November 28, 2010

L'âge Dur Guest Drawing

Another project that my Belgian friend Max de Radiugès recently wrapped up, was his minicomic series  "l'âge dur" or, "the difficult age."  Each minicomic contained a short story about a teenager, and all of the stuff that happens to people at that age.  They were drawn straight to ink, as a relaxing, fun project for Max to work on while he was taking a break from his big book "Demi" which he is ALSO wrapping up (he's a busy guy these days, can you tell?)

On the inside cover of each issue, Max has a guest artist draw a moment from those difficult teenage years.  I was honored to be asked to make a drawing for the very last issue.  I chose to depict one of my most important teenage moments - sitting in the back of my Chevy station wagon, during lunch hour, in the high school parking lot,  on September 24th, 1996, listening to Weezer's "pinkerton" for the very first time.  If you've never heard this album, I suggest you check out the deluxe edition, which was just released.  I believe it is one of the most incredible albums ever created.


A collection of all the L'âge Dur minicomics (plus a few new stories!) will be out in January 2011 from L'employé du Moi.

November 21, 2010

Before the Catastrophe

For a long time, my Belgian cartoonist friend Max de Radiguès was making a series of drawings from life, which he called "Before the Catastrophe."  Each drawing is labeled with some amount of time before the catastrophe (ie. "three days before the catastrophe") which gives the whole series a sense of impending doom.

Another Belgian self-publisher, Nicolas Verstappen (who works at the amazing BD shop La Bulle d'Or) decided to make the 20th issue of his comics interview zine XeroXed a tribute to this project, and collected "catastrophe" drawings from a variety of other cartoonists.  If you understand French, you can read more about it on this page.  Here was my contribution:


This is a drawing of my Grandparents' bed, in Charlottesville, VA.  I traveled there this summer to attend my Grandfather's funeral.  At the time, the deadline for this illustration was getting closer and closer, so I thought I would make a drawing of his bed from life.  However, the weekend was very hectic, so I had to settle for drawing this from a photograph, after the fact.  

In this drawing, the bed is unchanged from how it was during the last night that my Grandfather spent in it.  The portrait on his bedside table is of my Grandmother, who died lying in this exact same spot, four months later.

NEXT WEEK: Something a little less depressing!

November 14, 2010

Rebecca Engelberg & Matthew Witcher Wedding Invites: Part 2

If you've ever been involved with the planning of a wedding, you know that more than one invitation needs to be sent out!  Below are a few more invitations that I designed for Rebecca and Matt's wedding. The first one is for the rehearsal dinner, which was held at the Chinese Cultural Plaza.  Rebecca said she wanted Chinese lanterns, so I drew these, and used Google Translate to look up the symbols for "Happiness" and "Love" which I put on the lanterns.


There was a brunch the morning after the wedding that also required an invitation.  I was drawing a blank about what image to use, and then for some reason, the idea of using a hermit crab came to me (maybe because my sisters and I had a pet hermit crab when we were little?)  He sort of fit with the beach theme, and I hoped that the continued use of hand-lettering and a similar format would tie everything together.  Supposedly a lot of people wrote in to say how much they liked this little guy!


Lastly, they needed an RSVP card.  I had some lame idea, which I can't remember now, but Rebecca had the great idea of using a message in a bottle.  This made it very easy on me, and I knocked out the rest of the invitation, no problem.


Next week... something entirely different!

November 7, 2010

Rebecca Engelberg & Matthew Witcher Wedding Invites: Part 1

Wow, three and a half months without a post on this blog?!  I've drawn lots of illustrations in that time, I just haven't had the time to post them!  I'm going to try and get caught up with my posting during these last few weeks of 2010, so that I end up with more than the pathetic 11 posts I had last year.

This week I'll be talking about some wedding invitations that I made for my oldest family friends, the Engelbergs.  Their daughter Rebecca asked me to design the invitations for her and her fiance (now husband) Matthew.  Rebecca sent me a lot of ideas from various wedding magazines and websites, but said this was her favorite:

UPDATE: I finally found out this beautiful invitation was designed by Anna Bond who makes custom wedding invitations at Rifle Paper Co.  She also has an awesome design blog - go check out her work!

I always feel weird when clients ask me to base an illustration off of another, but it does save me a lot of time, and in the end, I always change enough, that I'm using the original piece as inspiration more than just copying it.  But it still doesn't feel quite right...  Anyway, here's the sketch that I sent to Rebecca and Matthew:


Rebecca and Matt were married in Hawaii, so I added a beach with a palm tree, Diamond Head in the background and instead of animals, I changed it to a single heart constellation.  The initial design was 2-color (blue and black) but Rebecca and Matt decided they wanted the design to be in full color, so they could incorporate some orange, which was the wedding color.  Here's the final design, which you can click to make bigger:

Next week I'll show some of the other invitations that I designed for this wedding!