Monday, September 24, 2018

The Tale of the Midnight Madness.

Next up in the series is one of my favorite episodes ever because it features NOSFERATU! This episode deals with a failing theater called the Rialto, but Dr. Vink shows up (Fink? VINK! With a vuh, vuh, vuh and he is NOT a nut bag!) and he says the solution is in his hands. He gives them a movie of his and says to run it and their problems will be solved, but in doing so, he wants one night a week to show his movies. Well, they put it aside and forget about it, but one day, the film they are showing messes up and they have no choice, but to put Dr. Vink's movie on. Turns out, it's NOSFERATU: THE DEMON VAMPIRE and it is a HUGE hit! Of course, I can't ruin the whole thing, but it gets scary pretty fast and it's awesome.

Friday, September 21, 2018

The Tale of the Thirteenth Floor.

I'm doing a mini series of illustrations based on some of (what I know are) the top Are You Afraid of the Dark? episodes. This is also seen over on my newest project that I've started on Instagram, @theillustrated90s, and I put a lot of work into it. I draw everything out, scan it, and color it digitally in Photoshop. For those of you unfamiliar with this particular episode, it's from Season 2 and it's episode 4. It's about this brother and adopted sister that live on the 12th floor of an apartment complex and they always go up to the 13th floor to play floor hockey. Well, one night, a toy company opens on the 13th floor and a lot of stuff happens, but the ending is a real twist. I'm not going to ruin it for those of you that haven't seen it, but give it a watch. Do we really know people the way we think we do?

Monday, June 25, 2018

Cards!

So, I've been making a few cards lately and I'm pretty stoked about it. The first one was to a dear friend of mine, Gabi, that has been really supportive and there for me a lot. She loves giraffes and Beyonce so I tried to combine the two, but really it just looks like a fancy card. The second card was for my darling Matt Benyo because his birthday was Saturday! One of his favorite movies is Clue so I chose a scene he's quite fond of and made this card. Click to enlarge to check out the details. I apologize for the lopsidedness. These are from photos that I took!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Makar!

I made a little Makar card for my sister's birthday. He's from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and he's a cute little kokiri that I adore. I asked her what she wanted for her birthday and she said a Makar card with a bunch of childhood memories inside. Well, I nailed both, I think. It's funny because I started this with an idea in mind, but it didn't go where I thought it would. I did, however, use Casein paint for the first time and I love how smooth it is. I put cardboard under him so he's kind of 3D and yeah! Check it out! Click to enlarge!

Saturday, June 2, 2018

"Let The Past Die."

I started this portrait right after I saw The Last Jedi back in december, but then life got in the way. Well, I jumped back at it and I am IN LOVE with the way it turned out. Gotta give props where they're due: Matt Benyo totally came up with the idea for the background! It's that awesome backdrop from every 90's kid's yearbook photo, BUT they're little lightsabers! So cool. I think when you can geek out over your own work, you know you did a good job. So, I did two versions: one with the helmet and one without. If you're interested in purchasing a print, let me know! Click to enlarge!


Friday, March 9, 2018

Happy Birthday, Shelby!

Whipped up this Harry Potter Luna Lovegood birthday card for my little sister's birthday. Her birthday isn't until March 22nd, but we met early since she's busy and so am I. She loved it and much like her favorite character, Shelby has a very unique way of seeing the world and the magic that is in it. I did this weeks ago and couldn't wait for her to see it so I could post it. I used watercolor, markers, and micron pens to make this card. Happy birthday, Shelby! I love you!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Why So Serious?


10 years ago, at the ripe age of 20, I learned about love and loss. I know how dramatic that sounds, but if you understood my obsession with Heath Ledger, his work, and The Dark Knight trilogy, it wouldn’t sound dramatic at all. I will never forget being in History of American Illustration and yelling out in the middle of class that Heath Ledger was dead which then started a frenzy of checking phones and phone calls. I called my mom, on the verge of hysterics. She understood. She always understood my passions and my love, when I didn’t fully understand it. Anyone that saw me or knew me could attest to my love and sadness. That year, I saw The Dark Knight A LOT. I threw a Dark Knight gallery show at the U245 gallery on my college’s campus where I proudly came dressed as the joker. His loss lit a fire in me. His death inspired me to capture him as much as possible. I created one of my beginning pieces in Illustrator 10 years ago (click here). I remember being so proud of that piece. Today, I am so thrilled to revisit both Heath Ledger and Illustrator and really do both justice. I’ve watched these movies so many times that I can run circles around anyone that wants to quote them. His costume is something that feels so familiar to me because of how long I’ve spent looking at it. I finished this last night at 4 am and while I know I say ‘this is the best piece ever’, this time I can say I have never been more proud of a piece. Maybe it’s because it feels so personal to me or because of the significance of it, but on the 10th anniversary of Heath Ledger’s passing, I wanted to make something incredible. I did two versions of this piece and while I wish he hadn’t passed, I’m grateful for the work he left behind that continues to inspire me to this day. RIP Heath Ledger and thank you. Click to enlarge to check these pieces out. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Always.

