Introductions

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 andrew.shirey@yahoo.com, 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.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Great Romanian Personalities: Iorga

My fourth submission to the "Great Romanian Personalities" exhibit, here is Nicolae Iorga.

Storyboards: Bureau of Vital Statistics

Bureau of Vital Statistics, by Matt Keatman, is a short film about generic-looking office worker Henry Morten, whose job it is to decide how people die. The project is still underway, but when it's finished I'll post the video here, or at least a link to it. As an additional treat, I've included a couple of videos relative to the project. The Black Hole (note: this short film was not by Keatman) stars Napoleon Ryan, who has been cast for the part of Henry Morten, and musician "Scampi", seen in My Friend, will be composing/performing the musical score. This is a real unique experience since this is an international collaberation, with Keatman and Ryan in England, "Scampi" in France, and myself in the States.

video video

And here, below, are the storyboards.



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

caricature art class

This afternoon I taught an art workshop on caricatures again at the Shiawassee Arts Center. The kids always seem to enjoy it, so I was looking forward to it, and was not disappointed. It was a smaller group of five, but I've had as little as three and I don't mind. Having a smaller class can make a more comfortable setting, since it's not as apt to get noisy or rowdy and I can be sure to give each kid plenty of attention.

More often than not I forget to bring the digital camera along to take pictures of my classes, like I did last Wednesday for my class on comic creation, but I made sure to this time. It's especially nice to teach this class, since I get to be more involved by doing a demonstration on drawing a caricature with a volunteer student model. Of course, I don't want any of the kids to feel left out, so when it comes to this part of the class I just keep going and draw as many as time will allow. Below, here's three of my students that I was able to do their portraits in caricature.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Great Romanian Personalities: Teodoroiu

My third submission to the "Great Romanian Personalities" exhibit, here is Ecaterina Teodoroiu.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

BPRD trio pin-up

Sometime I'll get back to finishing my six-part series of Hellboy pin-ups. But in the meantime, here's a variant 11x17" print that includes the three main characters: Abe Sapien, Hellboy, and Liz Sherman. If you've been on the fence, unable to decide on which of the three individual prints to buy, perhaps this combination will do it for you. You can purchase one for $7, plus an additional $5 for mailing costs. I accept payment through PayPal.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Great Romanian Personalities: Eminescu

An additional submission to the "Great Romanian Personalities" exhibit, here is Mihai Eminescu.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Great Romanian Personalities: Caragiale

Sometimes you forget how big the internet is until someone gets in touch with you from halfway across the globe. Ms. Ana Lugijana of a Romanian cartoonists association reached out and asked if I would partake in an upcoming exhibit, "Great Romanian Personalities". She gave a list of about ten individuals, but mentioned their particular interest was in having Ion Luca Caragiale and Mihai Eminescu, so I went with the former. (These three are the same man, but at different ages; the top being the youngest and the bottom being the oldest.) Though I won't have the pleasure of visiting and seeing the artwork in person, I'll receive a catalog, as will all the artists who likewise submitted work.

The cartoonists association I mentioned before has a site, which can be found here. Unfortunately, it is currently down for reconstruction.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Makiev commission


Another digitally-colored portrait I finished not so long ago, here's the Soviet assassin Makiev, an original character designed and commissioned by Matt K. I took a great deal of pleasure hammering out this one, as I find the World War II era rather interesting in of itself. For those of you familiar with Mike Mignola's Hellboy, you'll likely notice the similarity of Makiev's mask to Karl Ruprecht Kroenen's. The design of that particular accessory was indeed inspired heavily by it. On another side note, the eyes may seem off. That is due to his left eye, which is slightly clouded over.

Commander Deth commission

A little while back, I created a digitally-colored portrait of mech pilot Commander Ian Benjamin Deth, an original character designed and commissioned by Julie D. She loved it, so much so that she even had it framed, along with a print of my Fast Food Mafia piece that she purchased. Julie sent me a picture of the framed prints today, so I wanted to share it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Perryfest and art classes

A few weeks ago, I've been going down to the Edna Bentley Memorial Library in my hometown to help out. With a book sale coming up it was good timing, as they needed someone to sort through old and donated books. And as luck would have it, the head librarian Pat Brown offered me a free space to set up a table during the Saturday sale, which was happening during Perryfest. Now, Perryfest is an annual, weekend-long town festival that started up some years back. Between those folks interested in the book sale and just wandering between other town events, it was a good spot to be. Unfortunately, I could only stay for the morning, since I had to fill in that afternoon for an art instructor. Business was slow, as you would expect for the morning. But I did enjoy the neighboring folks, who likewise had tables set up. Plus, I did have one caricature commission, so it wasn't a total loss.


