Various textured brushes are utilized for creating a three-dimensional appearance without incorporating any 3D tools. The vector shapes are created using Adobe Illustrator, then digitally painted in Photoshop.
This illustrated style is one that I am very familiar with since I've practiced it thoroughly. It generally consists of sharp edged shading and thick or thin bold drawn lines. The export is always a vector friendly format.
It's all about the process of elimination for this vector style. Eliminate the lines and focus on simplifying the overall shapes. Depending on the goal, an illustration can be skeuomorphic or very minimalistic looking. Regardless of the appearance, the end result will be aesthetically pleasing and translate efficiently to most mediums. All of the following examples were created using Adobe Illustrator.
Many great wizards have been mentioned throughout history, but none so legendary as Merlin. What began as a doodle in my sketchbook evolved into a tangible skateboard. One of the coolest feelings is being able to skate on a board of my own design. Skateboarding shaped my style immensely. It's really cool to blend two of my greatest passions into one product. The board belongs to a magic themed collection of products named the Wizard's Council.
I wanted to create the ideal skull that encapsulated simplicity in structure and uniqueness in style. As a kid, I would draw skulls all the time. It only made sense to design one to call my own. The stars were added to the eye sockets because of my tendency to stare at the cosmos above for lengthy periods of time. My gaze will undoubtedly be fixed upon the starry eyes of the night sky till the day I die.
The Star Gazer has been utilized for several different projects. The first use of this icon was for a pocket sized notebook ideal for writing Magic Spells. Essentially a grimoire. For the second project, I produced lapel pins that glow in the dark. Both products are available in my shop.
Watch out for Sharky, the ocean's most notorious predator. I grew up wearing Maui and Sons and thought this shark design would be a fitting tribute to the nostalgia of my childhood. The hand drawn version is even creepier, with much more line work for the shading. In addition, the vector version was utilized for the production of some screen printed t-shirts in celebration of my website's re-luanch.
Buy the t-shirt in my shop.
I really wanted to design something galactic. In addition, something that would fit ideally on most social media platforms. Particularly square in proportion. When thinking of outer space, my mind wanders to the late 60's when the Soviet Union was in competition with the United States. This competition was known as the Space Race.
During this era both countries made considerable efforts to rally the people in support of reaching the final frontier. The government utilized postal stamps as a form of propaganda to reach the masses. Which also happened to be the perfect proportion for my creative intentions.
These were some of the initial steps taken which lead to the creation of my own space themed postage stamp. To take things further, I produced the stamp as a 3"x3" vinyl sticker and a 12"x12" poster.
Buy the sticker here.
"The ice cream man is coming ... French-vanilla, butter-pecan, chocolate-deluxe. Even caramel sundaes is gettin' touched and scooped in my ice cream truck, Wu tears it up."
This vector illustration is a tribute to Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan. In 1995 he released Ice Cream, the third solo single from his debut studio album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx.
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I wanted to create a collection of occult themed icons that looked minimalistic in style and color. With this in mind, I limited the color palette to only two colors. Based on the popularity of the "Mystic Hand," I decided to produce products utilizing that particular icon. The first product I produced was a tote bag, the second and most successful was a lapel pin. The lapel pin also included a card backing for presentation.
I present the Blade of Octon. This epic sword is 100% vector, created using only Adobe Illustrator. I was inspired by a number of things such as King Arthur, The Legend of Zelda and Conan the Barbarian. You can consider this a subtle tribute to all of my fellow design knights holding it down at the round table. Stay slaying.
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"I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death." I wanted to design something in honor of my favorite rapper, NaS. This concept pulls inspiration from his rhymes on "New York State of Mind." What's really cool is the fact that Mass Appeal shared the w.i.p. of this on their Twitter and Instagram, shortly after I attended the San Diego stop of Nas and Lauryn Hill's PowerNomics tour. It was also the first time, after countless efforts, that I was finally able to see Nasir in concert. The whole chain of events leading up to the completion of this illustration felt super rewarding. Most fans of 90's hip-hop seemed to really connect and appreciate the play on words. One of the most challenging parts was visualizing Sleep as an actual person. To showcase his celestial status in the family, I designed his beard to appear as if the cosmos flows through it. As the ruler of dreamtime, I believe at least some portion of his being should consist of such cosmic fabric. Although Nas' lyrics depict a vividly hardcore perspective, I thought the art style should be much more fun and light-hearted. After all, the idea of these two sharing a family photo is pretty humorous when you think about it.
Behold, the Crescent Wizard. My love for magic and the moon has no gravity. The culmination of both my Astro Club and Wizard's Council collections, I decided to combine both themes to illustrate that the universe is indeed full of magic. The illustration eventually materialized as a hard enamel pin and a vinyl sticker. Both of which are available in my shop.
LIFEWTR was looking to partner with various types of artists in select California markets who understand that inspiration is key to creation. In exchange for support from LIFEWTR these influential individuals would help drive awareness as ambassadors for the brand. Based on the content curated on my Instagram account, their representative thought I would be a perfect fit for the program. My involvement as a LIFEWTR "Influencer" included compensation for a total of 10 posts (2 per month) featuring their product. With an emphasis on individuality, I was encouraged to maintain my own voice and style during the creative process. This collection showcases how I incorporated their product into my content.
Bon' appetit! Here's some food icons I created for Natasha's Food Adventures. Natasha needed iconography for her website that better suited her colorful taste and personality. Each was designed for a particular recipe. Such categories included breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and drinks.
I sometimes like to create cartoon characters to embody certain traits of my personality. Pico De Gato represents my inner cool cat. Of course skateboarding shaped my personality immensely, but so did the late 80's and early 90's style trends. This character capsulizes a time when I was either stuck in my imagination or hypnotized by the Simpsons on television. Back then I was surely wearing clothing with bright colors and wacky patterns. Good times.
Buy the aluminum print here.
Astro blasters that shoot "PEW! PEW!" I titled this collection of retro inspired ray-guns, "Pew Pew the Series." Each weapon was released on a day to day basis via social media. Based on the overall engagement I was able to gauge which of the designs was most favorable. In addition, I examined the shape and detail to determine the most ideal qualities for production as a lapel pin. As a result, I chose to update certain aspects of the "Flash Ray" and produced a limited run of soft enamel pins.
This vector illustration was created for Through the Canvas, an Alice in Wonderland themed art show held at the Royale Tea Room located in La Jolla, California. A portion of the proceeds were donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Carlsbad, including mine, with my submission being sold to a happy couple whom attended the event. The artwork was printed on aluminum and cut circular in shape.
Surf the cosmos with this space turtle. 🐢 The entire graphic was created using Adobe Illustrator. Initially it was supposed to be a sea turtle, but that just wasn't abstract enough for me. Wherever this celestial creature travels, star dust is left behind. Imagine that. A turtle that can form galaxies as a result of the exhaust from it's energy radiation. 💫
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The good folk at Pappas Artisanal asked me to design their logo and various print collateral for the company's grand opening back in 2013. Pappas is a wood-fired rotisserie restaurant that's nestled in old town La Verne, California. If you ever happen to stumble across their doorstep, I highly recommend you stop and grab a bite to eat. The food and people are equally great. Explore some of the results from our collaboration down below.