Saturday, March 29, 2008

Art & Prose is out

Back in January I mentioned that I was to be featured in Art&prose magazine. Well, the issue out. The issue also features the art of Gina Pitkanen (a.k. Ravenheart), Rob Hassan, Miss_E, and Sky Keith and David R. Darrow (cover).

Also, I should mention that I am also going to be featured in the next issue of Forbidden Whispers Magazine. I believe that that issue is due out at the end of the month. Obviously since both these interview are coming out at the same time there is going to be a great deal of overlap in art and content. I must say that I am extremely flattered and thank the folks at both magazines for including me in there publications.

After the fall

Here is the first of the 2 book covers I mention in my last post. The illustration is for an anthology of stories titled After the Fall about post apocalyptic civilizations published by Muddy water books.The twist is that all the stories are optimistic visions of new futures.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Superduper secret, if I tell you I will have to kill you, news

I am in talks with an independent film studio to do some concept work and a poster for a supernatural thriller-- can't say any more or the NDA ninjas will get me. But I am pretty jazzed about it.

I can, however, talk about the other stuff I have on my plate. I am working on the next set of cards for both the Legends of 5 Rings ccg, and Warlords 4th addition ccg, I am also doing 2 book covers, one for Muddy Waters books and the other to be published by Chaosium Books . Plus I am doing some illustrations for Shroud Magazine. And I am designing a logo/illustration for web site promoting Anna J Evans Urban Fantasy book, Night Rose (Tor/Forge).

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I was set to do a cover for a signed special edition publication by a big named author (NDA prevents me from naming names). But, the Author evidently has an artist that he likes to work with so I was pulled from the project--ouch. The Editor over there was very nice and assured me that it was not a matter of talent and is going to be assigning me to a different project so there is no monetary loss or anything. And I really can't begrudge the Author, after all there is a certain amount of trust that an author has to have when he turns his vision over to an artist. Once that trust has been established why would an author take a risk on some unknown artist. And as an illustrator I would love to have a big named author insistent on only using me (any takers out there?)-- but it still stings a little.

Zombie Love Song

A few posts back I posted an illustration that is going to be featured in issue #2 of Polluto magazine (an award winning Anti-Pop Culture-- counterculture publication). I was set to do a second illustration for the magazine--a post apocalyptic Wizard of Oz story. Regretfully, that story has been pulled from this issue (hopefully I will get the chance to interpret it in a future issue). At any rate they sent me a different story instead--It is called Zombie Love Song....... It is more than little shocking, very dark, sensual and revolting, But, oddly optimistic.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


This is Ilium a board game put out by Playroom Entertainment. I designed Game board, Artifact Tokens, Character Cards,and Archaeologist Cards. This was an incredibly frustrating project as the art director was himself a freelancer and not really into the project so that there was a lot of miscommunication between Playroom and myself as they went through the art director. Once the art director dropped out of the project and I was working directly with their Director of Design & Development everything went very smoothly. The board consists of an excavation site of the ancient city of troy, It was great fun to do and I am very proud of the results.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Why Hanged man

Got and E-mail today from a fan of my L5R stuff. she asked why I named my studio Hanged man and I thought it would make a good post--

Hanged man does not refer to the spelling game played by children, nor does it refer an executioner. Rather, it refers to the 12th card of the Major Arcana of the tarot deck--The Hanged man. I am not a believer in the mystic or predictive properties of the tarot. I do, however, love great stories and myths, symbols and the cards of the tarot represent a great wealth of these. My interest in the card goes to its origins and connections with Odin, the all father of Norse mythology. In the Elder Edda (the source of much Norse mythology) there is poem of Odin quest for knowledge in the land of the dead:

wounded I hung on the wind-swept gallows,
for nine long nights,
I was pierced by a spear,
I was an offering to Odin,
offered, myself to myself
No one has ever known
or will ever know the roots of that ancient tree
No one came to comfort me with bread
no one revived me with drink from a horn
I peered at the worlds below:
I seized the runes,
shrieking I seized them:
then fell back

This is the scene depicted in the tarot card. The gallows represents Yggdrasil, the world tree. Its root penetrating deep into the underworlds its limbs and branches supporting the heavens. Odin is the hanged man--offering himself to him self he enters the land of the dead and learns the words of power and of knowledge. The parallels to art and the creative process might be a little overblown. Especially from an guy that draws dragons for a living. But, there is something to the self sacrifice, and solitary nature of of the creative process --of reaching into unknown and unexplored areas of your mind and seizing the inspirations that hide there and wrestling them on to paper. That is the name sake of Hanged man studio.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I have tentatively agreed to attend a few Kotei this spring (Kotei are a series of yearly events the Legend of the Five Rings Collectible Card Game). I am way behind and have not even begun to get my materials together. I am hoping to make it to the Portland Kotei, and if I can manage the time (which right now is a pretty big if) the Seattle Tacoma Kotei.

I must admit I do not play the game but I have a great deal of respect for the fans of this game. they are among the most passionate gamers I have ever come across. I have done more illustrations for this game then any other. I am no longer sure of the count but it is somewhere between 300 and 350 illustrations.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Suger and spice and.... dragons

A couple of posts ago I mentioned how it is important to tailor your portfolio to your client. And how I am trying to both increase the number and type of clients I work for. One of the areas I would like to do illustrations for are young adult books. I think that some of the most exciting cover art can be found on these books. I often go to Powell's book store with my Niece- who is an insatiable reader- and while she is reading the back of the books, I am looking at the beautiful art work on the front covers. This image is a portfolio piece I have made for that market. It has more whimsy and sweetness then my typical images, yet at the same time I tried to ad a little since of mystery and maybe even danger. I really like the end results--

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Apocalypses & Garden Furniture

Image for the second issue of Polluto Magazine. The theme for this issue is 'Apocalypses & Garden Furniture'. I am also illustrating a story in the issue called 'Dorothy & the Holocaust of Oz', which includes Ozma living in a tank, Dorothy as a middle-aged woman and cannibal munchkins! Oh my!

and now for something a little different

Done for graffiti games--afraid that's all I am allowed to say at this point. But, I wanted to share it because it a little outside my usual style and genre of illustration. I am trying to branch out from horror, fantasy, sci-fi some-- it does tend to limit the number and type of publishers I can work for. I am trying to create a variety of portfolios that I can show to different clients. You cant show fantasy warrior women and then say that you can do children's books. In this case graffiti games needed a concept image of a female hip hop character and an image of a dragon or some other fantasy theme would not show them that I could do figures for their games. The presentation you show one should differ than the presentation you show the other.