December 30, 2011

New York Times: Twenty Eleven

NY Times: Hikers Op-Ed
In September when the imprisoned hikers in Iran were nearing release I was in the process of moving and got a call from Aviva Michaelov at the New York Times to illustrate an Op-Ed by the co-founder of Lonely Planet Tony Wheeler. It was an interesting piece about the perceptions of the dangers of traveling the world. Ultimately the article did not run, but the quick turnaround provided the opportunity to go completely brush and ink which is always fun.

 I've really enjoyed working with the Times on illustrations for some significant events of the past year. Below are some of the letters pieces for revolts in Egypt, the torture debate, solitary confinement, and the withdrawal of U.S. Troops from Iraq.
NY Times: Tahrir Square Op-Ed NY Times: Torture Op-Ed NY Times: Solitary Confinement Op-Ed NY Times: Iraq Letters Op-Ed

December 23, 2011

December 9, 2011

Granta: Bonfire

Granta "Bonfire" Illustration
The upcoming "Exit Strategies" issue of GRANTA has a short fiction piece, entitled "Bonfire," by David Long that I got a call to illustrate. The story traces the narrator's memory of a passionate but fleeting Fourth of July rendezvous from years earlier, leaving the reader with an interesting mix of exhilaration and loss. The sketches below were my first impression of the story, but after discussing it with the art director and editor, we revised the composition so as to touch on more of the fading embers of the memory of love lost than the night itself. Also, I did an interview with Daniela Silva about illustrating the Roberto Bolaño stories which is now online at Granta's site.

November 21, 2011

Granta: Horror

"The Colonel's Son" Illustration
Over the past year, I've had the opportunity to illustrate several short fiction pieces by Roberto Bolaño for the literary magazine Granta. A few weeks after working on the watercolor illustration (above) for the short Bolaño story, "The Colonel's Son," art director, Michael Salu, asked if I would be interested in collaborating on a motion comic he had in mind to tie the short story and issue in with their digital readership. Time was short, but having already read through and sequentially visualized much of the story, it sounded too interesting to pass up.
Granta Horror: "The Colonel's Son" Scene01
The animation is now live at, and here are some samples of the finished layered illustrations, which were all inked digitally using Manga Studio (which I've just recently begun using inspired by the amazing illustration work of Asaf Hanuka).
Granta Horror: "The Colonel's Son" Scene02
Many thanks to Jocabola, David Bonas, Sorgerune and the visionary Michael Salu for the collaboration.

October 26, 2011

Seattle Met: "Diary of a Deadly Year"

Seattle Met "Diary of a Deadly Year" illustration
Last month, I had the opportunity to work on an illustration for the Seattle Met Magazine's November Issue on an article about a sudden spike in murder rates in Yakima County, Washington in 2010.  The illustration's job was to both narrate a specific attack as well as convey the tone of shock from the string of 29 killings in a population of only 89,000.

Below are sketches we worked through to develop the direction (the first couple thumbnails in this case were done on my phone) and the final artwork and headline treatment from the magazine by André Mora and Chris Skiles, which is on stands now.
Seattle Met "Diary of a Deadly Year" sketches Seattle Met "Diary of a Deadly Year" spread

September 27, 2011

Washington Post: September Medical Mystery

Washington Post::  September Medical Mystery
The September installment of the "Medical Mysteries" series is out in today's Washington Post, with an interesting story about a young boy's sudden, inexplicable development of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive tics.  As with the previous illustrations in the series, the design was to convey the symptoms as well as the culprit, which in this case interestingly enough was an autoimmune neuropsychological disorder's (PANDAS) response to to a bacterial strep infection.
Washington Post:: September Medical Mystery Sketches
Above are the thumbnails and finished sketches, attempting to convey fever symptoms from different angles as well as his symptoms of severe anxiety.  Art Direction by Brad Walters.

September 8, 2011

Saturday Evening Post: "Yesterday's Garbage"

Saturday Evening Post illustration
Earlier in the summer I got a call to work on a short fiction piece for the Saturday Evening Post September/October issue.  The story by Jon Hassler is entitled "Yesterday's Garbage" and follows a garbage man through an unexpectedly macabre turn of events in suburban Minnesota.  Below is the smaller second illustration that accompanies the text, as well as some of the sketches for the full-page piece.  Art Direction by Brian Sanchez.
  Saturday Evening Post quarter page  illustrationSaturday Evening Post sketches

August 30, 2011

Washington Post: August Medical Mystery

Washington Post: August Medical Mystery
For the past few months I've been illustrating an ongoing "Medical Mysteries" column by Sandra G. Boodman in the Washington Post's Health & Science section. This month's piece, follows a newborn whose unusual delays in development elude doctors and specialists for years until an unlikely genetic cause is discovered. Below are the thumbnails and sketches, the challenge being how to distill down both the symptoms and the culprit comfortably in the composition while still retaining the uncertainty of the story. Art Direction by Brad Walters.
Washington Post: August Medical Mystery Process

