Monday, October 29, 2012

Alphabet Soup of Advice

This portrait of our first president accompanied an article in today's Wall Street Journal. There are many kinds of financial advisers offering services to investors: CFA's, CPA's , RIA's etc. This article explains what these acronyms stand for (example: CFA = Certified Financial Adviser), and what the people behind these titles are trained to do. It's a helpful guide for investors to find the right match. I thought it would be fun to show George Washington sampling an 'alphabet soup' of acronyms. Thanks to art director Orlie Kraus for this tasty assignment!

Below are ideas I submitted for this story:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

American Lucifer

The 2012 Vice Presidential Debate takes place this evening. Coincidentally, I recently drew this portrait of a vice president who's been debated about very much; Aaron Burr. He lives in infamy for killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel. He was also put on trial for conspiring to invade and take over Mexico (he was acquitted).  But Aaron Burr also had redemptive qualities. He was a feminist, a rationalist, and a supporter of manumission (the act of a slave owner freeing his slaves). He also perfected many campaign techniques which are utilized in modern politics. This article for Princeton Alumni Weekly examines this complex man who historians are presently reassessing. I created this mirror-image portrait to convey Aaron Burr's dueling legacies. A special thanks to art director Marianne Nelson for this fascinating assignment!

Here are layout ideas I submitted for this story:

Mirror images of Aaron Burr, portrayed as a devil and an angel.

Straight-on portrait of Aaron Burr with relevant elements of his story.

Contradictory portraits of Aaron Burr overlap.

Aaron Burr as devil, reflection as angel.

Reference to famous duel with Alexander Hamilton

May the best man win this evening's debate!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Secret Cellar Cover...

Here's my new cover for Michael Beil's fabulous Red Blazer Girls series, out today! These adventures follow a feisty group of middle school sleuths who solve mysteries throughout Manhattan. My daughter and I are big fans of Michael's writing, so it's a thrill to contribute to these tweener mysteries. I'm also thankful to art director, Kate Gartner, who pushed me towards this bold style. You can see some interior spots from the The Secret Cellar here.

Here's my sketch process, starting with thumbnails:

After feedback from the thumbnails, it was time to create some more detailed comps:

A fountain pen plays a central role in this mystery. Here's the circular art and sketch ideas:

It's always nice to see my artwork in it's proper context. Here's an older photo of my daughter reading the second book in this this series, The Vanishing Violin:

I'm looking forward to presenting her with a new copy of The Secret Cellar!

Happy reading everybody.

You can view my new illustration website here!