a brunette)! And thanks to Peanut, as always, for agreeing to pose as well.
I’m really excited to show you this cover illustration I did for Seattle Met‘s travel issue. It was an exciting process from start to finish, trying to decide what the right image for the cover would be. The design director, André Mora, and the team decided to go with this above view of Hanauma Bay beach in Hawaii and some snorkelers.
What’s always great about working with André is the collaboration in making an illustration. For this cover it really helped in making the design and illustration work well together.
I submitted a bunch of different sketch ideas based on André’s suggestions to see what would work best for the cover. It’s tough to have a cover approved, especially an illustrated one. So we really wanted to give as many options as possible to the publisher to show what we were thinking for a cover direction. I played with a few rough cover layouts I was sent and I worked my illustrations around them.
You can see we ventured away from the beach scene in the early stages for a couple sketches of Paris rooftops. The feature’s concentration seemed to be on the beaches though, so we went back to that for some sketch revisions and then on to the final.
Below is the final illustration without the cover design. It looks nice on its own, but I love how the cover design makes it feel complete, especially with the text in the middle and all the snorkelers swimming towards it.
I made a couple of drawings to celebrate Michael Jordan‘s 50th birthday this year on February 17th. It had been a long time since I last drew him. It was probably 2002 when I painted his face on a poster when I saw him play during his Washington Wizards days. Before that, I would draw him all the time in high school, making a drawing of him every year before the playoffs started and giving copies to all my friends.
I don’t give them away anymore, but you can pick up prints in my shop.
Here are some portraits I illustrated for Atlanta Magazine earlier this year. Each pairing is of brothers in the Atlanta area who are running restaurants together in some capacity.