I'm a freelance illustrator and a Kendall College of Art and Design graduate currently living in Michigan. My work ranges from rendered paintings in watercolor, to still-lifes in pastel, to film storyboards, to more comic-style illustrations in digital or traditional colors. Needless to say, my work is diverse. My intention for use of this blog is to display my artwork in a professional manner and to bring in commission-based business. Essentially, this is my online portfolio. Many illustrators are using blogs these days, and needing a presence for myself, this will hopefully work for me as well. So I encourage you to watch regularly for postings of artwork and perhaps be compelled to call on my services for a commission. Keep in mind that I work in a variety of mediums and subjects, so do not hesitate to ask for something that you might not see here. Just contact me at, my work e-mail and my Paypal account.

Read my illustration commissions post as a starting point to get an idea of the potential price range.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Harley & Mister J

An ink drawing of Harley Quinn and the Joker that I did during Saturday at Detroit Fanfare. Will be making this into a digitally-colored print, so expect to see that eventually. Comfort has already threatened to dropkick my butt if I don't.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Giving one kid back his heroes

Jason Westlake, a friend and former classmate from my Kendall College days back in Grand Rapids, called me about less than two weeks before the Detroit Fanfare convention was to begin. We had been planning to share a table together, so every so often we would touch base. The same was true in this instance, but he also had a favor to ask which was disheartening when I heard the circumstances. Needless to say, I was willingly compelled to contribute. Soon after, he sent out a message on Facebook asking the same of several other artists attending the show, which I'll let you read for yourselves. (I've edited it slightly, but otherwise it remains unaltered.)
"I have somewhat of a personal request. A little back story first: A girl friend of mine has a son who loves superheroes. I've been trying to get her and her kids to come out to Fanfare next weekend, as she'll have them that weekend. At this point I don't think they'll make it out; even on Sunday when it's free for kids and I have a free pass to boot. Here is what I was thinking: His birthday is that weekend anyway, and even if they can't make it I was thinking of putting together a Fanfare 'care package,' so to speak. I was going to throw in a set of Avengers prints and a Joker print (He loves Batman and Watchmen, and he's in elementary school, so the kid knows his stuff), but I was wondering if anyone would be willing to contribute a print, sketchcard, original sketch, or whatever, so that after the show I can mail him all sorts of sweet stuff.
This all stems from this: My friend told me she took him shopping for school and wanted to buy him a 'Dark Knight Rises' shirt with Bats fighting Bane. You know, totally sweet threads. His response? 'I don't want it, the other kids would make fun of me.' Same goes for Avengers shirts as well. Hearing about that broke my heart. A kid who loves superheroes is afraid to show it because of some kids whose parents bought them Tapout shirts would make fun of him. Where it's the norm for us to show it, and is more culturally relevant for our generation, younger generations think it's not cool.

So I'm basically asking if anyone would like to contribute something, anything, to this kid to let him know that this kind of stuff is cool and make him feel that much more special."
Well, I'm glad to write that the call was heeded. Nearly all, if not every, artist asked contributed something to the care package for this discouraged kid in the hopes of giving him back his heroes. And I was gladdened even more so when I read the response written by the boy's mother, yesterday.
"My son Liam has always been a fan of comic superheroes much like most little boys. At the beginning of the school year we were out shopping for supplies. I was confused why every folder I pointed out with all the latest blockbuster heroes pictured, Liam dismissed stating he only wanted 'plain' folders. He became increasingly upset with every attempt I made to persuade him to choose things with what I knew were his favorite characters. 

Finally, when I asked why the change, he broke down and told me the kids at school make fun of him for liking Batman and other comic heroes. I was devastated that my son would have to feel ostracized for liking the same things that I'm certain these other children like as well. In fact, I myself love comic book superheroes and I know of MANY grown men who were absolutely giddy over 'The Avengers' & 'Dark Knight Rises' films being released this summer.

I shared this story with my friend Jason Westlake, who I know is passionate about comic heroes as well. He was just as heartbroken as I was that Liam felt he couldn't enjoy his heroes. The other day a package came for Liam filled with artwork of his favorite comic icons. He was so amazed and happy with each print he looked at. The pictures in this album show his gratitude for those that showed him you never have to outgrow your heroes and that it's okay to be yourself. THANK YOU!"
Here's the picture that she alludes to in her thanks to the artists, showing a much happier, and hopefully more confident, Liam.

You can see my contribution to the care package, an 11x17" "sketch cards in LARGE" series print of 'Batman: Crimson Mist', just to the right of Liam. Next to that is one made by my good friends and mentors, Adam Withers and Comfort Love, along with several prints above his head by Jason himself. I also happen to recognize a pair of black-and-white Hulk and Batman prints by Tyler and Sara Sowles. The rest are unfamiliar to me, but nevertheless I'm glad to see others interspersed among those that are.

So, to make a short story long, seeing this picture alone and knowing what it meant to him made attending Detroit Fanfare worthwhile, regardless how the show itself went. Which isn't to say that it wasn't a good convention that pre-Halloween weekend. On the contrary, I have plenty of good things to write about in regards to Fanfare. However, I will elaborate on that more in a later post. Until then, keep on loving your heroes, Liam! Even at twenty-seven, I still am.

Burgie Awards '13

For next year's Burgie Awards, food critic blogger Burger Beast requested a parody of John Carpenter's slasher classic, 'Halloween' (1978). This was a rather clever challenge that he proposed, trying to make a burger that resembled the jack o' lantern face from the iconic movie poster. I think the solution that I came up with works rather nicely, here, and so did he, which is the important thing.

