Showing posts with label Design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Design. Show all posts

Monday, April 8, 2013


Here are some doodads from our main April ALT News poster.

The theme was comedy, so I was excited to share some light information on comedy. When people say "comedian," I feel like they mostly mean a "humor-based TV personality," rather than somebody who stands in front of a crowd and tries to make them laugh via monologue. 

As it was April Fools, I also showed them how to do traditional US pranks.  I did a mime demo for elemkids and they really enjoyed it.
I also added an interactive part of the poster, where you can spin the Pocari Sweat to learn how to play Truth or Dare.

Here are some headings that I thought came out pretty neat.

Plus there's a simple little joke, illustrated to boot, for easy Japanese consumption. I was pumped to learn from a jKid that he actually got and laughed at the joke!


Something neat I learned was that Japanese people think "Punchline" is Japanese-English, rather than English-English. That was kinda funny, itself.

I wonder if anyone understood the Groucho part, though.



Monday, February 25, 2013


This is our secondary February ALT News poster, primary is here. Same ideas as the last one, just compact since we have less surface area for the secondary, but updated art since we have time to rethink stuff. Can you spot the latest Japanese fad incorporated into this edition?

Here's a close up of our anchor. This is another take on the nerd concept, except just one hardcore noid. The wacky hair is inspired by Daley. The monocolor concept was because we didn't have a lot of time to turn these two around, so why not just go with Valentiney red. I really want to be able to pull off that single color scheme, but I am not sold on these attempts.

Tell me, did you feel that?


Friday, February 22, 2013


Here is our first February ALT poster. The doodads' detail is here. Features this month include a spotlight on rock love songs that I love cuz they rock, a dealio on black history month, and a report on Harvard's cheatyface cheaters.

Here's a close up of the noids. I wanted to draw a story-pic of dudes competing for a girl in their own special way, and have each repulsive in their own way. It made me laugh a bunch of times while drawing it, so it was worth it.

Show me ya moves!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013


This is the New Expression section doodads from our secondary February poster. It's an updated version of the first one.
Here's what the full section looks like, complete with the header graphics I really liked.


Friday, January 25, 2013


Earlier detail shots here and here, this is our main January ALT poster, featuring that one book about tamales, a Timmy Turner reference, and subtle hints and some lil' hits.

Here's our anchor image, a snake achieving infinity. This one had to be churned out quickly, so we severely limited the colors.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Here are some title designs from our main January ALT poster.

And here's some spot illos for a common English expression (right) plus (left) the difference between when the US vs. JP plays Auld Lang Syne. In Japan, they play it every night before just about any store closes down for the day.

Still trips me up.


Friday, December 28, 2012


This is some fan art for the Adrian Simon. Most of the music I use in my youchoob videos belongs to him (used with permission, of course!), and since I didn't get to do fan art of him last time, I thought now would be a great time to draw a token of my thanks. 

So the art "order" was for a "cute graphic" t-shirt with some kind of redhead-based saying. I couldn't think of any sweet sayings myself and research left me with nothing sumptuous, so I stretched a line a little to fit using innuendo (gingerly).

The expression I heard when I was young was "Red at night, sailor's delight; red in the morning, sailors take warning," apparently a nautical saying seafarers used to ballpark the day's weather before casting off to go fight the forces of the Negaverse or whatever it is people do in the Naaaaaavy. The phrase synched up pretty neatly with the AO, particularly when you factor in Adrian Simon's more recent work kinda gets a touch blue, so there was more to munch on there if you choose to take it up that way. Not that there's anything outrageous here that would make you turn your head, but it can go as coughy as you want it to.

Fun Facts: As we were driving up to LA for my interview to get the very job I currently enjoy here in Japan, we listened (appropriately) to Adrian Simon's Ivy League albums for the occasion, complete with his BUAD cover

The only one in the car who hadn't heard the song before, like I did way back when, squinted suspiciously after a couple repeats' worth of plays granted the lyrics lucidity.  It's like getting tricked into loving that song. But it's so great!  Ok, not the song, just his cover. I normally can't stand rap, but this dude killllls it.  Every single time.  I would be all over it if he did a rap covers album. He can make the most horrific stuff beautiful. Gosh.

ANYWAY. So I sketched this one mostly in my head, but early versions had him in a full-on Sailor Scoutfit but I thought that was a little much since it might inadvertently dishonor rather than laud the guy. So we just settled with a regular sailor's uniform but with Serena's pose. Clever right? Yeah I am.

But the trickiest thing was it had to be cute (I really wanna draw him cool, though, you know? I so badly wanna draw a cool picture of a redhead some day). I wouldn't normally do the extra-chibi-riffic thing but it was to sell the Sailor Moon angle, and because chibi has become a shorthand for cute, even if the SD figure isn't even actually cute (and who knows if mine is!).

