Visit My Instagram

Want something new almost every day? Follow my Instagram! It’s much less formal than this blog. Sometimes I post mazes, but often I post other projects I’m working on. Here are my last three posts: 

 I made this especially for IG, you can tell because it is exactly 2:1, taking advantage of the panoramic feature. It’s simple but fun. The statues are based on IG NYC folks I follow.  

I made this especially for IG, you can tell because it is exactly 2:1, taking advantage of the panoramic feature. It’s simple but fun. The statues are based on IG NYC folks I follow.  

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Ballpoint practice with White House chief of staff John Kelly. I’m not a fan, just think he has an interesting face.  He reminds me of the cop played by Richard Burgi in the Firefly episode “The Message”. 

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Also getting into relief print. I was totally into woodblock as a younger man and have been carving again. You can see that my skills are a bit rusty, but my work translates well. Follow my progress on Instagram! 

Postcards

Last year I printed promotional postcards to share at signings and with bookstores and contacts. I used the online company, Next Day Flyers. One of the folks at the company liked the cards so much, they wanted to do an interview about the book, my work, and why I chose Next Day Flyers! Check it out —>

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Next Day Flyers did a great job. I had not had anything printed for a while and settled on them based on rating and price.  Since I had plenty of time, turn-around was not an issue. It was important that the card felt like a traditional postcard to be saved and not like a throwaway advertisement. I did a little research on card weights, sizes, and finishes and found just what I needed in their inventory. I designed my cards in Photoshop and uploaded my art into their template. The template is straight-forward with layers, guidelines and font choices. The cards arrived on schedule.

  I’m glad I did my research and the final product turned out perfect!

Oh, if you want a postcard, just send me an email. Be sure to let me know if you want it with a message or pristine in an envelope. 

Ballpoint Practice

Here’s a little maze I did in ballpoint pen. Unusually, I didn’t lay it out first, just started in the uppper left and worked across the page. Real iRobot plotter style.  

 The squiggles at the top are cleaning my pen. I still get globbies though. I’m not sure how the pros avoid it.  

The squiggles at the top are cleaning my pen. I still get globbies though. I’m not sure how the pros avoid it.  

I’ve been playing around with ballpoint for a few weeks now, practicing patience and control. I’ve posted a some on my Instagram, but most I will hide until I get better. I have a ways to go!  There are several artists I follow who do ballpoint work, like Nicolas Sanchez and Guno Park

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Watercolor and Ink

Still playing with ink and watercolor.

I'm really into the artists Cinta Vidal and Sadi Tekin right now. Vidal paints beautiful multi-perspective buildings and interiors. Like my cube mazes, but intimate and fully realistic. Tekin is a very clever illustrator with great line work and often gentle colors.

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So here, the maze is simple, but I wanted the paths to be on every visible side with the steps connecting them (Vidal). I also tried to use the least amount of pigment to emphasize the lines and space. (Tekin)

I quickly added the labels digitally for posting with one of my favorite photo apps, Halftone.

Non-Digital

Opening the ink and paint for the metrocard project has made me excited to continue the non-digital stuff for a bit. Before trying to paint an entire piece, I made some tiny watercolor studies. These are a little shaky, as I'm still adjusting to the different pen widths. Also, watercolor is WAY out of my comfort zone.

It is very fun though!

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SingleFare4

  These are tiny mazes I made for SingleFare4, a fundraiser for the New York Academy of Art. Artists from all over contribute small scale paintings on NYC metro cards. I will also be attending the opening, to show my support and pick up some great work.

  It has been a while since I've worked with real brushes and ink, and it is a joy! Also, the work is SMALL! I'm still adjusting to the scale. Some of the miniature oil paintings submitted are quite amazing. Some color ballpoint work is just insane. It is open to all, but the deadline is August 23. 

  You can see more on Instagram -@singlefare and #singlefare4

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Acrylic with Micron pen. I gessoed the cards first.  

New Spaceship Maze

I am very happy how the inking came out on this one! It resembles the intricate line work of Star Destroyer illustrations or Möbius ships - a little. I was able to use some of the concepts I played with on Orbital, like stacked paths and staircases. I'll probably do the shading in mostly grays, but may check out some old SciFi (John Berkey) book covers too. 

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Making Adjustments and Notes

This is a color test print. Seeing the colors on paper gives me a better idea of what the final piece will look like. The print also helps identify areas that are mis-colored or the line work is weird. Here I noted where I want to add some buildings. The long walls of trees at the top don’t really work. Highlighting the solution now will help when I make that page later. I like seeing the solution in a bright pink line… It makes me happy. Eventually, I will have clean prints for an entire second book. I will organize them in a way that is pleasing while also increasing the difficulty as the book progresses. Someone runs all the mazes for difficulty, clarity and enjoyment.

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The Story of Troubador Press: An Interview with Malcolm Whyte

I have mentioned before how the Larry Evans 3-Dimensional maze books in the 1970's started me drawing mazes when I was a kid. Check out this great 2013 interview with his publisher, Malcom Whyte of Troubador Press. Whyte discusses Evans, the other artists he worked with, and running an indie publishing house back in the day. It is a good read.
The Story of Troubador Press: An Interview with Malcolm Whyte - 2 Warps to Neptune

  Troubador building at 126 Folsom Street, San Francisco. Supergraphics painted circa 1971-1972 by Gompers Saijo. (Photo: Malcolm Whyte)

Troubador building at 126 Folsom Street, San Francisco. Supergraphics painted circa 1971-1972 by Gompers Saijo. (Photo: Malcolm Whyte)