Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Back To It

One of the worst things about having food poisoning (other than the pain, living in the bathroom, and trying to will your soul to leave your body) is how far I fell behind on all the client work I had lined up this week. Bad enough to feel sick but to also be worrying about losing jobs and making clients angry weighed heavily on my mind as I was lying in bed.

But, I've emailed all the clients and pushed a few things back and all seems well. I love my clients and thank them for understanding. It's hard when you're a one man show and that one man goes down.

Today, things are getting better. I'm feeling better, climbed out of bed, and am back at the drawing board.

Now it's time to tackle some of that work that I've fallen behind on.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Biking in Boulder

I found this cool video online this morning that, between being sick and it getting colder, makes me really miss riding my bike.

I'll let Mat Barlow, the guy who made this video, say it better than I ever could:

"Boulder has one of the world's best bike path systems. To show just how much fun it is to ride, and how far you can go, I set out to put together the longest route I could think of, without repeated any sections of path, and videoed it with the GoPro Hero HD. Then, because I'm such a fast biker, I slowed it down in Final Cut so it wasn't so blurry and added some stats.

And yes, most of the paths shown on Mat's bike ride are ones I usually end up riding around on at eleven o'clock at night.

When it's warmer and when I'm healthy, that is.

I miss my bike.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Kids Are Alright

I'm finally feeling a bit better but I'm still not at a hundred percent. It's been a weird last couple of weeks and I can't wait to just get back to square one, feel better, and get back to work again.

I had planned to work all weekend but this food poisoning definitely set me back a bit. I wasn't able to keep any food or fluids into my body for two days straight and trying to get my strength back has taken me most of today.

Fortunately, one of the clients I was working for took another direction with the art I was doing and canceled their job. Normally I'd hate this but, feeling the way I've been feeling, it was nice to take some of the worry and burden off of my shoulders.

So, here are the pencils I did for the canceled job. While the sick part of me is glad I didn't have to get it done I still think it would have looked great if I had completed it.

Any new clients out there need a couple of kids done for an ad campaign? I can give to a good deal and get it done quickly.

Give me a few more days to get better and let me know.

Friday, November 19, 2010

From The Vault - Bolt 2008

I think I got a bit of food poisoning last night (I had a late dinner of sushi) so today has just been awful. It really hasn't been my week this week (or last week for that matter.) So, I'm going to keep the vault piece short today and get myself back into bed.

This is Bolt, the companion art to the Karma piece I showed off yesterday. I did it as a commission piece back in 2008.


Thursday, November 18, 2010


Ugh, it's been a busy week...

But, I did get the Karma piece colored and finished.


Monday, November 15, 2010

What a Week

Last week was a rough week. I was sicker than I can remember being in a long time. It wasn't awful, no throwing up or being curled up in a ball wishing I would die, but it just wouldn't go away. And one of the drawbacks of being a freelance artist and being your own boss is that there are no sick days.

So, after a full week of being sick, not sleeping right, doing projects, and dealing with clients, by Friday I had had it. All I wanted to do was sit on the couch and watch a hockey game that started at 5pm.

So, at 5pm, I walked over to the TV, turned on the cable box, and hit power on the TV. It slowly blinked to life, had some sound, no picture, and then turned itself off and started blinking. I hit power again and the same thing happened. I could hear the game starting but the TV never quite turned on. It had happened like this earlier in the week but then started working again. So, I kept hitting the power button.


My giant behemoth of a TV, the biggest projection TV I had ever owned, the biggest piece of furniture in my living room, had finally died.

And I didn't know what to do. We have another TV, my older tube TV from my old place, sitting in the other room. But, we hadn't bothered to hook up the digital cable box to it yet so it couldn't show me the hockey game either.

I paced for a few minutes, frantically trying to figure out what to do. So, I pushed the giant TV to one side of the living room, unplugged the older TV from the guest bedroom, and hauled it into the living room and sat it on the floor.

Going from a 55" projection TV that takes up a good corner of the living room to a 27" tube TV sitting on the floor was like someone took my season ticket holding box seats away and threw me up into the nosebleed section of the arena. But, at least I could watch hockey.

That night, after the game, I did some research on plasma TVs versus LED TVs and headed down to BestBuy. The website said they were opened until 10pm but, getting there at 9:05, I was informed they closed at 9pm. No TV for me Friday night.

But, at least it gave me some more time to do some research, pick out a TV, and make sure it was a good one. By Saturday morning I had hopped onto the BestBuy website and ordered a TV to be picked up at the store in the next town (we have a smaller one here in Boulder so it doesn't have the warehouse space of the BestBuy a few towns over.)

Monika and I went to pick it up Saturday night after dinner. When we got there we looked around for a stand to put it on and did a little shopping. Once done, we went up front to pick up our new TV. As the salesman brought out this huge box I got a little worried. After some quick measurements with a strip of BestBuy ruler paper, I found out that there was no way this box was going to fit in the car. And, to top it all off, it started snowing.

So, we called a friend who was nice enough to drive all the way out to where we were and pick us up in his truck. All it cost us was a pint of ice cream.

