Tuesday, July 20, 2010

BIO ARM tattoo PART 2

It's coming along nicely...

BIO ARM tattoo

A friend of mine wanted a custom bio arm tattoo 3/4 sleeve. His inspirations were Jet from Cowboy Bebop and the robots from the Bjork video, "All is Full of Love".

We worked on a bunch of initial sketches from my book to a few napkins at lunch. He wanted a simple, clean body panel style with a peak of wires, gears, etc. We worked together through rounds over 4-5 weeks to get it just right with tweaks here and there.

The work needed to be a strong reference for the tattoo artist. Not exact, but enough pieces to put it together on his arm with some improv. The wires are multi colored in order to help communicate what was needed to be changed for final tattoo work (i.e. "make the pink one a double, ribbed wire and metallic") if the final art was entirely in grayscale, the wires would be a nightmare to discuss. In addition, I left the wires plain, but included a reference sheet of different styles to use for the tattoo artist to incorporate into the piece.

The N7 logo is from Mass Effect and was quite simple to replicate. The final tattoo art will also have imperfections of wear and tear...battle damage if you will. I was really happy to work on this and I am happy to see it has continued to evolve from the digital art to the final tattoo work. It's always enjoyable to bounce ideas back and forth and watch a piece come into it's own.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Art in place. Title chosen. Copy written. Little easter eggs tucked in. DONE!
It's volume 5 for our 5yr anniversary. The ISBN # is the wedding/anniversary date. etc
Final print is framed and matted. She loved it! I'm glad I put in the easter eggs, she thought it was a volume she missed as a kid until she saw the author.

This artwork is not for sale and was created as a tribute to the Choose Your Own Adventure books for private use. Find the originals at your local yard sale, online at eBay or you can even try out their new iPhone app!


I knew I would be playing the border colors throughout the entire process. It changed about a gazillion times. I worked on coloring the background art first. The shoreline, the night sky and the sand. I had to be careful with the dark night sky and water, in order to keep a night setting without losing both into one dark mass. The lasers were fun to bring out the couple's silo heads. The party goers all had different poses. And the DJ was able to have a little more detail, i.e. his shirt and sunglasses as I came closer to completion. I removed the music notes, it was getting too busy. The stars stayed and broke up the night sky very well. The third panel is the completed art. Time for layout!


I was happy with the cover art layout now and after writing the copy for the front and back of the book it was time for the back cover art. I knew it was going to be the hand reaching out to the blue circles of the watch. it had to be simple and fun, but intriguing as well as in B&W. I referenced my own hand with some old bracelets. Shot it, drew it, scanned it. I added the rings and the wavy blackness in photoshop.


Now the formula was coming together and def had the style of the original books. The record was a nice thought, but after seeing it in the layout it had to go. With a crowd of people, a beach, stars, etc it would be too busy. If I didn't include those elements it would be too plain, too much like a logo of sorts. I planned on salvaging the glowsticks to play with the border as some original covers did and the moon would be the round shape to tie in the back cover artwork. I played with the scale of the couple silos to open up some more room for the party crowd. I planned on adding notes, stars, lasers and more. All of which I could just duplicate in photoshop and arrange accordingly and then add color and effects.


Back to the drawing board. I had more of a driven idea now so I limited my sketches and detail this round to basic shapes and elements. I played with big images of the couple and the Cape Hatteras lighthouse made a good, subtle piece to tie everything.


I was pretty happy with one of the thumbnail sketches and went for a bigger, more detailed version. The sketch used the blue circles of the watch as it's main focus, the couple got lost with the crowd - they lost their importance. I knew in my gut the the circles would be used for the back art with a hand reaching out. Using the same concept on both sides would be wrong. Let alone, this did not feel like art from the original covers. I knew I had to start over. Maybe back to the record idea, maybe a full moon, something with a round shape to tie the two sides together.


Matching the border was easy in illustrator. I scanned the title of a original book and found the font. I knew the art had to have some weird overlapping and perspective to it. The original cover artwork always had a painting/sketched feel to it. The back cover was B&W line art.

I really wanted the blue circles of the watch to the be the centerpiece...possibly a record. I did some initial layout sketches for cover art as well as some brainstorming for book titles and the back copy.

Choose your Own Adventure!

To celebrate my 5yr wedding anniversary I wanted to do something extra special for the gift. My wife is a huge fan of the CYOA books from childhood. My initial plan was to create an entire actual book with yes, multiple endings. Seeing as with on demand printing I could have a paperback book printed for just $10 with a color cover/back. As I started the outline of my last 10 years together with her I realized I bit off way more than I could chew. The book jacket design was the right way to go. I did a quick sketch of the front and back art. Then I played with a lot of headline options. All of which had to nod to the original books dated charm.

We met on the beach during a party. She actually grabbed my wrist in passing because I had a blinking blue watch that she had never seen before. I knew the watch had to be a part of the piece if not the main focus.