August 17, 2011

Boston Globe: "This Beautiful Life"

Boston Globe "This Beautiful Life" illustration
Here is a small illustration I did for last weekend's Boston Globe Book Review of the novel "This Beautiful Life" by Helen Schulman.  The review traces the path of a family newly transplanted by the father's career into an affluent Manhattan lifestyle, and crisis that emerges against the unfamiliar upper-class backdrop.  Below are the rough ballpoint thumbnail ideas and then the more legible sketches that were submitted.  Art Direction by Jane Martin.
Boston Globe "This Beautiful Life" sketches

August 12, 2011

July Sketchbook

France_Moleskine01 France_Moleskine02 2011_05_17_notebook01 2011_07_27_Notebook02 2011_08_03_Notebook01
Above are some sketchbook pages from the past couple months.  Additionally the original 5"x7" painting below is for sale through Gallery Nucleus' "Power in Numbers" show with all proceeds going to UNICEF.

August 8, 2011

Ten Thousand Saints

"Ten Thousand Saints" LA Times Book Review Illustration
Illustration and idea sketches for the LA Times book review of the novel "Ten Thousand Saints" by Elanor Henderson.  Art Direction by Judith Pryor.
"Ten Thousand Saints" LA Times Book Review sketches

June 30, 2011

American Trypanosoma

American Trypanosoma: one
American Trypanosoma: two
American Trypanosoma: three

A series of illustrations from a side project that's been in the works.

June 24, 2011

Illustration Now! Portraits

Illustration Now! Portraits Cover
Just got a copy of the new Taschen Illustration Now! Portraits book in the mail.  I have a couple pages in the book alongside an humbling collection of work by eighty illustrators and edited by Julius Wiedemann. The first section of the book is available to browse through on the Taschen site.  (Cover illustration by the always cool Raphael Vicenzi.)
Illustration Now! Portraits p.1
Illustration Now! Portraits p.2

June 22, 2011


Two-color illustration for a short fiction piece by Roberto Bolano in the "Aliens" issue of Granta Magazine.  Much thanks to Michael Salu (and Roberto Bolano) for such consistently rich source material.
Beach sketches

June 20, 2011

Idris Elba

GQ Idris Elba illustration
Working on a portrait of Idris Elba for this month's issue of British GQ reminded me how much fun just hitting the page with a brush and ink and some flat colors can be.  Below are the sketch ideas inspired mainly by his role on the BBC crime thriller "Luther" with a little super hero thrown in since his role in "Thor" was kicking around the back of my mind while working.

Also in case anyone's interested the original artwork for this piece, along with a few other paintings is now available for purchase at
GQ Idris Elba sketches
GQ Idris Elba page

June 15, 2011

Medical Mysteries

Washington Post Medical Mysteries: June
Over the past couple months I've been illustrating the Medical Mysteries column for the Washington Post Health page.  The articles are on real-life cases where symptoms and conditions lead to unexpected revelations with some false-leads along the way.  From an illustration standpoint it's been an interesting challenge to try to distill the long-term situations into a single dramatic reenactment that contain the condition, the suspects and the culprit, all without giving too much of the ending away.  The June mystery (out yesterday) is about a man who's was repeatedly admitted to the hospital after suffering serious symptoms of liver cirrhosis and diabetes; below are the rough thumbnail ideas and then the sketches which lead to the finish above.
Washington Post Medical Mysteries: June Process
The second illustration below was for the May Medical Mystery about a wedding photographer suffering from a debilitating skin condition and potential culprits from her daily life.  Art Directed by the always great Brad Walters.
Washington Post Medical Mysteries: May Process
Washington Post Medical Mysteries: May

May 31, 2011

Forgetting Why We Remember

New York Times OpEd Memorial Print
Here is an illustration I did for an Op-Ed piece by David W. Blight in yesterday's New York Times. The article was on the largely unknown beginnings of the Memorial Day tradition in America, and the events surrounding the first recorded gathering to mourn the losses of the Civil War in 1865.

Below are the quick ballpoint thumbnail ideas, and then the two more realized sketches from there, and then the finished ink wash painting. Much thanks to Aviva Michaelov for the always inspiring assignments.
New York Times OpEd Memorial Sketches
New York Times OpEd Memorial Illustration

May 17, 2011

To End All Wars

"To End All Wars" illustration
Here is an illustration I did for Sunday's Boston Globe Book Review of To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 by Adam Hochschild.  The review highlighted the complexities and political ramifications of the first World War.  Instead of attempting to capture an elaborate, global concept, I thought it would be interesting to focus on the effects on the individual soldiers, who, due to the breakdown of technology and resources, were left in unprotected trenches with only rudimentary equipment and supplies to survive.
"To End All Wars" sketches
"To End All Wars" process
"To End All Wars" Review