Friday, August 31, 2012


Good news! The Back To The Drawing Board podcast has been accepted and is now up on iTunes. You can go right to iTunes HERE and listen to every episode for free. It feels like a nice little victory for the little podcast that Jeff Lafferty and I put together in my living room just a few weeks ago.

The bad news is that I was informed this week that Jeff will be pulling out of doing the podcast for personal reasons. The podcast was all Jeff's idea and I was just along for the ride so him backing out will be a real loss to the weekly show. But, I've been enjoying it so much and I've gotten some great feedback on the show that I'll try to keep it going as long as possible. I will definitely miss sitting in the studio with him every week and talking about art but the show must go on.

For now I've got a few guests lined up so we'll see how it goes. I figure the moment I'm sitting in the studio by myself and talking into a microphone to no one will be when I finally have to hang it all up.

Hopefully that won't happen for a very long time.

Wish me luck. We'll see how it all goes.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Little Bit O' Inking

I had some extra time on my hands this morning so I decided to ink an OilCan Drive piece I had sitting around the studio.

I originally penciled this piece of Nicole, the drummer of OilCan Drive, for an OCD trading card set. I've since put that idea on the back burner as I work on the new OCD comic book story but, since I had an hour to kill this morning, it made for a good piece to practice some inking on.

And, who knows, maybe I'll find some more time this weekend to lay some color down on her.

We'll just have to wait and see.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back To The Drawing Board 5

The newest episode of Back To The Drawing Board is up and ready for your listening pleasure.

With Jeff out of the studio this week I brought in Rob Kelly for an interview. It was my first time using Skype and trying to record someone who wasn't right here in the studio but, other than a few glitches aside, I think it turned out well.

As always, there was a lot of stuff I wished Rob and I had talked about but there is always next time. So, when I get Rob back for an interview remind me to ask him about monetizing his blogs, talking a bit more about school, and actually asking what the story of Ace Kilroy is actually about. I mean, I know, but being new to this whole interviewing thing I actually forgot to bring it up.

Ah well, live and learn.

For now, go check out the new show HERE!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


While working away this last week on a bunch of client work a friend of mine came over to spend the night. While we were watching James Cameron's Aliens (a movie he hadn't seen before) I finished up the client work for the night but still had some time before the movie ended.

So, I whipped out my blue pencil, brush, and ink, and sketched out a new character in the world of OilCan Drive.

His name is Brick and, if you can't tell, he'll probably end up being a proper villain in the new stories. We'll have to see how that goes.

Still, it felt really nice to whip something out for myself and my book in the middle of a busy work week. There may be hope for my own personal projects yet.

And, if anyone can tell me where I got the name Brick from there might be some kind of special prize involved. I doubt anyone out there can but I figure it's worth a shot.

Have a great day.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Launching a Rocket

With Jeff out of town today I had to helm the Back To The Drawing Board podcast all on my own. Jeff and I usually get together on Saturday afternoons for a few hours and record the podcast but with him being gone it meant I had to figure out something on my own.

We've always been meaning to get guest interviews on the show so I looked at this as an opportunity to try that out. It would have been much easier to find someone local and just have them come over to the studio since that is how Jeff and I have had it set up these past few weeks. Just a couple of couches, a couple of microphones, and we'd just record us talking. But, with it being so last minute I had to look beyond the local talent and set my sites on going global.

I know a lot of people use Skype to record their podcasts and it looked like the perfect way to get one of my friends from far away to be a guest on the show. So, I signed up to Skype and then tried to figure out how to get it all recorded. I ran into a TON of different programs that could do the job but, running out of time, I rigged up a way of recording that I had at least tested once and I knew would work.

I got my good friend, Rob Kelly, to be on the show with me. We talked for over an hour about going to school together, our careers, and the Ace Kilroy project he is working on now.

And, while I'm sure all Rob had in front of him was his IPad, you can see that the set-up I had in front of me looked like a primitive monkey trying to launch a rocket ship into space. But, while it may look like a mess, it did work and the show won't miss a week.

The podcast will air this Wednesday, so keep a look out for it!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Speaking of Blue Birds...

This seems almost funny when I realize I just did an illustration earlier this week of a blue bird twittering but, last week, I bought a new microphone. And, interestingly enough, it's called a Blue Bird.

I've been eying the Blue line of microphones for a while now. For those of you not in the know, the Blue Microphone Company builds perhaps one of the best microphones out there called the Blue Bottle Condenser microphone. It looks a bit like the big brother of the Blue Bird I bought and has the ability to change out the microphones capsules on top with different cap types. But, unfortunately, the Blue Bottle and a set of these mic capsules costs about twelve thousand dollars.

