Saturday, December 31, 2011
As my last post of 2011, I thought I'd unveil the latest in my series of iPad painting of famous New York City artists. Today's portrait features renowned 19th-century poet Walt Whitman as he confronts an emerging New York of the future--here embodied by the rising Brooklyn Bridge.
Whitman's 1856 poem "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" speaks to the New York that he knew and loved. Some scholars have argued that Whitman's later silence towards the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge decades later serves an indication to the threat that the bridge posed to everything he had invested in 'his' New York. And so the Bridge looms over Whitman in this portrait--its imposing face directed towards us, while Whitman's is turned away. The bridge stands tall over the village-like Manhattan that Whitman knew (when the bridge was constructed, the NY skyline was hardly more than 4-stories tall).
And so one begins to see the complex relationship between artist and city in the history of New York. At times the artist defines the city and contributes to its mystique; but at other times, the city threatens, even overshadows, the artist.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
This semester's final issue of the paper hit Fordham today, and that means the final installment of this season's Superhero Dean Rogers! Packed with action, jetpacks, and just enough loose ends to guarantee continued publication, it's sure to be a winner.
Tune in next semester for even more exciting adventures with Superhero Dean Rogers and Argyle---same dean time, same dean channel.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Lately, I've been working on an animatic featuring everybody's favorite mythical birdman: Icarus. Inspired by the lyrics and tune of Cat Stevens' "The Wind"--which seem vaguely reminiscent of the high-flying hero--I've put together what you might call a "free adaptation" of the classic Icarus myth. You can check out both the original/thumbnail animatic and the shiny new finalized animatic below.
And remember children, if your parents give you a set of wax wings this Christmas, stay far far away from any giant balls of fire that may torch the wings in mid-flight. If you hate the present that much, just ask for the receipt.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
After losing the original file to an unfortunate glitch in the iCloud, I've finally finished my iPad painting of F. Scott Fitzgerald--the second in my series of iPad paintings of famous New York artists and authors (the first, of Woody Allen, is available for your viewing pleasure here).
With this illustration, I wanted to showcase the lighter, more exuberant side of Fitzgerald that often gets lost under the darker, more alcoholic side of the great Jazz Age author. People tend to forget that Scott and his wife Zelda had a very lively streak together in the midst of the roaring '20s, reveling in such antics as a fully-clothed plunge into the grand Plaza fountain. This gleeful rhythm is exactly what I wanted to capture when I decided to take on Fitzgerald, and so I ended up with the painting above. A happy, successful couple skyrocketed to the height of celebrity, caught up in a moment of spontaneous reverie. But as the painting's sunset suggests, moments can only ever be moments. For the Fitzgeralds--and the rest of America--darker days were on their way.
I've included some of the initial sketches for this illustration below.
Be sure to look out for the next painting in the series, involving a certain New York poet of the late 19th century, whose name may or may not rhyme with Malt Hitman.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
This week's installment of Superhero Dean Rogers...featuring the first appearance of DR's trusty RA sidekick, Argyle! (And in case you haven't noticed, it seems iPad failures are becoming a motif of my storytelling.) Tune in next time for the gripping conclusion to their adventures in Bros Hill.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Thanksgiving is practically almost about to be here, and that means the Fordham University Holiday Passport is on its way! For those of you not familiar with it, the passport serves as a handy, pocket-sized guide chockfull of everything you ever wanted to know about how to spend the holidays in NYC.
One of my favorite positions at Fordham has been designing the covers for the Holiday Passport. This year, I really wanted to play up the "Fordham" aspect of the publication--and that's how I came upon the cute and cuddly holiday ramdeer that you see above. You'll also notice that the passport now comes in TWO collectible editions--red and blue (just like the original Pokémon).
I went through a number of ideas before settling on this design. If you're interested in seeing some of the ramdeer that didn't make the final cut, just look below.
And finally, here's last year's cover design, for posterity's sake.
For those of you keeping up with ABC's "Countdown to the 25 Days of Christmas," happy countdown-to-the-countdown!
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
I recently endured one of the more harrowing experiences that an artist can face: the sad, irreversible tragedy of losing one's work. Fortunately for me, it was only a week's worth of paintings--iPad paintings, lost in a freak iCloud glitch--but the blow was still swift and merciless. Feeling helpless and defeated, I found myself a part of the great tradition of artists who have lost their work to any number of tragedies: fires, robberies, hurricanes, what have you.
And so we add a new tragedy to that list of potential art-destroying torments: the iCloud (or iStormCloud, as I have re-dubbed it).
Anyway, I took my frustration and turned it into the shiny new animatic that you can watch below. Enjoy!
Saturday, November 5, 2011
With Starbucks' red holiday cups out in the market, I thought it'd be fun to do a simple Christmas redesign of their recently redesigned logo. Turns out it only takes a few tweaks to turn the Starbucks siren into everyone's favorite jolly old elf.
If you'd like to turn your own Starbucks coffee cup into an authentic Santabucks Christmas cup, just print out the sheet below on sticker paper, trim along the dotted line, and slap on your next warm beverage. (Or slap it on a red or white ornament and say goodbye to holiday gift-shopping!)
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
The holidays are
Look out for plenty of holiday sketches in the weeks to come. Merry November!
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
A mini Halloween blizzard in the Bronx may have kept some lesser souls inside this Halloweekend, but it sure didn't stop Superhero Dean Rogers from his ongoing crusade against bro culture. Read all about it above, and check out the previous two installments here and here.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
I've loved New York since I first discovered that it was the inspiration behind just about every superhero I loved as a kid. And years later, when I finally set foot in the city itself, the deal was sealed.
As a bit of a love letter to the city that inspired me as boy (and continues to jazz up my life in ways that only New York can), I've started an illustration project that will feature some of the most iconic artists and authors associated with the big city. As an added bit of fun, I thought I'd do the entire thing on an iPad.
The above illustration of Woody Allen directing (who else but) Woody Allen is the first portrait in the series. There's a lot to say about it compositionally, but I'll leave most of the discussion for when I've got the whole set completed (the idea is that the series will ultimately form something of a narrative of the artist in New York throughout the eras).
Here's a look at the painting under construction in the Brushes app:
Stay tuned for portraits of Scott Fitzgerald, Walt Whitman, and more. And for those of you interested in seeing more cool portraits of super famous directors, check out some of Madhi Chowdhury's inspiring illustrations here, including Chaplin, Scorsese, and other greats.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
This week marked the first appearance of Superhero Dean Rogers in Fordham's highly prestigious student publication, the paper. In case you missed it, you can read the gripping origin story above (you comic book enthusiasts will notice the homages to classic '30s era origin tales). I've also included Dean Rogers' presumed response to seeing himself in superhero form below.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
I started picking up Blender (an open-source 3D modeling and animation program) over the weekend, and after getting over that fact that it has one of the funkiest user interfaces I've ever encountered, I've come to like the program a lot. Here's my first go at modeling a simple 3D face...IN 3D!!!!
And here's the quick sketch that I was working off of:
I haven't gotten to the point of actually rigging the model for animation yet (i.e. adding a posable skeletal structure), but I'll be trying to tackle soon. Until then, please be sure to recycle your 3D glasses on your way out of the blog.