Sunday, March 29, 2009

Best Children's Book illustrator Ever

I've been working on a couple new stories, and I'm realizing that much of my inspiration for children's books and characters comes from Richard Scarry. When I was young, I spent hours upon hours looking at every square inch of his books.  I was so excited to find new things each time, as a result, his work is seared into my sub-concious. Sometimes I have thought of something clever and funny, only to find out/realize later that it was just a reworked Richard Scarry concept. I also realized I didn't know anything about him.
So I started digging around the internet. I found this photo set on Flickr that has "before and after" comparisons to Scarry's book "Best Word Book Ever". 
Apparently after the 60's and 70's he started to get a bunch of hate mail and he was forced to "update" some aspects of his books.
Take a look, pretty interesting. (Click on "Best Children's Book Illustrator Ever" above to see the photos.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Washington Square Park

A couple weeks ago I was in the city and cut through Washington Square Park. looked NOTHING like this. It was all under construction and, no fountain and just looked like a war zone...New York is like a giant snake that is continually molting.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Nice Sombrero

Is it just me, or is it a universal thing that wearing a sombrero just makes everything fun? This is a proposal set that is for an upcoming SECRET project with Henry Holt. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Way Back Machine

We recently moved to Narberth, PA.  So the trauma of moving was fresh on my mind when I painted this piece. Saying goodbye to all the things that are comfortable background to your day to day is tough. We moved every couple years when I was a kid, it was bittersweet, nauseating and exciting all at once. 

That led me to thinking about the hulking, diesel guzzling, station wagons my family tended to own.  And getting high on the exhaust in the seatbelt-less way back. 

I got a call from Blue Q. (Makers of the Dirty Girl line among others)  They wanted to use this piece for a zippered pouch, and asked if I could add type to it. Top is the Before and Bottom image is the After. Can't wait to see the bags when they hit the stores in July.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I am excited to announce that I have just finished the first children's book that I have written and illustrated. It's titled Stop Snoring, Bernard! and it will be published by Henry Holt in the Spring of 2010. Can't wait. Here is a sneak peek of the cover. MY layout, so it's not official.

Above is one of the original spreads that I made to pitch the book. It doesn't appear in the book exactly like that, but you can see how it morphed into the cover.

I will have more sketches and Bernard related materials up here when I have more time.

Sage Variations

Last summer I designed a 14 foot high sign for a new store in Long Island City called Sage General Store. They buy all their ingredients from little farms upstate and New England.
They wanted to reflect this in the signage, with primitive style, hand painted type. Kind of the stuff you might see at roadside fruit stands in rural areas.
Painting something that was 14 foot high was an interesting change from the way I normally make work. Usually it is small enough to scan and send digitally.
I used to work at a small sign shop in San Francisco before I did illustration, so this was kind of coming full circle.
Here are a couple variations that aren't the final design of some of the sign parts. Click on the link (Post title above) to see the final version and if you are in Long Island City, stop by for lunch.

Oh, and I learned that grunts, buckles and slumps are all kinds of cobblers...who knew?

Monday, March 9, 2009


Welcome to the new blog! This is a place to show process, projects, rejects and anything else that I find inspiring. Most of all, I promise to try to keep it interesting.

Thanks for checking it out.