The Huntington Beach Art Center is showcasing local artists again! The show has been up since January 26th, and will close on March 9th.
Opening night was wonderful, as I have come to enjoy meeting and connecting with my fellow local artists. There are so many styles and mediums at this show, there really is something for everyone. My personal favorites include a pelican quilt by Linda Sackin, a colorful circuit-board-type piece mixed media collage by Eva Altmann, and an abstract swirl called “Color Go Round” by Larry Wallace! The art isn’t just on the walls, either – there are inventive metalwork pieces and lots of fiber arts (for which I have special affection) to enjoy.
The cherry on top of all this is that my print of “Arrival at Emerald City” sold before I even saw it on the wall! If my other piece, “Davie for Adoption” sells, I plan to donate that money to the HB Humane Society, where Davie currently resides.
I created this series of illustrations to briefly summarize the scope of services this business provides. The assignment was to walk customers through “a day in the life” of a dog at their location. From that prompt I came up with the storyboard, characters, color palette, and overall design. I also wrote it, but I’ve covered the words here.
The turnaround on this was tight, so I kept colors minimal. Bare bones backgrounds and unfussy brushes kept it spontaneous without sacrificing neatness.
This month I was honored to be in a juried art show called “Imagine II – The Art of Children’s Book Illustration”
Hosted by The dA Center for the Arts in Pomona with support by the SCBWI, it featured a whole wall of work by Leo Politti, which was awesome to look at, as well as artifacts and sculpture from the Petterson Museum of Intercultural Art. The space was absolutely filled with work from thirty-seven Californian illustrators, including a piece by yours truly!
It was great to come together for the Illustrators Reception and celebrate the art that inspires literacy and piques the curiosity of little humans.
As of this posting, you’ve got just a few days to see the show! The gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday from 12 to 4, and it all comes down after September 23rd.
BIG NEWS! I will be printing 100 paperback copies of a picture book I wrote and illustrated a couple years back. “What is a Dog?” is a project that I’m so proud of and I’m excited to have the opportunity to make this short run of books. HUGE thank-yous to everybody who bought the .PDF version on Gumroad. All the proceeds from that went right into this!
So while we’re waiting for these books to be produced, I thought I should at least get a headcount to get all these books out into the world. Claim your copies by filling out this form — it’s a first-come, first-served kinda deal. I’ll be signing each and every copy!
If you haven’t read the book, I don’t want to spoil the fun by telling you everything. First let me say that it’s not so much a story as it is an exploration. Cute dogs are only part of the equation, and it’s up to the reader to sift through the various tears in both reason and reality. What is a dog, and where do you draw the line?
I’m also gathering reviews to give you the general flavor without giving too much away:
“What is a Dog? Is a fun, kooky, informational, and short journey about something we all love: dogs! It features amazing illustrations and a diverse cast that shows appreciation for every sort and type of pooch. If you love doggos, this book is for you!”
– Joshua W.
“Young kids will love finding the dogs (and non-dogs), but older kids will definitely enjoy its edges.”
Portraits are not meant to be photographs. Between cameras and Photoshop filters, anyone can make a stylized copy of their pet. That’s why, when I do a pet portrait, it’s important for me to get an idea of what each animal’s personality is and what the client loves about their pet.
The thumbnails (quick little sketches that come before the rough sketch) help me feel out what’s going to “fit” the dog. At this stage, there are no wrong answers. I try everything. Different angles, moods, orientations, and shapes.
After I’ve filled a couple pages with ideas, it’s time to edit. I consider the pet’s personality and the client’s personal taste. I settle on one or two compositions, clean them up enough so they’re understandable (thumbnails tend to be very small and very messy), and send them to the client for approval.
From there I make a series of small drawings to get a feel for the form. Once I have a sense of the subject, I can draw it in whatever pose I need.
I make sure the marks I make are intentional. The style of drawing should reflect the animal. When I drew Bunter, a quiet old Westie, I rendered him softly. This wasn’t a yappy, bouncing-off-the-walls terrier. Last year I posted a portrait of a German Pinscher, Cinnamon. Cinnamon is a bold little dog — she would not be recognizable in soft graphite!
Pets have personalities, and so do their owners. A pet portrait requires a unique mix of the animal’s nature and the owner’s personal style. So many factors go into a successful portrait, it’s important to be mindful of why I’m making the drawing as I draw.
I discovered Omnichords last summer while skipping randomly through the internet. A week from the day I learned of these magical instruments, I bought my OM200M on eBay. Since then, I’ve been strumming to synthesized drums like the all-knowing space goddess I imagine myself to be when I plug in my Omnichord.
I made this so I could have a bag to carry my Omni, and the drawstring bag (15 x 19.5″) is juuuuust long enough to hold it! Plus, I was able to pattern these guys across the fabric, which I think turned out pretty neat-o.
Anyway, I’m really happy with how this turned out, and I’m excited to add more designs to Redbubble! If you have an idea for a t-shirt or mug, suggest it either in the comments or via email!