Sunday, December 30, 2012 drink it!

I doodled this running to-go coffee the other night. I liked it enough to push it into this design for my society6 site. Not sure where it all came from. Doodles are like that some times...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

warning stickers #3

This gem was captured while in Florida many moons ago. I post them due to their sublime compositions. They are simple in every way yet balanced and allow the eye to easily take in all the info. It is an organized graphic work that sends a message with as little info as possible. If it is not effective, then people get seriously injured or even dead. It is unlike most graphic design in that the majority of print graphics are attempting to move a product or announce an event. Looking at warning stickers (the good ones) should be mandatory for every graphic design student. I guess you could show the bad ones as well to point out their failures.

Be safe boaters!

Hope the new year is amazing!!!! Enjoy.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

merry christmas 2012

i've really got nothing new to type concerning my art or design or anything else for that son did design some lego pieces for Rock-Paper-Scissors:

we put all three behind us and then we show one when you get to the "shoot" part. Not sure what gave him the idea for this stuff.  very cool though. Our daughter just turned 4 and our son will be 6 at the end of january. some how we hope to make it thru the holiday season....

i just wanted to wish all a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

only love beats milk illustration

This is my latest project for society6. It was inspired by the blk & wht photo at the bottom of the post. I've written about it previously. I love retro styled design and this was kind of the underlying theme as I was creating sketches. I changed eye positions about 15 times. The hand raising idea came to me when my mind wandered toward boxing the other evening. I really like the whole look and especially the color choices (something I usually dread). "Simplify" was also an overriding theme throughout. Remove waste!!!

Enjoyed the entire process on this one. What makes it even more enjoyable was the fact that several other ideas came to me during the initial brainstorming phase. We'll see how they turn out. Sure do miss this gem below...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

this year's christmas card that never happened

It has been an erratic tradition to do some sort of art-based Christmas card. My wife and I throw ideas around for several weeks trying to hash out something to send. We break boards over each others heads and smash a lot of bottles and anything else ceramic or glass. This year's card never made it through the conflict. We did some sketching. I did some Styrofoam printmaking. Nothing tickled our fancy (i really dislike that saying). These were the two unfinished finalists from my end:

After patching the drywall and stitching up the wounds, Ash dressed up the youngsters and we took a few pictures near some local woods. We uploaded them into some prefab Walmart designs and printed out 25. TA! DA!...problem solved.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

new batch of prints are ready

These designs have been lounging on my computer for some time now. I occasionally update/upgrade them. I think these three should be tweaked no more! I am definitely over analyzing my work at this point. Building a quality online identity and being sure an artwork is ready before your name is on it has been a constant theme in my head lately. 

The Live a Life of Learning theme will continue. Being a teacher has me constantly solving problems with young minds and finding creative ways to inspire their efforts. Any prints I make available in this vein with have it incorporated into the design. We'll see what the masses think. Head on over to and check it out.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

society6 and self promotion

I have waited some time before finding the time and location to begin to sell prints and other items that have my designs. A woman emailed me in hopes of finding a print of my Catcher in the Rye design.Someone who had seen it floating around cyberspace. I told her that her email would be the kick-in-the-pants that I needed to get this ball rolling! Well...I'm rolling.

I did some research concerning the proper places to promote myself. I am still limited in time and money. Etsy came to mind (and about three other locations). I settled on society6. They have amazing talent on their site and I must admit it is all a bit intimidating. I keep telling myself that I just putting it out harm there!

I will begin with these four designs...they will all be rated g. They will be a mix of humor, straight-up typography, education and many with the "Live a Life of Learning" tag I have been working on....we'll see how it goes.

You can find out what's cooking in the upper right corner of this blog...just click and POW!
thanks all

Friday, December 7, 2012

stuff you forget about

As I was searching my antique computer for something I completely forgot about, I found this poster. I had every intention of printing out some 20x30" copies to promote my graduate show (a series of posters that could help teach the elements and principles of design to k-6 students). You know how it goes, money...time...i had little of no poster. I'll just post it here and now and be done with it.