Check out the previous Burgie Award posters from past years, if you aren't familiar with them:

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Perryfest '12 caricature

Here's one of the caricatures that I did not have enough time to finish at this year's Perryfest. I've had a few requests for Spider-man, but I was pleasantly surprised when one of the two boys here wanted to be drawn as Abe Sapien from 'Hellboy'. He pointed out the print that I had on display, so apparently it must have made an impression.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Haslett Community Yard Sale & Perryfest '12

It's easier to lump the Haslett Community Yard Sale and Perryfest together into one blog post, especially since they're both local shows and the only outdoor events that I've attended as an artist. Similar, to be sure, but different in certain respects.

For starters, let's talk about the weather. Haslett's Yard Sale is during the month of July, more often than not allowing for a sunny and warm although occasionally hot day. If Perryfest could take a lesson, here, that would be welcome, as there is an unwanted chance of colder, rainy weather during the September month. Fortunately, though, the rain that we were expecting on Saturday was postponed until around 4 PM that afternoon, and even then it was neither heavy nor lasted for very long. I was very rather grateful for that. When you're selling paper-based merchandise, water is one of your worst enemies.

Generally, business was better for me at Haslett than Perry this year, but it was rather close. Caricatures are always the big sellers, specifically with the parents or grandparents and their kids. A few other items sold at the former event (a sketchbook here, a print there), but at the latter it was only the caricatures. Some of this, again, could very well be attributed to the weather, which affects the turnout at these. One of the potential downsides to having it held outdoors.

Perhaps my first caricature of a kid as a superhero, and my personal favorite hero to boot. (Haslett Community Yard Sale)

Cute as it was, their parents decided to not include the animal face paintings. (Haslett Community Yard Sale)
But rain or shine, the kids are almost always cheery when they come by the table. If nothing else, I at least get to enjoy watching their faces light up when they see their finished caricatures or when looking over the colorful selection of sketch cards, which seem to be a particular attraction for them. It was for that reason, really, that gave me the idea of offering 11x17" prints of these, as they themselves simply can't afford the sketch cards (and parents aren't all that willing to shell that kind of cash out, either). Maybe not twenty-five dollars, but six dollars, and for art that's larger and not as apt to get lost? Sure, that seems reasonable.

Dun-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah, Spider-man! He's like a little Ben Reilly. (Perryfest)

No glasses and wearing a mask? This disguise would be foolproof in the world of superhero comics. (Perryfest)
Another pleasure that I had at both the Haslett Community Yard Sale and Perryfest was having unexpected company that came by and staying for most of the duration of these events. At Haslett's Yard Sale, there were two boys in particular (I wish that I remembered their names) that took a seat at my table and we just talked for the longest time. Seems like we covered everything from our favorite movies to video games to comics. And the thing was that they came freely. There wasn't any coercion on the part of a busy parent to make me an impromptu babysitter while they wandered about; they were genuinely interested. These are the kind of kids that give me confidence that I could be at least a somewhat cool dad or uncle.

At Perryfest, it was my lifelong friend Blake who came by and made the colder, overcast Saturday much more pleasant. And although they wouldn't stay as long, a number of other familiar faces took a little time, here and there, to say hello from our Perry Public school days. And man, I tell you, you feel rather self-conscious about your age when you see your peers married and with children of their own. Doesn't seem like high school was that long ago. But then again, in just less than a couple years it will be time for our ten-year reunion, come 2014. Hoo, boy.

But I digress. Blake certainly knew how to make the day more interesting when he put a curious challenge before me: drawing on a miniature pumpkin. There was a vendor selling pumpkins and other gourds, which undoubtedly gave him the idea, so he bought a few and handed one off to me. It wouldn't have occurred to me on my own, but it was rather appropriate, what with the autumn season. And as luck had it, he had a color set of Sharpie permanent markers. Given the texture of the thing, I doubt anything else short of paint would have effectively worked. And indeed it did.

This Iron Man mini-pumpkin is currently at Blake's home, sitting proudly atop his display cabinet, and the envy of the other decorative gourds. (Perryfest)
So with that, this concludes the outdoor events, leaving Detroit FanFare as the last show to come this Fall. I'll be looking forward to the latter, and if you missed me at the Haslett Community Yard Sale or Perryfest then be sure to stop by! And since it's during the weekend before Halloween, I'll also be handing out candy. (Added incentive, sweet tooth fans.) If not, not to worry. There's always next year.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Reminder about PerryFest

Just a little reminder about PerryFest, which I'll be attending again this year. Expect to seem me that particular weekend on Saturday the 22nd only, from 10 AM -5 PM, where I'll be selling my wares and available for commissioned drawings. (Caricatures seem to be especially popular at this sort of event.) So if you're in town during the festivities, be sure to stop by!

And for those curious about how the Haslett Community Yard Sale fared, I'll make sure to write more on that in a combined post alongside PerryFest, when the latter comes and goes.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bizarro -Superman- PSC

Here's the first in a set of three sketch cards with the theme of Superman doubles. Never was much of a Superman follower, but I admit Bizarro was one of my more favorite characters. Or maybe I should say, "Bizarro am no favorite of mine, so me ignore with horrible art."

The original artwork is part of The Treasure Chest of Art charity, so unfortunately is not for sale. (Outside of buying a chest set from the charity, that is.) However, I am aiming to make 11x17" print variants of these, as wells as others, available for purchase.