So, I went on EBay, found someone selling the Blue Bird, and got it for about a third off what it would retail for new. It doesn't have interchangeable capsules but it still looks great and, from the research I did on it, it sounded like it would perfectly fit the bill for what I needed.

The shipping was free and I liked the vibe of the person selling it. The mic got here quickly enough and, last Friday, I pulled it out of its wooden box, put it together on one of my mic stands, and plugged it in to test it out. I meant to just check it to make sure it was all in working order and then get back to work.!

And, I mean, really, WOW! This microphone sounded absolutely amazing. Or, I guess, it made my singing sound absolutely amazing. I ended up messing around with it for the better part of an hour before finally putting everything to bed.

All that great sound and it looks pretty too.

This last week has kept me pretty busy with work but the microphone hasn't been too far from my mind. It really made me want to start recording again so, hopefully, once I get some free time, it's back to work for OilCan Drive.

It's been far too long.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Back To The Drawing Board 4

The newest episode of "Back to the Drawing Board" is up and ready for your listening pleasure.

In case you're new to the blog B2TDB is a podcast my friend Jeff Lafferty and I have been doing every week for the last month. We get together every Saturday afternoon and, most weeks, we have no idea what we're going to talk about. But, it certainly doesn't stop us as the hour goes by super quick and, more often than not, I have to shut things down or each episode would run about five hours long.

For me, personally, I am really enjoying it. I didn't think I'd like it this much but I find that having an hour each week to talk about the way our lives in the creative world is going is some great therapy.

So, check the podcast out and have a listen. And, if you do like what you hear, please leave a question or a comment. Chances are, we'll definitely talk about it on the next show.

Have a great day!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Twitter Bird Colored

And here is the Twitter Bird in full and glorious color.

I did two different versions of him, one with the original black ink line and the other with a bunch of subtly colored lines to give him a softer feel and not have him so hard edged. I submitted both of them to the client so we'll see which one is used in the end.

This was really a great piece to do for me. Not only was it great to leap frog over a bunch of steps and just feel free to go to the finished end piece but it was a lot of fun to draw a cartoon character again. These past few months most things I've drawn have been human beings doing certain things. So it was a lot of fun to cut loose and do something really cartoony again.

Thanks a bunch to Lightbox Studios who chose me to do this piece. It was a lot of fun and really a breath of fresh air!

Have a great day, everyone!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Twitter Bird

Even though I've been busy with working on projects this week that I can't talk about I had a chance to fit a new piece into the schedule.

I was commissioned to do this piece about a week ago and, as usual, I submitted a quick thumbnail idea to the client to make sure everyone was on the same page. I waited a few days and was wondering what was happening when I got an email that said everything had been approved and I could continue on to the finish.

This almost (read: never) happens.

Usually I'll submit the thumbnail, get approval, do a tight pencil sketch of the piece, submit that, get a round of changes, make them, resubmit, hopefully get approval, and THEN, maybe, I'll go to finishes. So, in doing this bird I got to skip a bunch of steps. Which is fine with me. The joke usually goes that when a client asks you how much it is to do an illustration the answer goes something like, "a hundred bucks to draw it, and three thousand to put up with you and your changes."

With this client it really felt great to bypass some of the usual growing pains. Plus, I'm really happy so far with the way it's coming out. Next stop, color.

And, yes, if you look at my notebook where I drew the initial thumbnail, there are a few OilCan Drive sketch ideas up there. Sneak peek, baby, sneak peek!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back To The Drawing Board 3

This week's podcast episode of "Back to the Drawing Board" is now up and running. Here is the official synopsis:

In this episode Jeff Lafferty and Sean Tiffany start off the show reading a few listener comments that leads to a discussion about an artist's inner demons and what happens when you do art for money. They also talk about why sometimes it's better to go fast with your artwork instead of trying to take forever and make one perfect piece of art.

The talk about doing art for love or money leads to what both artists think about the new crowd sourcing Kickstarter phenomenon, how they both think it works and what makes a successful campaign, and why they don't think it works the same way now as the way it was originally intended to.

So, what are you waiting for? Head on over to site HERE.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tonya Kay - Rock Star

For the last week or so I've been working on a client project that I can't talk too much about until it is done and out there in the world. It's been keeping me so busy that I haven't had a lot of time to do much else and, honestly, I'm really missing playing in the OilCan Drive world.

But, last weekend, while getting ready to chain my leg to the art table and work day away, I took a few moments before I started and played with a photo my friend Tonya Kay sent me.

She had just done a vegan photo shoot where every picture was done in glorious black and white. I took one of the photos in Photoshop to mess around with is and this is what I came up with. It didn't take too long, was fun to do, and I'm really happy with the results. It came out looking like a cross between an old Pete Townshend WHO poster and something out of Frank Miller's Sin City.

