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.

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.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hellboy pin-ups

Been working on a six-part series of Hellboy pin-ups, which can be pieced together to form one large picture in the background. (This was inspired by the '94 Fleer Marvel Cards of Spider-man, which did the same in sets of nine.) So far Abe Sapien, Hellboy, and Liz Sherman are available. Eventually this will include Johann Kraus, Roger the homunculus, and Captain Daimio. You can purchase a 10x15" gloss print for $5, plus an additional $4 for mailing costs. As an added incentive, you can purchase three prints for $12, plus $4 for mailing, which saves you a few dollars. I accept payment through PayPal.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Salad Days fan art

For a few years now, since around '07, I've been a fan of the manga-esque comic Salad Days as well as good friends with its creator, Nafisah Tung, better known as Tyshea in some circles. The motto of Nafisah's comic is "Salad Days: a time of youthful innocence... Yeah, right," which perfectly captures the overall feeling of the story. It is, as she describes it, "a slice-of-life comedy and drama about a supernatural high school that focuses on the silly exploits of four friends". These four friends include: Ashley "Ash" Reinhardt, a grouchy and sarcastic vampire; Autumn Yates, a gentle ghost with journalistic aspirations; Mint Talbot, a werewolf just bubbling over with sunshine; and Renee "Ren" Tunone, an awkward, tomboyish grim reaper. After initially seeing the conceptual art and preliminary comic drawings, I just fell head over heels in love with it.

This drawing was the one that started it all, my very first piece of Salad Days fan art. It was a two-for-one, as it was both an art trade with Nafisah and an entry into a Salad Days fan art contest, which incidentally won first place. Here is Ren with "were-puppy" Mint tucked into her hoodie, also including Ash's spastic younger brother, Tony, in the signature. (If you don't get the cabbage exclamation, that's understandable. It was an inside joke, based on a drawing of Nafisah's in which Tony is sitting in a shopping cart with a grocery bag on his head, making this remark to Ash.)
Similarly, this was for another Salad Days contest. It didn't win, but was given an honorable mention. Anyway, what makes this one special is the backstory it tells. For winning first place in the last contest, Nafisah let me create a custom character to be used in her comic. Thus was Drew O' Shire the cu sidhe made. You can think of him as similar to a werewolf with phantasmal powers. Which brings me to the actual werewolf, Mint Talbot. Nafisah and I both thought it would be adorable to have Drew and Mint be childhood friends, so this comic tells the abridged story of how they first met. Cute, no?
Here is a drawing with Drew O' Shire (right) with Wormwood High art teacher, Art Tunone the leprechaun (left), and a fellow student, Aria the banshee (back). Drew's outfit here was based on a design Nafisah created for him in another of her Salad Days drawings. I've become very impressed with her skill for fashion illustration.

Becoming an even bigger fan, I was compelled for a time to illustrate some Salad Days minor characters, as well as the main four, which you note in the third pair of illustrations seen here. I won't go into detail as to who is who, but excluding the central characters, the rest were created by fans. This is, in my personal opinion, one of the things that makes Salad Days so great: fans can develop their own original characters and create side stories within Wormwood High. After all, the setting of Salad Days is in a high school, which means there needs to be a student body, and that's a lot of characters for one person to create.

Nafisah has found a brilliant solution that pleases her and the fans alike by letting them contribute to the comic in this way. In this sense, Salad Days becomes more than a comic, becoming something of an interactive story. A fan can create individual stories with their original characters or get together with other fans and collaborate, making stories together. After all, while Salad Days revolves around Ash, Autumn, Mint, and Ren, Wormwood High itself has many students, each with their own stories. It becomes so much more involved and expansive in this capacity.

(There's more fan art that I'll post, but I'm tired so that will have to wait for the time being.)