Friday, December 18, 2009

::Project 8-Bit Wonder:: is now GoNintendo desktop wallpapers!

I've partnered with GoNintendo, my favorite Nintendo blog to release my Nintendo inspired desktop wallpapers!

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If you've visited my blog before you might pick up on a couple things. I love my wife, my cats, my work -- and I love Nintendo. For me, I get the most enjoyment out of Mario and Zelda games, the classic Nintendo. It's one of those things that's difficult for me to put into words so this is where, as usual, I turn to pictures. As a way of instant decompression, what makes the difference for me personally is being able to unwind, even for a few minutes, with a little Mario at night; keeps me sane when the workload is crazy.

Another thing you might have picked up on is that I like to fit in personal projects during my normal client work. Recently I've been involved with an all-consuming animation job and I've been averaging 15 hour days, 7 days a week, give or take for the last 2 and a half months. When I could sneak in a little time here and there over the past few weeks, I thought it would be fun (and instant stress relief) to revisit these Nintendo classics for a tribute :

  • 3 Mario
  • 3 Zelda
  • 1 Metroid
  • 1 Yoshi's Island
  • 1 Kirby
  • 1 Pokémon

My goal for this little project was to work with particular, iconic colors and flat, graphic shapes -- put them together and try to approach certain feelings or memories connected to the individual games.

I took a little license with some of them, but for the most part I tried to stay as true as I could to the original 8 bit colors.

I hope you will enjoy them!

With out further ado, here they are :

The above images were sized down a little by Blogger but --

Thursday, December 17, 2009

the dragon puppet! in real, live video!

Here it is! -- the dragon puppet hath arrived.

Once again, a huge thanks to Philip Hatter!

And, once again, here's my painting that inspired the collaboration :

And the same dragon that I used for my card for the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con :

Behold :

To read more about this joint effort with me and Philip over at Thistledown Puppets, click here for a compilation of my posts explaining the project and to see the original painting which inspired the puppet.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Sorry I missed my last couple days posting. We're wrapping up production on what has been, heretofore, the largest animation project we've ever done. When it's released you can be sure I'll be blogging about the creation of it. It's been an exhilarating ride, that is for sure.

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What's that? You didn't think I had other side projects going on? With TYE and this massive client animation job? Indeed I do! Several of them.

Most all are "projects" though, compared with "operations" (see nomenclatures defined here)

Just to keep you up to date, primary ignition has commenced on :: Project 8 Bit Wonder :: shortly to be followed by -- :: Project Atlas :: running concurrently with :: Project White Rabbit ::

Again, these project codenames are thinly veiled. And there's not really anything to be all that secretive about. Atlas is the codename for my Flight 7 story, and you might guess what White Rabbit is.

:: Project 8 Bit Wonder :: I think, will drop this Friday, we'll see. It might actually be Monday. You can be sure I'll let you know.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Here's an older one, from a year or so ago. The idea still make glad.

No matter what a dragon does everyone still panics.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Hairy Troll is helping the Hodges

Here's a drawing I've donated to Help the Hodges, a charity art auction set up by a friend of mine, the most well connected person I've ever met, Chad Frye.

I'll post the details of the auction (I think it's going up in January) when the time comes.

There is some jaw dropping stuff over on the auction, I mean you've got the likes of the legendary Drew Struzan to dozens of original Disney animation roughs, to a doodle by Pete Doctor (writer/director of Monsters, Inc., Up) a myriad of original comic art (Stan Lee signed!), even a drawing by the heroic Bobby Chiu.

Word is many more contributions are to join the already impressive collection.

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I feel like my piece is pretty representative of what I most enjoy drawing; children and monsters.

And yes, the drawing is signed, this is an older scan.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Friday, December 04, 2009

Terrible Yellow Eyes, final postings

Hello Everyone!

I wanted let you all know, friends of Terrible Yellow Eyes, that I have made the decision to close the project with a final post, Friday, January 1, 2010.