As for making it feel like a t-shirt design, I tried to keep the colors simple, though if this were an actual t-shirt, I'd prolly just make it all flat.  Additionally, while I knew this would be destined for a red shirt, I thought it's be neat to make the frame riff on of the Heinz ketchup labeling.  Google it.

So, final score--redhead expression: check-ish. Cute: check-ish.  T-shirt graphic: check-ish.  Pretty close, right?

There was super short notice on this piece and I was neck-dope in a different production, but it was a fun project to undertake for the experience points.  I would love to make real t-shirts down the road someday.  I want to make them by hand, though; I'm not crazy about this 100% digital art business, ya know?

Oh! Also, if you've never listened to the Adrian Simon, you gotta chuckim oot.


Monday, December 17, 2012


Here's our proper December ALT poster, fresh in oh-twelve, right? Right.  We've got a special section on Christmas rock tunes including selections from My Chemical Romance, and The Matches, Something Corporate, Fall Out Boy, and Those Guys.  This one was kind of a rusher towards the end, but pretty happy with that Santa!

This is a close up of the reindeer I have named Doofy.

Trying desperately to draw a cute reindeer that doesn't look like a Chopper rip-off is not easy. But fortunately I failed miserably. I am the fool. Pity me.

I've started using my lightest skin tones for wood and stuff so I tried it out on the antlers and was pleasantly surpised with how it turned out.  Neat, said nobody but me.

This is a close up of our section on how to Secret Santa. Because that's a verb. Sentence fragment.

I would tell you more, but it's a secret.



Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Here're the final four monster cards from the set I made for the jKids. Thanks again to Endling for the processing tips (yay no inks!) and Magic for the layout inspiration.

The kids all seemed to really enjoy my game, beyond just the cards. The only problems that arose were that my mega prizes for those who had both a Victory monster and a Victory mark got nixed, and the max non-mega prize payout was capped to two candies instead of three (I planned one for each of participation, Victory mark, and Victory creature).

I hope the jKids don't think I tried to short them! But then again, two is better than zero, particularly when jAdults act as if you're trying to give kids puffs of stuff rather than candy any kid would eat on their own time, anyway.

Speaking of limited participation, I only ran this game with my main school, but I did have a few extra sitting around and gave some to a couple of jKids at my secondary site who came by to talk Duel Masters, and they were thrilled just to get these random little cards of which they had no idea about--unfortunately the second crew didn't get to play the game. Maybe next year? Hopefully next year.

Here are some close ups on our guys. I drew this set after completing the first because I thought it would be cool to have some variety--originally I was going to do a boy and girl version of each monster, but then thought it'd just work best if that were only for vampires and just made two versions period.

Really cool to see their reactions to the super-rare ghost! They even did his little ghost peace sign to each other haha! The female vampire, by the way, is inspired by the Innistradian ones from Magic, just so you know. But I think my favorite of all is this set's zombie or werewolf. See if you can spot an Easter Egg in one of these guys.

Speaking of covert drawing, I drew these mostly during the downtime of judging this English tournamenty thing.

Pro tip: don't take the tournament stuff too seriously, English judges; no need to be jerks to the jKids.



Monday, October 29, 2012


I made these little Magic-inspired monster cards for a school-wide event, the first major, original initiative of my little career, culminating in a candy give-away on October thirty-oneth to any student who doesn't lose their fragile, microscopic monster card and remembers to bring it to me at the appointed time. The give-away part's actually a huge deal since jSchools are usually quite strict about their no-candy policies, even if the prize is a tiny choco droplet the size of a marble.

So the idea is that we do class just like normal all week, but I give each stud a card randomly, including a super secret monster, and the cards only come into play as the aftermath of the activity (although when kids learned of the stakes, they got freakishly focused on excelling during the day's activity). The students who win a given class's activity (or just achieve notably impressive work/effort) get a victory mark--my sig--and the first student in a class to win a victory mark captures that class for their school-wide monster team (their card's monster). At the end of the school week, I tabulate the captured classes to determine the victory monster and that monster's cardholders get a bonus candy (bigger than the standard marble-sized choco-drop, like a mini-Meiji bar or two-stick Kit-Kat pack, etc.) when they present their card to me. Students who have a victory mark get a bonus candy, too. But if you have a victory mark AND a victory creature, you get a mega bonus--i.e. a full-size Snickers bar, Ghana bar, Pocky pack, etc.

I modeled the cards after Magic: the Gathering frames and I drew their illos at what I thought was print size. I penciled these during my down time at a volunteer gig I went to, and I thought I'd ink these after getting home, but then I remembered my newly-learned, time/ink-saving Endling inkless inking technique and decided to put that to idea to the test in this print-heavy project.

