Friday, December 28, 2007

Thinking Inside The Box

Here it is! Or at least a web friendly version of it. The image below is of Toy Box, the drawing I did to hang in the TOYS show December 7th. The show was a blast and very rewarding for me. Not only did I see a lot of great work on the walls around my piece, but I had a great time seeing many old and new friends. The drawing sold too which is always gratifying.

I cannot say for sure whether I am more pleased with the poster illustration or the drawing. It's the first time I recall wearing two of my hats at once: commercial artist and fine artist. Also, each piece is made in a totally different way. In a certain way, though, they are the same piece. Different formats, different content, different moods yes but each are depictions of places where toys are perpetually stuck and always waiting to get out.

My favorite part of this drawing, of which I am very proud, is the folded paper under the 3d glasses. Mainly because I think paper is a hard but very fun material to interpret; but also because I remember somehow always finding magazines or comics in my own toy box.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

It's a BOUT time...

Another very cool thing I was asked to do recently was a poster illustration for the Naptown Rollergirls. I have become connected to the Rollergirls (Indy's own bloodthirsty babes on wheels) through relationships within the art community. Jim Walker of Big Car, Masterpiece In A Day and is very involved with the team and has invited me to judge the MIAD the last 2 years. In particular, though, this opportunity came to me from Jason Pitman, my friend and designer of the Big Car website and Rollergirls graphics among other things (and husband of my longtime friend Julie Pitman). I was honored and excited to be involved.

Initial sketch of final poster concept

Round 2 of approved concept. This was the sketch I 'vectorized' in AI.

The event is coming up this weekend and I plan to be there. The process of creating the illustration was a blast. I usually go with Adobe Illustrator for art that will be used in print. This allows total freedom for the designer to modify the art without sacrificing visual integrity at any size. With this piece, though, there is a grittiness to the nature of the scene that I wanted to preserve. So, I used the approved sketch and modified it in Illustrator. It's all vector, and there are lots and lots of paths.

It was fun to draw a badass babe in boxing gear because, obviously, I do not get called to do such a thing every day.

Jason came to the TOYS show and handed me hard copies of the printed poster. It looks awesome; I am quite proud. Jason took it the extra mile with the design of the poster.

Friday, December 7, 2007


I am once again honored and very excited to have been included in a really cool event. the Toys Show is an annual art exhibition presented by Primary Colours, an art organization here in Indianapolis, in which all participating artists contribute one piece each dealing with the broad theme of 'toys'. It's an honor because, first and foremost, this is an invitation-only show. This means that you have to be asked to participate; and with no shortage of local talent, it's flattering to be asked. Also cool because it's a food drive for a local organization that feeds the homeless during the holidays.

On a personal level, there is a certain feeling of validation that comes from this experience. The only post-school art show I have had to do with (with the exception of Oranje where we usually do a live painting) has been SubSurface, which I co-organize. Members of Primary Colours include some of my favorite local artists (not to mention gallery owners/operators and other members of the local arts community). They have always been supportive of what I do and have attended both SubSurface shows. I respect the group a lot and I believe that I would not have been invited to show in TOYS if I had not won them over with my pieces from the SubSurface show this year. In short, this invitation suggests that the art community includes me as a gallery artist.

I have always been known in town for the large, bold murals I paint with friends from Indy and other cities. These have always been recreational and generally in less appealing parts of town (these are the places where they embrace my art the most it seems). We have, however, done some work in more high-profile parts of town that has been noticed by lots of folks. Although I studied fince art, it was always clear that my true passion was painting walls. I enjoyed this distinction but eventually realized that it was a limitation people placed on my work. I don't think many people thought I was a legitimate gallery artist. I would not have blamed them; I never thought of myself as much of a gallery artist.

The cherry on top of this sundae is that I was also asked to do the illustration for all the event promo materials. Until I get a good photo or scan of my piece from the show, here's the flyer. Lucky me, I still blush.