Tuesday, February 19, 2008

nerd burger*

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self portrait of the the author/artist in his Nerd Brigade uniform.

a bit of explanation: my increasing love and interest in the natural sciences has me kickin' it Earth Science nerd style.

* or "nerf herder" to the extremely nerdy.
** "janx" is a nickname, of which i have many.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

janxentine's day : chapter 1 : heart break hotel

"we are having a competition," my home room third/fourth grade teacher said, "this year your Valentine's boxes will be judged. the best ones* will win a prize."

the room shuddered with excitement. small voices chattered and whispered. my ears perked up. school was pretty boring for me. i just wanted to draw. i lived for the art projects.

i loved knights and medieval stuff. i was constantly drawing knights, making knight costumes--for myself, for my teddy-bears, fashioning wooden swords in my great-grandfather's rusted metal death trap of a garage. pretty much from the get-go i decided my Valentine's box would be a castle.

this is a sketch of my box. as you can see, the letters went in a slot in the top. the drawbridge was operated by fishing line. the top ends tied together. it would close the drawbridge when you pulled it. you accessed your Valentine's goodies through the door in the front of the castle. i glued two boxes together. i cut out the parapets. i covered it all with grey construction paper and drew the details on. i finished it off with some little flags. i even drew some knights (not pictured) that i cut out and attached stands to so they could mill around the castle, guarding the trove.

pretty cool right? that's the sort of box that would win a prize. a sure thing. pictures of me shaking the teacher's hand, "local boy does good."


apparently my castle was no good.

no prize was given me. no recognition. no handshakes. nada. zilch. zippo. not even a "good job."

it was The Castle Sucksalot.

it's an oversight that has bothered me for years. every year at this time, a small black cloud enters my life. my Valentine's Day is colored with a tinge of bitterness.

i guess they thought my dad did it for me or something. that's the only thing i can figure out.

still. it was mean of my teacher.**

so Happy Valentine's Day, everybody.

* note the plural. several prizes. none for lil janxy.
** it wasn't the first time educators used my artistic leaning against me. my first grade teacher would punish me by not letting me do art projects. a Groundhog's Day and looped construction paper flag stand out in my mind.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: i've had the question a couple of times now. i don't remember who won. i'm not the sort of person who can give you the name of every single teacher i had in every grade and every class. (props go out, however, to Mrs. Moutray, who let me create art for her bulletin boards and paint the old metal bathtub filled with pillows she kept in the room for us to read in.) i kind of floated around during elementary school. i was the kid who showed up to school dressed as the easter bunny... in november.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

freshen up!

i have redesigned my portfolio site.

it's (mostly) finished.

click on the pic above to check it out.

Teens In Trouble

...no, not that kind of trouble.

we're talking about working peril, the hazards of on-the-job.

here's a couple of spot illos from a series i did for a teen magazine.

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my mug

i hired a shutterbug--her name is May-Ying, she is a UT student--to take some fancy pants author type shots for me for book publicity and junk.

she did a bang-up job.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

hunchback. steve, the hunchback.

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a sketch from a gonzo long winded blog i wrote.

as suggested by chalker.

by request

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Don Imus. A Top Turkey 2007, so says the Fort Worth Star Telegram.

good call, K9.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Top Turkeys of 2007

for the last three years i have illustrated the Fort Worth Star Telegram's Top Turkeys feature.

it's pretty much what it sounds like. they feature the boneheads of the year previous.

on average it's 9-11 illustrations, most of them caricatures, and with a short time, a couple of days to turn them around.

here's a few of 2007's Top Turkeys.

Britney Spears

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she was the Top Turkey of the year, taking the grand prize.

Michael Vick

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Larry Craig

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you remember this guy. the senator who got busted in the bathroom for solicitation.

Fifty Cent

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Fitty was pretty sore when Kanye beat his record sales. didn't quit like he said he was gonna.

Miss Lohan

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...and while this mostly looks like Lindsey, this illo illustrates the perils of caricature. sometimes it's nailed in the rough comp stage, but loses something in color.

Youth Tube


here's a recently completed editorial illustration.

apparently there are "kid friendly" video websites where kids create all the content.*

in the roughs stage i provided them with an option for the kid diving out of the computer.

this is another one of those illo on the fringes of my "normal" style. (like the steampunk helicopter.)

*i loathe the death of the CRT. flat panel monitors aren't as fun to draw and because of their thinness don't offer as much interactivity opportunities.

also, i've just completed illustrations for my first international client (i have one in Canada, but, you know, that's still in the Americas), and my first card game.

Haim Shafir is an Israeli game designer. he's been at it for a while and has notoriety in Europe, in his home country, and among the boardgame community.

he loves what he's doing. that's the best kind of client. it made him a pleasure to work with.

(like most of what i am working on, this one's under an NDA, so i can't show you my work just yet. though you might run into him if you're at this month's Toy Fair in NYC. here's his website. here's an interview with him.)