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December 28, 2011

Ramen Music #8 Cover

Ramen Music issue #8 came out last week, and once again it has one of my illustrations on the cover.  You can listen to the entire issue for free, by following this link.  As usual, it is chock-full of all sorts of interesting new music, all wrapped up in a beautifully designed, interactive package.

For this image, I used an old idea that has been haunting my sketchbooks for years.  Originally the concept was to have a spiral of three-dimensional lettering floating above a birds-eye view of some sort of scene.  When I started sketching ideas for these Ramen Music covers, it occurred to me that I could have the piano keyboard spiral down, instead of lettering.  By extending the spiral endlessly, I'm hoping this image will hint at the infinite possibilities presented by the keys of a piano.

I still have one more Ramen Music cover which has not been used yet, so we'll see when they choose to break it out... hopefully some time in 2012!

December 21, 2011

Sketchbook XI

As many of you probably saw on my personal blog, I finished my first graphic novel last week.  This lined up almost perfectly with the end of the semester at CCS, and as luck would have it, I also finished off my tenth sketchbook yesterday.  Since I'm officially on Winter Break now, I spent today building a new sketchbook from scratch.

As you can see here, I covered it with an old flannel of mine that was starting to fall apart.  I cut out the pocket from the shirt and sewed it on the front to hold pens and scraps of paper.  I did the same thing with my 9th sketchbook.  If you are interested in making a sketchbook of your own, check out my Flickr set with step-by-step instructions and links to all of the tutorials I use.  It's really fun and imbues your sketchbook with a lot of personality.

Probably my favorite part of making a custom sketchbook is picking the paper.  I chose some yellow copy paper that I have had lying around forever.  The cheapness of the paper frees me from being too worried about the quality of work that goes on in here.  I believe sketchbooks are a place to experiment and have fun.  In the back I put some nicer drawing paper, which I will use for quick brush pen illustrations.  I often do final work right in my sketchbook, instead of on loose bristol.

Next week I'll get back to posting actual art... maybe something from these very pages!  Happy holidays everyone.

December 14, 2011

Not in Harry's Name! Chocolate Frog Card #5

For my last Chocolate Frog Card, I got to depict one of my all-time favorite scenes in the Harry Potter books, when Harry turns his back on the Minister of Magic and walks away.  It was the perfect moment for these cards, because Harry stands up to authority and fights for his rights.

This moment was also turned into one of my favorite songs, by one of my favorite bands, Harry and the Potters.  Check out track 9 on their album The Power of Love to hear this moment musically rendered.  Fingers crossed that they'll play this at the Yule Ball this weekend in Boston.  I will be there!

Remember, the Harry Potter Alliance is still selling their fair trade chocolate frogs, so order a box if you would like to get a collectable card with one of these illustrations on it.  The chocolates make great holiday gifts!

December 7, 2011

Not in Harry's Name! Chocolate Frog Card #4

For this week's Chocolate Frog Card I got to draw my favorite Harry Potter character, Albus Dumbledore.  I chose the scene from the end of book five for two reasons: 1) It is the only time in the books that Dumbledore faces off against Tom Riddle in a wizard's duel.  Of course Dumbledore is the stronger wizard and Riddle flees.  2) In an effort to shield Harry, Dumbledore also destroys the offensive statue in the lobby of the Ministry of Magic, which depicts wizards as being a superior race to elves and centaurs and goblins.

Next week I'll post my last illustration for these cards (one guess who it will feature!).  Don't forget you can still order The HPA's fair trade chocolate frogs from their shop.  They make a nice holiday gift, and you'll get one of these cards as well!