Jazz Cigarette

Interesting...weed laws are receiving a bit of a "flex" here in the state of Pennsylvania. Amidst the number of states legalizing, I wonder what the final verdict will be here. Strange times, man. Anyway, here are a few snapshots of recent articles concerning those in favor and against the puff-puff. 
Then there's this: two local governmentals fighting over property laws in North Philly.

Tough Decisions

Let me say this (actually let me say these two things): 1) Working under the watch of others is rarely, if ever easy. Things change. I can't say that enough. This ties into #2, which is: 2) Photoshop text, f-that, PHOTOSHOP is a fun program to work in. I highly doubt this is any news to anyone. I know some folks rail against it, which is perfectly fine. Even I can no longer accept it for certain kinds of artwork (more on that on a later post, probably). But I really love it (right now). By no means is the above piece proper evidence of this, other than the fact I really enjoyed making the text, which is a simple version of   what could be done...
Like this text from a previous cover. I like this better than what's above. But thats just inherent in type of text/ whatever is going on otherwise in an illustration. You get it. 
In any case, the reason I mentioned #1 above is because the cover was changed substantially (its always  a greater change to someone who actually made it, even if its not a HUGE change). There's a part of you that does not want to part with an idea that makes perfect sense to you. That part (in a professional setting) must, unfortunately, be fought and subdued. Unless you are truly calling the shots, you have to go along with the changing tides. In these jobs, you have to remove, or never really invest personal feelings to a piece (which is difficult as hell). I hate thinking this, frankly, but it seems rather necessary.

That all being said, NEVER EXTEND THE ABOVE "PROFESSIONAL POLITICS"(I really hate that whole idea as well) TO YOUR OWN WORK. Also NEVER ALLOW THE DRAG OF A "JOB" STOP YOU FROM WORKING ON YOUR OWN THINGS. You MUST make your own work! INDULGE! Be selfish with your work, allow it to be exactly you, and only you, always! Never let job limitations break your creative spirit. Do your best, take the check, and go buy some more paint!

This statement is not only to visual artists, its for anyone who do anything. Do it well, get paid, then get to the REAL work. 

Just In Time For The Weather To Confuse Its Way Further...

I present a recent cover illustration, or as I like to call it: "a chance to crack out some (sub-)Crayola watercolors". Going through a few "changes" as it were, sometimes one must muster their strength and figure out a way to make "magic" on the cheap. I had to make a skywriter presentation illustration, and on the "fast and furious" at that (ok, enough quotables). 
I figured such a cover would be a bit of a loose puzzle, so away I painted. Using red, I knew I would be able to subtract the lines and text, plus a fair amount of the watered down sections, so that I would have little to do to make a decent, airy skywriters vapor. After a little working and re-working, I managed to put something presentable together.  
... and such is the "make" of the venture. 

Another recent illustration of a fairly felonious simian. The classic "monkey on your back" for the out of work with criminal pasts. 

Splatter on!

I present the current Piladelphia CityPaper Cover! This story (like many) was presented simply as "a quick look into the variety of Fairmount Park goings on". Ok. Looking into it, I saw that the drinking/ fireside drum circles/ cricket/ outdoor clubbing seemed to be the primary focus'. So off the ideas went into the pot and voila, to the yellow paper I went.  You can spy the process below...
The First Stage

The Second Stage

And finally, here is the finished spell. 

The Water's Rising!

Byberry...the ghostly remnants of a living hellhole. Anyone familiar with the old (now bulldozed) legend of the Philly State Hospital (Byberry) knows the haunting stories that were scarier when the living inhabited the place. Here's a cover where, for some reason, I spent longer finishing the tiny beds (shown below) than I did on the whole final caboodle? 

I wonder what's going over top the old haunted houses? Hopefully its not gonna turn into a real-life "Poltergeist". Maybe hopefully it does?