Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mexicali Rose

I'm currently working on some new drawings for a 7 person group show in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico at Mexicali Rose Media/Arts Center. They are a great grass roots organization in Mexicali that is "dedicated to providing free access to artistic media for the lower income community youth of Mexicali, Baja California." I am greatly looking forward to it.

Not necessarily going for a particular theme with my work this time around (who knows if a theme will pop up on its own)— but mostly just focused on creating and creating.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

VW Vanagon

Perhaps one of the cutest things I've witnessed while sitting at a stoplight near my house. This VW van crossed Silver Lake Boulevard at Marathon, and just as it reached the center of the street, a beagle popped up in front of one of the back curtains to look out the window.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Grizzly Bear

Just finished this illustration of the band Grizzly Bear last night before bed. In addition to wanting to take full advantage of their lovely band name (who wouldn't?), I also wanted to illustrate the success they've had this year with their album "Veckatimest."

This piece will go on to become part of a new promo package I'm working on. Below is the final version, and a couple of small sketches to show where it all came from.


Figuring out the type. In the end, hand drawn Caslon just felt right.

Last sketch before working on the final. Thought about adding the scientific name in but it really served no purpose.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Coney Island, off-season pt. 2

A smaller piece I just completed to accompany the one I posted yesterday.
Roughly 3.5" x 4.75", ink and colored pencil on Rives BFK.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Coney Island, off-season

This is a piece based on my experience at Coney Island in the off-season. I mostly remember brightly colored signage, but it was completely deserted and everything was closed. After wandering around, my friend and I were walking out towards the Atlantic when it started to pour. With no umbrella to fight off the rain, we turned around and headed back to the subway station.

8" x 5.5" Ink and colored pencil on Rives BFK.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New York series

I started work on a new series based on my trip to New York this year. This is the first piece, with many more to come. This particular series will be on display at Bamboo Lounge in San Diego next month.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Empire State of Mind

So Jay-Z is calling himself the new Sinatra... should I just take his word for it? Guess so!

This is a preliminary drawing of sorts... I plan to translate it into a much more graphic style and add some background soon. It'll also be part of a new promo package I'm working on for this winter.

In other news, I've been invited to a group show for the month of December in San Diego at Bamboo Lounge. No decision yet on a date for the opening but I will be showing alongside Minerva Torres-Guzman and Elizabeth Lopez, both great artists who have earned their BFAs in Painting at Otis College of Art and Design here in L.A. Many thanks go out to Ramona Ramirez, the show's curator.

Friday, November 6, 2009


I finally finished up the Searching For Elliott Smith website and launched it today. Such a fun project to work on— it's been a while since I created a website, but I think overall it turned out okay.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New York

I was in New York this past week for the CMJ premiere of Searching For Elliott Smith. Aside from the premiere, I wandered the city day and night in search of nothing in particular but beautiful things to shoot.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Charles Magicianpants

I believe that if Charles the parakeet were a magician, she'd be pulling ladybugs out of her tiny top hat!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Micheltorena Street

If you've read far back enough in this blog, you may know that I've always liked the juxtaposition of nature and urban areas (I explored it in some works that I created a few months ago). This is another piece that falls into that series, based on my own experience here in Los Angeles. I remember (on several occasions) leaving my friend's place on Micheltorena Street late at night and walking to my car while watching these coyotes run off across Sunset Blvd and back up the hills. I always thought it was so strange that something we associate with massive deserts and pure wildlife was right here, running across one of the most famous and busy streets in the world.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We Kill Everything We Love

Here's the final installment of pieces for the Obscured Eye exhibition next week in Calexico. These will hang next to two oversize printouts that each contain text from Kalle Lasn's Culture Jam, the book that was initially the inspiration for this series. I've included the printouts here for your enjoyment and/or enlightenment.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Searching For Elliott Smith

I have been very honored and privileged to work on a documentary for the past few years that is actually about one of my favorite musicians of all-time: Elliott Smith. During all of my three years at Art Center, I set aside extra time to (painstakingly) create hand drawn, frame-by-frame animation for several spots throughout the documentary. It took more than just a long time, but in the end I'd realized that the large amounts of caffeine and all-nighters were well worth the pain. I was given more than a ton of freedom from director/producer/editor Gil Reyes to create these spots, and now that the documentary has finally been completed, it awaits its moment in the spotlight. (It is set to have its world premiere at the CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival this October in NYC.)

Now that the film is complete, it's time to focus on marketing... I've been given the opportunity to create a poster or two for the film, so I thought I would post the first drafts of them. We are considering a guerrilla marketing campaign in addition to the usual marketing ideas as well, though it will mostly likely be based in and around Los Angeles. A website is also definitely in order, and will be arriving soon. (Yet another project I'm looking forward to!)

I am very, very excited about this film– it has been nothing but a five year long extraordinarily intense labor of love, especially (and mostly) on Gil and Tony Ayala (cinematographer and editor)'s behalf. I am so unbelievably honored to be a part of something that I hold near and dear to my heart, and hope that the world re-discovers Elliott Smith's genius... or discovers it for the first time.

First poster: this is a revision of Gil's original idea.

Second poster: This was my initial idea for the poster... the absense of Elliott from a familiar place that his fans associate him with. (Solutions! memorial wall/"Figure 8" album cover, c. 2006) I did not want a beautiful shot of this wall in keeping with the sort of lo-fi spirit that comprises a lot of Elliott's earlier recordings. I was asked to keep the type the same, but was free to change the imagery.

