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So begins a poster

June 7th, 2017

I’ll be working on the rest next week. The festival itself is Sept 23.

covering Everything Goes, pt 2

June 7th, 2011

Yesterday I showed the process leading up to the cover of Everything Goes: On Land. Without further ado or brouhaha, here’s the final cover of the book. Click the image to see it quite a bit larger.

The cover design had to be indicative of the work that’s in the book, and I do believe it is. Cars and trucks, bikes and motorcycles, buses, construction vehicles, trains, and whatever else made it in the book and on this cover. Vehicles going this way and that way, all kinds of people riding and driving them, and even a friend’s blue and white striped Mini Cooper.

Once the final sketch was approved, I use that as the basis to create the inked drawing. I usually try to create my illustrations to the exact size that they’ll be printed. Everything Goes is going to be a big book — twelve inches tall and ten inches wide — so this was no problem. I draw the illustration using a big lightbox on nice Strathmore 500 series bristol with watered-down india ink, and use white gouache to carve out areas and add details.

If you take a look at the close-up image below, the wheels of the train, the white outlines of the train windows, the railroad ties, and the wing of the small black bird are examples of where I paint the negative space, or the white areas. When I inked the drawing, the area under the train was solid black. This part of the process is easily my favorite, as it’s a real joy to see these details appear and everything come together.

You may also notice that there is no type on the black-and-white line drawing. This is because when I do work like this I always draw the type and add it digitally.



Once these are all complete, they get scanned into the computer where I use Photoshop to color everything and piece it together. When it’s complete, I save it as a TIF file and send it to the designer at the publishing house (Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins in the case of Everything Goes).

Everything Goes: On Land is scheduled to be released on September 13. I’m currently working on book two of the series, which is called “In the Air,” and which will be published a year later. Lastly, “On the Sea” will come out in 2013. I don’t have the covers sketched for either of these two books yet, but they will be similar in idea and business to “On Land.” And of course I’ll post here about them when they’re ready to make their way into the world. Stay tuned!

rubber stamps

December 3rd, 2009

rubber stamps

I used to use rubber stamps all the time. There was a terrific little shop near where I worked near San Francisco that did custom stamps. So I’d hand-letter my address and use it for envelopes and business cards. However since living in Philadelphia (for more than ten years) I’ve never got around to it.
I recently moved into a studio where I hope and plan to work for a long time. In addition, I need to send stuff out more than I once did (posters and things), so I finally got some new stamps made. I use these for lots of stuff. I can stamp cards, the backs of promo materials, your upper arm, any kind of correspondence, and so on.
Now here’s the kicker. This place I found fairly randomly, Simonstamps, got this order from me on Tuesday. Two days ago. They produced and shipped it yesterday, and I just received it. Two days! And the most expensive stamp here was $12. All together the order for these nine stamps was around $70. Need I say I recommend Simonstamps?
I ordered the “Traditional Wood Handle Rubber Stamps.”

Kids Guide

September 30th, 2008

Kid\'s Guide cover
This is the cover illustration that goes with the robot and the stegosaurus on the previous post. Kid’s Guide is a publication in the L.A. area for parents. The article here is about getting kids organized. The solution was in my head from the start and went right through without a hitch. Fun project.

Manhattan sign reference

June 13th, 2008

While waiting for my accordion to be fixed at Main Squeeze on Essex Street yesterday, I walked around the Lower East Side/Chinatown taking pictures of building signage with the iPhone. Here are some of the better ones.

Sushi signage
ideal hosiery sign
paints sign
electrical appliances

Book Festival banners make their appearance

April 17th, 2008

The banners for the Philadelphia Book Festival are up around Center City Philadelphia. Designed by Kelly Beh, they use a part of the poster illustration and really stand out in today’s bright sunlight. These were taken on Market at 8th, Arch at 16th, and in front of the library. They are also on Broad at Spruce and Walnut at 19th.
The festival is May 17 & 18 so if you’re around, come by the library and say hi.

Philly Book Festival banners

Philadelphia Book Festival poster

March 17th, 2008

I finished this illustration last week for the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Book Festival coming up in May. It will be posted all over and they’re running ads in the papers and hanging banners on Market Street.
Look close and find all the various odd book-lovers. I’d love to have used actual literary characters but I probably could not have cleared copyrights, and it would have added weeks to the amount of time I’d need.
I’ve got details of the poster uploaded on Flickr as well.

Willie Nelson at The Fillmore

April 24th, 2007

Willie Nelson played The Fillmore in San Francisco for five shows last week and I was pleased to be asked to make one of the posters. I was asked to somehow include a guitar in the design, so I did that. The final was printed 4-color at 12×19 inches. If you happened to see the show, let us know how was it? I’ve never seen Willie Nelson play, but gee I’d like to.

Ladytron @ The Fillmore

October 13th, 2006

Ladytron @ The Fillmore

This is a three-color poster I designed this week for Ladytron at The Fillmore in San Francisco. It’s being printed today (13 Oct).
The project started out as a robot, but that got shot down. In the end this is not a bad thing, as I plan to use the robots for other things anyway.
Additionally, while I love the robots more than this particular image, I think this is more appropriate for the band.