This hasn't been an easy choice for me. Since I have close to a year's worth of free time wrapped up in the planning and execution of this project you can imagine that I'm attached to it. But I am ready to move on to other personal work and other projects. Naturally, the collection's not going anywhere, it will remain online, but I do feel the project has run it's course.

I want to say thank you. The response I've had to the idea has gone beyond what I imagined for it. The project has truly become what I had hoped for but did not imagine exactly possible. When I think about the the response, the show, and contributing artists involvement and the level of jaw dropping work, it's really nothing more than a testament to just how bad people love Maurice Sendak.

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My goal all along for TYE was to honor the book and express my love for it in pictures because I just couldn't do it with words, no matter how hard I tried. I've been humbled by the response of so many incredibly hard working, gifted artists. I think I can also say I've made a few new friends along the way.

Putting together Terrible Yellow Eyes has been the fulfillment of a years long desire to do something more than just enjoy Where the Wild Things Are. Maurice Sendak has influenced me and countless others so profoundly, so completely altering the face of what a children's book is and what the medium can be, it seems the only thing we could have ever done was to just celebrate it.

Thank you all!


Thursday, December 03, 2009

Santa Don't Miss Or Else

Here's a re-post from about this time last year, 2008. In case you may have missed it (or have been, in fact, avoiding it) it's December again. We made a little game for Christmas last year and once again it does seem seasonally appropriate.

Santa Don't Miss Or Else
, or SDMOE, as I like to call it, is a brand new game made just for you by Portland Studios! Just in time for Christmas!

Mark made up the idea, I made all the art for it, Mark made it into a game, and the venerable Ben Kammer wrote and performed the music.

Take the Rudolph 2 for a spin! Drop some presents into the chimneys before the time runs out. Compete for the high score!

And for goodness sakes, don't miss -- or else.

Merry Christmas from your friends at Portland Studios.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009



My good friend Mike Boldt has accomplished what relatively few people ever do -- the publishing of his first book!

In honor of the release of the book, Mike has held a "stack-tastic" celebration over on his blog.

Basically, you could either stack something (like the gophers do in the book) and take a picture, draw stuff stacked, or (as I chose to do) use page from Mike's book that he turned into a template and draw something in place.

I barely made it in time as "Stacktastic" closed the end of November, but I got in at the last minute with my stack of brush and ink dragons.


Be sure and hop over to see all the other Stacktastic entries and see how they stack up. Hoo-boy! I'm as funny as ... I'm not funny. But, all the same, check out Mike Boldt's Stacktastic!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Zelda and Christmas cards

For me, Christmas means (almost) one thing -- The Legend of Zelda. It's only ever the week of Christmas that I get the time to play a game as involved as Zelda.

And every Christmas for about as long as I can remember (minus the college years) has had something to do with Zelda, in some capacity. Last year I played through "Link's Awakening" on the GameBoy (ten years late... though I beat it ten years to the day that I got the game -- and in a sling, so that's got to count for something.)

And it seems like every Christmas coincides with the release of a Zelda game, or at least on the off years I have an older game to go back and work through.

A Very Zelda Christmas, this year. What with the new Zelda DS release (which has got a beautiful theme! Listen : and the fact that though I got Twilight Princess for Christmas last year I've not have the hours needed to play it. Maybe this year. I've also got "A Link to the Past" I want to play again. I'm dismal at the original Legend of Zelda, I can't really make it anywhere without dying. And Zelda II just confuses me and I'm lost. I've got both of those off the Virtual Console on the Wii.

The number one thing you learn from Zelda? Princesses are always worth saving.

So Christmas is Zelda, and, making Christmas cards. For most of the years we've been married, Erin and I have made a Christmas card featuring us and our two cats, behold :



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I'll be posting our 2009 card once they're in the mail. It might be my favorite of the lot.

