Monday, December 7, 2009


... that is the sound I'm guessing is echoing off the inside of our fish tank right now. For the past year I've had a variety of interesting fish, all living harmoniously in the corner of our apartment. Two weeks ago I made a pet store run and saw these fun little fish called jellybean parrot cichlids. I usually research every fish we put in our tank, but I bought two of these on a whim. At the time I thought "how could they hurt anything, they look like little round gold fish.

I was sadly mistaken. Infact, I think these were genetically engineered as fish assassins, disguised as goldfish. As soon as I introduced them to our tank the larger of the two went to work, and since then he's taken out his partner (or perhaps his competition), and quite possibly four out of seven shrimp. Today, as I write this, I'm certain the battle continues.
If I'm wrong and these species are generally happy fish ... then we must have the Jason Bourne of parrot fish. I'm not sure if I should take it back to the store, or sell it to the CIA.

Field & Stream: The Double Issue

The holidays are just around the corner and I have exactly zero of my gift shopping finished. It has been a busy fall for me overall. Most of my weeks (and weekends) were spent working from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., but on all good stuff. I plan on writing a season recap soon after having a few artists and students inquire about juggling work, schedules, deadlines and what not. I think it would be a fun thing to share. More to come on that soon ...

Mean while check out the December-January Issue of Field & Stream on the racks right now. I had the pleasure of working on the cover story spread on hunting late season buck. I truly enjoy the challenge of illustrating these, and working with the talented F&S staff. They really keep the bar high.

My goal with these is to put the reader in his environment with a nice organic twist on vector illustrations. I'm also including a few of the rough sketches, since they are an import part of the puzzle. Enjoy:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Entangled ...

Pop question: Your surf fishing a rocky point ... You have a 50 lb bass leashed to you going one way, and another on your line going the other. How much gear will you loose?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Historical September

This month signifies the 70th anniversary of the start of WWII. I consider myself a huge history buff and have been lucky enough to work on the subject quite often. Here are a few pieces I did on different aspects of the war. More historical work can been seen here:

Kamikaze Warefare

I love to start with this piece when sharing historical work with friends and history buffs. When I proposed this, I never realized the amount of research it would take to create. I knew from the getgo I wanted to diagram the tactics of a kamikaze attack, from an above-the-battle perspective. What I didn't know was early in the war most kamikaze details were kept hush-hush by the government so moms and pops at home wouldn't worry about their sons at sea (at least this is what I was told). What resulted was very little in our history books. I researched countless hours for a reliable source. After completion I took a copy to the Intrepid Museum here in NYC to speak with their experts for an educated eye. Luckily I also got to meet a few WWII veterans who gave tours in the museum, who experienced this first hand. I am still humbled by their stories.

Battle for Iwo Jima

A few weeks before the anniversary of this battle, I read the book 'Flags of Our Fathers', and a pon completion I came up with the idea for this infographic. The very next day I proposed this piece and it was a go. I had to reach as far as the Army Corp of Engineers to find details on enemy strong points (to draw the hill c
utaway), but I really think it paid off. Eventually if I would love to do a cut-away piece on Mt. Suribachi alone, but I'm overall very happy with how this came out. I hope readers feel the same.

Battle of the Bulge
My main focus with this battle was to illustrate the map and battle ground timeline to tell the story. I anchored the piece with a historical look at war deaths with a Bulge specific chart, to show the scale, speed and toll of this attack. The entire piece was put together in about 4 days. I received a few nice emails after this was published from vets and family of vets expressing their interests and experiences, which really made the piece special to me.

Monday, August 31, 2009


If there's anyone who will be under a magnifying glass this NFL season, it's Michael Vick. This illo is for Associated Press's annual NFL Preview page. Our original concept was to have the eagles tearing Vick apart (saying basically nature hates him) but we changed it up a bit to give the guy a chance.

Another fun little note is this illo was completed in just one afternoon (about five hours). Its far from perfect in my eyes, but anyone who's in the business knows sometimes you need to make things work in the time your given. Ironically these type of gigs are usually the most fun and I wouldn't want it any other way.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More moleskin sketches

Lately I've been pushing myself to do 20-30 minute drawing exercises in my pocket moleskin sketchbook just for kicks. The sketches aren't planned, I just put the pen to paper and see what happens. No erasing either... if I make a mistake part of the challenge is to work right through it. Of course what usually results is series of comical what-have-yous from within the surf fishing culture. Here are a few creations below:
(ARTIST NOTE: Disappearing Rod was linked to illustrationfriday blog for the subject "Caution". Enjoy fellow artists)

Glow Sticks
If you fish Montauk Lighthouse at night, you'll know immediately what this is all about. If you don't, listen carefully: Bass DO NOT need glowsticks on your line to see you your lures at night. They hunt by movement and silhouettes. Any given night you'll see dozens of these glowsticks casting through the air. I imagine when a school of bass swim around the point, they take stories of UFO's and strange happenings with them all the way down to their southern relatives at the spawning grounds.

We've all been there before... late at night, your buddy says he gets a monster hit, lifts his rod and he's snagged on a rock. Usually the joking begins and he'll hear about the said experience the rest of the night, or recieve a comic illustrating his experience the next week just to keep him honest. The victim will ALWAYS stick to his story though, swearing it was a trophy bass. Maybe he is right... and just maybe, it was t
he fish's plan all along.

The "disappearing" rod trick
This is a common thing in New Jersey during the warm summer nights. A fisherman drags his gear out deep into the twilight, baits his rod with a nice chunk of fresh bunker, casts his rig out, and rests his rod in a sand spike near the waters edge. He turns away and continues the same ritual with his second rod a bit further down the beach. Suddenly his other setup unknowlingly rockets out of the sandspike and disappears into the rolling surf. The next morning you may fin
d this fisherman at your local tackle store telling stories of world record stripers ripping surf rods out of the ground like godzilla but truth behold, there's a 99 percent chance a brown shark caught him sleeping. They take the rods to their winter grounds where they show off and laugh hysterically. Seriously.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring is finally here (even though it is snowing while I type this) and the striper run is just around the corner.

I recently spent a week in Sarasota Florida to break up my winter doldrums. Fishing was excellent to say the least. I hit all of my old spots from the beaches to the mangrove-lined intercoastal and Sarasota Bay Flats. I caught a healthy mix of bluefish, jack, and spotted sea trout, and battled a few nice snook and redfish.

Heres a nice little trout with a big heart ... and a giant zara spook breakfast.

After spending countless hours on the water in the 5-odd years I lived there, I still feel like there's a big part of me that I left behind stalking the flats and bays (I sometimes wonder if we can switch places and that "other" part can shovel some snow and take out the garbage).

My trip wasn't all fishing though, as I also stopped by to see some old coworkers at the St. Petersburg Times, and visited a few illustration classes at Ringling College of Art and Design. (thats a whole other post entirely)

In other fishing related news, check out this month's issue of Field & Stream. I did a few pieces for the cover story "Fishings Cutting Edge" with the talented FS staff. This is a great issue overall as always.

Good luck to everyone this season, and hopefully I'll see you on the water soon.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Fishing Cheat Sheet

Check out Feburary's issue of Boating Life for a 4 page fishing cheat sheet feature. I worked with a talented Rob Stave on the package, which was a lot of fun. Enjoy.