OKAY. I have officially created the greatest piece I've ever made. I know I say that a lot, but with the amount of time that I spent working on this portrait in Illustrator, I swear it's true. Harry Potter is obviously the greatest ever. At work, we've been alternating between the first three movies for weeks. It doesn't get old and it's still one of the best series created. I did a Snape 8 years ago in Photoshop as a cut out and looking at the two next to each other, I'm blown away by how far I've come. (Check the old one out by clicking HERE!) I love that as artists, we are always improving. The more we do/make, the better we become. It's great to see yourself progress and evolve over the years and that no matter how much time goes by, you can still surprise yourself. So, after WEEKS, I proudly present  Severus Snape, head of Slytherin house, and the best Harry Potter character. He has MANY layers because he is a very layered individual and I put all of my passion into this. I could honestly talk about him all day, but click to enlarge to check out the details and to see the underlying work involved. I wish my dad was here because this would really blow Charles away. He'd say "WOW" and tell me it was "Unbelievable" about 30 times, but while I am lacking in the dad department and missing his support, I have a lot of really amazing people that support me and I am beyond words grateful for that. Thank you for believing in me after all this time.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Moonage Daydream.

Two days ago, I set out to complete a portrait of David Bowie for the anniversary of his death. I'm happy to say I finished it at 1:30 am! I put everything I had in to this. I wanted to make it bright and colorful because Bowie is one of the brightest in space. He's the stardust and his music keeps him alive even though he's gone. He will always be a pioneer, an inspiration, and an artist in the truest sense of the word. Today, we remember the icon we lost 2 years ago. I hope I did him justice. The most special thanks to Matt Benyo for helping me fine tune this piece including the ideas to keep it primary and to give it the white frame. Click to enlarge!


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

"Mornings Are For Coffee & Contemplation!"

I was looking for good quotes from Stranger Things 2 that Hopper said and this one stands out: "I'm just curious why all of a sudden you look like some kind of MTV punk." However, the best is when Eleven tells him he got into a nice man's truck and he raises his voice. That's the best. Anyway, next up in my series of random Illustrator portraits is Jim Hopper. He's EASILY one of the best characters on the show. I wanted to play with shadows and complementary colors. I've been working away at this a little each day and today I said I wanted to finish it and I did. Check it out. Click to enlarge. Matt Benyo gets major credit for the background. Anyone know the significance? It's clever.


Friday, December 1, 2017

Mouth Breather.

Over the past few weeks, I've been working away at this, but it was the biggest challenge I've had in awhile. I told Matt a few days ago, I was just going to delete it. I'm glad I didn't. I loved season 2 of Stranger Things. It made me cry and I loved so many of the characters and fell in love with Billy.  I was also into Eleven's makeover. Super excited for season 3 and to move onto the next portrait. I wanted to make sure I got SOMETHING Stranger Things done. Maybe there's more. Stay tuned and click to enlarge!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

"This is the REALLY scary part!"

Matt Benyo and I recently watched What We Do in the Shadows for the first time and it was a game changer. I didn't think it was possible to enjoy a movie as much as I enjoy this one. It's great from the characters to the improv to the concept; I'm telling you, it's THE BEST. So, Petyr inspired me and I made him. My second favorite character is Viago played by Taika Waititi. He just directed the newest Thor movie: Ragnarok (in which he has a cameo). He's just quirky, funny, and awesome so I spent weeks working on this piece in illustrator that I am FINALLY EXCITED TO UNVEIL. I was planning on doing him in black and white to match Petyr, but then I turned into a maniac. This was a TON of work. Here's the finished piece (click to enlarge) complete with wallpaper I thought you'd find in Viago's study and also note the understructure of the beast that I've included.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Letter to my Father.