During a week of dominating client work, it was a fun piece to mess around with, even if only for a short while.

Have a great day!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Some New Toys

Since the podcast Jeff and I have been doing has been rolling along so well I took the opportunity to get some new gear for the studio.

I already had the big Shure 55SH microphone as well as a Shure SM57 microphone but the 57 worked so well for the podcast that I picked up two more and a case for all the mics I now have.

So, with three (or four if you count the 55SH) microphones we can now have guests on the podcast here in the studio. Of course, that means I have to talk some friends into coming in but hopefully that won't be too hard.

Plus, any excuse to buy some new music gear is always a good thing for me.

OK, time to do this weeks podcast. Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Little Bite - Colored!

I found a little extra time today to put the finishing touches on Nicole's business card illustration. As I said yesterday, I don't even know if she needed it in color but I liked the piece too much to leave it in simple black and white.

What I really like about the piece is the way I got the colored background to fade back so the main figures, with their black line, really pop out. That I couldn't have done if I had left it in black and white.

And, because this was a spoof of the old Coppertone sun lotion ads I did an alternate version as well. I'm not sure it would be professional enough to put on a business card but I had to do it anyway. It was just too much fun not to.

So, if you'd like to see the alternate, racier, version, click HERE.

Have a great day.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Coppertone Girl Inked

And here is the inked piece I did of my friend, Nicole, for her OnSite Travel Blog business card.

I emailed it off to her this afternoon and haven't heard anything back yet so I don't know if it needs to be colored or not. But, honestly, I am liking the piece so much that, just between you and me, I already started coloring it. Shhhh....don't tell anyone.

Hopefully I'll get some time to finish it up this week.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Back To The Drawing Board 2

The new episode of "Back to the Drawing Board," a podcast put together by my friend Jeff Lafferty and I, is now up and ready to be heard.

This week Jeff and I tried to stay on the topic of artistic motivation but ended up talking about a whole bunch of stuff like Star Wars, Drew Struzan, Paranorman, Tank Girl, and why a Yoda Puppet beats a CGI Yoda every time. Still, we talked a lot about why we keep doing what we're doing and it ended up being a great hour of back and forth idea sharing between two old buddies.

So, head on over and have a listen. And, if you have an extra second or two, throw us a comment or ask us a question. It would be great to know someone out there in the world is listening.

You can find the podcast HERE.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Coppertone Girl

A little while ago a good friend of mine, Nicole Montalto, contacted me to tell me about a new travel blog she had been writing for the OnSITE Travel Blog website. After she had done a few blog posts I guess she was official enough to merit having her own OnSITE business card.

She sent me an email showing me what their on-hand artist had done. She wasn't really too pleased with it so she asked me if I could try my hand at drawing her in some adventurous situation that had to do with her travels. We knocked a few ideas around for a couple of days and then she brought up something about hot springs and maybe having a bear chase her. I took that idea of the bear and substituted it with a little bear cub pulling down her shorts and exposing her bikini bottoms in an homage to the old Coppertone sun tan ads where the little girl had her bikini pulled down by her dog.

It was funny and cute and she loved the idea. The only thing that I wasn't sure about was whether she wanted a regular cartoon of herself or one with a big head, which would make the illustration a bit more in line with the rest of the business cards the company was putting out. She wasn't too keen on the idea of the big head so I did one with a regular head and then drew a bigger head which I could digitally substitute to give her a few options.

In the end, even though she didn't initially like the idea, the big head won out.

I have to admit, it did turn out a lot better than I thought it would.

So, here are the pencil sketches for the two versions. Now it's back to the drawing board to ink the piece up and get it out to have some business cards done.

I hope you're all doing great and I'll talk to you soon!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Maddox Books

The latest round of Jake Maddox books hit my mail box this week. I eagerly ripped open the box and put the last four books on my already stuffed shelf. I'll give a set away to a friend with children and store away the last set so I'll always have a set of two of each books I've done for Stone Arch Books.

Sixty two books done and complete. Not bad, not bad at all.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Back To The Drawing Board

Here is something new I started with my friend Jeff Lafferty last week. Figuring no one in any media field would ever interview us properly we started up our own podcast just to see what would happen.

We sat down in my living room last Saturday, set up the microphones, hit record, and saw what happened. What came out was a really cool talk that had me thinking many times during the recording, "wow, this is going great...I hope everything is recording OK so this isn't a waste." Luckily, once we were done everything was fine.

We decided to call the podcast talk "Back To The Drawing Board" and have tentative plans to try and do it once a week, talk about various subjects, and even have a guest come by and chat every so often.

So, if you'd like to hear a bit about where Jeff and I came from and our plans for where we are going, head on over to the Back To The Drawing Board website and have a listen.

Enjoy and have a great day.