I was asked to create a cover illustration for the new edition of Newsweek. The story is a profile and history of the plight of Black men in America — where things have been, and where they are headed. The subhed of the story is "There are more African-Americans on probation, parole, or in prison today than were slaves in 1850. It is not a crisis of crime. It is a crisis of people being left behind."
One of the concepts behind the story is that America tends to put Black men in boxes, in the inner city, away from the rest of the country. So I derived the image from that idea, placing a Black man surrounded by the bricks and chain link fence typical of the inner city. I then added the city skyline to show some context and to help frame the magazine's logo. The bricks and background coming together to create the American flag. Nice design and art direction from Robert Dileso at Newsweek.
This is a selection of recent magazine covers I've been working on, along with some of the sketches and process that led to the final image. The first, above, is for The Crisis, published by the NAACP. The topic is gun violence in the Black community and what to do to stop it from within. I went in number of directions as you can see in the sketches below but this one seemed to grab the viewer's attention most effectively.
Sketches for The Crisis cover. They're pretty rough, but most of the art directors I work with regularly give me some latitude to figure things out when I get to the final cover image.
This cover for JET magazine is on the epidemic of missing Black children and the media's lack of interest in following up on the stories. JET took it upon themselves to create awareness. So much so that the cover story ended up being featured on segments on CNN and other networks:
Sketches for Jet magazine cover
The last cover story is on the deportation of undocumented immigrants and those with permanent resident status that have settled in the country. The main story deals with a man that was in the U.S. legally. He had a permanent resident card and had been working in the country and raising a family. He was accused of a crime and the law states that he had to be deported.
I was a "resident alien" for about 12 years in the U.S. before I became a citizen. Had no idea one could be deported for committing a crime while living here legally with a residency card. There are many other complicated deportation cases discussed in the story.
This image was used as a full page in the Boston Law issue about deportation. The image below ran as a spot in the same story.
For article about the research into the psychological link between violence in films and violence in real life
I was commissioned by The Los Angeles Times to create a series of images about violence in the entertainment industry and its link to the current gun control debate, to appear in the paper this weekend. The stories ranged from the good aspects of violence on screen and theater, the psychological release of fantasy, to the negative aspects of gore, video games, and pop music lyrics. It made for a strong topic to work with at length since it brings up so many issues. Above is one of the main images and below are sketches and the rest of the entire series. Thanks to art director Paul Gonzalez for the assignment.
Grouping of thumbnails and sketches for all the different topics. Wanted to see how I could use one color in a variety of ways, as background, highlight, tone, etc.
Article on why film violence is good, a reflection of what happens in real life, how to learn to appreciate it.
A writer on why he can happily play violent video games but be appalled by violent films.
Article on why it is that horror directors have the frankest understanding of how violence works on screen.
On violence in drama on stage, its long history, its crowd-grabbing power and its slippery nature.
Interview with an author about his new book "Gun Guys: A Road Trip"
On the issue of gore and graphic violence in films and forensic tv shows like CSI and Law and Order. CBS, for example, has no problem with showing body parts of crime victims in autopsy rooms. But a bullet hitting a crime victim? That's forbidden.
On violence tinged lyrics in hip hop and pop music
'Victoria', 16" x 20", acrylic on paper mounted on wood
Here are a couple of recent paintings. The top one is for a group show opening this Saturday, Feb. 16, 7-10pm. Gallery Nucleus, 210 East Main St., Alhambra. Please contact the gallery with inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org. Some details of the painting below.
Self Portrait, 11" x 15", acrylic on paper
This painting is a self portrait I was asked to contribute by TASCHEN for an upcoming book they're publishing titled 100 ILLUSTRATORS. The portrait will accompany a selection of work by each artist in the book, which is edited by Steven Heller. A two volumes hardcover in slipcase package, publishing date: Summer 2013. Painting details below.