Moleskine Cahier Little Notebook Prints

Here's my first Moleskine little notebook print. I've been wanting to do these for quite a while, and finally ordered some from Amazon to try out some prints. I love the cardboard'ish cover and stitching on these; a nice handmade quality about them, and the company has quite a long history in Europe which is cool.

Ordered a set of three, and only one of them came out perfectly. I pressed too hard with my hand on the linocut stamp and the ink squished too much. I'll order some more and get these up on the shop soon. Also thinking of other little prints I can do...bikes, to-do-list, thought bubbles, etc.

Photographing Prints for Etsy

I decided to try something new with my Etsy shop photos lately. In researching some of my favorite sellers' shops, and seeing what gets selected for front page features, I tried to go with a brighter and cleaner look for my prints. I took some photos of a blank picture frame on a white, crumbly brick wall in my wife's studio. Now, when I make a new block print, I simply take a straight-on photograph of it, and then I can place it on the blank picture frame using Photoshop. The best part is that I can change the color of the print with a click of the mouse, and that offers the customer more color choices without having to pull the actual print until ordered.

This new process saves me a lot of time and headache with trying to get the lighting consistent in the dingy, spider-laden basement studio. I will still take some basic photos (closeups, angles, etc.) of the actual print to accompany this front page shot, so when you click through the listing, you can see alternative views of the print and know what you're buying.

Likes: Bright, clean and consistent...front page worthy
Dis: The black frames are messing with my eyes. Going to get some wooden frames at Ikea this weekend and try those.

What do you think of these new ways to display my prints?


 The old look; very dark and masculine. Not working for me.


New Print, "Time on Task"

Time on Task; a mantra that my wife learned in art school from one of her least favorite professors. It stuck with her as she started her ceramics business, reminding her to stay focused, facilitate good time management and get things done.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Inspired by a favorite movie of my youth, "Something Wicked This Way Comes", is a new sinister looking tee shirt design. It's made up of creepy things like ravens on branches, crow (aka raven) feathers, talons, antlers and moth wings. Available soon in my Etsy shop! 


Mountain Bike Greeting Cards

I've always been told I should do greeting cards, since most of my doodles and drawings are illustration style. This is a digitally printed reproduction of an original gouache painting I did a few months back. It turned out just how I wanted it...loose in style and vibrant in color.


The Frustrated Artist (Just One Day)

Yesterday I felt frustration as an artist that I haven't felt since I was in art school. I got home from my day-job determined to whip out some prints, new designs and just focus on the business. It just wasn't meant to be. I walked into my basement studio and nothing was working right, didn't have the right materials, it was dirty and dingy and I almost ran out of there screaming. I guess a lot of artists go through this. I have a ton of ideas, ton of half-completed-half-ass projects and am having trouble keeping my focus. My current lack in online sales and exposure, and a disjointed product line surely have led up to this crappy attitude as well.

As the world is constantly looking out for me, this morning I stumbled on a featured video of one of my favorite Esty shops, 1AEON.  Gabe Molnar of 1AEON is an incredibly creative artist and quality screenprinter. My wife and I have several of his tees and I've always wondered about his success and process. Gabe works 12-16 hour days in his tiny Brooklyn apartment. I'm humbled and amazed to learn that he churns out these awesome printed designs in the floor of his kitchen!

Suddenly my large dirty basement isn't looking so bad, and I feel like a little whiny bitch.

Fueled by this new-found inspiration, my weekend project will be rearranging the basement studio, cleaning it up, get my shit straight, and move on. No time for frustration, no time for whining. It doesn't happen very often, but my wife gives me just one day to feel sorry for myself when the need arises. One day is all I need.

Gabe at work. Click on the video below to watch the story of 1AEON.

This one's on my Favorites list.

He really pushes the envelope on printed images. Gotta have this one.


A Pisgah Inspired Mountain Bike Block Print

Came up with a new mountain biking print inspired by the Pisgah National Forest, where I ride and do a lot of trail maintenance with my local SORBA club. It's mountainous, rocky, rooty and unforgiving. This design of the terrain could actually translate well for the western U.S. and Canada also. I like the composition and play on the negative space that came out of this idea.

A great website on mountain biking in Pisgah...

Yikes, 40 lbs heavier back then! Big tree clearing on Squirrel Gap.

Top of Buckhorn Gap.

Log ride in Bent Creek.

Trail work day on Greens Lick in Bent Creek. Received "Volunteer of the Day" among 300 participants...I sweated more than anyone, and got some sweet disc brakes as a prize.  : )


My Very First Magazine Mention!

I am proud to announce that I made it into my very first magazine....WNC Magazine. Although it's a very tiny one-sentence mention about me, I'll take it! Gotta start somewhere and I'm happy that my work was recognized.

The article was about spots to tour by bicycle in our great city. One of the stops is to the River Arts District where my mountain bike prints can be picked up at my wife's art studio.

I sent them some photos of my work which unfortunately didn't make it in the article. Here's a snapshot of the article. The map shows the bicycle routes, while my name is mentioned in the text below.

Allow me to play Editor for a second...this is how I would actually design the article. 
You know, just sayin'.   


Linocut Block Process: Part I

Thought I would share my linocut process on my newest design, a collage of mid-century chairs. 

It turns out that chairs are really freaking hard to draw! I tried to draw some at home, but gave up...maybe I was just impatient that day, but I had resources on my side. So yes, I used my Photoshop skills and whipped this up. I sized it at 5x7 to match my lino block exactly.

Next comes using tracing paper to trace over my photo collage with a 2B pencil.

Flip the tracing paper over so that the graphite is reversed and can be transferred onto the block. When the block is inked on paper, it comes out in the correct orientation.

Using a soft graphite pencil, I go over my lines heavily and the image faintly transfers onto the block.

I then use a black pen to trace over those faint lines so that I know where to make my cuts. If I didn't use a pen, the graphite lines can rub off easily as my hand touches the block, plus they're easier to follow.

Time to start cutting!

Part II will demonstrate using this cut block to transfer my image to paper...stay tuned.


Mid-Century Chair Collage Block Print

For the love of sexy chairs, I've designed this new block print for the mid-century hoarder chair collector. Reminds us of our basement, a.k.a. the "chair graveyard".


Element Vintage Is Launched!

Heather and I have started a new business venture together...Element Vintage! We have a love for vintage items with great design and a colorful past. We're very selective in the pieces we curate and hope that people will love them as much as we do. Heather is doing a fabulous job on the photography. Check us out!


Art Hiding in Plain Sight - Street Art in Asheville

A lot of the graffiti around our city doesn't usually impress me, but sometimes there's art like this that makes me stop and look. Not the same bubbly-looking tags and writing, but more of a "hey, look at me...I'm a little piece of art in this little place." I admire that an artist will take the time and leave a little anonymous creative mark for others to enjoy. It makes me smile and happy to live in a such a creative place.

Next time you're walking around in Asheville, or your own city, keep your eye out for the art that hides in plain sight.

I've been collecting these photos all over town the past few weeks...hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
(Note that some of these are obviously commissioned murals, and some are guerrilla art pieces)