Shop Cover

I was recently asked to draw the fall "London Fashion" issue cover for Shop magazine.  This was the first fashion illustration I've ever done, so it was a pretty interesting assignment.  The AD laid out the concept of having giant models walking down Oxford High Street in London, which is the shopping/fashion district for the city.

I had to rely on some pretty vague photo reference for the area that I pulled from web searches. Most of them weren't the most ideal angles for drawing gigantic figures but I managed to find a few that would work.  The fashion in the piece was drawn from a few recent collections but I had to play around with some of the colors and details.  

The final was meant to vaguely resemble the old british railroad posters from the 1930s.  It was by chance that I happen to be looking at them extensively when this job came around.    

The Sprawl Trilogy

From "Mona Lisa Overdrive" by William Gibson:

    Kumiko turned, discovering the slim dark figure against tall, mullioned windows; beyond the windows, a walled garden sheathed in snow.  The woman's eyes were concealed by silver glasses that reflected the room and it's occupants. [...] The mirrored lenses seemed to have no frames, no earpieces.

A quick piece of fan-art of that I've been lazily working on for the last couple weeks.  Gibson's Sprawl Trilogy (Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive) is a favorite of mine and so many of the scenes in the novels are depicted so vividly.  Sally Spears / Molly Millions is the muscle for hire in the series but always seems to have her own motives.  Gibson also seems to enjoy describing, in elaborate detail, what she's wearing which I've always envisioned as some approximation of futuristic fashion by '80s standards. 

I was trying out some new ways of coloring which turned out better than I had hoped.  I was pretty sloppy in this piece but I think it's opened me to some new working methods.


The Lifeboat

Small piece for the New York Times Book review with AD Nicholas Blechman.

The Immortal Dinner

Last fall, I did a cover for the Random House UK edition of Penelope Hughes-Hallet's non-fiction account "The Immortal Dinner."  The book recaptures the evening of Dec. 28, 1817 when the painter B.R. Haydon hosted a dinner party with guests, among others, John Keats, William Wordsworth, and Charles Lamb.  This is the first non-fiction book I've had to do but the copy from the art director basically laid out exactly how they wanted the cover (figures around a vertical table / no heads).  I tried to mix it up a little in the sketches but the final choice was pretty much the original concept.

I was able to get a couple of heads in the frame and the editors ended up preferring it that way rather than having just a bunch of arms on the table. These are some of the prelim colors.  The AD wanted it to be very simple color-wise so only 2 colors and their overlapping values are used. I used a little bit of halftone in the jackets and some other small areas to break up the values more.  

 And the final. This is with the bleed.  I think the faces on the lower right and left were entirely cropped out of the frame.  

I have a new tumblr account here. I'll be posting work on it that doesn't show up on my website or blog.

The Gold Rush

Before Christmas, I was asked by Eric Skillman to illustrate a dvd/blu-ray cover for the Criterion Collection. I was stunned when I got the email, because the movie they wanted me to do the cover for was one I've seen more times than any other film. Back in the mid 80's we got our first VCR and the first VHS tape we bought was a copy of the silent version of Charlie Chaplin's "The Gold Rush". Like all children my age with a favorite thing, I watched it over and over again to the point where I had every scene and title card memorized. Two decades later...

When I was approached with the job, they already had an idea of what they wanted the cover to be which was a simple scene from the film with Chaplin teetering on the edge of a cliff when he turns a corner.

After I worked up a rough of the cover, there was some deliberating and it was decided that wasn't the way to go. But since the artwork had been worked out, they decided it would be used for the interior booklet.

It was left to me to come up with a fresh idea for the cover.

Everyone liked the first concept the best and the final ended up being a wrap-around, leaving room for all of the type and titles.

A detail of the figure.

And the final cover with type/design by Eric Skillman

Thanks to Eric and everyone at Criterion! And be sure to check out more about the movie on their website. The eight-year old me can't recommend it enough!

The Martian Chronicles & The Illustrated Man

At the end of 2011, I was asked to illustrate the cover for Ray Bradbury's famous novel "Fahrenheit 451" for Simon & Schuster. After completing the sketches, I was told that Bradbury insisted on keeping the original cover (probably one of the most famous sci-fi book covers ever) by his long time collaborator, Joe Mugnaini. They did, however, offer me the opportunity to work on the short story collections "The Martian Chronicles" and "The Illustrated Man" with the stipulation that they had to be done in a style reminiscent of Mugnaini and the format of the illustrations had to match the floating, central way they had designed the new version of "Fahrenheit 451."

"The Illustrated Man" was pretty straight-forward. They picked the cover from the first group of sketches.

"The Martian Chronicles" went through about 2 dozen (maybe more) sketches and concepts before we pinned it down to "It should just be a foreign-looking landscape, that vaguely references space."

I was working with pens rather than brushes so I had to be more careful and methodical than I usually am. Mugnaini's work always incorporated these sort of abstracted design elements, and I had a lot of fun working with those. Big thanks to Jackie Seow for taking me on for this one.