Download My Updated Portfolio

It’s been a couple of years so I’ve updated my PDF portfolio with a some new samples. It contains fifteen pages of illustration, character design, toy design concepts, webcomics, and misc. drawings. Download a copy to keep on file, take to a meeting, or email to a client or colleague.

Download PDF Portfolio

2017 Highlights and Accomplishments

It’s been another exciting year of illustration adventures, full of thrills and chills!

ILLUSTRATION

  • An illustration I did for the Strottman Agency was published by Lowe’s in a Valentine’s Day kids’ activity kit.
  • Hasbro gave me permission to reveal some sticker illustrations I had done for a My Little Pony playset and a Fur Real poster for HASCON 2017. I also did a bit of illustration on a Star Wars playset that I hope to reveal soon.
  • Chuck E Cheese hired me to illustrate a music video on their YouTube channel.
  • I illustrated packaging for some new toys from Alex Brands (unfortunately I can’t reveal it yet).
  • I helped illustrate a bunch of fun cartoon monster characters for GoNoodle.
  • The Minneapolis Star Tribune hired me to illustrate ads for a local car dealership and a local credit union.
  • I illustrated a booklet for a nonprofit through the O’Design Group.
  • I helped local agency Create Play Connect with some concept art for a pitch to Allstate Insurance.

TOY DESIGN

  • I continued to help with toy design and concept art for multiple Hasbro projects (most of which I’ll never be able to show for legal/confidentiality reasons).
  • I was hired by the Strottman agency to help them pitch several toy ideas to Disney and Chick-Fil-A.
  • I was hired by a European company, Brand Loyalty Creative Lab, to design some Disney figurines (can’t show them yet unfortunately).
  • I was able to reveal some work I’d done helping out the Smiley company on a large toy concept pitch for Rubik’s Cube.
  • I helped design some plush toys for a new company (can’t say much about it yet).
  • I helped local agency Create Play Connect with some concept art for a pitch to Allstate Insurance.

CARTOONING

  • I’ve continued to post about one gag cartoon a week for most of the year.
  • I launched a Kickstarter for my first book of cartoons, Mostly Nonsense. Over 160 people backed the project! The book will ship in early January but you can pre-order it now, or buy the PDF version for immediate download.
  • My audience continues to grow. My cartoons were featured on the front page of sites like Imgur, 9gag, and Bored Panda. I gained over one thousand new followers on social media, I now have over 200 people subscribing to get new cartoons by email (it’s free!), and I gained some new backers on Patreon.

MISC

  • I was interviewed on the podcasts Origin: Stories of Creativity and Comics Coast to Coast.
  • I posted a few new videos on my YouTube channel.
  • I once again exhibited at both MSP Comic-Con’s.
  • I’ve posted some original art for sale in my studio store.
  • Although most of my work is very cartoony, I also do courtroom sketching from time to time. This year I sketched the trial for the Yanez-Castille police shooting (the one with the Facebook Live video that went viral). You can see some samples of my courtroom work on my other website, courtroomsketches.com.

Another productive year is in the books! Thanks to all of you who have supported me and shown interest in my work over the years. I wish you all a wonderful 2018!

My Little Pony Playset Stickers for Hasbro

Over the years I’ve worked on dozens of projects for Hasbro. Most of what I do for them is “planning and production” so the artwork stays behind the scenes and will never be seen by the general public. The toy business is competitive and Hasbro is naturally very protective of their ideas, which I respect.

Every once in a while something I do for them makes it out into the world, usually in the form of packaging or stickers. Back in 2015 I illustrated some stickers for a My Little Pony Equestria Girls Pinkie Pie playset. These stickers were applied at the factory to give extra color and detail to furniture in the room. The playset was released last year and can be purchased from Amazon.

Hasbro has given me permission to show a couple of the stickers: a cork board and a board game. On the cork board two of the small character photos were pasted in from existing art but otherwise I created it all from scratch. Also, the lower corner of the game board was intentionally left blank to make room of a plastic spinner.

Here’s a silly, energetic video I found online of someone having fun reviewing the playset. Hope it gives you a smile:

Rubik’s Cube Toy Concepts

Recently I was approached by the Smiley Company. They wanted to pitch the Rubik’s Cube people with some ideas for expanding the Rubik’s brand into other toys and they needed a lot of artwork to help sell the concepts.

