This past Autumn I launched a new illustration magazine! Twice each year, subscribers of Sketchbook will receive a collection of all-new unpublished illustrations, developed from my sketchbooks.
Issue 1: Fire and Ice Cream. Gelato and Engine 55, in New York’s Little Italy neighborhood.
Summer in Italy is my first issue’s theme. My actual summer in Italy was over a decade ago, so this publication is a sort of nostalgic daydream Atlas of Italy.
Here I am in New York, looking at Sketchbook, in front of the fire station depicted on the cover.
You can see more of the first issue here.
There are still a few copies of issue 1 left. Issue 2 will ship in 2017. If you are an art buyer or art director, you can subscribe for FREE here.
It’s Freedom to Read Week, so I thought I’d post my illustrated book cover series.
Probably one of the more famous of fictional books, appearing in Rosemary’s Baby. The central illustration is the tanis root pendant that Mia Farrow’s character dropped down a sewer
A fictional press for fictional books. I call it The Cinotext Library.
A Country Made of Ice Cream from The Way We Were
Each time I see one of these movies, I am reminded of this idea I’ve had to illustrate the covers of all the fictional books from movies that I like to watch. Here are a couple of pairings of books:
Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams. Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Night of The Iguana. Of all of these books, Collected Verse Vol. 1, is the only title we don’t actually see in the film, and it’s only mentioned once.
I’ve always hesitated carrying out this project because there are a lot of artists and illustrators who paint and draw old book covers — Harland Miller and Anna Hoyle immediately come to mind. But I concluded my idea is unique enough, if I stick to the cinema. I’ve also really just wanted to do this for such a long time.
Woody Allen’s Manhattan and Deconstructing Harry
The design is based on old Pelican and Penguin classics, but I’ve changed a few things, notably the colours! These will all be available as limited edition prints, in my Esty shop, in just a few days, sans the 50-cent stickers (did that just for Instagram).
Whenever I visit my hometown, my first stop after the airport is either Coney Island, McKellar’s Confectionery or the aptly named Thunder Bay Restaurant. You see, there’s this thing Thunder Bay has about coney sauce. Anything you order can be served with a huge helping of gravy, and yes, they pour it all over the burger too, in fact, over everything on your plate. And the burgers and hotdogs always have the most delicious coney sauce, ever! Locals love to debate which place has the best. You can even buy it in jars at the local farmers markets.
There’s nothing like it anywhere. Some of the confectioneries drawn on the map still have lunch counters and serve french fries in paper bags! The best!
Here’s a close-up of the part of town I lived in:
I’ve only included places that are still in business. The places I frequented as a kid are long gone
Inside the McKellar Conf. Note the portrait of Gus Kelos on the wall, by Thunder Bay artist Ray Swaluk. Gus would balance dogs on his arm as he readied them for customers. Legendary!
Westfort essentials: Coney Island and The Salsbury Grill. What I remember most about Coney Island is their phone number – it was almost the same as my parents. We frequently received calls!
Merla Mae is another favourite!
Thunder Bay’s cuisine is not limited to this coney stuff, either. I’ve done a lot of work based on the other local delicacy, the persian:
I have many more projects about my home town in the works!
Xtra! magazine released it’s final print edition. The art director asked the publication’s favourite illustrators to be part of the special final print edition and the image above is my contribution.
My concept: Pink Triangle Press has taken on many roles with Xtra! — patron of the arts, educator, entertainer, community leader, political activist… the list goes on. Most of all it has provided a voice to a community and inspired courage and commitment that has resulted in many positive changes to the lives of GLBTQ people right across Canada, and beyond.
Xtra! will continue publishing a daily online edition.
The original sign, on the left, is disappearing from Toronto parks.
I love this old “Do Not Litter!” sign, once commonly seen around city parks in Toronto. I thought I’d have a go at redesigning it with my new style and incorporate my new, as of yet unnamed typeface. The squirrel in the new sign has obviously read the sign and isn’t making a mess.
If VV Boutique can stock holiday stuff this early, so can I!
I’ve always like Xmas cactus, and my favourite thing about the holiday season is all the tinsel! This must be the shiniest silver Xmas-tree-shaped cactus ever! Covered with prickly pears in all different colors, it looks just like a decorated tinsel Xmas tree!
Photographing reflective silver foil is difficult. Best to show with different angles of light.
Getting the silver foil printed was a bit of a job – something I learned in school is that one should never assume your printer understands your instructions, even when you correspond specifically about special finishings. The first batch came back from the print shop sans silver foil! They gracefully accepted responsibility and re-printed them without delay.
On the inside I took the opportunity to add a little twist to one of the most traditional holiday greetings: A Very Merry Cactus and a Prickly New Pear!
Perfect to mail out to your cactus loving friends this coming holiday season!
Order early, limited supply! Available in packs of five, in my Etsy Shop.