Thursday, May 30, 2013

From Tween to Teen

Here's a drawing for About Town Magazine, about the psychology of tweeners. From ages 10 through 13, our brains change dramatically - especially in the pre-frontal-cortex. This is also known as the 'CEO' of the brain; it helps us use good judgement, and think analytically.  Going through these changes can lead to confusing and conflicting feelings; more is expected of us, yet we are still emotionally very young. The author offers parents advice on how to support their tweeners as they navigate through this roller-coaster transition from child to teenager.

Ideas I submitted to the editor, Paul DeAngelis

I teach art to middle-schoolers, and found this article very helpful,
 shedding light on inner-life of tweens.

Thanks to Paul DeAngelis for another fascinating assignment.

You can see more B & W art right here.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Imagination Station

Teaching art to middle and high school students has been such an inspiration for me. Until recently, I taught classes at Imagination Station in Red Hook, N.Y.  I learned just as much from my students as they did from me. Projects were based on actual illustration assignments, or are inspired by great artists.

paintings and drawings on blocks of wood.
We covered a lot of ground in each two-hour class; illustrating book covers, calenders, shopping bags, posters, murals, graphic novels, New Yorker covers, etc. Or we'd touch on themes  such as Black History Month, U.S. presidents, Earth Day, or famous women.

working big in preparation for Halloween.
A slideshow was part of each class, where we view and discuss the art of famous artists, illustrators and designers. I try to mix things up from week to week - so my students feel challenged - but are never bored.

M.L.K.  portrait for Black History Month
This was an excellent opportunity to work with kids,  and learn about teaching.

Portraits of famous musicians for Black History Month

U.S. Presidents workshop

Overseeing New Yorker cover illustrations

a vampire on the cover of The New Yorker: - =

Big Sumi ink drawings!
Spooky murals

Earth Day Workshop

Paper-bag masks inspired by Saul Steinberg

Horses for Rhinebeck's Sinterklaas Celebration

shadowboxes inspired by Joseph Cornell...and Halloween

a beautiful elephant from my animal portrait workshop
Artwork inspired by Saul Steinberg's paper-bag masks

My students remind me of the many different approaches you can take to drawing
 and solving problems. 

Most of all, they remind me to have fun when I'm making pictures.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mercersburg Cover art

Mercersburg Academy is one of America's premier boarding schools. They publish this magazine for "family and friends" three times a year. The latest issue is dedicated to stories about how the academy is literally a "home" to many students and faculty during the school year. The editor, Lee Owen, asked me to visualize this theme for the cover - and I had a blast sketching out ideas. The winning solution combines the school's logo (and color scheme) with a traditional house - conveying Mercersburg Academy as a peaceful and happy abode. Thanks to Lee for opening the proverbial doors to a really fun assignment.

The cover art was modeled after this logo:

Here's my sketch process, from the final comp to initial thumbnail ideas:

After doing initial thumbnails and revised sketches, this comp was approved to go to finish.

I had fun incorporating the logo and map of the school into these skectches
My clients initial idea was to incorporate the school's logo into a house key - which opens a door.
The cover art was born out of the simple thumbnail on the left.

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Rutgers Alumni

What's so fun about contributing to Rutgers Magazine? It's never knowing which direction each assignment will take me. There are so many interesting activities going on at this great university - as as well as fascinating lives being lived by faculty and alumni. The above piece accompanies an article about a retired couple (both Rutgers graduates) who explore the U.S. in their RV. This vehicle is literally a home on wheels - allowing them to live spontaneously on the road .

"Around the United States in Fifty Days"

Another story follows an alumnus who realized his dream of playing on fifty golf courses in fifty states in fifty days. I can see Bill Murray buying the movie rights to this incredible fete.

"Five on Five"
The drawing above addresses ways to promote various Rutgers functions.

"Oh, The Places You'll Go"

Still, other stories address the career paths you can take.

Here are a few examples of sketches for this project:

Sketches for "How Rutgers Proud RU?"

"How Rutgers Proud RU?"

 Thanks to John Van Cleaf and Michelle Cody for another fun assignment.

You can view my new illustration website here!