The Fearless T-Rex

This is just a fun image I threw together a few years back. It started as part of a daily drawing exercise on the website CGSociety about eight years ago (I believe it was CGTalk Daily Drawing Challenge, or something).Dino Sketch I really don’t recall what the theme was; probably to add a new spin to Jurassic Park, or some such thing. Regardless, the initial sketch stayed tucked away in my digital archives until just a couple of years ago when I stumbled upon it and decided it needed a refresher. And since my twin boys happen to have walls in their bedroom that were severely lacking in decor, I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to rectify that (by turning it into a sublimated print). A few embelishments and splashes of color later and voilà: Guinea Pigadon vs. T-Rex. I actually just made that title up. Like, as I typed. Before now it was just called “dino poster.” My creativity knows no bounds.

Dino Poster

That’s it for today. Love to hear what you think. Are you a follower of my blog yet? Perhaps you should be. Think about that, will you? It’s a cool place to hang. Bring a friend. Beer is in the fridge.

Lite ‘Em Up Washington

Last, but not least, Lite ‘Em Up Washington! (Again, check the first post for details on this set of posters). This was not on the commission list. In the late summer of 2015, I moved from the Twin Cities to the Seattle area, and in light of the move, I decided to do a version of the Cheech and Chong poster for the great state of Washington. It’s particularly appropriate since Washington is one of the few states where the recreational use of marijuana is actaully LEGAL. Not that I partake–it’s just not for me–but I will absolutely defend anyone’s right to do so. I’ve said it before; toke ’em if you got ’em.

If you live in the Seattle area and you’re not a Seahawks fan, shame on you. At least, that’s what any Seahawks fan will tell you. Seriously. I thought Vikings fans were obsessive. Anyway, I figured I better incorporate the Seahawks colors into this one. A couple other icons of Seattle include Pike Place Market with their recognizable signage, the Space Needle (of course), and Seattle’s very own Nirvana (and it’s always cloudy in Seattle). And of course, since this is the only one of the designs I’ve done where it’s actually legal to toke in the given location, I had to include the tagline, “IT’S THE LAW.” Let’s just say that it wasn’t difficult to turn this one into a location-specific poster.

CC WA Poster

I particularly enjoy the smoking salmon bong that Chong is holding. Get it? Smoked salmon? Puns are great, aren’t they?

And that’s all she wrote. As I mentioned when I posted the first of these designs, the final concept that they ended up using was a very neutral version of my original concept, so these more elaborate versions never saw the light of day. Sad, I know. But that’s why I’m sharing them here. Who knows, though. Maybe they’ll decide to revisit them and we’ll get to actually print some of these. One can only hope. But I have plenty of other designs to share, and I’m constantly creating more. And check back soon, as my big vampire reveal is just around the corner!

Lite ‘Em Up Nebraska

Number four in my Cheech and Chong poster series (which all began here).

This one went through a few changes before we settled on this design. Initially Cheech wore an oversized cowboy hat, similar to the Nebraska Husker‘s mascot, Herbie Husker, but that was deemed too proprietary. I think they could have gotten away with it (I left off the “N” and used a slightly different style of hat), but it’s not my decision. I’m happy with the trucker’s hat with the embroidered pot leaf, so this works, too. Personally, I really like Chong‘s corncob pipe and country-boy bibs. Yee-haw.

CC NE Poster

I’ll keep this one nice and short; you’re coming here for the images, after all. This particular design resonated with me, only because my hometown highschool team utilized the same school colors, along with the “N” (Nashua Bulldogs–GO BIG RED!), and Nashua, Iowa, is smack dab in the middle of northeast Iowa’s farming country. Maybe I’ll tweak this in the future to “Lite ‘Em Up Nashua.” Maybe.

One more left, and the next one is just a design I did for fun. Come on back now, ya hear!

Light ‘Em Up Kansas

I took a break from my Cheech and Chong posts yesterday to address a weighty issue. The gravity of the situation demanded it. Personally, I feel the post was loaded with brilliance. It was, dare I say, genuis. But I’ve wasted enough time discussing the past. And though time is relative, I feel we should move on.

Rock, Chalk, Lite ‘Em Up!

The third of my Cheech and Chong posters is for the state of Kansas (see the story behind the posters here).

I don’t want to lie to you, my wonderful and trusting readers; I do not follow many (or more accurately any) sports. But as my boss informed me as I was originally working on this one, the University of Kansas Jayhawks fans have a “Rock Chalk Chant” that they, well, chant at Jayhawks games. I’m not going to go into details here. If you’re interested in that, check their wiki. Regardless, it seemed appropriate enough to incorporate into the design.

Since I don’t follow sports, I struggled with how to make this one appropriately “sports-related” to a local Kansas team, so I basically made Cheech and Chong look like obsessed fans, with a team-colored wig and painted face (along with the outline of the state of Kansas behind them).