The layout of this poster was loosely based on the Swiss grid system. It has a similar look but I went light on ratios. I sure do love working with just letters. Designing without images boils down the process to its purest flavors. It is all about mass and space... how your eye flows and moves. Ya gotta love life when it reaches these peaks. You have simple elements with infinite outcomes. You must either hit a home run or strike out. No singles. No sacrifice flies. No bunting the base runner over to third. You fail or succeed. I don't know enough if I'm back on the bench or I am trotting around the base path to cheers and applause. To be honest, it doesn't really matter at this point. Success with each individual design isn't my master. It's my goal but not the end of the world if my efforts fall short. I just want to design. I just want to move things around. I just want to create. To play (though it is serious play!).

Never has others work pleased me so much as it does these days. There are so many talents in cyberspace. We are blessed to live in such times. Get to WORK!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

her big 3-0!

The Mrs. is turning thirty in a few days. She is looking forward to her next decade on the planet. To celebrate this big event, I've made a series of frame-ready cards. I created eleven 8x10 designs by the time it was all said and done. I then disposed of four of them due to massive shortcomings. I chose to make seven so that they could be hung in a 2-3-2 arrangement on the wall. The "30 sure is something" design was intended to be hung in the center of all the others. These are the seven survivors:

Happy 30th Ash!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

free art time struggles with young students

When my students finish a project, they are allowed the opportunity to create during "free art time." They finish their work at different times. This may have certain students with quite a bit of time on their hands. The result is a big problem for many youngster. WHAT-TO-MAKE!?!?!?!? I'm 42 and surrounded by creative inspiration and I often look puzzled at the flat white of a blank piece of paper. My job has me on the offensive in this battle against creative block. I am battling youth and it's inexperience as well as the clock (I see students 45 to 55 minutes a week).
Today, I sat down for about 10 minutes and showed my struggling first graders how I could brainstorm a silly short story. Note to taxpayers: We use the cheapest of materials during free art time (printer paper, crayons, old markers, etc.). I took a 9x12 piece of manila paper and a piece of printer paper and folded them into a "book". Three staples close to the fold and began the brainstorm. Thanksgiving time mixed with a long held love of drawing fried chicken/turkey wings had me sketching up this little wing guy. I thought (out loud) about what the wing could be doing. He could be dreaming of feathers. He could be dancing with the other foods at the table. He and the other food could devise an escape plan to get off the table....and about three other ideas. The book below was one of those other three. 


I had to revise the story as the black crayola marker could be easily seen through the white paper. This allowed me only four pages to work with!

Friday, October 26, 2012

senior pictures....yikes!!!!

I was asked to take some pictures of my sister-in-law Sarah. She needed some senior pictures and I said "sure!" ..."but I've never done such a thing before." Her boyfriend, Luke, threw his name into the ring as he also needed some photos taken. Like any other challenge in my life, I was both dreading the process and stressing out completely. The Angry Strongo comics have been on hold as I have been knee-deep into Photoshop the past few weeks.

I chose a few of the picts to

Sunday, October 21, 2012

that's my boy!

My son is at the stage of his education where words, language and lettering are overtaking his senses. He seems to be learning at an amazing pace. He is wandering around the house copying book covers, dvd packaging, mail and anything else that has words. His love of letters sure is fun to watch. Along with letters, he thinks very highly of his aunt's boyfriend, Luke...

When you combine the two, this is what ya get! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

things people carry

My daughter, Clare Louise, has many qualities that I thoroughly enjoy. One of the most interesting of these are the things she chooses to carry with her on life's journey. Car rides, walks, playing in the driveway and general around the house time has her holding onto 1 to 4 items that are of extreme importance. These items are not allowed to travel into the bathroom. Thus...

These treasures must always remain in plain sight.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

to be a good school, you need a great secretary

I found this drawing I had made a few years ago. The school that I work in is blessed with an amazing woman who deals with all the problems, paperwork and craziness that we can throw at her. I personally throw piles at her as I am all but helpless when it  comes to paperwork.....a real zero!

I just wanted a public "thank you" to be recognized....

My apologies for the bottom being cropped off the picture and the fact that the card is a Christmas card....

Thanks anyway, Nancy....YOU'RE AWESOME!!!!!