Oh, did I mention this is simple and the illustration industry is one big swindle?

NOTE: Sarcasm. You illustrators are mostly really awesome. I'm completely jealous of your abilities to be paid a lot.


Pay me $1500?

I don't wish to alarm anyone, but illustration is ridiculously easy. Observe.



Today's the day.

Today marks the second step in the Great Tying Down of Nick. Step 1: Marriage. Check. Step 2: House. At 1 p.m., check. Step 3: Baby. Hmmm... Two out of three ain't bad.

It seems to me that the true geniuses of the past name their houses/estates. This is a tradition that I feel needs some reviving. Up until this point I've been referring to our new house as "Candy Mountain," in honor of this wonderful video. But as of yesterday that idea had been officially shot down by the Mrs. So we were able to agree on a new name that I feel carries just as much awesomeness to it: Leatherchaps. Beholden.

Anyway, here's a drawing if you like that kind of thing.


I'll miss it.

I'm really psyched for the 2010 opening of the new Twins' stadium. That said, I still love the Metrodome, if only because of how loud it gets. This footage is from eight days ago, when Justin Morneau hit a walk-off homer to beat the Brewers. If you've ever been in the Metrodome, watch this and see if you don't get a chill.

Droorings from the weekend.

I was a busy boy.

Someone left a nice pen on my desk, so I went a little crazy. Cross-hatching certainly seems to lend itself well to some drawings but not others. I also tried doing a bit more commenting in the page, I think it works out pretty well.

Drawing something that's predominantly black is tricky. Some watercolors certainly would have helped the cause but that's another medium for another month (or year).

The most complete composition I've done yet, I think this counts as probably the best drawing I've ever done. I spent like three hours shading the upper lip. There's plenty more where that came from.



Yesterday I looked up Danny Gregory's blog and fed my inspiration. I really enjoyed his session at the HOW conference, and I've been trying to draw a lot ever since (see below). So last night I find myself in Borders and what should appear before my eyes but this. Everybody, no matter who you are, listen to me:


I'm not even halfway through the first chapter and I'm hailing it as the best book I'll read this year. Drawing is quickly becoming my obsession, and I couldn't be happier about it. The ones for today come from the first exercise of the book. I'm particularly pleased with my Kevin Garnett portrait. That's in honor of the fact that soon he'll leave. I'll cry a little inside on that day.

Oh and a little PS action, I found this video the other day. I was pretty keen on these guys' work for a while. Hawtt stuff.


Italian coin.

I can't stop drawing and posting, it's becoming an obsession.

"This is my SECOND FAVORITE COIN in the whole world. My absolute favorite coin was a British Pound that I lost a few years back. It was the only coin I ever felt bad about losing. I got both of them on a trip to Europe when I was eighteen, back before the rise of the Euro. I was digging through some scraps from that trip the other day and stumbled across my collection of coins. I decided to start bringing this one with me wherever I go from now on for two reasons: 1. Italian things are classy. I feel a little more refined when I rock the L. 500 piece. And 2. the outer ring is silverish but the inside looks like copper. Any coin that can go 2-tone is gravy in my book. Sometimes I lament living in the United States because our money is so lame. It doesn't help that I live near the Money Museum, where I can go to covet other countries' currency whenever I get the mood. I really wonder how many people besides numismatists ever think about the design of money. I also wonder how many people out there walk around carrying a defunct currency."


Nothing says, "Happy First Day of Summer" quite like a series of fish-looking windsocks and a fake ivy branch in an old 1999 ADDY award cup. I know what you were thinking, this looks more like a tropical drink. Wrong!

Trying to work on my hand-lettered typography. I have about three styles that look ok. I need more. That's where the money's at, my friends.

You just haven't lived...

...until you've extensively explored this site. It just feels right.


My wife loves me.

I got this watch for an anniversary present last year. My wife loves me. I drew this in the green room at church on Sunday morning. As you can see, it's almost noon. This would never fly during football season.

Green room.

Last weekend I played bass for church. It's the kind of thing that tends to take up your whole weekend: rehearsal on Thursday night, playing from 3:30 to almost 8 on Saturday, and 7:30 to 1 on Sunday. It's a big time commitment. During the service it's common to hang out in the green room behind the stage. As compensation for your services, someone cooks dinner for everyone on Saturday night.

"The spread in the green room never disappoints. Makes me feel a little like a rock star, even if it's at church. Tonight is turkey tetrazini and some scrumptous cookies. I knew playing bass would take me places."



Three great things were happening when I drew this. First, she had her head rested on her bone. She does this a lot, often falling asleep with a toy in her mouth. Second, she looked like she was hugging the floor, also very cute. Third, I just happened to have my sketch pad at hand. I was able to draw her without her moving, which is no small feat.