CC KS Poster

I don’t really know if this would resonate with Jayhawks fans, but I find it wonderfully amusing. I hope you do to. That’s all for now. Two left, so check back soon!


Did you hear the news? Gravitational waves, Einstein’s ripples in spacetime, have been spotted for the first time! Do you know what this means? Neither do I! But it sounds cool as sh*t and the scientific world is all kinds of excited about it. And rightfully so. Science effing rocks. I skimmed the article that I linked to above, but the TV was on and I was having a hard time focusing, so I retained very little of what was written. But I’m pretty sure the gist of it is, we’re finally going to figure out how to bring Sam Beckett home. Hang in there, Al!

So two things have been going through my head since I first read about the gravitational waves. The first is the song by Modest Mouse, Gravity Rides Everything. The second thing is, along with the Cheech and Chong graphics that I’ve previously posted (and will continue to post), I also designed a few Einstein themed t-shirts and beanies. So I’m taking a break from the Cheech and Chong posts and tossing ol’ Einie into the mix. Einie. That’s what people called him, right? Anyway, here’s a couple graphics that I threw together for American Mills, International about a year ago. I modified them for the sake of this post beacuse that’s what I do.

Mi Einstein Poster 01

See that? I even incorporated Modest Mouse’s song title into the graphic. Clever, I know. Here’s the other one.

Mi Einstein Poster 02

That’s about it for today. Pretty simple. I’ll leave you with a clip of Gravity Rides Everything, because, Modest Mouse. Cheers.


Lite ‘Em Up Wisconsin

The second in my Cheech and Chong series (see the first one here, along with an explaination, if interested).

For this image, I masked the counter-culture icons within the outline of the state of Wisconsin, gave Cheech a green-leather flyer’s hat, and put a blue cheese wheel on Chong‘s head, in lieu of the copyrighted Cheesehead wedge so popular among Green Bay Packers‘ fans. Interestingly enough, through my research for blue cheese graphics I learned that “blue cheese” is a type of high-quality cannabis, making this tweak on the cheesehead quite apropos.

CC WI Poster

I have about three more of these, so stay tuned. As previously stated, these were a blast to work on, so I hope you enjoy seeing what I’ve come up with. Comment now, comment often, and follow my blog to stay up to date on all of my mental musings!

Lite ‘Em Up Minnesota

Cheech and Chong; the ultimate counter-culture dynamic duo. I have a childhood friend named Jessy to thank for introducing me to Cheech and Chong movies as a child, via his uncle Rocky. I remember spending the night at Jessy’s grandmother’s place, staying up until the late hours of the night drinking Pepsi® from the glass bottles, eating Doritos®, and watching his uncle Rocky’s Cheech and Chong video collection. I had no idea what I was watching, but I knew it was funny as sh*t.

Fast-forward about thirty years, and I find myself working on some Cheech and Chong designs for American Mills International, a company licensed to create an assortment of food products and garments for a variety of celebrities and pop-culture icons, like Larry the Cable Guy, Marilyn Monroe, and Einstein, just to name diverse a few.

The initial goal of this project was to sell these tees in specific markets, geared mainly towards the local sports enthusiasts by way of team color association. They wanted “goof” images of Cheech and Chong, somehow displaying a form of local pride (e.g., for Minnesota, Cheech was originally wearing a Viking’s horned helmet, and for Wisconsin, Chong was wearing a Cheese Head). The downfall was, we got a little too close for comfort in regards to licensing infringement in the respective areas. So modifications were made, as shown in the designs to follow.

This first one is for Lite ‘Em Up Minnesota. Instead of showing it as a tee, I decided to turn it into a poster, because, frankly, that’s more fun.

CC MN Poster.png

Layered over the state outline of Minnesota and painted with a semblence of the team colors of the Minnesota Vikings, I added the skyline of Minneapolis at the base of Cheech and Chong, gave Chong a purple tie and camouflage bandana, and dressed Cheech in a beanie resembling a Helga Hat. This design, as well as those to follow, were well-received by the client, though ultimately they decided for a far simpler concept: a neutral design consisting of a basic name-drop combined with a single splash of color to accomodate the various locations. The t-shirt shown below is the final approved design.


I had a great deal of fun working on this. I was given considerbale freedom on the designs and the client seemed to eat them up–even though they did end up using the simplified versions. I’ll post a few more in the days to come, most of which are officially in the slush pile (since, as stated above, they were far too location-specific to mass-produce as “name drop” designs).

So stay tuned, be good, and toke ’em if you got ’em. (Don’t forget to check back often, as my “big vampire reveal” is just around the corner!)

Bowling for Boobs 2015

About a year ago I posted a graphic that I had done for a breast cancer awareness t-shirt (which I turned into a poster for the sake of the post, which you can view here). That was the 2014 design. In 2015 I was asked to do a follow-up. Since the pin-up image went over so well with the client, I decided to revisit the style with the new design.

