WWE StarKade

WWE illustrations by James White

WWE illustration by James White

Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart

WWE illustration by James White

Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts

WWE illustration by James White

Hawk and Animal, The Legion of Doom

WWE illustration by James White

Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage

WWE illustration by James White

The Ultimate Warrior

WWE Illustrations by James White

‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper

WWE illustrations by James White

Hulk Hogan

WWE illustrations by James White

‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase

WWE illustrations by James White

Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat

WWE illustrations by James White

The Junkyard Dog

WWE illustrations by James White

‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin

WWE illustrations by James White

Koko B. Ware

WWE Illustrations by James White

André the Giant

WWE illustrations by James White

The Undertaker

WWE illustrations by James White

Demolition

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, over the last few days you will have noticed my latest run of illustrations focusing on the superstars of the WWE (or WWF, as it was called in my youth). I wanted to jump back into this style and was looking for some fun subject matter that hasn’t really been explored by the pop-culture vultures. Wrestlers was it.

I haven’t been into wrestling for about 2 decades now, kinda stopped watching around the early 90s. But getting into these illustrations re-opened just how INTO wrestling I was back then. From about ’87 to ’93 it ruled my life, mostly due to my childhood buddy Mike. We drew our own wrestlers, ran our own imaginary federations and watched a ton of the special WWF events. So much fun.

So here are the first illustrations of wrestlers, with many more to come. As always, your thoughts and requests are welcome. Judging by the response, I had no idea so many of you were wrestling fans.

What started as a fun little project might be growing into something more. Currently talking to a few notable people interested in doing something. More soon?

EDIT: As I complete new illustrations I’ll be adding them to this blog post, for easy reference.

Muhammad Ali poster

Muhammad Ali by James White

Muhammad Ali, regular edition.

Muhammad Ali by James White

Muhammad Ali, gold “Championship” edition.

Muhammad Ali by James White

Initial digital sketch and a WIP shot.

The Louisville Lip. The People’s Champion. The Greatest. Here’s a poster design I created honouring the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali. This is yet another poster that wasn’t, but maybe could be…

The brass over at Mystery Box (who happens to be a huge Ali fan) struck up a conversation with the licensing people at the Ali camp and we’ve been in talks for quite some time. I designed this poster right at the beginning to grease the wheels, but proceedings have been sluggish. So we decided to release the design to see if Ali fans might spark interest. We have big plans for this one, gold ink and all that. The “Championship” Edition. But to get the numbers right takes a lot of planning.

Seen above are the 2 colour versions I put together, as well as my initial digital sketch and in-progress vector shot. Spent a lot of time getting those shapes just right, and added some smooth halftones for dimension. Needed it just right to honour the champ.

Anyway, we’re hoping to make this one a reality at some point.

WarGames poster for Skuzzles

WAR GAMES poster by James White

WAR GAMES poster by James White

WAR GAMES Regular Edition

WAR GAMES poster by James White

WAR GAMES “Green CRT” Variant Edition

WAR GAMES poster by James White

WAR GAMES poster by James White

Early concept sketches.

WAR GAMES poster by James White

Initial digital sketch and colour study.

WAR GAMES poster by James White

An early version of the poster, including a can of TAB.

Oh man, here we go. I’m super proud to release a poster for one of my favourite childhood movies, WARGAMES (1983). I was approached by the crack team at Skuzzles and was absolutely honoured when they asked me to design this thing. Almost dropped the phone, no foolin’. This is my first officially commissioned movie poster outside of my work with Mystery Box. And this is printed by the totally badass DL Screenprinting. Hands are shaking just typing this.

Above you can see the regular edition as well as the special “Green CRT” variant. SO much green in there man, just like the computer screens of old. So lets cut right to the chase and post some details straight from Skuzzles High Command…

The Details

We are really excited to be announcing our latest addition to the Skuzzles poster family.  We reached out to another of our fellow axe-wielding, plaid covered, maple syrup chugging Canadian, James White of Signalnoise, to create an officially licensed limited edition screen print for the 1983 cult classic WARGAMES.   This Academy Award nominated hit starring Matthew Broderick, was one of the first movies to expose “hacker culture” on the big screen and featured the use of the IMSAI 8080 microcomputer and a 212A (Cermetek) modem.  It was no surprise that James’ artwork completely nailed the feel of the movie combining the digital tech, military and character aspects of the film.  When James presented us the idea of his variant to compliment his incredible stylish regular we were completely on board.  The end result of the variant gives the perception you are looking at a monochrome CRT computer monitor aka “Green Screen”.

We can’t wait to hear your reactions when you see these war games screen prints in person.  Such an amazing look to this print.

WARGAMES Regular Edition

  •        Price $45
  •        Size 36″ x 24″ – 5 color screen print
  •        Edition size of 165
  •        Printing by DL Screenprinting
  •        Artwork by James White – Signalnoise

WARGAMES “Green CRT” Variant Edition

  •        Price $60
  •        Size 36″ x 24″ – 5 color screen print
  •        Edition size of 70
  •        Printing by DL Screenprinting
  •        Artwork by James White – Signalnoise

GLOBAL THERMONUCLEAR WAR BEGINS (screen prints on sale) on Tuesday July 23 @ 12:00PM Eastern Time on our homepage. Join our mailing list  or follow us on twitter @SKUZZLESCAN for announcements.

Superman

Superman by James White

I’m proud to release the poster I contributed to the SUPER poster art show for The Roost in Newcastle, Australia. I was thrilled when the team reached out to me, all the way on the other side of the globe to contribute. They didn’t want duplicate heroes in the show, so selecting which hero you wanted to do a poster of was first come, first served. Luckily for me, the Man of Steel was up for grabs. I jumped at it.

I’ll say this: creating a Superman poster was nowhere near easy, and halfway through I found myself in a tough spot. Here’s the scoop. I knew straight away that I wanted to create a Superman poster that honoured MY Superman. The classic costume, bright colours, smile on his face. Proud. Not the strange version of Superman we have today with that weird costume, desaturated colours, leaking heat vision whenever he gets pissed off… I don’t even know who that guy is.

No, I’ll be designing MY Superman which was a bigger challenge than I expected since he’s been my hero my entire life. I planted about 12 hours into the initial design, only to scrap it days before the deadline and redevelop it from the ground up… while on a plane to Wisconsin. I’m an idiot.

I started with some quick digital mock-ups to figure out the pose, colours and overall composition. The poster had to sum up a number of ideas and not just be a portrait piece. I toyed with the idea of putting in the chrome Superman symbol from the Bob Peak poster, but couldn’t make it look right. Even messed with a “Fortress of Solitude creating the Superman logo” like an Olly Moss piece, but I didn’t dig it. Eventually I arrived at a simple flying pose that looked proud and strong.

Superman by James White

Digital sketch concepts: Photoshop.

Superman by James White

Digital sketch concepts: Photoshop.

Superman by James White

Digital sketch concepts: Photoshop and Adobe Ideas colour mock-up.

That design on the right was created in Adobe Ideas on my iPad during the flight and ended up being the foundation for the pose and palette seen in the final. It was my first time using Ideas, and it really worked for what I needed. Well done, Adobe!

But I didn’t settle right away. I pulled out my Field Notes and started sketching the composition, playing with Superman’s design, angle, arm position and a bunch of other things. What would Superman’s body and face look like? I needed these things nailed down before I got to the hotel in Madison WI so I had very few guesses to make. I had basically 1 day in the hotel to build the entire poster. Yikes.

Superman by James White

Sketchbook concepts and thumbnails.

Superman by James White

Sketchbook concepts for Superman’s design. Right: Head and shoulders sketch.

Superman by James White

Final sketchbook concept and vector design.

After I felt everything was ‘sort of’ in place, especially after roughing that sketch on the left I opened Illustrator and got to it. A lot of scrutiny went into those vectors before I moved into Photoshop for all my effects, texture lighting and construction work. The final looks more ‘Bruce Timm-y’ than I intended, but I always kind of drew Superman in the style of the ’90s cartoon… sort of. I also shifted the style and process to mimic my console illustrations done earlier this year.

The addition of the jets and planets was VERY last minute, and I’d like to thank the crew at The Roost for allowing me the slight update. Those little elements add so much to the poster and I’m thrilled they let me get away with it, especially after I had sent them the ‘final file’. You guys rule for putting up with me.

Superman by James White

Initial concept. I scrapped this direction after 12 hours of work.

And seen above is the initial idea I started to build. 12 hours of digital painting. I got to the point where the image looked forced. The concept wasn’t very inspired and I became bored looking at it. This is when I made the tough decision to scrap the entire poster and re-think it from the ground up. Now, I KNOW someone is looking at this and about to type “I like this one better”, but when you boil down the 2 concepts this initial one is just a portrait piece. Nothing more. It’s not designed at all, and stylistically it’s pretty dull. I couldn’t deal with that and wasn’t about to sell this piece short. This is Superman, afterall.

So, here’s all the details straight from The Roost!

SUPER art show

A big thanks to my new friends at The Roost for approaching me to contribute to this amazing show. SUPER opens this Friday in Newcastle, Australia at Curve Gallery. Here is the Facebook event page.

Patch designs for NFB Space School

NFB Space School

NFB Space School

NFB Space School

NFB Space School

Been designing a lot of patch designs over the last little while, and been loving every second of it. I’m proud to show these mission patch-style logos created for the mighty National Film Board of Canada in support of their Space School initiative. Bit of a story here…

About 2 years ago I designed a handful of patches for NASA, unofficially. See, NASA has been a dream client of mine since I was a little kid learning about the stars, SkyLab, space shuttles, the whole thing. So I tried to get NASA’s attention through designing some patches and tweeting the hell out of them. In short it didn’t work, but I had some neat portfolio pieces in the end. Then a few months later I got a call from the NFB to design the suckers you see above, a direct result of those NASA patches. You never know what will happen when you put your stuff out there, man.

I was blown away when they launched the NFB Space School site, because right at the front was my logo on a bigass rocket. Dream come true. That top notch animation was done by my pal Joël LeLièvre. Quality goods.

A big thanks to Paul and the Space School team for rolling the dice on Signalnoise!

Adobe vs. Signalnoise for SDCC

Adobe vs. Signalnoise

Adobe vs. Signalnoise

Adobe vs. Signalnoise

Adobe vs. Signalnoise

Adobe vs. Signalnoise

Adobe vs. Signalnoise

• Photographed my own hand for reference, then sent this initial sketch to Adobe.

I was approached by my friends at Adobe to get some input on a tshirt design they wanted to do for the San Diego Comic Convention. They wanted a little limited edition thing to give out to people who dropped by their booth, but something a bit more interesting than just the Photoshop logo. Something people would want to wear with pride.

So my kneejerk, knuckle-headed response was “We should make an ’80s metal shirt!” and to my complete surprise they jumped at the idea. The only reason I blurted that out in the first place is because I wanted that shirt for myself. After I stopped laughing I got right to it. Chrome text, fist, red brush text… this design got it all. Tour tshirts always have the tour dates listed on the back, so for this one I listed all the dates of Photoshop’s major version releases and the actual codenames. So nerdy, man.

Once I started building that chrome hand I thought I may have bitten off more than I could chew. Never tried anything like that before, but it all came together in the end. Picked up a few new skills along the way, can’t sneeze at that. Above you can see I took a photo of my own hand for reference.

As of now, this shirt will only be available at the Adobe booth (#4145) at SDCC, and only through my man Daniel Presedo. Hit him up on Twitter. Very limited supply, so if you’re going to be there and want one of these silly things, you’ll need to act fast!

Johnny Cupcakes speaking at HPX Digital!

Johnny Cupcakes HPX Digital

Johnny Cupcakes

Johnny Cupcakes

Can’t even contain my excitement over this one, gang. I’m proud to announce that one of my favourite speakers and all around terrific guy Johnny Cupcakes (Johnny Earle) will be jetting into Halifax to speak at HPX Digital this October. Johnny has only spoken a handful of times in Canada, and us east-coasters are lucky enough to be on the list. This is bigger than The White Stripes coming to town back in 2007!

Not only is Johnny a talented visionary and smart entrepreneur, but he’s also still a goofy kid. The Johnny Cupcakes brand is infused with his design sensibilities, his willingness to pull some pranks and his love of the audience he’s cultivated. What he’s built is a true example that any of us can achieve our goals through ambition, perseverance, loving what you do and having as many laughs as you can along the way.

If you are a veteran designer, student, craftsperson, entrepreneur or just have a keen interest in grassroots endeavours, Johnny’s session is not to be missed. Tell your boss to give you the day off and get over to the Atlantica Hotel. Trust me on this. I had the pleasure of meeting Johnny and seeing him speak last year at WMCFest in Cleveland and he blew the doors off the place.

Johnny will be headlining HPX Digital, taking place October 23 to 25. Check out the speaker list, but most importantly get those tickets now, Halifax!

Big thanks to my pal Eric Miller at the Dartmouth Clothing Co. for coming up with that Canadian Tire logo spoof. Brilliant.

Patch designs for Opera Browser

Opera Browser

Opera Browser

Opera Browser

Opera Browser

I’m proud to show some work I recently did for the awesome people over at Opera Browser. Today they released their Made to Discover initiative featuring an amazing cliff-jumping short film that you should definitely check out. Opera reached out to Signalnoise to do some custom “boy scout style” patches to sync up with their idea of discovery. So Mystery Box and I got to work.

Shown above is the brand new website designed by my talented pal Radim Malinic, where you’ll see my little patches scattered throughout. The second image above shows some other styles and variations we explored before settling on the nice orange ones above. Can you tell I was stuck on that compass idea?

Now you have to understand, Opera is a browser that I’ve been seeing during my entire “online” life. Back in 1995 I remember seeing Netscape and Opera… those were the 2 browsers at the school I went to, so getting the opportunity to work with these guys means a heck of a lot. Never would have thought 18 years ago, man…

Big thanks to the wicked people over at Opera for rolling the dice on Signalnoise!