Saturday night at our place resembled something like a Christmas morning gone amok. Not only did we have a new 50" plasma flat screen TV but we also had a new Blu-Ray player it came with and a new TV stand to build for it. The living room was a mess of boxes and wrapping paper and new toys.

It took Monika and I most of that night and a good part of Sunday to get all the wires we had sorted out and to get everything hooked back up and in working order.

But, WOW, does it work. We figured out how to get everything, including the TV, hooked into our surround sound and, not only does the Blu-Ray player play Blu-Rays and DVDs, but it also hooks right into the internet so we can access our Netflix account and watch streaming movies right from online. I thought the picture might look bad since it can get a little rastery when I watch stuff on my computer but, oh my, it is DVD quality streaming right on the TV.

The photos of the new set-up were when we were watching Star Trek streaming from Netflix. I'm still amazed at how good the picture looked.

And, the great thing is, not only does this TV look and sound great, but it takes up about half the room as my old projection TV. I feel like I have a ton of room in the living room now. It's like a whole new house!

The next thing to do this week is to go down to the cable company and order myself some HD cable. The problem with a TV that looks so good is that the digital cable pales in comparison to what it can actually show.

So, after a week of being sick, client work, and breaking TVs, all seems right in the world. I'm feeling much better, the client work seems to have settled for the moment, and my TV is working.

I just can't wait to watch hockey in all it's HD glory!

Friday, November 12, 2010

From The Vault - Electronic Gaming Monthly 2003

This one of the first pieces I did for the Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine back in 2003. I ended up working for the magazine a handful of times and every piece was fun.

But, there's always something about that first piece you did for a new client that seems special.

And this one, for an article questioning whether video games were good or bad for you, was no exception.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I've been as sick as I can remember this past week so I haven't felt a lot like posting anything.

But, I did find some time to prop myself up at the drawing board and get this inked.

So, it hasn't been a total waste of a week.

Friday, November 5, 2010

From The Vault - Andy Travano 2003

I can't remember exactly when I first met Andy Travano. But, I do remember where I first met him.

Any of you out there who even know me even a little bit know I love two things...routines and sandwiches. So, it should come as no surprise that back in the early 2000s I was going to the same bagel shop, Beatnik's Bagels, every day for a bagel sandwich lunch. That's where I first met Andy.

I don't know how we first started talking but, when you go to the same place every day, you tend to become friendly with the people working there. This was after I had created the band OilCan Drive but before I had the idea of even trying to do anything as tough as the music behind it myself. But the idea of the music at the time intrigued me. So, when I found out Andy was a musician who wrote and sang his own songs, we started talking more.

Andy would do local shows where he would get up on any stage anyone would allow him and sing his songs. I began going to those shows to see my new friend perform.

The first piece of art I did of Andy was at, what he called, one of his "secret shows." These were shows he wouldn't advertise and just show up and play. He wanted to see if he could win over a crowd of people who weren't there just to see Andy the friend. He wanted to win them over as Andy the songwriter and musician.

Once I did this piece Andy commissioned me to do the art for a three song demo EP he was putting together. So, I had him come over, pose for some photos, and did what would become the first CD cover I ever did. And, if you look really close, you can see I used a lot of the art from OilCan Drive as the background images for the CD.

When Beatnik's Bagels closed down I lost touch with Andy. The place closed so quickly that no one, not me, not the other customers, not the people working there, knew what happened. I wasn't sure if I'd ever see Andy again.

But, then, one night while walking over to get a sandwich (I told you...sandwiches) I heard a call from the back door of a restaurant I was walking by. It was Andy, working at his new job in another sandwich shop. He bought me dinner and we caught up.

That fall, when I was ready to buy my first guitar, I called up Andy and asked for his help. We both went to a local music shop and he helped me pick out a Fender Stratocaster.

We've been good friends ever since.

Andy has since moved to Nashville, TN to follow his dream. I still talk to him at least once a month and he has become the one guy I go to when I want to share some new music I'm working on with someone. I miss that he's not closer but I'm glad we still keep in touch.

You can check out some of Andy's music and even buy his first professional CD HERE. I love this album. I even got to sit in the studio one day and watch him record it. It's always an adventure with Andy.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bad Karma

With all the waiting around I've been doing for a few clients I finally found some time to tackle a commission I took on a few weeks ago.

I can't say too much about it since it's for a gift but I figured it would be OK to show off the pencils here on the blog. I think I know all four of you who read my posts here and I'm pretty sure the piece is not for any of you.

But, just in case it is for you, please act surprised when you get it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Here's my first pass on the color for the superheroes project.

Now, we just have to see how it goes over with the author and client.

Time to sit back and wait...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy November!

Well, it's already November. Where has the year gone and why has it gone so fast?

When I think of November, with the weather changing and the days getting shorter, I always get that feeling of football in the air. So, I pulled a piece I did from a previous Sports Illustrated Kids article and threw it up on the blog header.

And this piece, with one player stripping the ball out of a fallen opponents hands, pretty much gives you an idea of how I feel about my favorite team, the Denver Broncos, playing this season. With every game they play they just seem to be falling apart a little bit more.

I have a feeling that, if not soon, someone will be fired by the end of the season.