Third poster: still keeping the type– a hybrid that plays off of both Gil's original idea as well as mine. The Polaroids contain some of the participants in the film. (Clockwise, L-R from top left: Steve Hanft, Ross Harris, Mary Lou Lord, Larry Crane, Jennifer Chiba, Sean Croghan, Tony Lash, David McConnell, Gus Van Sant.)

I'm hoping to create an illustrative version of the poster as well sometime in the very near future (along with a few more others), but in the meantime, here goes nothing!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Obscured Eye exhibition

This is the show which will display the latest series of work that I've been posting for the past month or so. If you are in Imperial Valley, please stop by and check it out... I've seen some previews of the other artists' work and it looks like it's shaping up to be a pretty great show! Otherwise, stay tuned for more new work within the next couple of weeks...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Donovan & Toby

A tiny portrait of my friend Rosie's turtles Donovan & Toby, which I made for her birthday... now, to frame and mail off! I don't think she views my blog much, so I suppose it is safe to post! *fingers crossed*

Approx. 5" x 7" colored pencil and graphite on paper.

We Kill Everything We Love 4

This is the fourth piece in the series... for some strange reason, this truck was one of the most excruciating things I've had to draw in a long time. I'm not sure if it was a psychological (ha!) or technical issue, but either way, here it is.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

We Kill Everything We Love 3

Third piece in the "Kalle Lasn" series (I suppose I should just call it "We Kill Everything We Love" from now on, right?), and companion piece to the first piece in the series. I know everyone is not keen on cats, but if nothing else, we love our dogs. Right?

P.S. Don't worry: lighthearted work returning soon.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Manufactured Landscapes

I just finished watching a documentary on Edward Burtynsky's work called 'Manufactured Landscapes.' I couldn't figure out why his work appeared so familiar when I initially read about the documentary on Netflix until I remembered seeing some of his photos at the Williamson Gallery back when I was Art Center. They were fairly large in scale, and very beautiful yet ugly at the same time.

The documentary is excellent, and I can't think of anything better to have come across while working on the new pieces for the SDSU show in October. (Read more about it here on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manufactured_Landscapes.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

We Kill Everything We Love 2

Second piece in the "Kalle Lasn" series. I find it ironic and distasteful that people fantasize about owning such a fancy "toy" (not just the Fisher-Price version, but a real Hummer vehicle itself) that is manufactured to be used in wars. I also find it a little disturbing that something like this is sold off to parents who want to give their children something "cute" or "cool" to drive. I know that most kids this age might not fully understand the concepts of environmentalism or consumerism (other than "gimme, gimme"), but something like this is really enough to make me sick.

It is strange that children die horrible deaths every day in wars, and yet parents still find the idea of their child driving a mini Hummer to be cute.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

We Kill Everything We Love

First piece in a series based on a quote from Kalle Lasn (as previously posted). If you don't feel like scrolling down, here it is once more:

The Earth can no longer support the lifestyle of the coolhunting American-style consumer. We have sought, bought, spewed and devoured too much, too fast, too brazenly, and now we're about to pay.

Graphite and colored pencil on paper and vellum. Approx. 11.5" x 15.5".

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New stuff around the corner

Just a quick announcement that new pieces will be coming to the blog very soon! I am honored to have been asked to be part of a four person show this fall at San Diego State University's Steppling Gallery (Imperial Valley Campus). So, along with the usual other stuff I have been working on, I am starting a new series based on the idea of consumerism, mostly springing from this quote from Kalle Lasn's amazing book Culture Jam:

The Earth can no longer support the lifestyle of the coolhunting American-style consumer. We have sought, bought, spewed and devoured too much, too fast, too brazenly, and now we're about to pay.

This book has been one of my favorites for years... I was recently re-reading it and figured what with all of the latest environmental reports and (extremely sad) news regarding the state of our world, I'd take the opportunity to address it in my own way. I am playing with transparency and b&w versus color for this series, and needless to say, I'm excited! I hope to have the first piece up within the next couple of days.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Nature always wins, 3.

A little bit of an L.A. tribute going on here, but also a small glimpse at nature adapting to what we build on, around, and below everything that existed long before cities ever did.

This piece is being sent over to Nine Gallery in New Jersey thanks to my good friend Ashley-Martin. If you're ever in the area, be sure to stop by and check it out– their site is still in progress but I'm 110% sure that the place will be great! http://ninegallery.blogspot.com

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Nature always wins, 2.

I always thought of tree roots breaking/raising sidewalks as such a nuisance– which it kind of is, really... but people usually plant trees with potential root problems (or not deep enough in the earth) near sidewalks most likely without even thinking about it. With that in mind, I can't really blame the tree for doing this. I mostly wanted to depict that struggle between nature taking its course, and our attempts to tranquilize such a thing.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Nature always wins.

Not my usual style, but I just wanted to get away from the more representational stuff I've been working on lately. Fun fun fun!

(Had a hard time with the scan... )

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Los Angeles 2

This is the second piece in the Los Angeles series, and yet another example of the collision between man and nature. I'm working on a larger scale piece that is rather similar but wanted to do this smaller, more intimate piece before embarking on the larger version. This will also be the first drawing that I put up for sale on Etsy (http://idiotkid.etsy.com).

Graphite and watercolor on paper, approx. 7" x 9 1/2".

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Charles Chickenpants

Just a tiny drawing I made for my friend's birthday this week (Geminis unite!). This is her parakeet Charles, otherwise known as Charles Chickenpants; hence, the pants!

Stabilo Aquarelle pencil, ink, and graphite on Rives BFK.