ICON Interview

I was invited to stand before the camera in Portland, Oregon last summer and talk about the Illustration Conference and share some thoughts. It was a beautiful summer day and I was feeling the laid-back vibe of the city. So, why not?

Take a look at the video below. The guy behind the camera was fun and I love Jill Calder's enthusiasm. ICON is a real treat for creatives and an inspiration for dedicated professionals like me. Looking forward to Austin, TX next summer!


ICON Attendees: In their own words - ICON9 The Illustration Conference, Austin, Texas July 6-9, 2016 from ICON The Illustration Conference on Vimeo.


Happy Haunting

When I was a kid there was this Saturday afternoon tv show hosted by 'Sir Graves Ghastly', and I was raised on b-grade horror movies. Here's a little seasonal tribute to the haunted mansion. Enter at your own peril.


Happy Halloween!


Here's the base collage:


Crazy Mixed-Up World

Trying to make sense of things day-to-day is disorienting enough. Trying to take in the bigger picture on a global scale is an entirely different story.

I was thrilled and challenged when this assignment came through from designer Louis Fishauf, for Global Briefings magazine. The cover image was based on the title feature: To Do or not To Do - Doing Something, Doing Nothing, and Avoiding Breaking. We live in an age of peril and uncertainty, and I wanted to reflect that in a strong, central image. On one side - financial markets (in turmoil) and on the other, contagion and environmental risks. Getting a sense of balance/imbalance and the headache-inducing choices we face was the focus of this piece, and Louis was great to work with. Here's the final:

Designing on a black background was a new challenge - I worked up some sketches (below) directly on the background, and tried to strike the right balance with colours & objects. Here's a bigger version of the cover image:



I also liked the idea of our institutions in crisis, so I drafted up concepts involving a legislative/financial building as a base:


Next we tackled the inside feature: "Man and His Economic-Financial Crises." This was about the mechanisms and massive scale of the economic machinery behind the meltdowns. The lowly repairman about to ascend into this massive machine again punctuates the enormity of the issue outlined.

It's a pleasure to dive into an assignment like this, with it's weight and complexity. I constructed a mechanical globe and populated it with gadgets, gauges, engines and monitors. I also created an alternate, darker version here:

I am happy to be working with i2i Art, and reps Angela Dunning & Shelly Brown. You can see my portfolio and read about this assignment on their website:

i2i Art Website

Global Brief Article




I've had the chance to relax and reflect this summer, always a healthy combination, right? Isn't that what summer should be?

September has hit me with a wave of responsibility and new work. I will be taking my son Jacob to University next week. He is going to Lakehead, in far-flung Thunder Bay, for a combined Outdoor Rec and Science degree, complete with an academic scholarship. New adventures, and real excitement for him. A mixture of nostalgia, anxiety and pride for Mom and Dad.

I got a call from Greg Klee last week to illustrate a book review for Jonathon Franzen's new book, Purity. I didn't have much to go on, but having read The Corrections and Freedom, I know it's going to be a great book. It's about a young woman's journey, looking for her father, and her relationships along the way. Obviously, with Franzen's attention to detail and finger on the zeitgeist of society, it's much more than that. So I wanted to capture that feeling of starting a journey, searching for something. Technology plays a role in driving the story, so I pictured her on her cell phone, in an urban environment where the story begins.

I'm looking forward to the fall, the routines and challenges. Also finding the time to read this book!

Here's a few process shots, taken while I was inking the final. I love drawing detritus.


Here's a parting shot - I framed this print, from my collection for my friend Ruth Gangbar. This used to hang in a local hangout and breakfast joint called Chesterfields. It's a nice tribute to past, preserved, framed and ready for the future.




On a Roll

I have participated in a number of group shows at Blizzmax Gallery. It's a unique and charming venue, an old dairy barn in the far reaches of rural Prince Edward County.

The theme of the show is 'On a Roll'. Owners Peter and Alice Mennacher wrapped the walls in paper, leaving 7 artists to cover the walls in art.

As a kid I always loved the idea of drawing BIG. This is a largely spontaneous drawing created on site with no sketches or planning. I keep things simple and bold, using a handful of Sharpie Magnums.


The project is about halfway there. I will post further shots as the piece gets completed.

Show opening is July 11, 7pm.

Here is the final art: