Friday, July 23, 2010

An Illustrator Photographing France

Back in 2003 my wife and I went to France for our honeymoon. We spent time in Paris sight seeing, painting in Monet's Garden located in Giverny and trekking to Mont St. Michel off the coast of Normandy. I am not a photographer, but I do love to take pictures. It helps me work on my composition skills, while recording the moment. After arriving home, I took the photos into Photoshop and applied some grit, texture and color manipulation to emulate the look of antique prints. I treated the photographs like paintings. Below are some of my favorite pieces from our trip.

View of Mont St. Michel during low tide

The Eiffel Tower and surrounding Paris from the top of Notre Dame Cathedral

Door detail from Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

Gargoyle from the top of Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

Gargoyle from the top of Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

Gargoyle from the top of Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

Gargoyle from the top of Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

Sainte Radegonde Church, Giverny
burial site of Claude Monet

Sainte Radegonde Church, Giverny

Friday, July 16, 2010

Nerdbot: Oddmund T-shirt

  T-shirt Illustration of Nerdbot: Oddmund
(click to view larger)

T-shirt Illustration of Nerdbot: Oddmund
(click to view larger)

I was asked by my friends that create Nerdbots if I would like to illustrate one of their creations for a T-shirt design. Of course I said yes! Here he is, Nerdbot Oddmund. Below is Oddmund's bio.

Completely obsessed with ornithology, Oddmund cannot hide his enthusiasm for professional birding. He loves argyle socks, making shadow puppets and has a strange fascination with toothpaste. He’s currently working towards collecting spoons from all 50 states.

Visit Oddmund here. He has already been adopted, but there are plenty of his brothers and sisters waiting to go to a good home. His Nerdbots brethren live all over the United States and the world.  Below is a brief description from the Nerdbots website.

Who We Are

Oddly obsessed with all things robot, married couple Nicholas and Angela from Kansas City, Missouri, decided on a whim one day to do nothing other than to build one themselves.
After piecing together parts found at their favorite antique and thrift stores, they created their first robot friend. Since that first day, Nicholas and Angela have added many fabulously geeky robots to their beloved robotic collection.

Adopt a Nerbot today.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Food Now Event Poster

 Foodie Unite 1st Annual Event Poster
(Click to view larger)

It was fun illustrating this one. Simple watercolor shapes on a white background. A great exercise in composition. I explored integrating the event title in the art (on the wine label), but in the end it was felt that it was competing with the design. The use of bright color on a white negative space gives the viewer the impression of fresh food.

Copywriter: Jesse Hamilton. Logo in bottom right corner: Dave Swearingen

For more info about the event, visit here.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Kansas City Rhythm and Ribs 2010 Poster

 Rhythm and Ribs Event Poster 2010
(Click to view larger)

Rhythm and Ribs is back! The event returns this year Saturday, October 9, 2010 in the historic 18th and Vine Jazz District of Kansas City. See my past work for R&R here. I have been fortunate enough to have created the design and illustration for the 5 years of it's existence. This particular design was created for the 2009 event that was unfortunately canceled. The poster gets to live again representing the 2010 event. For more info, visit the American Jazz Museum's website.

This particular piece is paying tribute to some of the great jazz album covers of the late 1950's. I have always had a great admiration for the genre and the illustration style of the period. I will post more images as they become available.

Press release below:
Rhythm & Ribs Jazz and Blues Festival Set for Oct. 9, 2010
New Format Connects Community to its Cultural Heritage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 21, 2010 – Kansas City, MO – Organizers of Kansas City’s blues and jazz festival, Rhythm & Ribs, announced today that the event will return in 2010 as a one-day music event on Saturday, Oct. 9 at the American Jazz Museum – located in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District.

The 2010 Rhythm & Ribs Jazz and Blues Festival of Kansas City, presented by the American Jazz Museum, will feature multiple stages in the heart of the Jazz District within the walls and grounds of the award-winning American Jazz Museum.  The artist lineup for 2010 will showcase the best of local and regional talent with a national headliner format. The entertainment lineup is expected to be announced on Friday, Aug. 6.

“This new format for Rhythm & Ribs will follow in the footsteps of one of the world’s great jazz events, the Monterey Jazz Festival in Monterey, California,” said Greg Carroll, CEO of the American Jazz Museum. “As a result, Rhythm & Ribs will relocate from an adjacent Parade Park to the heart of the American Jazz Museum and the Historic Jazz District at 18th & Vine.  This move will offer a wonderful opportunity for the Community to connect to its cultural heritage and experience the treasures of the Jazz District and its award-winning venues.”

Carroll will step into the lead role as Executive Producer in 2010. The American Jazz Museum and its cultural programs will be the beneficiary of the festival’s proceeds.

Since its inception in 2005, the Rhythm & Ribs Jazz and Blues Festival has attracted thousands of visitors to the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District each year to celebrate three of Kansas City’s greatest traditions: jazz, blues and barbecue.  Featuring great performers on multiple stages, a food court anchored by the best ribs in Kansas City, the Jazz Links Education Workshop, film screenings, panel sessions, the children’s pavilion and a host of other activities, Rhythm & Ribs provides family-style fun in one of America’s greatest jazz crossroads, 18th & Vine. 

“We are delighted to welcome Rhythms & Ribs back to 18th & Vine in 2010,” said Bill Dietrich, president and CEO of the Downtown Council, an active leader in the district and the festival. “The Historic Jazz District – the museum and our many jazz venues – celebrate this great music and rich Kansas City heritage every day.”

For more information on the Heart, the Soul and the Sauce of Rhythm & Ribs, including sponsorship opportunities, entertainment and more, stay tuned to

A Christmas Carol Poster

1. A Christmas Carol poster for KC Rep
(click to view larger)

 Fun stuff. This year I am fortunate enough to create 3 KC Rep posters this year. This time around it is the holiday standard, A Christmas Carol. The client chose my second concept consisting of  Scrooge's face and the 3 ghosts that visit him, Past, Present and Future (see figure 2). But after some consideration, it was felt that a more traditional piece would be more appropriate. The final poster is the above illustration of Scrooge and Tiny Tim (see figure 1). The reference I used was from an actual production still. I had to move fairly fast on this one, so I needed to create the image in a style that allowed me to do so. I kept the title treatment and applied it to the new image. Although I prefer the ghost version (figure 2), the final piece conveys the message needed by the client.

2. A Christmas Carol poster for KC Rep
(click to view larger)

 3. First round marker roughs