The following is the first draft that I provided (again, I turned it into a poster for the sake of this post). An element I focused on for this version was to make the pose of the model line up with the ribbon. I’m happy with how it turned out, though I acknowledge that there’s something a tad awkward about her stance.


They liked it–at first–but then someone suggested that the bowler should be more retro. I found a relatively poor-quality piece of clip art to start from, tweaked it here, modified it there, and turned it into this, the second draft. Pretty much the same as the first, just with a 70s era bowler in place of the 50s pin-up. Her pose is more natural than my first attempt, while keeping within the shape of the ribbon, which I like.


Again, they liked it, but ultimately decided to do away with the female graphic altogether. I’m fine with the final product, but I liked the first couple drafts better, so I thought I’d share them all.


As with the 2014 version, the style of these designs were HEAVILY influenced by the work of Twin Cities-based screen print designer–as well as bicycle and beer enthusiast–Adam Turman. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, I highly recommend browsing his website. As before, any similarities between this set of images and his work is entirely intentional. One of these days I’ll stop with this fan-boy mimicry and design something purely my own for one of these breast cancer tees. But I find that not only is imitation the most sincere form of flattery, it’s also a great way to learn.

I’d love to hear what you think of my designs. Let me know if you have a favorite, and stay tuned for more digital illustrations.

One final note: research toward the eradication of all types of cancer is a worthy, yet expensive cause. If you’re able, please visit The American Cancer Society and donate today. A diagnosis of cancer no longer has to be a death-sentence, but we have a long way to go before the battle is won. Until next time…


Drawn to the Bad Guy, Part 5

There can be only one.

As I mentioned at the end of my last post, this series stemmed from an illustration I did of my favorite pop-culture villain. Instead of simply posting this one image, I chose to build up to it, illustrating other favorites, turning it into a top five list.

I’m cheating a bit with this post; it’s somewhat of a two-fer, as was my Joker post. But this one has a twist. You see, since I was a child I’ve been a fan of Darth Vader as a villain. Who isn’t? But you don’t have to search too far to find quality images of Vader, both officially licensed art and fan art. Of course I could do my own version, but frankly, I didn’t feel the draw to do so (more puns). But there is another villain that holds near equal standing in my heart, and that is the Kurgan from the 1986 film Highlander, as played by Clancy Brown.

Without further ado, the final on my list of top five pop-culture villains is,

1. Darth Kurgan


I know–cheating, right? This isn’t a real villain. Not entirely, anyway. But this was a labor of love. In addition to altering his already awesome sword into a Kylo Ren-esque light saber, I tweaked his chest plate (Boba Fett style), belt buckle, cod piece, left leg, and left wrist-guard (all Vader style). And then, of course, I placed him on an alien planet. You can’t tell me this sith lord wouldn’t have all others trembling in their dark robes. Darth Maul? Darth Tyranus? Darth Sidious? Pfft. Panzies–the lot of them. None could hold a holo-candle to Darth Kurgan. You think you have what it takes to embrace the Dark Side? Darth Kurgan is the Dark Side.

Why did I choose to combine the two villains? The Force Awakens, that’s why. The saber. The hilt. The scornful posts from the hordes of upset fans across the web decrying the need for such ridiculous adornment to an already perfect weapon. I was not one of these naysayers. No, when I first saw the preview that revealed the new saber, my immediate thought was, “Kurgan.” And from there, the above image had been building in my mind, itching to be made a reality.

kylo ren kurgan

As I mentioned, I’m a long-time fan of Clancy Brown as the Kurgan. And as I finish this list of top five baddies, I realized that at least three of the five possess a very similar trait (four, if you count Vader): a killer voice. Riddick had it. The Lord of Darkness had it. Vader had it. And Kurgan definitely had it. Part of the plot of Highlander was that the immortal Kurgan had his throat slashed by Sean Connery‘s Egyptian-Spaniard character Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez (great job casting, Russell Mulcahy! Don’t misread that last jab–I really do love this movie. But Clancy Brown was the only actor in the film who was believable in terms of character origins). But the throat slashing forever altered Kurgan’s voice, making it a rich, deep, and gravely audible monstrosity, forever inspiring future actors to imitate his larger-than-life onscreen persona.

And speaking of his iconic voice, I should probably point out that Clancy Brown already has many legitimate ties to Star Wars via his extensive work as a voice actor. In addition to random side characters (like stormtroopers and Imperial officers), he voiced the brother of Darth Maul, Savage Opress, in Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series, and most recently he voiced a rebel sympathizer named Ryder Azadi in Star Wars: Rebels. The animation designers clearly modeled the character of Ryder after Clancy’s visage, as shown below, right.


In addition, I decided to put together a movie promo poster, as well. So here’s that:

Rise of the Kurgan

And that completes my Top Five list of favorite pop-culture villains. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. More random posts to come, and more lists of favorites, as well. All the best.