Dear Charles, A lot has happened in the year since you’ve left. Mostly I think about what life would be like if you weren’t gone and realize how much time I took for granted while you still were. I got a tattoo of you in March and I know you never loved that I had tattoos, but I think even you would appreciate this one. I turned 30 this year and I had the best birthday of my life. If you had been here, it would’ve been perfect. I got surgery on my leg because you constantly told me to take care of myself. I took mom out to see Engelbert and she told me it was the first time she could remember being happy in a long time. While I’ve been having some great moments, I have more dark days than I’d like to admit. This year, I fell into the worst depression I’ve ever had. It has been a struggle to maintain some sense of normalcy and I wonder if I will ever actually be okay again. Last month, I forgot you were gone and thought to call you, but then it hit me that I couldn’t and it felt like ice. I have a hard time remembering simple things and I forget a lot, too. Today has been one whole year since you’ve been gone. I wondered how I would make it through a year, but I know that if you could talk to me right now, you’d tell me I’m a fool because I have let my sadness stop me from living. In The Dark Knight, Alfred reminds Bruce to endure and that’s what I have to do, even if I don’t want to. You always told me to live and adventure. We can get more of everything except time and I know you always wanted me to make the most of mine. In your memory, I swear I’m going to. Where are you, dad? I wish you were here to eat all of the candy we’d collect that we didn’t want aka all of mine that had nuts, but this is the first of many reunions on this day, in some way, each and every year. Come visit me tonight when the veil between the two worlds blurs. My eyes and heart are open to you. Happy Halloween, Dadalooie.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Petyr!

Matt Benyo has been begging me to make art. We spend all year looking forward to Drawlloween, but I lost my spark. I had no motivation to do much of anything; much less art. However, about a week ago, Matt and I were watching What We Do in the Shadows (and if you haven't seen it, there's no other movie I'd recommend you see more) and inspiration struck! One of the characters, Petyr, is inspired by Nosferatu and I love Nosferatu so, I took to Adobe Illustrator and created this masterpiece. That's a bold word to use, but I truly believe this is one of the greatest pieces I have ever created. I am so proud of it! The last image is the underlying lines used in illustrator to create it. It's nuts! I'm going to try to make some more October pieces. Check it out and click to enlarge to really appreciate the shapes and details!


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Batman!

I made a mixed media birthday card for a friend. It's of Batman. It was the first time I sat down to do anything since the board I made for my Joy friends and it was hard. It was really hard, actually. I have felt creatively stifled, but I used my hands and painted some bristol board, cut it up, and made this card. It didn't come out the way I wanted it to, but I don't hate it either. Here's to some upcoming work, though.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Vince & Selené.

In 2005 when I was a freshman at the College for Creative Studies, I met a guy named Vince Joy. Vince Joy became one of my best friends in college and we remained close afterwards. Since graduating, I have visited Vince a few times in New York City and now he is back here in Michigan. He is married to one of the coolest girls I've ever met: Selené. You've never seen two people go together as perfectly as these two do. I have enjoyed watching my friendship with Vince grow deeper and have truly loved getting to know Selené because she is wise and wonderful. Anyway, yesterday was their wedding anniversary (the same day as my nephew's birthday). They have been married for 5 years! Selené got ahold of me a few months back and asked if I would make one of the Smorgasboards for them for their anniversary. I was so honored to be asked! I worked at it little by little, but put in a ton of work this past week. I used sharpies and microns (mostly microns) to really get in there and do some insane detail. My favorite part is that church. Fun fact, it took me 3 hours to do it and it's maybe the size of my palm. Yesterday we surprised Vince by showing up to their house to hand deliver it on their anniversary. It was magical. Click to enlarge and check this thing out!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Lil Robot Cards!

It's been awhile, but I am still here. I am alive. I am still making art! Matt Benyo and I just wrapped up some work and I whipped up these little thank you cards to show our generosity. You know I love me some robots. So, I made each robot with their own little piece of the person's personality that it would be delivered to. I used microns and then I watercolored it to look like a print. Click to enlarge!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

30th Birthday Round Up!

Man, what a whirlwind. My life has been absolutely awesome. The past two weeks, I've been celebrating my birthday. I went to Nashville for delicious food, stopped by Chicago so Matt could meet Lita, got the best birthday surprise of my life (a video that Matt Benyo put together of all of my awesome friends wishing me a happy birthday/including a memory/just saying super nice things about me), my mom cooked me dinner and dessert, got a tattoo on my birthday (thanks to Matt) to commemorate the start of this new decade, and I finally met/pet/fed A SLOTH. Pinch me, man. I ALSO whipped up a little Red Velvet mini cake from paper (in case you missed it). So, here's some photos of my best moments. Click to enlarge and thank you to everyone that helped make this the best birthday I've ever had.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Taco Tuesday!

Today is Taco Tuesday so what better than a lil mini taco for the occasion? Matt Benyo and I celebrated accordingly by eating at Taco Bell after work. This was actually super hard to make because anytime I went to stand it up, it would fall over and eventually I just took the photo with the taco contents spilled out because I had to put them all back in by layer and it took forever. The cheese was a real pain, but I really loved this lil guy. Matt did me the honor of editing the photos so they looked awesome. Click to enlarge and I hope you had a great Taco Tuesday! I'm going to finish mine with a slice of Key Lime Pie that my mom made for Easter (Thanks, Mom! I love it)! Also, mom, since I know you're going to read this, can we have tacos for my birthday? I love your tacos and banana pudding.