I wouldn’t call myself a “gamer”. I was really into the NES and SNES when I was growing up, spending countless hours playing games on my own or with my buddy Mike. But as I grew up the game console was steadily replaced by my sketchbook and then Photoshop. But I never lost touch with my gaming roots and try to stay informed as to what’s going on in the industry as best I can.
This weekend I watched the whole Flappy Bird thing unfold and it was a real bummer to see. This cute little game made by a guy over in Vietnam achieved unexpected success, and immediately the online gaming audience swooped in to bash the hell out of it. It’s no secret that a large part of the gaming world are just rotten people, but still. In the end, the developer took the game down. I won’t get into detail here, click the link above if you want the scoop.
Being a pop-art guy who likes things that reference other things, I enjoyed the Mario Bros. influence the game brought with it. Yes, INFLUENCE… which is different than “ripping off”. But hey, that’s just how I see it.
Anyway, above is my own little Flappy Bird tribute titled “Troubled Skies”.
I discovered Scud: The Disposable Assassin around 1995. I kept seeing this crazy red and yellow robot in the pages of Wizard Magazine but being from a small town, it was hard to come across the actual comic books. After a bit of hassling at my local comic shop, they managed to order some issues in for me. It quickly became my favourite book and I started drawing Scud all the time.
Fast forward to sometime within the last 2 years when I notice Rob Schrab following me on Twitter. Holy crap, the dude who created Scud. Super nice guy too.
It’s almost surreal to hear that Scud is celebrating his 20th birthday today. January 29th. 20 years, man… where did the time go? So when Rob announced the birthday I wasn’t going to sit still. I owed it to my 18-year-old self to illustrate that character whose been with me all these years.
I hit the sketchbook to develop the concept, but I’ve been taking an extra step lately in fully developing the drawing. By hand I can figure out exactly where the elements will land and how they will be lit. This removes a lot of the guess-work when I move into Illustrator to build the vectors. Also figuring out where those shadows will land helps me out when I reach the painting/lighting phase in Photoshop.
So, this one’s for you, Rob! A big happy birthday to Scud: The Disposable Assassin.
Playing with Power
Comma 8, Comma 1
Bringing it Home
After four consecutive sold out series’ comes the next instalment of fun prints from Signalnoise. I’m proud to announce the release of my most requested illustrations to date… the Console Series.
This collection includes 4 new colourful prints commemorating some wonderful video game and computing platforms of the past, all of which my family owned at some point. The Console Series has an edition of 100 and are measured at 5″ x 5″.
This series is printed on Museo Textured Rag 285 gsm by the fine people at Static Medium, Los Angeles. All prints are lovingly hand-signed, numbered, packed and shipped by James White out of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Mark your calendars! The Console Series will be available on Thursday, January 30th at 1pm EST in The Signalnoise Store. Sets are $35 and individual prints are $10 each.
Our local creative collective E3C is celebrating their 2nd anniversary and I was asked to design the poster to commemorate the event. You might have seen some of these illustrations over on my Instagram last week.
A little known fact is that E3C started out as the meagre Signalnoise Meet-up, where I’d throw together an event (normally the day of) and put the word out on Twitter to see if any designers wanted to hang. My few events were loosey goosey, so my friend Alison Knott took the reigns and created the mighty E3C… a monthly gathering of creative types of all mediums. Our small city has never seen anything quite like this, so lets support it, people. Wow, 2 years already…
E3C 2nd Anniversary
Thursday, January 16 at 7pm
The Foggy Goggle, 1667 Argyle Street
Check out the E3C website for more information about the collective.
Initial vector work, and the helmet photo that inspired the piece.
For the second year in a row, I was asked by the folks behind the Playing Arts card set to contribute a design to their fantastic project. This is an intimidating matter since that set is brimming with talent and top-shelf work. They even posted a little interview with me.
Last year I contributed a little Tyler Durden ditty, but this year I wanted to play with the actual form of the club… with an 80s spin (of course, right?). So I set up the laptop in my hotel room in Phoenix and got to work. The result is what you see above. I think my pal Sara Blake said she sees some boobs in there, which made me laugh. Seen above was my initial vector work, and the helmet photo that inspired the entire style. I really wanted that slick polish and deep hues.
Be sure to check out the full Playing Arts card set.
Here’s a few little illustrations that kind of teared me up a bit. See, back in elementary school me and a few buddies took it upon ourselves to start our own wrestling federations. We invented wrestlers, drew them in our scribblers, then used dice to allow them to fight. We kept track of wins and losses, who was champion, etc.
Being a raging nostalgist, I hung onto my wrestlers all these years. The AWF (Awsome Wrestling Federation… complete with misspelling) is still alive and strong in the Signalnoise Studio, and last week I decided it was time to revive some of my favourite characters from 1988. Seen above are the illustrations, as well as a side-by-side comparison to my drawings from 1988. Man, I could burn off those wrestler drawings in 5 minutes back then… now it takes me about 3 hours to illustrate them. That kid was a genius.
Revisiting these drawings truly feels like I’m breaching the time barrier to collaborate with my 10-year-old self. Little did I know back then that these characters would still be with me 26 years later.
Super proud to be participating in the HAS BROS art show in November at The Dart Gallery in my hometown of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. My buddies Dave Howlett and Eric Miller have been spearheading this thing for the past while, and I’m pumped to unleash the news. Art based on toys from the 80s?! How can I NOT be all over that?
Here’s the official show info…
HAS BROS is a new art show featuring work inspired by 1980s toy franchises like MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, G.I. JOE, TRANSFORMERS, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, and more! Running at The Dart Gallery from November 9-20, HAS BROS will feature new pieces by some of the top artistic talent from the Maritimes and beyond. Contributors will include comic artists like Nick Bradshaw (WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN), Jordyn Bochon (CUIRRO), Andrew Power (APTITUDE TEST), Dave Howlett (SLAM-A-RAMA), graphic designers like Eric Miller of Dartmouth Clothing Company, James White of Signalnoise Studios, Paul Panfalone (AKA Paul Pants), Joshua M. Smith (AKA Hydro74), and many more! Prints of all the pieces will be on sale at the gallery as well. No batteries required, no assembly needed, no parental supervision necessary!
As for me, I’ll be submitting a new little series of StarKade prints to the show. 4 brand new fun character illustrations (edition of 25 each) and a rare mystery one. I’ll have sets on sale at the show on November 9, then any remaining stock will be available in my online store the following Tuesday (November 12). Fun!
I’ll be announcing the new StarKade prints the week of the show. Don’t change that channel…
Here’s a fun one. I recently participated in my first actual collaboration with my friend and awesome person Kat Gaskin over at Salty Pineapple. I’ve been enjoying her work for some time now, with her lovely bleached beach scenes, palm trees and muted tones. I can’t remember who suggested it first, but a collaboration would be fun and challenging since our styles are so wildly different. Her desaturated tones with my dumb loud colours? Yikes.
After we threw a PSD file back and forth, the above image emerged. Kind of a perfect mix of our preferred styles. Very Miami Vice. Super fun.
Be sure to check out Kat’s Instagram for more of her work, and also her Tumblr.