Later that afternoon, I taught a pair of children's art classes on painting landscapes in watercolor. Like the caricature classes I've previously taught, I gave a little demonstration to help them understand how to break down their reference pictures and start their paintings.


My first class of three started with practice paintings on smaller-cut sheets of watercolor paper. However, the girls got so involved with them that we decided to keep going for the duration of the class. They were quite pleased with their work, as you can tell.


My second class of three did some practice painting, but quickly took to the larger-cut sheets of watercolor paper. Unfortunately, their interest in painting petered out a bit early, but they are kids after all so I couldn't blame them. Landscapes can be just as tedious to adults. But all in all, both classes were pleasant and the kids were good.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Neverwhere sketches


Just finished reading Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere and I was itching to sketch the characters, especially after I took a look at the 1996 TV miniseries which was, frankly, rather disappointing. So this is more or less how I would envision them.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Burgies Awards night

Though I couldn't join in on the festivities of Burger Beast's 'The Burgies' it certainly looks like the night went without a hitch, attracting well over one hundred attendees. You can read more about the evening of food and fun at his blog, but I wanted to show a couple of pictures taken that featured my artwork.

John Martin's Irish Pub door with Burgies Awards poster

El Mago, winner of "Best Frita", with son and daughter

Friday, August 28, 2009

Fast Food Mafia pin-up v.2

For those of you who are interested in some of the more recognizable characters, here's a condensed version of the previous Fast Food Mafia pin-up with just the first five that I drew. You can purchase a 9x12" gloss print for $5, plus an additional $4 for mailing costs. Just contact me at andrew.shirey@yahoo.com if you're interested. I accept payment through PayPal. And of course the prints won't include the watermarks.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Burgies Awards poster


A commissioned piece for Burger Beast and his event 'The Burgies Awards', which is being held in Coral Gables, to celebrate south Florida's "everyman food" as well as commemorate the blog's one year anniversary. So if you live in the area be sure to swing by and enjoy the venue of hot dogs, pizza, chicken wings, and of course burgers, just to name a few items on the menu. I'd go if I weren't living at the opposite side of the States.

Lord of the Rings fonts can be found here.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fast Food Mafia pin-up


This really just started out as a simple drawing to amuse myself. But after getting a lot of positive feedback I decided to make more of these fast food mafia characters and create a pin-up with them. Going from left to right, top to bottom, the fast food chain restaurants and their respective persons/mascots parodied here include:
  • Jack in the Box -- Robert "Jack in the" Box
  • McDonald's -- Ronald McDonald, Grimace, and Birdie
  • Burger King -- "The King"
  • Wendy's -- Wendy
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken -- founder Harland Sanders
  • Papa John's Pizza -- founder John Schnatter
  • Little Caesars -- Little Caesar
  • Taco Bell -- chihuahua dog
  • Panda Express -- panda
  • Sonic Drive-in -- founder Troy Smith and Katie the carhop
  • Quiznos -- talking baby Bob
  • Subway -- spokesman Jared Fogle
  • Dairy Queen -- talking red lips
You can purchase an 11x17" gloss print for $7, plus an additional $5 for mailing costs. Just contact me at andrew.shirey@yahoo.com if you're interested. I accept payment through PayPal. And of course the prints won't include the watermarks.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Caricature Art Classes

This Wednesday and last I taught a two-hour long summer art workshop class for kids on the subject of caricatures. The first group was thirteen kids, ranging from kindergarten to third grade, and this last group of eleven was from fourth to eighth grade. Very different groups, I came to realize, but both were pleasant and wanted to draw. So to prepare, I drew a batch of celebrity caricatures, which you can see below.

























This seemed to work out well, since it got me warmed up for the class and provided examples for the kids to see. I also provided them with photographic portraits of anonymous people that I found through Google, so they could start practicing. Then, this would help work them into drawing live figures. (It's useful when trying to break into life drawing because: (1) the image flattens the figure, (2) the subject will stay perfectly still, and (3) they can take as much time as they like drawing, since they don't have the model's needs to consider, like needing breaks.)

It's been my personal experience that a demonstration can be very insightful, so for each class I had a volunteer student sit and pose for a caricature, letting the other kids watch as I drew. I'd like to think it was helpful to them, before they started on their own caricatured life drawings. The kids took turns drawing each other in pairs, as well as drawing those who posed in the center of the classroom, who were sitting primarily for me. After seeing the demonstration caricature, they each wanted their portrait drawn by me. I was more than happy to oblige, though we were limited on time and could only draw a portion of the class. Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera on hand with the first class, but I was able to take pictures of those in my second class who volunteered as models (as seen below).



