german work gallery showing

So, my fellow German/American exchange peers and I are putting on an exhibition to present the work that we did while studying in Hildesheim. I was afraid in the beginning that I would be the only one setting up in the gallery but luckily the others jumped in with a bit of their work to present. I think that it should be a pretty interesting experience to go through. On opening night we are presenting our thoughts and experiences on the exchange and then our work will be critiqued by professors of our choice to see if the credits actually transfer to where we were hoping they would... that might prove to be a depressing situation. If there isn't enough work presented to cover a course then they will stick those credits into an ART-XXX meaning something not toward my major. Well, no point in worrying about it now!

Through this poster together for the exhibition tonight. Need to add some info but basically has the feel I was looking for.


final poster

The poster is finished. Pretty simple overall. I wish I would have had more time on my hands to work with the type but my schooling is crushing down on me so I made due with what I could. I enjoy the evolution of the placement with the type, which first started off in one row above her head as though it was a masthead of a magazine. I think I will mess with the illustration a little more when I get some free time to mess around with some filters and textures. I want to explore the more painterly side of things that photoshop has to offer so I can push my style a bit more. Enjoy!

-- Edit --

Found a little typo in the in her word blurb, good thing I didn't send this out yet! Now that is much better. You've got to love catching typos at the last second.



Now comes the color. I'm messing around with a technique that one of my more admired illustrators uses for his work. It is based on simply messing around with selective color in masked off sections and it works wonders, plus you can mess around with the color all you want without having to repaint the elements. I'll make sure to have a bigger chunk done with the next post.


poster in progress

I received the guidelines to this poster contest the morning after I started on the first line work... so I decided to start fresh and figure out a more appropriate composition. Still holding true to that sexual appeal that I was aiming for in the first start but this time it is a little more blunt. Once the colors go on that should just add to the feeling. I am loving the process so far, simply experimenting with elements in photoshop I am not so accustomed to using. Background is a little wanky but I am thinking it will be a bit more loose as I get deeper into it.


poster process

I have just started up work on a poster design/illustration for a random contest out of the Twin Cities. I'm hoping to do about two different compositions by the end of next week. As of now I am working toward developing a more sensual atmosphere with this piece. Started out with the woman having a cigarette but as of now I am changing up the line art so that she is holding a rose instead. Should be a fun process to go through. I'll throw up my progress over the next couple days.


dr. sketchy"s

I recently returned from my 11 month study abroad adventure to my wonderfully familiar home city of Brooklyn Park... what a crazy feeling. I need to make sure I don't fall into my old routines because I don't want to live my old life, I want to start my new one.

But on a different note and to the main point of this entry, my parents happened to go to this bar in downtown Minneapolis called the 331 Club and they were having a cool little event there called Dr. Sketchy, which is basically life drawing for the public but with a nice Avant Garde feel to it. So my dad headed back to pick me up to participate in the event along with my mom. The models that came in were two wonderfully charismatic burlesque dancers out of Chicago. Mind you I was here with my parents, aunt and uncle, and my friend and his dad. But it was just a great time. After doing a few warm up poses the dancers would do a quick routine that ended up being pretty entertaining and then we would get into some longer poses.

It was nice to get back into some real life drawing sessions but what really hit me about this whole event was how it revealed the reason of my love for living in the city, simply to be around all the strange off beat culture and to get involved in it. Events and little things like this are what give the city-life spirit and appeal and it really opened up my eyes to getting more involved in all the fun experiences like this one.

Here is the composition I spent the most time on. I was the winner of the best color use competition and I received a free entry pass to the next Dr. Sketchy event, which by the way is happening on 22nd of August for any of the readers that are interested!! You won't be disappointed on the entertainment level. Plus this 331 Club has amazing Bloody Marys. Haha!

done with micron pens, super fat pilot marker, copic markers


last days

So here I am packing up all my life, tying the loose ends of everything and preparing to leave the place that I have called home for almost a year... It is amazing how fast I can just throw everything together in my suitcases, how all that made up my life here has to fit into the confines of these four simple bags... of course there is all the things that I can't be put into bags that either stay with me as a person or with the people that I have met here and the places that I have been.

I am getting my mind ready to merge the new with the old; preparing for the clash, the adaptation, the culture shock that really shouldn't come as any surprise to me considering I have lived in such a culture for 20 years of my life... it is simply a feeling that can't be described. The worst part is I don't think this all is going to hit me until I am sitting down in my seat, ready for take off.

I think this is the last entry from me until I am home. From that point I will update everything on all the trips I have taken over the past weeks along with my future plans.

Keep an eye out for it all. Another chapter of life starts up (again).


the flute player

This illustration is probably the one with the most time put into it before the printing. Maybe it was also the longest and most difficult one to print as well, considering I couldn't get the dang thing to register right the first time around!! And even the second time I tried I still couldn't get it quite perfect, but all in all that is what makes it a screen print, little imperfections such as mis-registering (not really a word). The composition is based on a Hermann Hesse poem that was given to us to make one single piece in our own interpretation of the message this amazing writer is depicting.

