Monday, January 19, 2015

Watercolor sketches for pitch

A studio contacted me last month for some whimsical watercolor sketches of dads with their kids for a commercial spot pitch. It was a fun project and I believe the pitch went well.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Grim Reaper playing violin

Discovered this old design I had done years ago and guess I forgot to post. Just a grim reaper showing off his mad violist skills.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Power Rangers Balloon for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2014

I work in the very busy Creative Department at Saban Brands and my focus is Power Rangers and kids' entertainment properties. This is one of those projects that when it landed on my desk early last year, I couldn't believe I'd been given the opportunity to work on it.

Me to my boss: "Wait, this is for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day balloon."

My boss: "Yes."

Me: "But... it's the Macy's Thanksgiving Day balloon."

My boss: "Yes."

Me: "But...."

This went on for several minutes. (This is normal for me at work.)

And then I got to work.

We knew we were going to feature the Mighty Morphin Red Ranger as the balloon; Mighty Morphin is the "classic" original series from the early 90's in the US and the Red Ranger is usually the leading central ranger and favorite. Originally, executives wanted to see a few pose options: a horizontal to the ground pose, a side action-kicking pose, and a somewhat upright pose. Here are the initial rough sketches I did in Feb:
Sometimes showing visually that something won't work, is the only way to prove that it won't when explanation isn't enough. Of course, Macy's had a team of engineers who would also later consult on the flyability of the designs.

Ultimately a more forward-leaning/horizontal pose was chosen. Macy's had their own artist do some sketches and I did overlays to help correct the anatomy and pose.

After a few more rounds of anatomy and perspective tweaks, and flipping the pose, Macy's next step was to create a large clay maquette of what the final balloon would look like. This was an interesting part of the process and I wish I had been more involved in this part to work with the sculptor (and even know his/her name!) . The sculpt itself was around 3ft tall! It went through several rounds of revisions, to get Red's costume just right (or as right as it could be, given the limitations of details when it comes to a creating a super hero balloon!). Huge credit to the sculptor, who did speedy revisions within hours, usually less! I did some overlays to correct the helmet.

After the clay maquette was approved, it was painted, colors were discussed. The model was then created in 3D software. I'm not sure how this part of the process went, or again, who the artist(s) was/were on their side. Here was an overlay to tweak the helmet.
This is an animated gif, not sure if it will work on blogger.

I believe after the 3D renderings were done it was then output to the final product of the balloon which was then hand-painted with the precise PMS colors it requires. Originally, the morpher was painted grey, and asked them to change it to dark metallic gold/brown color, and did final passes on all colors.

I'm sure there are many parts of the process I've missed in here, but in the end, I was amazed with the amount of detail they did manage to produce in the Red Ranger.

Many many hands touched this project, and countless hours of hard-work and teamwork went into it and in the end, I'm so proud to have been a part of it. Watching the Red Ranger fly that Thanksgiving morning for millions of people to see, after months of work, and all from a rough sketch - was quite incredible.
Red Ranger at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade 2014. Photo from the Power Rangers Official Facebook Page See more photos here:
Separately, I have to mention: it was also a big day for my friend Simon Otto, Head of Animation for DreamWorks, who designed the (How to Train Your Dragon) Toothless balloon (which flew near the Red Ranger!). Go Simon and go Toothless!

These balloons, now that I know and appreciate how they are made, have a whole new meaning to me. I hope you've enjoyed and thanks for reading if you made it through. Ha!

All images and Power Rangers are © Saban Brands LLC. The statements expressed here are my own.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Rad art book, logo, & brochure

This is a project I helped friend Rad Sechrist on for Comic Con last year. Rad is a storyboard artist at DreamWorks who's worked at a number of animation studios and over the last few years has taught classes for figure drawing and storyboarding. I was excited to help him put together a logo and brochure for his online school as well as an art book in time for Comic-Con. Here are some images via @RadSechrist and some of the process of the logo (click to enlarge most).

A peek at a spread in the art book

Here is the inside of the brochure

image via @radsechrist

Here were some initial concepts for the logo:

And the final logo Rad chose:

I'm working with Rad on redesigning his website, stay tuned!

Check out Rad's work & online school here:

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Rejected character designs: Popples

Here is some 80's nostalgia. Thought I'd share a couple rejected design sketches from last year. I wanted to modernize them in the fluffiest way possible!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Quick sketch of one of my favorite characters of all time.


This is an updated sketch of Hanuman, for #sketch_dailies' Monkey King theme.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee

I just came across this in the process of cleaning up & backing up some files and can't believe I didn't post it before now. The Journals of Mama Mae & LeeLee was a project I worked with Bento Box Interactive on two years ago. It's an interactive music/journal/game app by Alicia Keys and BBI, revolving around a little girl named LeeLee and her connection to her Grandmother and music. It's such a beautiful concept, and a personal project for Alicia Keys (of whom LeeLee is a reflection).
It was an honor for me to be able to contribute and end up having some of my designs a part of the final product.
Here were some of the many rough logo concepts:

And ultimately the final, still used today.

The yellow oriole bird character is a big part of the story and because it was to be used in the logo I was able to submit some character designs for her.

Alicia Keys ended up liking one of my designs and it was chosen to be used as the final.
Here was an early color version but it was too dark and masculine:
And the cute final version!

Here were also some visual/branding concepts for the inner journal pages and animation.

And that's it!

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Lady Spiderman Violinist & Other Stuff.

Here are some pages from a non-linear travel journal sketchbook I kept while in Italy this past holiday.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Where's Waldo Penguin

A little birthday drawing for my friend Jennifer who loves penguins and Where's Waldo.

Friday, December 06, 2013

"Mighty Fat Power Ranger"

Here is the transformation of my Megaforce Power Ranger for the 20 Rangers for 20 Years art show tomorrow night.
Before, a blank Power Ranger canvas:

After a lot of sculpting and sanding:

Here he is:

I don't know if this is what they expected when they invited me to be a part it.
[Some backstory: He didn't fit into his Megaforce shirt so he tried to squeeze into the Mighty Morphin one. No, he wasn't intended to be a particular ranger or character, but I'm happy for people to interpret it as they wish :) ]

There are some really amazing Rangers at the gallery, I'm looking forward to seeing them all together tomorrow.
Many thanks to Sweet Streets and Toy Art Gallery and super special thanks to Ale for always going above and beyond.

The show was sooooo much fun, and each piece was wildly different and creative.
It was great meeting other artists and Power Ranger fans.

Even walked away with a mega-rad David original for a pretty penny donated to the Boys & Girls Club:

Here's a little interview I along with a couple other artists from the show did for Cosplay in America.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Power Rangers 20th Anniversary Art Show

For anyone who still visits me here at my ghost town of a blog (thank you so much and) hope you'll join me on Dec 7 at Toy Art Gallery on Melrose for a Power Rangers art show. Each artist was given a 32" ranger to customize. I'm really interested to see what everyone's doing with it.  It seems the show will only be up for 2 days, so please come check it out! I'll post pics of my ranger soon.