These came out really nice in print--they are quite small (about half the size of their originals' size), but the art reads great. And I think the "Oolf" was their favorite, although zombies got people pumped, too.

To spice it up, I decided to draw two versions of each main monster, but only one of our secret rare, since only a few students would ever grab one--so cool to see them flip out about popping the rare--or even just seeing one!

But things didn't go as perfectly as planned...the srilling conclusion Wed.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012


If you can't get enough food lately, we've got a giant treat for you today. What is it? Here's a hint:

No, it's not some kinda basebally thing--I'm an A's fan, anyway (see if you can spot the Oaklander in the final capture below, below the Shield-Trigger eyes, that is...)

That's right, it's our latest Duel Masters video, currently kinda exploding on Youtube!

See, the giants in this 大決戦オールスター12 set are usually food-themed. So.

It all makes sense.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I digi-inked a Japanese artist! This is from a special project I'm working on. It was really fun because it was so raw and loose a base drawing. Aside from changing the queen crown to a king's crown, as per instruction, I only did minor touch-ups, but for the most part I stayed pretty on-mark with the lines.

I also inked the raw calligraphy that went with the above. This one was harder because of all the little trailing bits. It says something like, "Now is the time for winning!!"



Friday, April 20, 2012


Here is the long-awaited sequel to the first half of this ALT news poster.  This half has our main anchor image, featuring our main theme, Easter.  This month, I tried including a little prize pack thingie on the bottom right, full of extra handouts and stuff for the jKids to pick up, and that seemed to go well, so we'll try more next time.

Here's a close up of the Easter Bunny.

Apparently the concept is alien to the jCrew.

They giggle at the word bunny because in Japan they simply associate the word "bunny" with Bahnee Garoo, or "bunny girl," for the layperson.

Anything with long ears, a fluffy tail, and an affinity for carrots gets the label of "rabbit."

You're missing out, Japan.

This, as everything else, was colored basically completely with Copic Ciaos, except I lined it with my Staedtler pens, more heavily on the light-distant areas.  I've since picked up a lighter blue and gray, so I'm eager to try those out to communicate volume on white.

Here are our doodads from this half.  It's a chocobunny plus a caramel egg, jelly beans, and a peep, all collected into a Easter basket.  Easter Eggs: actual Easter eggs.  And M&Ms.  Really happy with that egg and the caramel!  The bunny's also nice for essentially not planning my color, just going in and winging it.

These are today's lines.

I have to say I've been underwhelmed with Japanese candy.  They absolutely get A for effort, as most desserts look delectable, but they typically taste pretty weak, almost nothing makes you clamor for seconds.  Only pure Ghana Chocolate or Meiji or even Morinaga have satisfying chocolate impact.  But chocobread, for instance underdelivers on the regular...miss you, US-choco.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012


This month's ALT news is the first of the new school year, and it's my first, fully-illustrated joint. No Internet printing, everything's drawn and colored by me. Everything colored on the paper is tuned up with my Copic Ciaos, with guest vocals by my trusty Zebras. We've taken the Copics for a spin or two before, but this time we're utterly reliant on them.

Since there's so much art in this month's poster, we're splitting it up between two posts, this one focusing on the bottom quadrants (that's not a euphemism for something, you cheeky tanooki, you!).

I wasn't sure how to close the poster out, so I thought I'd try something I've always wanted to do with these ALT News posters: introduce a new, practical, non-text-booky expression to the jKids. As a rain enthusiast, I was loving the rains we've been having recently, so I went with, "April showers bring May flowers."

With that quote, I knew I needed an illustration to go with it. Something that celebrates the rain. Enter the kappa. I love rain, and so do they. Fuelled with the immediacy of the eureka moment, this draw just flowed, but then I mouse-cookied myself into having to Ciao it to the nines.

Coloring was ridiculous fun, and I could feel the leveling up, but it did tack on another day of labor onto the already vaguely-due poster. But I'd say it was worth it, I'm quite happy with how it came out and it looks pretty neat live.

This is what the kappa quadrant ended up looking like. Did you catch the cucumber reference?

Easter Eggs
: Kappa love cucumber, so I figured he'd sport a cucumber-themed umbrella. But wait, there's more! The brella's bright yellow to mimic the elementary school umbrella "uniform" since kappa are often associated with young kids. Further defining him a good-guy kappa (as opposed to other sorts of kappa), his cucumber's cut into a smiley face.

Fun Facts: When discussing this piece with a Japanese man who saw me working on it, I out-Japwnd him on kappa trivia! Take that, Japan! USA! USA! USA!

