Picasso’s “Guernica” was the primary inspiration for the execution of the horse in my latest design, “Trigger Warning”. The hard part is balancing that expressive distortion with enough accurate anatomical observation to make things believable. This is true whether you’re creating a timeless and universal symbol of the suffering and devastation of war, or a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of the word “stable”.
Before you score, comment, or fund “Nopetarized”, my moving tribute to insouciant librarians and notaries public, it may interest you to know it took 3 separate sketchbook studies before I achieved what I’d intended, which was to discourage the guy next to me on the bus from starting a conversation.
Inspiration, sketch and finished art for “Stay Hungry”.
This guy always had a strange habit, the moment it became clear it was time to eat, of sprinting in tight circles and making a commotion of squeaks and yelps, right up until the food was placed in front of him. Then he’d remember he has to feed his dog.
It’s not hard to understand the evolution of this design, is it? Everybody loves fries. Some people like them with ketchup, others favor melted cheese and gravy. I myself prefer them twelve at a time in a dark room with no witnesses.
“SuperSeize the Day” is still up for scoring/commenting/funding for a few more days.
The initial sketches for my latest along with the finished designs, which are still scoring.
The layouts are a bit looser and the shapes a bit less “refined” than usual, as a result of being inspired by the Paul Rand (not Rand Paul) exhibition at The Museum of the City of New York (New York’s most cumbersomely named museum).
True story: At a Starbucks on the way home from the show, I asked the barista how the new “cold brew” was different from regular iced coffee. She said it’s stronger, and that it’s brewed for 20 hours. I said, “20 hours starting now? I’m not sure I have that kind of time.” The whole place exploded with the minimum amount of laughter required for politeness.
Here’s a peek at my process designing “Muted Affection”, for the Peanuts challenge.
True story: My brother happens to be a trombonist, so I have first hand knowledge of what it’s like to try to talk to someone and get those ridiculous noises in response.
My design “When a Mantis Loves a Woman” is shown here along with a few preliminary sketches and the behavior that inspired it.
Rejected titles include: Insecticide… Preying Mantis… Love, Eat, Prey… She’s a Mantiseater… Love Bites… Stand By Your Mantis
“Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance.”
- Jean-Paul Sartre
“Sorry, I think I already have plans that night.“
- person being invited to a dinner party by Jean-Paul Sartre
My design “Chaos Rains” is shown here in sketch form, along with the man who inspired it and the final product. It's still up for scoring/funding/commenting here.
The artistic process resulting in “Best Friends for Never” (still up for scoring/funding/commenting), was initially inspired by this incredibly catty exchange (pictured below) in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”.
Please inquire privately about my book club if you’d like to hear more of my thoughts on things I haven’t read.
Here’s an attempt to show you guys my thought process as I develop my ham-handed bic pen sketches into ham-handed finished designs using Adobe Illustrator.
“Fur Real” is still scoring/commenting/funding for the next few days.
It was important to get this one right because the drawing is going to be bald for me, Dorian Gray style, and then I can walk around looking just slightly less bald than the drawing for the rest of my life.
My latest design “Taco Eclipse of the Heart" was obviously inspired by the poor design of hard shell tacos and the Bonnie Tyler song with a similar title. You can still fund/score/comment for about a week. While you do that, perhaps I’ll start work on “Holding out for a Gyro”.
After sketching this idea, I Googled it to see if anyone else had thought of it. Turns out a number of people had, but they drew the grater. They all drew the grater. I thought to myself, everybody’s got it wrong…
Sometimes nobody asks what inspires my work, so let’s take my latest design "Embrace It" for an example. Here are the seeds of the idea:
1. This diorama at the Natural History Museum in New York
A couple of rough sketches and the finished designs they led to.
The internet was unambiguous in choosing it’s favorite, opting for the sweeter, more positive message. It is my personal promise to you as a designer that I will learn nothing form this.
Some preliminary sketchbook work that led to my design currently scoring on Threadless.
"Carbe Diem" is about pancakes, which according to recent studies, are among the leading causes of yolobesity in America.
Some rough preliminary sketches for my design "No-brainer", which is still scoring.
I’ve been watching “Walking Dead”, and I think my problem in a zombie apocalypse would be that I have no transferrable skills. I don’t know how to shoot a gun or build a fire, and holding forth on mid-century American figurative expressionist painters would be of limited utility under those circumstances.
Things that suck:
2. my preliminary sketches
Carefully honing my message.
Sometimes I imagine having to go back in time, meet my ancestors (who, in this fantasy, look and sound like Topol as Tevye in the 1971 film version of ”Fiddler on the Roof”), and explain to them what I do for a living.
"A drawing is simply a line going for a walk." - Paul Klee
So true… but in my drawings, during the course of the walk, the line inadvertently steps on a rake causing the handle to strike him in the face and break his glasses.
Another set of perfectly good rough sketches that I ruined by finishing them.
This set of sketches demonstrates:
a.) …how I develop and refine an idea, working towards clear and effective communication.
b.) …that I draw like I’m in the 2nd grade.
My two latest designs are about social media. Here they are again, along with some prelim sketches and a helpful example of a selfie, featuring actor James Franco.
You may laugh at Mr. Franco, but I found this pic on the tiger’s Facebook page with the message, “PURRRFECT day with J.F.! #feelingblessed #nomakeup”
It made me cringe a little, but I “liked” it because no one else had, you know?
More preliminary sketches. A peek inside my process for the zero people who were thinking, “How did he do that?”
"Drawing is putting a line (a)round an idea." - Henri Matisse
"In drawing, nothing is better than the first attempt." - Pablo Picasso
"[A] quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself, always a laborious business." - A.A. Milne
"I start with rough sketches, usually done when I’m out and about, and they look terrible. Really. My sketchbook is an absolute eyesore." - Me
More of the precise draftsmanship and effortless finesse you’d expect in the preliminary sketches of a professional artist.
DaVinci-esque preliminary sketches for 3 of my Girly Collection subs.