MORNING WARM-UP – A.A. BONDY EDITION

Warmed up this morning by lettering out the lyrics to an old A.A. Bondy tune I’ve been listening to on repeat all week. It’s called “Killed Myself When I Was Young,” and you can click here to listen to it. I keep thinking these lyrics would look great painted on the side of a train, each line a different car, so when it is passing through, you see the story roll by.

05/11/2012 at 12:08 pm Leave a comment

PAST HONORS PASSED

Five years ago, I created the above image. Words and image. And in case your eyeballs are broken, the text says:

No one will ever forget that strange day
When the fattest pink pig at the fair flew away
The onlookers theorized great explanations
But the truth was an answer with no complications
The fat pig was angry where his life was heading
A destiny gruesome he’d always been dreading
In his fat heart he knew how he wanted to be
So he did the impossible and flew himself free

Two weeks ago, a lovely woman emailed me, asking if she could pay to use the image in prints and on memorial cards for her Uncle’s funeral. For real.

There’s really no bigger compliment than having someone tell you they connected with something you made. But to have that connection be so strong that it also seems like the perfect way to pay tribute to a loved one you recently lost? HUGE compliment.

This is the second time I’ve been asked to have my art present on keepsakes for funerals. And both times happened within the last two months. Can’t say I ever imagined it happening, but I’m flattered that it did, without a doubt.

* * * * *
On a slightly related note, this very same piece connected with someone out of the blue a few years ago. So much so that they paid tribute to it in one of their classes:

I apologize for not knowing the name of the young woman who did this off-hand, but if it was you, please let me know in the comment section below!

04/26/2012 at 1:59 pm 5 comments

TREASURE HUNTIN’ x 20

We just finished painting & signing 20 small pieces we’re donating to MARN– the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network. These pieces will be available for the finding at their annual Treasure Hunt event. We’re not entirely sure how the process works, but at the very least we know that by the end of the event, you could go home with one of these pieces.

The tallest ones are about an inch taller than an iPhone. The medium sized ones are as tall as a Blackberry. And the smaller ones? About the size of a pager. (Hello, 1989.) Hope you dig ’em!





04/18/2012 at 2:54 pm 2 comments

ECCENTRIC SOUL REVUE POSTER

Though I don’t share it too often, I do a LOT of design work. Which makes total sense, considering four score and seven years ago, I spent about four score and seven billion dollars to get properly educated in the ways of the graphic designer. The above poster is one such example of what I get to do with said education. It’s for one of our favorite clients, Alverno Presents, for one of their remaining four shows.

We wanted to keep it simple, like an old soul show poster. But also classy, ’cause these are LEGENDS we’re talking about here. LEGENDS. And we fought like crazy to keep this thing free of the usual distressed textures we love to see.

If you have a minute and want to get a fast music education, google these gentlemen. Then I’ll see you at the show.

03/06/2012 at 3:41 pm Leave a comment

LIVE ART: RICK JAMESON ANNIVERSARY EXPERIENCE


Normally, I paint two or three pieces at live art gigs. That way, folks coming and going throughout the night have a chance to see a piece come to completion. (Or close to it, anyway.) Saturday night, I scrapped that, and spent the entire 4 1/2 hours painting one 18″ x 24″ piece instead. It started with the white hand and head above. Then the tiny details started coming in. The rest is history.

(click on the images to see ’em a little bigger!)


Most of the images came straight out of my head, ’cause there’s a lot of crap in there just dying to get out. Most of the words, however, are me messing around with the lyrics of the songs that Why B and E.Rich were playing. (Can we all agree that “rap patrol on the cat patrol” is better than “gat patrol?”) Did I mention I love painting when those dudes DJ? I do. ‘Cause they make your favorite DJ’s idea of a party look like a bridge tournament.


This is what happens when you ask E.Rich to play Drake.


Shout-out to my favorite Spike Lee character, and about a thousand other things.


High-five to the guy who got the Slick Rick reference.


Okay. So maybe some of the text is out of my head, too.


The finished piece! All in a day’s work. And sold to Eric, who runs one of my favorite shops in the city.

As always, big thanks to Nate and the Rogues Crew, for making Rogues Gallery one of my favorite places in MKE to both drink and paint. Same goes for Why B and E.Rich– two of my favorite DJs to paint to. And high-five to Fred Kaems for painting alongside me. Hassle him to share what he painted that night.

03/05/2012 at 1:42 pm 2 comments

AIN’T NO MATINEE WORK

If downtown Milwaukee seemed a little sad on Sunday, it’s probably because all the work from Rogues Gallery’s first-ever group art show came down. Don’t worry. They’ll recover. The new show they’re hanging is ridiculously good. And I’ll be glad to have my special movie-themed pieces back. Wanna’ see ’em? Here you go:

TITLE: “I Want My Two Dollars”
FILM: Better Off Dead
If you’re confused, watch this. Marvel at his persistence. And his sweet switchblade comb.

TITLE: “Human Centipede”
FILM: Human Centipede
My attempt to make something incredibly disgusting seem incredibly adorable. Mission accomplished?

TITLE: “The Blues Brothers”
FILM: The  Blues Brothers
This is me trying to sum up one of our favorite films of all time in one simple 11 x 17 panel. Piece of cake, right?

So what do you think? Should we do some more movie-themed pieces? More like the Blues Brothers piece? Do you think someone in Hollywood should make OUR version of HUMAN CENTIPEDE?

02/27/2012 at 3:30 pm Leave a comment

VIC AND GAB – BRIDGES AND GUNS

A few weeks ago, Vic and Gab asked me if I’d be interested in making some art for their next album. Considering you’re reading a blog post called “Vic and Gab – Bridges and Guns,” it’s pretty obvious I said yes. And you being the smart cookie you are, I bet you already figured out that the above image is my sketch of the front cover.

The packaging would be a basic cardboard sleeve. Nothing too complex. All they’d need from me is a front cover, a back cover, and something for the CD itself. The above image is what I came up with after listening to some of the songs, and having them tell me the basic theme of most of the tunes– losing someone to violence, and how that loss affects the lives of everyone around them. And this is what I came up with for the back:

With the front cover so loaded with imagery, I wanted to keep the back simple. I also knew we’d need space for track listing, album info, and the bar code.

Within a day of sending these off to the band, I heard back from them. They liked it, but thought it hit too close to home. The iconography was too heavy and accurate, considering the tragedy they’d written the songs about was theirs. They asked me to try and scale it back a bit, and I obliged. The last thing I want to do is making art for a band that the band can’t stand to look at.

The result?

A revised cover, a revised title, and PURPLE. No other color would do. As for the back:

I was hoping to keep that background all purple as well, but being able to read that album info was kind of important, so I brought the banner color from the front to the back side. No, I could NOT have added a white drop shadow or outer glow. Those are terrible ideas, both this time, and 90% of all other times.

Last but not least, the actual disc art:

You being the savvy you that you are, I don’t need to remind you that the green, blue, pink and gray are all part of the template, and not the actual disc. No, true believers, the actual disc is a plain white, with simple black characters of Vic and Gab, as well as the album title. I initially put the band name and song titles on it, too, but Vic and Gab decided less is more— a philosophy I can ALWAYS get behind. (Except when it comes to getting paid.)

If you want a physical copy, drop Vic and Gab a line here, or nab one at a show. You can also grab it now at this crazy new thing you’ve probably never heard of called iTunes. Once you’ve spent some serious time listening to the tunes, let me know if I did the album justice!

02/22/2012 at 10:48 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts Newer Posts