What I got out of the poem titled "The Flute Player" is that the reader is to enter a world where he can hear a song being played through nature itself; the trees, the birds, the stars and moon. There is something that resides in this amazing song that is so new and wondrous but at the same time it sounds so familiar that the reader just wants to reach out and touch it, become a part of it.

More to come soon! Enjoy!


where did the month go?

So the month of June has basically vanished into thin air. What does that mean? It means that I have exactly 3 weeks left here in Germany...

School has been absorbing my time like a fresh sponge, and the rest of my time has gone into getting whatever I can out of Germany and the people I have become so close to. In the past 2 weeks my small 5 student class and I have been working up a storm trying to get everything done for the Absoventen Katalog (Alumni Catalog), a catalog of all the graduating students' final projects. All I can say is that I haven't been much more stressed than I was over those couple flashing weeks. Spending the time with my friends here is really becoming a huge priority now that my slavery to the professors of the catalog course has been broken.

As of now there is only 4 days until my birthday is here. 21... it doesn't mean squat over here in Europe and on top of that, neither does the 4th or July so I can basically kiss the anticipation of seeing the blazing grand finally of the midnight fireworks show goodbye this weekend. Dang, what a bummer...

The realization of my time here getting shorter and shorter sparks up the feeling of being a little lost. Kind of strange considering I have found out more about myself in the past year than the whole span of time from my first day of high school through the end of my sophomore year of college. The feeling of being lost is that of me knowing even though I am going to feel great seeing all the old parts of life rush back to me all at once, I will still miss everything about this place, this time, the people, the experiences and all the rest. Its as though I have gained some place here in Germany, a place that allows me to live happily from day to day. Don't get me wrong, I think I am well due to see all of the things I left behind: my friends, my family, driving! Ha ha!! But all in all there is going to be a piece of me that stays here, planted at the station waiting for the next train to take me on a new adventure into unknown territory, or sitting at the lake watching all the people fly by on bike or grilling or walking around and drinking beer in public! Its all here to stay and the next time I will meet up with all of these great things will most likely be on a short vacation as a tourist... its really a funny thing to think about.

The month of July is going to seem like it were pressed, strained and bottled into the containment of a week, I have no doubt in that. I will have to sip and enjoy every precious second of it.


sk - sk - sketching!

There are far too many of these too look through in one entry... need to make a habit of getting these up more often so my posts aren't tirelessly long.

Realized now that even though I love drawing these faces I think that I need to push my efforts and concentration more toward my love of editorial design so that I can gain some ground on my ability in that area. I will always be able to sketch but I seem to always get stuck on some of graphic design things that I need to do because I don't practice these other fundamental elements in the designers batbelt. Time to step it up!

Enjoy the new faces of the bunch


florence and cait

No, Cait is not another city in Italy. She is one of my best friends from home who I spend about 2/3 of my time at Stout with. I haven't seen her for nearly ten months save for a couple skype video chats here and there. So when I heard that she was planning to do a two month long summer session in Florence, Italy my head almost exploded with anticipation!

So this past weekend I was able to head south one of the most beautiful country sides that I have seen so far, the wonderful Tuscany landscape. Landing in the Pisa International Airport threw me off a bit considering it was about the size of a football pitch with no more security than one. They didn't even have a customs check, which disappointed me because I couldn't get my passport stamped. The one good thing about flying into a country is getting the stamp and I got jipped... Oh well.

The train ride between Pisa and Florence was the perfect way for me to get acquainted with the amazing place. There is something about Italy that was just kind of dirty and messy, but in a beautiful way. All the houses are very old, with the plaster facades chipping away in multiple places revealing faded clay bricks beneath. There are window shutters hanging lopsided on one hinge. And the vegetation grows ramped throughout yards. But then I noticed some old buildings that just weren't used anymore and half caved in, which had to have stood there for a long time because there were huge cypris trees shooting out of the interiors through the open roof. It hit me that the civilization has some quality where it blends into nature seamlessly.

Once arriving in Florence Cait found me right away and I couldn't have been happier! She brought me back to her extremely huge apartment, which was situated right behind one of the cathedrals in the center of town, and I got to meet the whole spectrum of her roommates. Over the weekend I was there we really took it easy and just explored the city through the narrow streets, more just site seeing and not doing too much of the tourist stuff (ok we explored some of the churches and the like). I was really enjoying seeing everything considering Italy was one of the important ones on my travel list to make and I was finally there but I was really just there to see Cait again and experience a bit of Europe with her.

I do wish I would have been there a bit longer so that I could have seen some more of the Tuscan landscape but I couldn't complain when I got a beautiful view of it all from the Ryanair jet. I am sure I will be heading back to Italy sometime in the future to take some more in. All - in - all it was an amazing trip!


this is a German party

So the friend of my girlfriend here sent her a picture of the after - party - morning... and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this picture. Well... actually I could considering this is Germany and beer runs through these peoples veins!! See if one day you can throw a party that can beat this...

Completely ridiculous...

redo = success!!

