Friday, January 30, 2009

Eagle Tshirt design

Music listening to: random playlist-currently White Stripes.
Here's another T-shirt design I want to print. I can't quite figure out what words to put in the banner. Can you help? I WAS thinking clever - tongue firmly in cheek, but I slept on it and now am thinking maybe something philosophical like what you'd see on a tattoo or something. Possibilities: FAITH HOPE LOVE, TRUTH EQUALS FREEDOM, TASTES LIKE CHICKEN, BANNERS KILL EAGLES. Just joking ... but maybe. I am torn. Any better ideas? Please give me your two cents! I am meeting with the T-shirt printing gurus at Czar Graphics today to see how they can help my designs become wearable. Wow, I feel like a real entrepreneur (French for "business man").

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Wynton Marsalis

I did this painting in November of one of my all time favorite musicians. This one has been my favorite jazz musician since junior high when I was learning the trumpet - Wynton Marsalis.

Here's a little background:
Born in New Orleans into a Jazz family. He has done a ton of work through music education and is an expert in jazz history (appearing in the Ken Burns "Jazz" documentary). He is a virtuoso in trumpet performance, but also he is an amazing composer winning the Pulitzer Prize for Music, the first time it has been awarded for a jazz recording.

So the apple in my painting represents his involvement with education and even the worm in the apple is inspired to play music by just being near the guy. Mr. Marsalis is still an inspiration to me after all those years since junior high. I frequently listen to his music while I paint and I just recently picked up my trumpet again after letting it sit for 10 years. Check him out, maybe you'll be inspired too!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Keep on Truckin'

Music I'm listening to as I type provided by: Dr. Dog's album "We All Belong"
I tried something new with this T-shirt design (top) by drawing all-digital! I've used a pen and Wacom tablet in Illustrator before but it has always seemed cumbersome because it tries to fill in the strokes and I couldn't get the pressure sensitivity to work right. But I saw a Photoshop tutorial from a GoMedia enewsletter with some recommended settings and it worked beautifully.

The theme again came from my friend Adam for a T-shirt and/or bandanna idea for a church youth retreat. Originally we thought a retro '80s cheesy shirt would be fun, but after the Ascend shirt went over so well, I thought I would do something more fashion-oriented similar to Ed Hardy graphic clothing. Without the skulls and knives of course.

I started with the acrylic truck painting that I did last year originally for my 2-yr-old son's bedroom (which after I finished it thought it looks too scary for someone who's 2). Opened the file in Photoshop and made a layer over it and traced the basic outline of the truck using the Wacom pen and tablet. Then turned off the painting layer and filled in details with simple hatching marks. Made another layer and drew the banner and lettering freehand and then that was it. It's nice drawing with the pen tablet because you can also erase with the same pressure sensitivity so I ended up with a scratchboard effect. I'll have to play around with placement on the shirt and ink and shirt colors of course, but it has potential.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


This is a T-shirt I had made recently and am thinking of ordering reprints to start selling on my site.

This design is inspired by the poem "The Lark Ascending" by George Meredith (1828–1909) introduced to me by my friend Adam who likes words (and cameras). I had sketched several images to illustrate this idea from an octopus holding a balloon to a cheesy heart morphing into a bird, but this idea seemed most simple and direct.

Then came the challenge of how to produce the image. I decided I liked the imperfectness of the sketch with wings not quite in proportion and decided the only way to get the same effect while refining my sketch was to work in a medium I had little control over. So I made the bird out of paper that I carefully tore into a bird shape then used scissors to cut long, jagged cuts for the flight trail.

To make the one color ink look like the image was made out of paper, I wadded up a piece of the same paper and scanned it and traced it in Illustrator. I then placed it over the graphic to give it a kind of handmade texture that I would never be able to plan.

I really loved working with my hands on this one to make a simple image more appealing. All in all I think it has a generic positive message to keep looking up and rise above your circumstances for a new point of view. Anyway, I hope to get this available to sell soon. More to come.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Stuff Coming Soon!

I am planning on making t-shirts to sell from my Web site ( sometime in the coming weeks/months. Currently looking at a couple of options for a shopping cart. Working on translating my paintings to vector to take it easy on the screen printer. Do you have any requests for images that might look good on a shirt? Also coming up with designs and funny words to add to the mix. It's going to be a crazy ride, folks!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New business card

I had some new business cards printed up for the new year. 2009 is going to be a good year. I can feel it! I had a week and a half off of work for the holidays and thought I would get a lot of work done on some creative stuff. I finally did my last night of vacation. This blog is the result of my efforts. Hey, it's a good start.