NBA Mascot Toys

Earlier this year I was hired to help pitch an idea for a set of very small toys (about one inch high) based on NBA mascots. My job was to design tiny busts of each basketball mascot in a unified visual style. I don’t follow sports much but I do love mascots, so this was a ton of fun!

Because of budget limitations I was only allowed to use an average of four colors per mascot. If I wanted to use five colors in one, that meant another mascot could only have three. It also meant that some of the mascots would not be 100% color accurate, but that’s one of the realities of the toy biz.

I started with turnarounds of four mascots…

…followed by front-only views of eighteen additional mascots:

I was really having a ball but then, unfortunately, the plug was pulled on the project. Fortunately the client did give me permission to share the work I did, which isn’t always the case with abandoned projects so I’m grateful. Oh well. Not every shot makes it in.

Style Exploration for Disney Figurines

A toy licensing company asked me to help them explore ideas for a line of Disney figurines. They wanted the characters to be recognizable but at the same time stylistically unique, almost as if the characters all belonged in the same world. It sounded like a fun challenge.

I started by noodling around just to see what might work and what wouldn’t. First I tried to see what I could/couldn’t do with Mickey Mouse, followed by Ralph and Vanellope from Wreck-It-Ralph:

After some client feedback we eventually settled on a “look”. Next I began exploring possible poses for the figurines. They asked that the characters appear to interact with each other visually, but with poses that would also work as stand-alone figurines:

Eventually I worked up sketches and turnarounds for twelve characters. I can’t show them all but here’s what we wound up doing with Dash and Violet from The Incredibles:

Unfortunately the plug was pulled before the project could make it across the finish line. But it was fun while it lasted. (Images are posted with client permission.)

Deleted Post

After initially giving me permission to share my work, the client changed their mind and asked me to remove this project from my website due to legal confidentiality reasons. Sorry about that. You can view my other toy design, illustration, and cartooning work on my Portfolio page or my blog.

Plush Tortoises

Last year I was hired by a toy entrepreneur who had a vision to create plush tortoises that would be appealing but also scientifically accurate. He wanted toys that would help children learn to distinguish between breeds as well as explore various differences in body, pattern, and texture. The challenge was to create something that was cute and cuddly but also detailed and proportionally similar to a real tortoise.

So far the project is only at the prototype stage but he has given me permission  to share the work I did. Below are my sketches for three breeds of tortoise, along with photos of two of the finished prototypes. For more info you can follow the project on Facebook.

NEW! Print of one of my most popular webcomics

“The Great Exchange” is one of my most popular and widely shared webcomics. Several people have asked for prints so I decided to pull the trigger and get some made. I just picked them up from the printer and I’m very happy with how they turned out!

I’ll be selling them this weekend at MSP Comicon in St. Paul, MN. If you’re in the area stop on by and say “Hi!”. If you can’t make it, the prints are also available in my store.

Actual size: 8″w x 19″h (20cm x 48cm). Printed on 80lb stock. Matte finish with just a hint of gloss. Shipped in a sturdy cardboard tube.

If you’d like to frame it, I recommend this frame on Amazon.

Order Print

I’ll Be At MSP Comicon 2018

(Image courtesy of MCBA)

Once again I’ll have a table at Minnesota’s great comic book fest, MSP Comicon. This year’s event will be in the grandstand at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, May 19-20, 2018 (10am-6pm Sat., 10am-5pm Sun.). It’s a fantastic show packed with artists, publishers and fans who love all things comics, and the people who put it on are top-notch. Minnesota nice at its finest!

I’ll be selling prints of my cartoons as well as copies of my new book Mostly Nonsense, which was successfully funded on Kickstarter and selected by the Kickstarter team as one of their “Projects We Love”. Stop on by and say “Hi!”