They gave me a giant list of really fun ideas. Most were fully formed but there were also a few I helped develop, all under the art direction of Smiley. There was so much work (over 65 illustrations) that I brought in some help on the final renderings from three other pro illustrators: Bob Ostrom, Justin Dial, and Carlo Lo Raso.

Here’s a small sampling of the final concepts I submitted (click images to enlarge):

Rubik's Cube-Twisty Math PuzzleSmiley Rubik's Cube Ceramic GardenSmiley Rubik's Cube RattleSmiley Rubik's Cube Build-A-Maze ConceptSmiley Rubik's Cube Origami Concept

2016 Highlights and Accomplishments

2016 was another jam-packed year for my illustration studio. I’m deeply grateful to have such a fun job where I get to work on so many exciting projects with so many amazing people. Here’s a few highlights from our most recent trip around the sun. (I’ll warn you there are a lot of projects I can’t reveal yet but I’ve linked to as many as I could):

ILLUSTRATION

  • I created a couple of more spot illustrations for Highlights magazine. You can view them here and here.
  • I was hired by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune to help them pitch advertising ideas to several businesses and brands, including a national pizza chain, a local Renaissance-themed event, and a couple more projects I can’t reveal yet.
  • Speaking of art I can’t show, I also illustrated an activity puzzle for a major home improvement retail chain. I should be able to post the art sometime in February.
  • Goldfish Swim Schools hired me to illustrate a fun photo standee featuring their mascot (which I also designed). I’m also in the middle of a very large project for them that I hope to be able to show in a few months.
  • I helped out the Svedvick Collective with some ad concepts for a major cereal brand (again, I’m not allowed to show the work yet. Kind of a theme here.)
  • I illustrated another Gospel tract/comic for the ministry of Living Waters. This one dealt with the subject of Atheism.

TOY DESIGN

  • I continued to help with toy design and concept art for multiple Hasbro projects (most of which I’ll never be able to show for legal/confidentiality reasons).
  • I was hired by the Strottman agency to help them pitch several toy ideas to Chick-Fil-A. Once again I’m limited in what I can show but here’s a sample.
  • I helped out the Smiley company on a large toy concept pitch for a well-known novelty toy brand, which I hope to be able to review soon. In the mean time, this year I was finally able to reveal l small sampling of another batch of concepts I did for them back in 2015.

CHARACTER DESIGN

  • I was hired by Mountainside Farms, an east coast dairy company, to design a cow mascot for their packaging.

MISC

  • My goofy cartoon sketches evolved into a webcomic I’m calling Sketchbook Silliness. People seem to like it and a couple of the cartoons went mildly viral. I’ve put together a list of my ten most popular cartoons from 2016, and I recently launched a Patreon campaign for the project which you can support here.
  • I stepped up my involvement in the National Cartoonists Society. I’m now the social media guy for our chapter which means I run our Twitter feed and Facebook group. I also organized a draw-with-kids event at the Minneapolis St. Jude Walk/Run for childhood cancer, and travelled to Sioux Falls for our fall cartooning conference.
  • I once again exhibited at both MSP Comic-Con’s.
  • I re-posted a free download of sketchbook ideas for Inktober.
  • Although most of my work is very cartoony, I also do courtroom sketching from time to time. This year I worked at trials related to Prince, ISIS, a police shooting, and the man who killed Jacob Wetterling. You can see some samples on my other website, courtroomsketches.com.

Whew! I’m exhausted just thinking about it all. I feel very blessed. Thanks to all of you who have supported me and shown interest in my work over the years. I wish all of you a happy and healthy 2017!

Toy Designs for Smiley Kids

Recently I was approached by The Smiley Company, a lifestyle brand based in London. They create and sell a lot of licensed merchandise based on the world-famous smiley face symbol. They’ve been so successful that they’ve even developed those little yellow guys into an animated property called Smiley Kids.

Of course, what’s an animated property without a corresponding line of toys? Smiley wanted to pitch several toy ideas at a licensing show and needed some artwork to help with their pitch. Most of the toys were built around the theme of emotional growth within the context of farming and crafts. They gave me a list of ideas to start with and I brainstormed a few more. Together we explored over thirty possible concepts, of which over a dozen went to final art. Out of respect for my client’s proprietary ideas I don’t think it would be appropriate to show them all, but here are three samples they have given me permission to post.

Smiley-SeedPaper-800px Smiley-JewelryKit-800pxSmiley-HarvestGame-800px

All artwork is copyright © 2015 Smiley. All rights reserved.