Monday, June 18, 2018

Mickey Mouse shirts!

When I was invited to participate with some Mickey Mouse designs for UNIQLO’s Magic For All shirt series, I thought it would be a ton of fun, since I had really enjoyed working on the Star Wars T-Shirt Grand Prix with UNIQLO a few years ago. Of course, it’s not so simple as just drawing Mickey Mouse; first I had to figure out how I draw Mickey Mouse, and that meant figuring out exactly what my relationship with mickey Mouse is. So I started just doodling Mickeys, and thinking about Mickey specifically, and Disney in general.

My oldest brother is a big Disney fan, and that led me to remembering how I grew up with my family always watching “The Wonderful World of Disney” on Sundays. And magic is a really great word for that memory - for me, childhood was kind of magical, and Mickey Mouse always captured that so well, that sense of wonder at the world, curiosity, maybe even a little naivete. I eventually landed on a version of Mickey that felt right, something cute and innocent feeling.

I tried to tap into those nostalgic feelings I had and started drawing more Mickeys - Mickey walking through  forest, playing with a toy steamboat, kicking a soccer ball. I filled a sketchbook with fifty or sixty ideas, and sent them to UNIQLO and DISNEY to pick from. The designers came up with four shirts, including one based on the little ‘How To Draw Mickey’ sketch I had made for myself. I re-drew cleaned up, nicer versions of the design on Bristol board.

The most unexpected design they came up with was actually taken from those first Mickey sketches. Which seems really appropriate and great, that even as long as Mickey has been around (and in my life), there can still be some surprises from him.

These sketches were all drawn for the @UNIQLO MICKEY ART collection, available now in stores and online globally.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Adventure Time! *UPDATED*

*UPDATE May 29* My cover is up for auction now to benefit the Hero Initiative, alongside a sketch cover by one of my all time favorite comic book artists Walter Simonson!

The Hero Initiative has been doing their 100 Cover projects for a while, where they have artists sketch on the blank cover variants of comics, then auction them off as well as collecting the covers in a book to raise funds. I've done several, including Adventure Time - and my cover made the cover! This comes out in May, and hopefully I'll make it to the release party here in Chicago at Challengers.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Not too long ago, I went down to the Threadless HQ here in Chicago to be part of DemocraTee, where a bunch of local artists collaborated on drawings to be used as designs for shirts and other items. It was fun, lots of random silliness like adding this little cowboy to a larger drawing. The items are now up for sale on Threadless, with proceeds going to local arts charities.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Sunday, October 22, 2017

My First Paying Gig!

Way back in 1991, I had my first paying illustration job - images for a book by the father of one of my high school classmates. The book is unavailable (though you can see Mr. Murray's current work online at the Digital Couch) and the original art is lost, but after school visits in my home state of Michigan this week, I finally have a PDF of the book with my drawings! I'd pretty much forgotten what they were like. Here are a couple of my favorites, which are pretty typical of how I drew in high school.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Certain Points Of View

I'm deep into working on the final art for Lucy & Andy Neanderthal book 3, but found time to contribute to the From A Certain Point Of View Star Wars anthology.
Head over to to get a complete step-by-step look into the process behind making the piece!
And this just in, I was interviewed over at the Threadless blog for their podcast, which focuses on process and creativity. So you can listen to that, too!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Research and Inspiration

Here's a few bits of research and inspiration for my Lucy & Andy Neanderthal series. The Geno 2.0 box is from National Geographic's Genographic project, which I used to learn that I have 2.2% Neanderthal DNA. The Neanderthals Art & Science Kit included a skeleton (which I assembled and set on the bookshelf in my studio office) and a plaster mold to cast a Neanderthal face (which is still in the box). There's a fossil of an echinoderm - which is a plant - but I like to think of it as some kind of strange, alien being. I got the souvenir woolly mammoth tusk and hair set, but also have a woolly mammoth card (with an actual piece of  mammoth tusk) from Upper Deck's Champs Hockey Cards. From the same set I got the Neanderthal base card and a Neanderthal flint stone knife artifact. From Gibraltar, a one pound coin that commemorated the discovery of Neanderthal bones. A birthday card I got last year, and the prehistoric themed story cubes. And of course, an actual stone knife found in France (not by me) from circa 25,000-30,000 years ago. At that age it may have been used by early humans and not Neanderthals, but still makes for a great connection to the past.