Friday, November 30, 2007

we're soaking in it

I made this yesterday morning for my friend Alonso. Every year he makes an audio fruitcake for all of his friends. This year's title is "You're Soaking In It." I can't wait to hear it!

Going Away

One of my favorite people threw me a fantastic going-away party my last weekend in Detroit. Thanks, Mauricio!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Detroit Free Press: We gotta get out of this place

September 16, 2007

This is my last Free Press Editorial cover illustration.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Detroit Free Press: The Case for Preschool

published July 29, 2007

This is the first time I ever art-directed a child. Good job, kiddo!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Detroit Free Press: Remembering the Riots

published July 22, 2007
The weekend papers were full of riot-related stories, many illustrated with archival photos. I wanted to take a different approach, as did the Editorial page editors, who wanted to refocus on the Detroit of today, and the ways the city is still failing to pull it together, and what we can do now to fix the city. The first idea I had was ambitious and stupid; I wanted to render a page turning, with the front page from that day in 1967 giving way to a page in our 2007 paper. I sketched it out in illustrator, but it was pretty clear that the idea was...unclear. And cliched. And would require a lot of tedious photoshop that I honestly wasn't up for. The next idea I had was to set the whole page up super-typically, with a nice aerial shot of city front and center, and the text dropping below not unlike it is in the current version, but with a giant, looming '1967' shadow casting across the page. Ultimately, I couldn't find an aerial photo in the archives I was happy with. Then I went to my fall-back "What would Week In Review Do?" Something simple. So I did this. I like it.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Detroit Free Press: Sundays in July

Up top is a spot illustration I did for Ron Dzwonkowski's Sunday column about the misconception that men know how to grill safely and effectively. Below is an On Point front that featured Free Press columnist Rochele Riley and introduced and roundtable discussion among five recent Detroit-area high school graduates, on race, moderated by Rochele.

Monday, June 11, 2007

illustration: The Giving Tree

published April 8, 2007
This illustration accompanied a column by Editorial Page Editor Ron Dzwonkowski that memorialized his friend and longtime Free Press Publisher Neal Shine, who passed away April 3, 2007.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Detroit Free Press: Regionalism

published June 10 2007
this illustration was made from scratch, and was my favorite photoshop challenge ever. it took me about four tries to before i figured out how make the puzzle pieces , and then lots of versioning before i got them scattered the way I liked. I strugged with detail - should i have included freeway markers and smaller cities like Farmington Hills, St. Clair Shores and Royal Oak? Or would the inclusion of those specifics made the whole image too complex and unreadable? I think I could have done more with it, but I'm really happy with the way it turned out.

Detroit Free Press: Celebrate Michigan

published June 3, 2007
This 23-page special travel section was a massive team effort. I was the designer and illustrator. David Pierce did the graphics. Mauricio Gutierrez and Steve Dorsey provided fantastic feedback and direction. I pitched about ten cover ideas, and we narrowed it down to two ideas: 1) a souvenir t-shirt, that would have read "my Free Press went to sixty festivals, four beaches, eighteen architectural sites, etc., and all i got was this awesome summer vacation guide". we would have styled and shot a model, then created and distressed the shirt design in photoshop. 2)a typographic map which would serve as a promotional poster and an index. We picked the second. I drank a ton of coffee, then wrote the whole thing in illustrator, using an incomplete budget as a guideline, adding excerpts from books we covered, and a lot of random exclamations, like 'wear sunscreen!' and 'out of sight!' (which was also one of the many films we covered which was shot in michigan). a lot of the cheekier copy was cut, but the tone is still fun and vibrant. the illustrations are all mine. I was especially happy to add a drawing of my favorite beat-up Eames shell chair that I bought for fifty bucks off a sidewalk in Silverlake, when I was living in Los Angeles. It was made in Michigan, like I was!

Detroit Free Press: Real ID

published May 27, 2007
photos by photodisc

Detroit Free Press: VA Tech shootings

published April 29, 2007

this was my third pitch for this four-part editorial. originally, I wanted to do a 'connect-the-dots' kind of thing, when it seemed the story would be focused on how the different supporting players (the parents, police, classmates, etc), might have seen this disaster coming. that sketch (which i unfortunately recycled) showed bullet holes piercing the paper, connecting to form the image of a student with a gun (which I recycled in a secondary illustration, shown below). The second pitch was a maze metaphor: how would a student make his way past so many obstacles set up to prevent such a massacre? in that image, the killer would have knocked the walls down and barreled straight into the center, which would have been an open classroom with a few desks and chairs strewn around. in the end, the hurdles seemed like the clearest image, with the closest visual tie to a student, via the track suit. it's not the image i liked the best, but i think it was the most direct, and it implies a velocity/inevitability that i like. i'm happy with the way it turned out.

Detroit Free Press: Michigan's bitter pill

published March 2007
this is actually a self-portrait of sorts. i threw some Aleve in an old perscription bottle, and shot it with my digital camera, available light in the Free Press photo studio. I scraped off the old label and created a new one using illustrator and photoshop. getting the type to distort the right way was kind of a drag, but it was a fun challenge. i'm happy with the way it turned out - especially the little tear on the fake label.

photo: new york

Here's Michigan from the air, Prospect Park, and a canopy of sassafras leaves. I used to eat sassafras leaves near my cottage on Lake Michigan. It was really exciting to find them in Brooklyn, too. I LOVE Prospect Park.

photo: cat photography

Detroit Free Press: water monsters

published February 2007

I did this illustration for a Sunday Editorial cover I designed in February 2007.

Detroit Free Press: 2006 archive

2006 SND entries
These are some of the first Sunday Editorial covers I did at the Detroit Free Press after I redesigned the section. I entered these pages in the illustration, front page, and section redesign categories. I got an SND Award of Excellence in the redesign category.

books: covers for my friend dave white

my friend dave white wrote a really funny book about hating Los Angeles, the second happiest place on earth. these three covers were a last-minute (which means the day before) quickie (done in an hour) pitch to the publisher because he hated the design they were going with. they didn't use any of these, but I like them anyway, and so did dave.

illustration roundup

This appeared in the Free Press last November. It's about CyberMonday - the first Monday after Thanksgiving when everyone goes online to buy Christmas presents.

I did this during the same Otis class as when I did the Sufjan posters.
Bryan Erickson at the Out Traveler hired me to do these 'posters' for a story on literary destinations.

illustration: silkscreen posters

I made these posters while I was taking a silkscreen class at Otis College in 2005. Sufjan Stevens is from Detroit, and made a really beautiful album about the state of Michigan (where I'm from), and followed it up with a really beautiful album about Illinois. I thought a poster showing a flock of birds migrating south with their instruments (you can't really see Lake Michigan in these images, but it's there) might be a cool approach to promoting that second album. The bottom poster was for a show he did at a Christian college in Grand Rapids. While he's not a 'Christian Recording Artist', he does weave some biblical themes into some of his songs. I thought a poster showing how to make a God's Eye might be a fun way to address that undercurrent.

magazines: the advocate

I spent two years at The Advocate magazine in Los Angeles. I did a big redesign while I was there, but these images are from an earlier redesign they didn't publish. But I think it's my best work from my time there. Michele Fleury was the photo editor at the time; photo credits to come.

magazines: didn't happen

this is a prototype for a family magazine that didn't quite come together...

magazines: music

i got my first design job when i was 25. the company wasn't yet Clear Channel, but that's what it became. these are some of my earliest pages, circa 2000.

photo: be a painting

my friend and i went to new york in march. one of the best parts of the trip was going to MoMA. we pretended to be paintings. i'm a chagall. she's a rothko.