Wednesday, May 26, 2010

food food food

Pretty much everything I'm working on right now is food related, which is amazing, but I'm hungry all the time. I'm pretty sure the part of the brain that's used to mix colors and cook is the same. I almost want to lick the brush to make sure it tastes right.

But it's really disappointing to paint slow braised carnitas and juicy burgers all day, then open the fridge to find off-brand english muffins, 2 week old chinese take-out, and a solitary chicken drumstick in the freezer.

Monday, May 24, 2010

SPJ Award

Whoa! Apparently I won an award from the Northwest chapter of the Society For Professional Journalists, for this Willamette Week cover I did last year. Had no idea it was in the running for anything.

Much thanks to Ben & Tom at Willamette Week who have given me some awesome assignments, and I'm sure were up until 4 in the morning trying to figure out where the hell to fit the logo and headlines into this crazy illustration.

Here's a link to the full list of Award Winners, congrats to all!

2009 Northwest Excellence in Journalism Contest winners

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Said What?

So each week Baltimore Sun's free "B Paper" runs these short comics of conversations overheard around Baltimore. The project is curated by Benn Ray of Atomic Books who collects the stories and matches them up to different cartoonists. I've got another one coming up in a few weeks.

They are a blast to draw and a lot of really great people have been doing them recently. Check out some other "Said What" strips-

Social Networking Celebrities - Jordan Jeffries
She Fat! - Noah Van Sciver
Cobra Blood - Daniel Krall

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Behind every finished piece of art is a trail of sketches, scribbles, mountains of crumpled tracing paper and unused concepts. Sometimes I look back and wish I could incorporate some of the looser compositions into finished pieces.

I'm absolutely in awe of artists who go right from a blank page to finished product - including people that do super realistic, tight work, I can't even fathom how this is possible.

This drawing of Philly mayor Michael Nutter I thought turned out awesome and was of bummed that the job it was for was never printed.

Anyway seriously if anyone cares about these things I will send you hundreds of sketches for a few bucks, otherwise most of them go right in the trash.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cincinnati in NYC

Illustration for Cincinnati Magazine, about a bar in NYC that serves Skyline Chili & Graeters ice cream during Bengals games for displaced Cincinnatians.

Every time I draw Cincinnati Chili or Coneys people go wild and I get emails from strangers and friends who I didn't even know were from Ohio. You people have some serious pride for your chili.. and for good reason, it's great stuff.

As far as the process goes the concept was pretty straightforward. Bengals fans in a NYC bar with piles of Cincy chili and Graeter's. Lucky for me, one of the bars that does this - Phebe's - has an awesome "olde time NYC" feeling so the background is based on what the bar actually looks like.

So the next step is always to decide whether to do an actual painting (pretty time consuming for this much detail) or just do pen & ink and pop the colors in with Photoshop. Or this hybrid technique that I've used a few times, I think most successfully for a Willamette Week food guide cover.

I do the line work first, scan it and print a copy out, then transfer an outline onto printmaking paper. Then I paint a few important elements and anything that I want to have texture, and also establish a general color scheme, which comes a lot easier to me with paint than a blank screen.

Next comes the photoshop nightmare of lining up the painting with the black line, cleaning up the edges (or not) and filling in all the remaining details. Usually at this point it looks like hell and I scream at my computer, but eventually it looks sort of awesome.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Jimmy John's

For this week's Hot Dog Of The Week article on Serious Eats. This place burned down last week - right outside of Philadelphia, but I've actually never been there.

Apparently Andrew Wyeth and family were regulars - he would reward himself with a hot dog or cheeseburger after finishing a painting. Much thanks to Mod Betty of for letting me use her photos for the article.