New York Magazine Illustration

These are some illustrations for the current issue of New York Magazine.

The Spartan Diet

This is an image I developed for this book. Simple idea - plate as shield.
This is for an magazine article on the Tea Party's zeal for zero government. We went in a different direction in the end but I liked the fact that once the capitol building disappears all that is left is the lonely figure of the statue of freedom.

Men’s Health Magazine

Illustration in this month's Men's Health. Article is about how the modern American male is exposed to more music on a daily basis than anyone in human history.

New York Times Magazine

Some illustration work for the Times Magazine, YEAR IN IDEAS.

The Youth Condom
The Real Time Inflation Calculator
The Guitar that Stays in Tune

A very straight up cover. Neuron as tree.

work in progress

A book of poetry about motherhood and loss.
The clock ran out on this one but here is a bit more background on the process. At about the 23rd hour I showed an earlier version to my wife before she left for work, and her first comment was "bullet holes". They are supposed to be sledge hammer holes in a wall. I kind of scrambled with only an hour to go and decided to add in a baseboard to give the holes more of a sense of scale. I think showing floorboards would help in this regard as well. I added them in here after the fact. I was going for a similar view of a room as in the Kierkegaard cover I did a while back.

I was working from the only good image I could find of holes in a wall.

30 Covers, 30 Days

As part of National Novel Writing Month John Gall asked 30 designers and illustrators to design covers for some of the works in progress. The only stipulation was that each design had to be done in 24 hours from reading the brief to supplying finished cover.
This is my contribution. Clocked in at 22 hours 45 minutes and 16 seconds. Here is a link to their site.

This is a gallery of all the covers done so far.

Men’s Health Illustration

Final cover for this book of poetry with initial sketch below. The bottom one didn't convey the right aesthetic for the book. It had to be more playful and generative. From the brief: the poems are hyper-kinetic and have a lot of word-play, colour, speed and attitude.

This is a preliminary idea for the poetry cover below. The idea came from something the editor said - The title basically acts a warning to the reader. It says that the poet isn't to be trusted.

From the brief: the poet's metaphors see perception as a trick, and try to uncover the magician's secret. Everything revolves around the shortfalls of perceiver and perceived.

The editor suggested coming up with a pattern with a twist.

From the brief: the Lebanese civil war is an important part of this story, we would like to focus on the six year old boy Niko. The story begins in Lebanon but then spans 7 countries.

The first option with the tricycle was rejected because it made the boy seem too young. The author suggested showing the boy looking through chicken wire from his balcony.

From the Pentagram website. Design quotes to live by.

From the brief: This Way is a scholarly work dealing with Holocaust representation with essays by leading Holocaust scholars, that uses as its starting point selected entries from a recent international competition for a new book cover for Tadeusz Borowski’s searing collection of concentration camp stories This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen.

The Highway of the Atom

Peter C. Van Wyck

A subarctic mine on the far eastern shores of Great Bear Lake provided Canadian uranium for the bombs detonated over Japan in August 1945. Cover shows a miner launching a piece of iron ore from the mine in Port Radium (Great Bear Lake) into the air.

approval pending

Book is about re-evaluation of Atlantic-Canadian literature. The region is no longer a marginal place stranded outside of time. I thought it would be interesting to show Anne of Green Gables with unruly hair.

The general feeling was that the previous cover was to monochromatic so i punched it up a bit.

I was given a raft of photographs to choose from for this cover and the image below caught my attention. I decided to zero in on just the propeller to make the the cover bold and graphic. The propeller very subtly alludes to maple seeds with their helicopter blades - I might be the only one that sees this but it did occur to me. Type still needs to be finessed a bit more.

approval pending

approval pending

I went in a completely different direction for this one. I was getting a bit stuck on the human skull which wasn't totally appropriate for this collection.

This is an illustration I am working on about doubt and identity in autobiography. I was asked to see if there was a way to reference a well known book that was quite controversial a few years back for blurring the line between fiction and nonfiction.

Approval pending
Redesign for this one. From the brief: "a cartographer’s log of an inner landscape"

Last three in this series - total of 18 in all.

approval pending

From the brief: "Many of the poems deal with electrons, weather, inside and outside, clouds." They also deal with mortality and lost moments in time. I chose to show a cloud of dust floating across a surface.

I never presented this direction for this cover partly because it uses the work of Robert Therrien and I wasn't sure we could get permission to use it. I seriously considered painting my own red cupboard with red products in it, but realized it wasn't really feasible. From the brief: the book analyzes the RED campaign as a primary example of "compassionate consumption" campaigns, where consumers are urged to buy things to help support various causes. The people who are helped by such campaigns are sold as goods to make Western consumers feel good about themselves.

In the end I went in another direction that will still require a couple of cans of red paint and a willing victim.

approval pending


Work in progress.

A book of poetry from a blind poet. I am going with the first option with embossing used on the letterforms under the cloth.

approval pending

Only stipulation was that cover had to feature steampunk and a capybara.

I was on the phone last week with a design student who wanted to ask me some questions about my work. At the end of the call I came to a rather unsettling realization - my work is probably more interesting than I am.
Work in progress. A book about the eroticization of the excremental body in early modern comedy. Vonnegut's asterisk in an elegant font.

One arrow or 85 arrows? I am sometimes not sure where my yen for simplification will end up but I always tend to go with the simplest expression of an idea.