"No matter how many times we see it, it's as undeniable as it is adorable. Sasha loves her bone."

Way too early, but still...

Super Bowl XL-whatever will be:

Vikings and Jets.

Laugh now. Heck, laugh later. I picked earlier than you did though.


Flying back to Denver.

On the flight back from Atlanta to Denver, I had time to reflect on what knowledge I had acquired and how I would start applying that to my working life. I had tried to draw the seat in front of me, but somebody couldn't stop playing with the reclining button. And so I thought the memory of a small glass of Coke would serve as adequate fodder for my clumsy, unintentionally-cubist drawing habit.

1. Write two hours each week, minimum.
2. Play with word placement.
3. Don't be afraid of using humor in work.
4. Work on always having an answer.
5. Make more lists.
6. Take ten minutes every morning to think of nothing.
7. Develop department brand.
8. Frequent more design sites.
9. Work on appealing to reptile and monkey thinking.
11. Sell my ideas.
12. Work A LOT more on typography.
13. Repeat ideas when necessary.
14. Say no more often.
15. Play the ball where the monkey drops it."

A lot of these haven't quite been implemented yet, but it's nice to organize my thoughts every now and then.

Downtown Atlanta.

Last Tuesday night Dan, James, and I took a walk around downtown Atlanta. Fresh off of a conference session entitled "The Drawing Habit," we decided it would be good to just get out there and draw. Here's my best one from the evening. The homeless people are so nice down there. They stop and talk to you, really act interested in what you're doing before they hit you up for money. I appreciate that, and feel much better about giving them some money. Unfortunately all I had was 63 cents. Eh well.

"Cool breeze and low humidity. Summer evenings in the city of the Falcons, Hawks, and Thrashers can be quite pleasant. Apparently there's a guy at the Emmanuel Mission a couple blocks away that's a good artist. So says the kindly guy I gave 63 cents to. Propa."


What a joke. Part II

In an effort to keep you apprised of the happenings with Paris Hilton, I offer this courtroom sketch I invented. You're welcome.


Worst logo ever.

I'm not even kidding. This is not hyperbole. This is the worst logo I have ever seen. I know everyone knows all about it already, but the thing causes seizures for crying out loud. I, as a graphic designer, could not have done a worse job. And for 400,000 pounds, neither could you.

I can't stress this enough. This logo will go down in history. We will all someday tell our grandkids.

What a joke.


I think Charles put it best: "I'm not for vengeance or anything, but they should have at least taken her hand or finger or something."


Gearing up for Hot 'Lanta.

Attention vendors who are planning on having a booth at the HOW Conference in Atlanta next week: I am sincerely interested in your goods and services!

Please send me a postcard detailing your free giveaways, contests, promotions, etc. I will be at your booth with an eager smile and a gleam in my eye for whatever you want to sell to me. I don't actually have the power to buy your products, but I can certainly carry the word back to Colorado with me, especially if I have a free t-shirt or key ring with which to remember you by.

Join your fellow companies like: Modern Postcard, Wausau Paper, and Savannah College of Art & Design in offering things to people. It's not that I'm only interested in your free stuff, but I have a bad memory and so if you'd like another customer you might have to pony up a lil' sumpin', or at the very least entertain me for five to ten minutes.

Thank you.


An apology.

To the millions of adoring fans that tuned in religiously when I hosted "Ska Bonanza" on KVSC back in the day, I apologize. Whenever I pulled out the Slackers' "Better Late Than Never", I always played "Sarah" instead of any other track. That was just plain wrong of me. I deprived you of no less than eight great songs in doing this. I was just a kid, you know? They shouldn't have let me get away with that for as long as I did. Sorry. Can we still hang out?



Am I getting carried away with posting? Perhaps. But I just wanted to document my higher creative output. Here's a drawing I invented:

Also, awesome link of the day: Marmaduke Explained.

Design, June 1.

I'm going to try to design something for every weekday in June, excluding the three days I'm in Hot 'Lanta. No themes, just a common shape. Here's today's.

Take that, eh?

In your face, Canada! For the second year in a row, one of your nerd children finished second to a cornfed American nerd in the spelling bee. You stink like poo! It's the Scripps National Spelling Bee, not the Scripps Continental Spelling Bee. You don't see Mexico trying to get in like a 15-year-old girl with a fake ID, do you? It's bad enough you have to budge in on our professional baseball and hockey leagues. Why don't you try developing your own culture, instead of weezin' off our gig? No, Kids in the Hall doesn't count as "culture." I'll be dead in the cold cold ground before I see a bespectacled Canuck pip-squeak trying to match wits with the indomitable Stuart Scott on primetime ABC. That's right, the American Broadcasting Company. Ursprache!