Monday, May 18, 2009

Motor City Comic Con '09

Yesterday was the last day of the weekend-long Motor City Comic Con held in Novi, a suburb of Detroit in Oakland county. This was my second year as a guest artist, setting up a table and displaying my work. Last year I shared a table with Jason Heuser and Matt Geerling, both classmates at Kendall College. Plans were made to do the same this time around, but ultimately Jason wound up at a different table with some friends of his while Matt was unable to attend. However, I was fortunate to share my table with Jason Westlake, also a former Kendall colleague, whose company I enjoyed immensely. And speaking of good company, I was able to see some other familiar faces, including: freelance artist couple Adam Withers and Comfort Love, Image Comics' The Astounding Wolfman artist Jason Howard, fellow Kendall alumni Scott Wygman, and Mouse Guard writer/artist David Petersen. While I've only met David Petersen briefly when he spoke as a guest at my college, the others I consider friends of mine or at the very least acquaintances.

Here's my table on Sunday near the convention's end.
Jason worked that day, so I spread out my material.

Fridays are always slow at the convention, as I've seen firsthand last year and heard from Adam and Comfort, so business was slim but not unexpected. I managed to sell one print, which I spent the pay on the latest issue of The Uniques, a comic written and illustrated by the a fore mentioned couple. While the goal of attending the convention is ultimately to earn money, it's hard not to spend a little of it. Besides, it's a personal belief of mine to support fellow artists, especially those that are your friends.

The Uniques, issue six

On Saturday it was like the floodgates had opened and the people just poured in. Still, business wasn't much better for Jason and myself, though we did sell some work and do a couple convention drawings. With the economy as it is, it's no real surprise. Even Adam and Comfort, who have been attending as guests for years at this convention and developed a following of regulars, have felt the pinch. Instead of buying a large print, someone buys a sketchbook. Instead of commissioning a full body drawing, someone commissions a portrait drawing. There was a noticeable pattern of people downgrading their purchases, Adam explained, and if they themselves didn't meet a bottom line quota of earnings, they might not come to Novi next year. I certainly hope that won't be the case.

To encourage my own sales I took a lesson from Jason, who did pretty well for himself by selling original artwork. Many of the comic dealers sell trade back graphic novels for half-price, which is a real steal, so I purchased Alan Moore's The Watchmen and did a few character drawings to add to the table. With the popularity of the recent movie, it seemed like a smart move. As luck would have it, however, none of them sold.

While this may be discouraging, I still enjoyed myself. There were plenty of good points that highlighted my time there that Saturday. For instance, my parents visited and took a look around. Before I started coming as a guest artist, my father had taken me, along with one or two friends, to the Motor City Comic Con a couple of times, so he was familiar with the convention scene. However, this was my mother's first time ever coming to one, so I can imagine how unusual some of the sights were, especially the cosplayers. But there were sights and people she did enjoy, like meeting actress Julie Newmar, who she grew up watching as a girl.

Julie Newmar -1960's tv series Batman

Eric Avari - tv series Heroes, The Mummy, Stargate, ...

John Schneider - tv series The Dukes of Hazzard, tv series Smallville, ...

No Motor City Comic Con is complete without a few Star Wars cosplayers.
Jason joked that it would make a good drinking game if we could take

a shot for every stormtrooper we saw.



That Saturday I also met for the first time artist Guy Davis, who is especially known for his on-going work in Dark Horse Comics' B.P.R.D., a spin-off series to Hellboy. Despite being anxious, I knew I shouldn't pass up the opportunity to meet him. Intending initially to get his autograph on my copy of The Marquis: Danse Macabre, I expressed my admiration for his Marquis series. But when I saw him doing miniature convention drawings for free, I knew I had to have one of the Marquis. After Mike Wieringo's passing, who I never got the pleasure of meeting but had wanted to for some time, I've compelled myself to at least see these artists I admire if I'm able. You never know if the opportunity will come again.

Finally there was Sunday, the last day of the convention, which felt very much like a repeat of Friday with it's thinned attendance. However, comparatively, my sales were slightly better than those of the first day. Regardless of the the humdrum, the atmosphere was even more casual than before, which was pleasant. And as things wrapped up near the end, I was given a couple of prints: one from Adam and Comfort, the other from Alan Schell, who I first met that weekend. I didn't know of Alan or his work, but being a stranger didn't stop him from coming over to my table occasionally to make friendly conversation. He was a nice enough guy, who I hope I'll see again next year. After all, profits aside, part of going to the conventions is to make connections.