Squash, the sport, not the vegetable
posted: January 16, 2016

Last week Nicholas Blechman called requesting an illustration for an article about squash, the sport, not the vegtable, written by Tad Friend in The New Yorker.

The article is about Mr. Friend's relationship to the sport and also the mental side of the game as an antidote to midlife malaise. The editor sent along a note about the Hourglass Analogy, an idea that in middle-age a weaker player may occasionally beat a much better player. Sketch 1 is in color, because I wasn't sure the pencil sketch would communicate my thinking clearly.

Sketch 2 was chosen and I sent over two color options. In re-reading the article I also realized that Mr. Friend is left-handed.

They went with the red one. It's always great to see a piece printed, surrounded by that distinctive New Yorker typography.
A Few Odds & Ends from 2015
posted: December 22, 2015

Cover for Stanford Social Innovation Review, AD David Herbick


Cover concepts for MIT Technology Review, 35 Innovators Under 35. Creative Director Nick Vokey called for an optimistic cover that referenced the magazine’s 1960s/70s aesthetic. In the end, the editor decided  to go with a more “fun” approach.

Logo concepts for LA’s Architecture+Design Museum fundraiser in their new building downtown. They went with the one on the top right.

Cover for SPY Original Motion Picture Soundtrack album, Director Paul Feigs wanted a “cool 60’s graphic, old James Bond style artwork.” He went with the one on the bottom left.

Illustration for The New Yorker to accompany an article about Mexico’s drug tunnels, (with apologies to Diego Rivera.) AD: Chris Curry

Vintage playbill style poster for Kemistry Gallery's 10th Anniversary Show in London.

Drawings of famous movie lawyers for a calendar.

Portraits for Mockingbird Magazine issue on forgiveness, Editor, Ethan Richardson
Writing London
posted: July 22, 2015
Front cover

A map I designed for Herb Lester Associates has just been printed, Writing London is a guide to “a city full of stories and the people who make them.” You’re always in good hands with the guides from Herb Lester, the locations are described with wit and style (here by Sam West) and the maps are always beautifully designed. To try and keep up my end of the deal, I used the work of one of my favorites, E. McKnight Kauffer as inspiration.
Back cover

Seventy locations – from Hampstead Heath to Dulwich, from Martin Amis to W.B. Yeats.

Map detail.




LA Times Music Venue Roundup
posted: May 23, 2015

Here's a look at 30 Southern California music venues I just finished for the LA Times great AD, Paul Gonzales. I drew these all in a Moleskine sketchbook sitting on my ass in my studio using Google Maps Street View in about three days, or the same amount of time I would have spent sitting on the freeways to get to each spot. You can read Randall Roberts reviews of each spot here: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/local/la-et-ms-ca-pop-music-venues-20150518-htmlstory.html#navtype=outfit


New York Times Science
posted: May 5, 2015

I’ve been doing a weekly piece for The New York Times Science Section to accompany Jane E. Brody’s Personal Health column. It’s been a pleasure working with Art Director Catherine Gilmore-Barnes on these and it’s been nice to work on series of images that are building a consistent visual style for the column. Also, it’s nice to hear from my mom each week that she saw my drawing in the paper.
Early signs of Parkinson's

Nuts are healthy for all ages

Clinical cancer trials

Subdural hemotoma

Staying active to fight arthritis

USPS Gifts of Friendship Forever Stamps
posted: April 9, 2015

The United States Postal Service and Japan Post are jointly issuing Gifts of Friendship stamps tomorrow, April 10. These stamps celebrate the centennial of the gift of flowering dogwood trees from the United States to Japan in 1915. The stamps are issued in a pane of 12 Forever stamps, the left side includes two stamps I designed paired with the Japan Post stamps designed by Junko Kaifuchi. It was an honor to be asked to work on these stamps as a follow-up to the Cherry Blossom Centennial stamps I designed in 2012. Over 150 million of the 2012 stamps were sold, and I hope this joint issue does well both here and abroad. Philatelists and dendrologists may order stamps, press sheets and First Day Covers here: https://store.usps.com/store/browse/productDetailSingleSku.jsp?productId=S_589804
12 stamp pane

Japan Post 10 stamp pane

Color sketches

Command Y view

Coulrophobia for Taco Bell
posted: March 25, 2015

Last month I was on a conference call with an art director from Deutsch who was driving his motorcycle and describing a new campaign for Taco Bell that involved a Dystopian world where everyone eats the same breakfast. There's a clown/dictator and several references to McDonald's. Senior Designer Erin Burrill was designing the propaganda posters and they needed some help with the clown poster.
Deutsch poster comps

Screen shot from the TV spot

The campaign just launched and you can see the three-minute version here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuap4wIGSLg   And read more about the campaign here: http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/ad-day-taco-bell-launches-cold-war-against-mcdonalds-propaganda-imagery-163643
Here's a look at the Illustrator outline

Hollywood Soundtrack Albums
posted: March 5, 2015

Here’s a look at the latest CD cover I’ve done for Milan Editions collection of Hollywood Soundtracks. Milan is a label in Paris that has been asking me to design the covers of some re-issues and collections of American music. That's right, a record label comissioning new art! The brief is always about two lines, something like “Would you like to design a cover for a collection of music from Orson Welles films?" I say yes, and send the art, they say “Merci” and send me a box of CDs. What a pleasure.





End of the Road
posted: December 10, 2014

This is the final installment of the Illustrated Scroll of Jack Kerouac’s novel “On the Road.” I started making one drawing for each page of the book in 2012 and reached the end at page 309 a few weeks ago.   Something that started out as a little side-project got a lot of attention online and has been re-posted many, many times.  I’ve heard from Kerouac fans from around the world and the drawings have been featured in magazines in the US, England, France and Spain. Many people have written me kind notes about the project and a woman from Lowell, Mass. wrote to tell me that her grandmother had a crush on Kerouac when they were in the same high school typing class.   Last month, Paul Slovak, editor at Viking Penguin called to see about publishing the drawings as a book. He had some great ideas about packaging and design and it looked like it was going to be in stores next fall, but we got some bad news from the Kerouac Estate. They decided not to grant permission because they feel that the project “detracts from the book,” is a “dumbing down” of On the Road, and “diminishes the aura” that the novel possesses. We disagree, but it seems the Estate has made up its mind about it.   It’s disappointing, but you never know, these things have a way of finding their own time, and maybe something else will come along down the line. It's been a fun ride.



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