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Also worth noting, I'll be doing a post a day this week to make up for missing my posts last week.

Tomorrow -- stacks of dragons for the Canadians!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Hey You Guys! Charity - UPDATE

I was invited a while back to contribute to the Hey You Guys! Charity art auction. The auction raises money for art supplies for kids and the theme is close to my heart -- it's art inspired by 80s movies. Read more about the auction and movie screening here.

For me, I went with what was nearest and dearest, Star Wars. I did a quick portrait of Luke Skywalker last night. This was too good of an event to miss out on.

I apologize for missing my Wednesday and Friday posts last week. I've been so swamped with work it's crazy. I've also got a couple other charity pieces to do as well and not to mention all the personal work I need to do.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

wigs and stairs and plugs

This one will take a little explaining.

I love to do stupid things to people. Anything to turn the universe sideways just a little for them.

This story begins, like so many others, on Halloween night. See, there? Justin wore this wig.

Behold, your Portland Studios, Halloween 2009. Me, Justin, and Danny.

Now, for the last whenever, the blasted wig been laying by the scanner. I don't notice it for a minute or two than, ah! It surprises me every time. I mean, yes, it's horrible on a head but on a table with no head? It's worse. Maybe on a table and on head could be even more worse, but still.

So, I took it and stuck it on a stick. Then I cut out little white circles for eyes. Finally, I put it on the stairs to Zach's office. I've seen Zach walk literally dozens of times. And I knew how he'd take those stairs; shuffling, with head down.

I positioned the wig creature on the stairs at eye level, the white circles burning like little pagan bonfires. Then I left.

* * *

This is as good a time as any to point you to Zach's wonderful blog to see what became of him in this startling and wholly unnatural situation. It played exactly like I hoped : It made Zach jump.


Also, I wanted to inform you that my little sister has, after much prodding, begun a blog!

If I have to stay after her to post there will be trouble but so far she's got a pretty cool piece up that is being considered for a toy creation. Swing by if you like and show her some kindness.

Friday, November 20, 2009

"the box"

We've got two cats. One is sleek and gray and quick. The other is white and tan and dumb.

James, as the white and tan cat is called, likes to sit in any little box he can find. No matter where one is, he'll find it and sit in it. For hours.

I figure he must get something out of it. That, or he's just white and tan and dumb.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Here is my idea, my possible invention. I don't know of anything like this, but I ever found one I'd buy it. So please let me know if you run across anything at all similar.

Any other ideas for what it might do?

Monday, November 16, 2009

"space is the place"

I had an idea for an invention, a real thing that could work, over the weekend. I'll bring you a little comic of the idea in action next post.

The above piece is representative of the idea.

It is also best enjoyed coupled with this piece, Symphony of Science :

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thistledown puppet : FINAL!


Philip Hatter of Thistledown Puppets has lit the sky on fire! I am truly speechless to see the finished puppet.

Philip took that simple painting of mine and turned it into a masterpiece.

Huge thanks to Philip for coming up with this idea and seeing it through to a brilliant conclusion!

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Be sure and stop by Philip's blog and let him know how awesome he is!

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To read more about this joint effort with me and Philip over at Thistledown Puppets, click here for a compilation of my posts explaining the project and to see the original painting which inspired the puppet.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

SI 52

A little late on my Wednesday post. I thought I'd use it show you what I've entered for The Society of Illustrators Annual 52.

The Fairy Queen



Daga and the Trolls

from Dag and Daga, and the Flying Troll of Sky Mountain

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This piece is from my Grimm and Other Folk Tales show. You can see the other nine pieces for the show as well as the extensive development work here.


It was incredibly difficult to choose just 4 images from Walters.


So that's that! I'd love to be included again this year. Here's to SI 52!

Monday, November 09, 2009

wolfgang's beautiful pumpkin

Here's an older one, one I made for Erin a couple years ago. I reorganized it and hand lettered the text.

Just in time for the cool weather.