Our focus is on creating art that brings believability to film and stage productions, a better work environment to your employees, as well as invites customers to come in and do business with you. Art can create a desirable destination in a mundane world. Think back to how great art created favorite places in your past. We strive to create real world art that causes your audiences, employees and customers to want to come back to you for a rewarding experience. We love taking on any and all visual design challenges that our current projects schedule will allow. Or we can put you into our calendar que. In addition to remarkable artistic talent amongst our team members, we can boast a state of the art shop that allows us to produce one of a kind art and signage and stage dressing that is much more affordable than you would imagine. You don't have to be a Rockefeller to commission our work. Take one of our recent projects, at ADP, for example. Employing trompe l'oeil (deceive the eye) techniques, as well as shop fabricated art components we created a common area indoor space that chases away the winter blues. An indoor forest if you will, a relaxing space that allows employees to take a break and get back to work with more energy. Give us your challenge, you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Newspaper Story Illustration

     My buddy, Bryan, called yesterday evening asking if I'd like to produce an illustration for the local paper. I asked him when it was due and he mumbled something about this week.  I asked him when this week and he replied trepidatiously "Uh, Tomorrow morning-this week."  Oh. that's why he didn't want it. 
     Why do most of my deadlines seem to be "tomorrow morning".  I said "No, thank you very much!" I wasn't going to get home till 10:30p.m., was already beat from working at the garage all day with Pat, and was getting up early for an appointment. Plus, the paper takes a notoriously long time to pay for design work. 
     However, as I began to consider the looming holidays, reason prevailed and I decided I could probably use the extra money. (75 big ones!  everything's relative.)  So, I turned on re-runs of the Andy Griffith Show and stayed up till 3 a.m. finishing an illo for this story about two sisters whose father brings home a couple of vagrants for thanksgiving back in 1961.  
Doing a drawing in pencil lets me produce very fine details, but I also like the texture of charcoal which also allows me to work a bit faster.  This was produced using both.  Oh, and this is Bryan's design, not mine.

This is what he sent me, based on the author's approval.
     The funny thing about working through the night is as the hours pass I work exponentially slower and begin making mistakes (note the sister's wonky glasses), so that in the last hour I accomplish as much as I do in my first 10 minutes.  Knowing this about myself I try to get as much done in the first couple of hours as I can knowing that from then on it's like bailing water from a sinking boat... actually it's nothing like that, but I'm to tired to think of a more accurate metaphor.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Soundtrax 2 Recovery

Recently I got a call from Michael McLean the celebrated LDS composer and, yeah, close personal friend.  I had completed a piece of design for him last year for his "Threads" album and tour.
I don't recall which font Deseret Book ended up going with.  Whatever it was Michael loved it.
    I picked up the phone and he was like "Jase!  My main man!  What's the stuff, cream puff?" and I was like "Mike!  What's up m'nerd?!"  After catching up he asked if I'd like a little work designing a new promotional poster for a new album he and his friend John Batdorf had put together.  It was an album geared toward helping and inspiring struggling folks.  After working through a few ideas this is the one we settled on.

You know how ice skaters make streaking across the ice backwards with one leg in the air while holding a lady over their heads with one arm look easy? (and, you know, it's not.)
   I wonder if this is like that.  Does it look easy?  'cause, it wasn't.  Especially for me, who never aspired to the lofty realms of graphic designer-hood. (mostly because I need to stay true to my artistic principles and am not interested in superficial things like money and food for my children)
  But what do you say to someone when you need work and they offer you something tuff?
"Pshhh!  Sure, I can do that.  Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!"
    I just typed out everything that might go on the poster and then began moving and cropping and stretching and smashing.
    One thing I try to be conscious of at all times is where the eye is wandering to and then trying to control that through hue (color) and value (how light or dark something is).
    So while I hope the whole piece has a very random type of texture to it there is actually a lot of order imposed on it.  Michael and John seemed pretty happy.  If anybody sees a poster out there steal one for me.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Happy Belated Halloween!

I like Halloween.  It's an opportunity to do something interesting and creative and every year I go overboard with the kids costumes.  This year I dressed them up as a family of dolls.  Not lovely dolls, the kind you give a sweet little girl on her birthday in front of all of her friends as she's shoveling angel food cake down her throat.  No, these were creepy dolls.  The kind you find in an old hope chest in your great-grandmothers attic.  We took Lucy to Abravanel Hall for the Utah Symphony's Halloween Concert.  Every year they also hold the states largest costume contest and Lucy entered as the doll.

The concert was excellent and just before intermission a couple of radio personalities from KSL came on stage to announce the finalists.  Lucy's was the first name they announced of the children's finalists and it was fun to see her stiffen, then jump in the air a little bit as she spun around to face us with a surprised "Oh!" She and I got to go back stage to the "green room" and meet all the musicians and the conductor or "maestro". (my personal lifetime dream)  many of them asked to have their picture taken with her and we got a few pictures of our own, most specifically, with the lead clarinet, (Lucy's a clarinet player)...
I asked her how far she got into the concert before she realized her costume made it difficult to play.
She replied "About four notes and then I was like 'oh no!'"
The reason Lucy isn't smiling in any of these pictures is she's afraid of damaging her make-up, which is pretty fragile.
and the Conductor who first had his photographer take a picture of them together for him.
Just before conductor went on stage.

Lucy was remarkably comfortable going out on stage in front of 2,700 people.  This year Lucy won second place by the audience, for which she won a gift basket with all sorts of cool items and tickets.  I'm buying the tickets for the Utah Opera from her and she's keeping the tickets to next years Comi-con.