This is quadrant III of the poster, a breakdown of April Fools' plus a description of how to Easter Egg hunt. I was running short on time, but I knew I wanted to try stylizing a bit, so I went with a traffic light coloring scheme on the fool illo and a restrained, graphic style for the Easter Egg hunt bits.

Next time, how we anchored this image, proper.


Monday, April 2, 2012


I designed some bumpers for some videos I made. The one above was pulled and tweaked from this old draw, to back my byline page. The cards only start showing up at the end of our second video here, though:

This next bumper was designed for our main credits, pulled from an old sketch I did almost a year ago! It was meant to be the least invasive since the information scrolling there actually deserves to be read (as opposed to my credit, which can just be safely assumed or extrapolated).

My first video only had a title card, no end cards, which was a nice start, but I definitely want to get more design practice in, as well as editing, cuz I'm finding this an interesting little new art universe I've stepped into.

So there are my first two Duel Masters videos live from Japan. I kinda like this film stuff, but man, it's time consuming...I feel the power though. I feel the power.


Friday, January 6, 2012


An Apollo-ready commission I did a while ago.

These are the lines. In case it isn't obvious, the piece's actual text has been omitted.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Those crazy kids are at it again--a mite more stylish but a tad too childish. Outlandish and wild-ish, while this's the mildest stylist of modern love bandwagon Try-Thists, she insists this's a love-anihilists' scheme, what brings dings to these scenes destroying what clean wings beguile us all the while it's steam-wrings of torn jeans' seams, but it's no thing so they quiet us, and we're denied us our dream things, or so it seems to me.

Anyway, these are the pencil lines behind the piece. Speaking of which, if you want some lines to pick up chicks, try this one: I stay in my room divorced from reality for as long as possible as I draw all day meanwhile the world carries on without me, my grip on truth subsequently slipping ever constantly due in part to this and my understated general apathy towards that assumed font of value that would exist in any case. See how that works out for ya.

Fun Facts: jPeeps don't know about mistletoe! So I had to explain it. It was fun, particularly the part about how creepy guys hack the system with the ol' mistletoe in the pocket move.


Monday, May 2, 2011


Make futile efforts to hide out for about ten years, it's Sick Little Suicide #23, "Bigger and Blacker," in which I am feeling an odd mix of happiness and guilt for feeling so happy about a death.

It's like watching an excellent comedian absolutely kill it.

Easter Eggs: Incredible source photos here and here.

Fun Facts: Having just destroyed that idiot Donald Trump the day prior (with great help from Seth Meyers), I felt that by the end of his Osama-killing announcement, Mr. Obama was primed for the ultimate in oratory finale: a Chris Rock mic-drop.

Sadly, he didn't do it.

But I can always imagine.

Thus, art.

Baa: I was in 8th grade on 9/11, I had never left California before and had no relations to the east coast to speak of. I had no concept of New York as anything more than an abstract picture on TV, and although I recognized that morning as something utterly unbelievable, it only ever existed to me in intangible, even foreign, terms.

Maybe my four years on the east coast at Yale and my school trips to New York were key influences that made this past weekend's news so much more real to me now. I even felt tears of joy and incredulity gathering in my eyes as the President spoke!

I really didn't think we'd ever know Osama's fate, I thought he would steal away a quiet, peaceful death. Yet we now get to experience a rare sense of closure at least as far as he is concerned.

But oddly enough, even as the jubilation frothed forth, I couldn't help noticing how strange it is to rejoice at news of a death. But in any case, justice is among the most beautiful things in the world, and I am swelling with pride for my President, our military, and our country.

Speaking of pride, in the YDN's coverage of Yale's reaction, I noticed my T-Shirt design was front and center! What are the odds! Wish I could reprint that shirt, especially since I can use digital methods now...

That traditional work still looks so avoidably janky.


Monday, January 17, 2011


These are some of the remaining shirt designs from that sketch session I did a couple years ago for French band Namaste. They gave me a lot of design freedom, but one specific concept they did ask for was a "cartoony" version of the band.

Since I don't know French, I could only rely on the general mood of the songs and my contact's translation. It's been a while so I can't remember the specifics we discussed, but I believe this design was inspired by his telling me that they contemplate the absurd, like how sand and snow can look so similar meanwhile representing totally different environments...

I believe this design came about because they had some sort of Buddhist or Eastern philosophy influences and wanted to do something with that anti-evil monkey trio concept. When I went to Japan, I got to see one of the original monkey trios carved into an ancient Shinto shrine!


Monday, December 20, 2010


Some design practice, supposed to be feel-good, starring the different "reads" Nyao gave for the latest ZLM comic and guest-starring that pixie logo from Suburban Glamour.

Also, I noticed I could make a hilariously depressing Removal version.