Jake - Conflict (6 color)

So as I said in my entry on the 26th I have redone the poster of my friend Jake. This time I held myself back from exceeding 6 colors and overworking it like I did this previous week (thankfully). I was beginning to think that I couldn't save this one. I loved the color palette from the first to the last color laid down, all of which were pretty spontaneous. I think I have finally gotten down the technique of screen printing to a science. I turned out all the copies of this print in about 3 hours. Not to shabby. I really think I could pick up screen printing as a career. It involves enough illustration to satisfy me while keeping in the graphic design elements that I love so dearly.

Who knows, maybe one day I will be setting up a little self made lab in my kitchen apartment. Haha! Anything is possible! Enjoy.


a blunt blow

I have been working on my Absolventen Katalog (Alumni Catalog) layout and design work for my big project class this semester with relentless effort. This class is made up of four German students, one Russian exchange student and myself along with the professor who is actually a working professional with the sole task of getting this catalog developed each semester through a group of students

Our small group has moved along and progressed with our ideas and themes further from week to week but we seem to slow down more and more on the development toward the final layout. The blunt reality of it all hit us this week when we met in class on Thursday to review and finally decide on the theme that we were going to strive for in the actual catalog. Our professor sat us down in class before some other professors came to review what we had and she came right out by saying, "I have to tell you all, I find this group to be... somewhat difficult. As a group you haven't been showing enough quantity and quality of work that we need to get this project off the ground."

My heart sank as she finished up by saying, "I don't think you could handle the turn out of the final catalog with all the effort and work that we need to put into it..." BAM!! What a blow that was (although it is something that I have come to appreciate about being here is that the professors and students alike are not afraid to hurt your feelings when it comes to giving an honest critique on work).

In some sense this little talk from the prof. woke me up (as well as the rest of the group) to really look at their work more seriously and start buckling down on the turnout of quality layouts. There is a sense that comes with being shot down that brings in an extreme desire to prove yourself to the best of your abilities. Sometimes it is just hard to get that smack up-side the head to make that happen.

The other professors came in shortly after and reviewed our work and discussed what would be the most desired layout, giving us a bit of feedback here and there but mainly just talking amongst themselves while the group and I waited in anticipation on the final decision. In the end my theme / rough layouts were chosen as though a sign of fate dropped down upon me to test if I could handle the challenge. I was told a few things that they would like developed and the reviewers left, my mind completely jumbled from the excitement / anxiety / fear of the next few weeks and the work that had to be done along with the expectations of not only the reviewing professors but the entire student body that would have a copy of this in the end of the semester.
A quick random note: Design is possibly the greatest thing ever. It makes my blood rush and my mouth go dry. Life lessons can be taught through it when least expected and I can use it to express myself wholeheartedly to everyone who sees my work. It makes each day another step in discovering new things about myself and the world around me. I = Design Nerd.

This catalog should be a great experience. Keep an eye out for updates on my progress in it.


another day of screen printing

Absentminded - 4 color

Split - 6 color

So today I decided to put my huge screen to good use and kill two birds with one stone. Of course that means I stayed up late last night to get the compositions ready for this morning but I was still able to get it done. I worked on my Toast project only today, trying to get that finished so that I can concentrate fully on my faces.

I did these two compositions completely on the computer by painting in photoshop, which in the end kind of shows... need to work on that. I also was much more satisfied with the compositions when they were on my computer screen compared to them being all down in ink. I was trying a new illustration style, which probably has something to do with the reason I am not digging them so much yet. Still have to develop it a bit. For throwing them together quickly they turned out alright.

I used two different colored paper for each work. The first is of a burnt piece of toast and a question mark representing someone who is absentminded, forgetting about their toast in the toaster and burning it to a crisp. The second composition is of a piece of toast split down the middle, one side with jam, the other with nutella. This is representing the split personality with two opposites rigidly separated.

Enjoy! Comments and critiques welcome!! Thanks.


less is more...

Worked on this print all day yesterday with complete excitement to see the final outcome, yet when it came down to the last couple layers... I was completely unsatisfied. 9 layers of color just didn't serve this composition right. I am planning on redoing it tomorrow or next week with the goal of keeping my colors to 4 - 5 layers maximum, thinking more about the actual quality of the composition than relying solely on the eye candy of color blobs.

The first picture is of the first 4 colors, and I really dig the composition. The follow picture is of the final piece and of disappointment. Well, learn from your mistakes! Enjoy the lesson.


view through a window

I was going through a few of the pictures on my computer and found this one in particular which really grabs on to me. The world through a window. Flying by but sitting ever so still. Somewhat resembles the feeling I have been having this past month or so. Just realizing that the time here has pasted by so fast but it is still lingering in front of me, waiting to be explored and discovered even if for a brief second.


family reunion

This obviously isn't what most of you are thinking out there. This is about seeing my family for the first time in almost nine months, which is without doubt the longest I have gone without being with them. I am not trying to be all sappy with this post, I am just saying that there isn't much better than family. These are a few pictures of everyone during our travels over the past couple weeks.