On Halloween we have to get up very early to do the kids make-up.  There's no contest at the middle school, but the boys went on to win first at their schools contest.
    I guess these two experiences officially make me an award winning make-up artist, hmm?

Our last Halloween all our kids.  They don't look very happy, do they?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Woman at the Well? hmmm

I think there's a whole relief society fireside by that name and it really bothers me that they bogarted it.  Not to be discouraged I'll call this "Samaritan Woman at the Well".  That makes this a little more definitive, doesn't it?
    When it comes down to it I don't really know how I feel about naming art.  If it doesn't stand on it's own without the artist justifying it with a name that pulls it from the swamp of ambiguity then in one way or another it's a small failure.  I heard of a gallery in California where the gallery owner hangs no titles of any kind.  I like that.  Either its nice to look at or it's not.  You feel something or you don't.  There's a message or the artist has nothing to say.
    So on second thought this has no title.  Some people might look at it and see a woman who's trying to figure out what just happened with an uncanny stranger here at her favorite watering hole and others might just see a fairly competent figure and life study which, in reality, is what I wanted to paint.  I guess I'm not saying what it is.
I just think it's nice to look at.

Click to Enlarge

Friday, October 25, 2013

A few years ago our town and (Carnegie) library received an Eccles grant to remodel the historic building.  I wouldn't say that it had fallen into disrepair, more just heavily in need of updating, because our town is crazy about it.  It has the distinction of being one of the two most frequented libraries in the country per capita.  That means we all use it. Along with all the obvious needs the library board thought it would be so great to include art in the remodel, and they discussed a large mural that would be placed above the main entryway.  They called me and I was instantly jazzed about the idea.  After a couple of meetings I began some preliminary sketches and grew more excited as I went along and began to develop ideas. 
     Sadly, it all came to a halt when engineers discovered more and more that would have to be brought up to code in the old library and many grand ideas had to be abandoned, including the mural.  
I shelved most of the sketches pinning a couple up on the wall in my studio so I could walk by and sigh at them like a love sick girl for the next couple of years.  I really wanted to do that piece.  I even considered doing it as a speculative piece with the hope of selling it when I was done, but that's a real crap-shoot because clients all have unique visions and motivations, and the bigger the piece the tougher it is to find a space that fits it just right.  Plus, I'd lose my house before it was finished.
    Finally, a few weeks ago while doing some boring sign design I looked up and the sketches caught my eye.  I was about to sigh when I had a thought.  I e-mailed my friend Paul Sweat who I'd worked with before at Wasatch School District on their Legacy Mural a few years back.  For an ex-jock he's got the heart of a poet and is a true patron of the arts.  Also, he has a rather cunning perspective on how art can influence children, hence the Legacy Mural, (see earlier posts) so it seemed a natural place to start.  I explained the project and asked if there might be a place in his district for such a piece.
   He responded immediately with a message that began with "Are you kidding me?!  We will definitely find a place something like this!"
    After looking at some of the designs I had in mind He felt like the Jr. High would be a better fit for the mural and since then I've been sending them a potential vignette' or two a week while they consider if it's something their going to do.  Unfortunately, I haven't heard from them for a few weeks and I'm hoping they aren't cooling to the idea.
It all started with this idea of a couple of kids I really liked.
And an environment that inspired adventure.  This was the original idea but it didn't provide enough space to convey a whole world, so...
I added a very deep area to the left including a lost city, forest and lake with waterfall.  Now possibilities abound.  Yeah, I know it's hard to make out, but this is just to help me work out proportions.  There's no point in developing it very far because the design will likely change a lot.  Fortunately, Paul Sweat and Justin Kelly (Jr. High Administrator) have great capacity for vision and comprehension that doesn't require me to spoon feed them every detail before they understand.  I've worked with actual Art Directors like that and it can be very discouraging.

The following are odd sketches,
 thumbnails and ideas for
 vignettes in the mural.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Back in Black

I'm not really in black.  I think it makes me look huge.  But I'm posting some of the stuff I've been working on.
                                                                     Midnight Book                                                              
                                                             Click on image to enlarge
I did a small commission in which one of the characters was wearing this quilt.  I really didn't get a chance to develop it and wanted to revisit it in earnest.  It was a fun study to do and I think I'm going to do another "quilt painting" at the bidding of my friend and colleague Dean Kleven.  For now it's just going to sit on the wall at my mothers gallery up in Heber until I get enough paintings together for my own show.  In real life I hate my cat but I like what he brings to this piece.  What you don't see are the 4 hands it took to hold him in position while I photographed him for reference.  He was ticked and still refuses to come into my bedroom, which is exactly the way I want it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fifty Films

5 days ago I got a call from Tom at Fifty-Films asking whether I had ever done any auto type painting.  I told him I had done a little and he asked if I thought I could do a custom paint job on an entire plane over the weekend.  At first I thought "no way" but the money was right, even after beating the next lowest bid by $500 and I'm not working on anything with a strict deadline so I thought I'd give it a try.  They needed me to paint a wrecked plane at a set in Salt Lake to match a sound plane they had filmed in Nepal.  The color references weren't great but after a few corrections I think it went great and they were happy with the result.
The wrecked plane before the matching paint job.
The sound plane in Nepal
The plane after the paint job.
I guess this weekend they're going to slam the whole thing into a hill side somewhere.  Oh well.