The Stuff On My Studio Walls

Recently I posted a look at my new studio. My friend and fellow artist Tom Bancroft asked me to elaborate on some of the art hanging on the walls and the stories behind them. Since I always do everything Tom tells me to, here we go…


Dave Coverly writes and draws a hilarious one-panel cartoon called Speed Bump. I had the pleasure of meeting him this summer at a get-together of our chapter of the National Cartoonists Society. I mentioned how much I enjoyed his work and he was kind enough to mail me this original cartoon. Dave is one of the nicest artists I’ve ever met and it’s an honor to know him.

I apologize that the photo isn’t more clear. The caption says, “Mowing day was the calves’ favorite day on Jenkins’ farm.”


Another extremely nice artist is John Nevarez. He’s as nice as he is talented, and that’s saying a lot. In ’05 I ordered a copy of one of his sketchbooks and threw in a free copy of my humble sketchbook along with the order. When John’s sketchbook arrived I was pleasantly surprised to see that he included this page of original sketches.

John is one of the best storyboard and concept artists in the animation biz. A while back he created a terrific DVD on character design called “John Nevarez Design” through the Entertainment Art Academy. Unfortunately the DVD is no longer available through the Academy but if you can find a copy on ebay or elsewhere I would highly recommend snatching it up.


In 2000 I attended a week-long animation workshop at the now-defunct Disney Institute in Orlando. On the final day several big names in the biz were interviewed on stage and then did free sketches in everyone’s sketchbooks. One of the artists was Andreas Deja. Deja was the supervising animator on Jafar in Aladdin (he’s also supervised Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, Scar in The Lion King, and Hercules in Hercules, among others). There’s a somewhat embarrassing story behind this sketch which I’ve written about here. Deja is a very nice guy and it was an honor to have met him.


Sorry for all the reflections in this photo. It’s an original concept sketch for Disney licensing from long-time concept artist Mike Royer. I purchased it from him at Comic-Con a few years ago. It was my first Con and I had never met Mr. Royer before but I really liked his work. I also had a strong interest in illustrating licensed characters so I was really drawn to his giant collection of art. He was kind enough to personalize this sketch for me.


I bought this poster at the Disney Institute I mentioned earlier. Unfortunately I don’t know the who the artist was . If you can identify the animator please leave a comment below.


In the corner of my studio is a life-size Batman standee that was given to me by some friends as a gag gift when I moved to the Minneapolis area back in 2003. Next to him is a souvenier clapboard I bought on a trip to Hollywood a few years ago. I was in Los Angeles for an illustration conference and decided to stay for a couple of extra days to make a vacation out of it, walking and driving all over Hollywood. I toured the Warner Brothers movie studio, visited a couple of museums, and saw “The Lion King” on stage. I’m hoping to make it back to Hollywood this spring for the annual meeting of the National Cartoonists Society, and this time I’ll stay a couple of extra days to do some networking in the animation biz.


Finally, here’s an original page from MAD Magazine by my friend and fellow Minneapolis artist Tom Richmond (check out his terrific blog). It’s from a parody he did of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”. I won it in a raffle at our National Cartoonists Society chapter meeting last year. I finally bought a frame for it yesterday and it will be joining the other artwork on my studio walls very soon.

I feel very privileged to have met so many talented artists. Being surrounded by their work daily serves as a huge inspiration to me and my work.