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.

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