It’s not often that I have no clue who I’m making an illustration for…but this is one of those cases. I was contacted by an agency who handles the art direction for multiple magazines. I was told to make an article about teachers who are resist change in the classroom. That’s it. I have no idea when this was published or where it was published, and many attempts to find out how have yielded no information whatsoever. I can’t complain, though; it was an enjoyable project and I was treated fairly. Still, part of me wonders if this illustration was for something top secret…
mybigblockedhead asked: Hello from the UK Michael! I love your work, it has really inspired and interested me! I was wondering what your process usually is from the time you have put down the pen and sketchpad? Is it a case of changed and minipulateing lines in illustrator or just straight onto photoshop with a scan for colouring and finishing off? Thanks a lot and keep doing what you do! Cheers - Zach.
Hi Zach! Generally, I draw my lines in a sketchbook then scan them into Photoshop. From there, I’ll break each element into a different layer that I can color and compose separately. One of my files typically has about 20-30 layers that includes colors, lines, textures, and various effects.
A couple of months ago I started working with Amazon Publishing on a series of covers for a weekly publication featuring up-and-coming writers. I’m excited to announce that the first of my covers hit the shelves (well, the online shelves) today. If you’re interested, you can find it here.
The cover is for a short story called The Bones, by Bridget Clerkin. It follows a narrator who learns of her cousin’s disquieting activities on the news. She reminisces about her childhood, and the troubling, psychopathic symptoms her cousin exhibited during a summer visit.
AD: Carmen Johnson
I had a great time doing this massive poster for OUYA Games, a new video game console company. I was chosen to work on the poster for The Amazing Frog? a crazy game where you’re a frog running around a city, playing with physics as you jump off buildings, bounce up to blimps, and and free fall all over the place. Looks like a lot of fun.
A sneak-peek from my book project
It’s been awhile since my last sketchbook update — here are some things I’ve been doodling. Some day, I’ll get around to coloring them.
My friend Paco Cantu just published a three-part piece
in Guernica Magazine about African immigration issues in the Netherlands. It’s a story that doesn’t really get any coverage outside of the Netherlands — but there are many interesting parallels with immigration issues here in the US. The piece is a collage of interviews, newspaper clippings, and other documentary elements.
Parts 2 and 3 of the story are furnished with some illustrations I’d done earlier in the year. I created a new piece for the first part, showing the intense interview process and the feelings of paranoia and anxiety that go with it. As somebody who struggled with the Dutch immigration services last year (though to a much, much lesser degree), working on the illustration brought back some memories of talking to stern people and waiting endless months for a residence permit.
Some fun stuff I’ve been working on at school.
Here’s an illustration I did for Hour Detroit Magazine. The article talks about personal histories and how many of Detroit’s citizens have lost the will to be part of any solution because all of the places that were once special to them, and to their families, are now gone or dilapidated. With nothing to root them to their home, these people have no reason to stay and find comfort in the suburbs. The point is a good one, and describes a problem that many cities are facing (including my old stomping grounds, St. Louis).
You can read the article here.
AD: Cassidy Zobl
School is in full swing and I’ve been busy working on some fun stuff. Here are a couple of pieces I did for class…
There’s a whole lot more to come, including a few commissioned images I’ll hopefully be able to post soon.