Stock Proton Pilot

Here it is! My very first complete stock stamp designed from the ground up. It’s a first and I’m super excited on how it turned out. The Streamline Pilot has been one of those molds that has really taken off. Fans of the disc love its glide and super straight flight. It’s a great flyer and I knew early on that this disc was going to be a go to for a lot of disc golfers.

The whole goal in this design was to bring back some of that art deco/ retro futurism flavor that was in some of the earlier stamp designs from Streamline Discs. I really liked what Zachary Kelbaugh did with the Proton Drift and wanted to create something that is vaguely familiar with the consumer. Most importantly, I wanted to reestablish Streamline’s identity.

This is more of a take on the classic fighter pilot but abstract enough to offer viewers an ability to create their own story; their own hero. The intended goal was to create a design that had breath-ability but also had refined class. I found some great inspiration online. The classic silent film “Metropolis” was a huge inspiration and was the backbone of the main center figure. From there it was inserting flight numbers and logos in a way that didn’t feel obtrusive. We went with a silver holographic foil to really embrace that high polish look. I think it worked really well for the candy-like color properties of the plastic itself.

All in all, I’m very happy. I had always pictured my first commission stock stamp going much differently. I had that feeling that it would be so out of the way of how I did things. I don’t think I could have gotten more lucky. I want to thank Brad/Chad and crew for having the confidence in me to deliver.

Streamline Flare Special Edition

The Streamline Flare is the newest Fairway Speed 9 driver delivered with plenty of overstability for even the strongest arms in the disc golf game. I was asked to design around that special ability of the disc to fight out of constant steady winds. It’s a true wind fighter.

The design started with a page of ship designs based on direct relationships to the flare countermeasure that provides a decoy to heat sinking missles. Other quick concepts went the sci-fi ship route and that aspect of the design stuck out with the group. The frame-type of motion was liked by all and continued into the rough phase. Connecting the design with it’s actual flight characteristics was important to me. I used a rough block-in 3D model to mock up the ship orientation and ported that into Illustrator. The whole intent of that process was to create motion.

Other Streamline designs that I’ve done were in a direction where you couldn’t place a certain time period on it. It was kinda Sci-Fi/ kinda modern age but I wanted to take this into a futuristic realm. So I added lower propulsion units on the bottom and kept the edges and angles sharp. A few references of the Royal Canadian Forces doing evasive maneuvers in a valley inspired me to put atmospheric trails coming off the wings. Carrying that curve language subtracted from the “Flare” typeface finishes it off.

In the end, MVP Disc Sports HQ used a new grey pigment-based foil in combination with black and white to create a truly comic-like vibe with the stamp. You can find these by most big online retailers of MVP, Axiom and Streamline on April 19th.

Magic Warlock

Mystical designs are something I don’t have a lot of experience with. When the request came in from Mike Visgar to bring his idea to life, I was all about it. Visgar had an idea that incorporated his M@g1c nickname. The first of that series of idea was the warlock concept. After just a few sketchbook doodles, I landed on this warlock pencil drawing and proceeded to use my Pentel brush pen to add some character to the line work. The pen allows me to go super thick and thin very quickly and give the doodles that much more life.

Dual foil brings in another aspect of design. There needs to be a purpose for bringing in that secondary color. I chose the light of the crystal ball to represent it. MVP Headquarters chose a rainbow metallic to really enhance the light play without making it too crazy on the viewer. I ditched the busy circular filler behind the warlock and opted for stars. Lastly, the added in some pointillism dot work to add a bit of grit and give it that slight vintage/ stoner rock feel.

Mike V. was great to work with and trusted me completely throughout the process. I appreciate that sort of working relationship and hope there’s more to this series coming later down the road. Please comment, like, and share this post if you wish. Thanks for stopping in.

2019 Jomez Pro

Another one of these awesome moments where an opportunity fell in my lap to assist an MVP/ JOMEZ Pro partnership for an order. Jomez is a film production company pushing out top notch disc golf footage. There wasn’t any preconceived ideas they wanted to run. The slate was clean and I quickly got to work. One thing I really dug about Jomez’s look from the year previous was the style in which they used for their video intro’s. It’s very similar to a style I’ve admired for years that combines 2D animation with live action film. You’ll see it in Who’s Framing Roger Rabbit, Gorillaz, A-Ha “Take On Me” music video, and many others. If you want to geek out, Here’s a great video explaining it in the first 6 minutes.

We expanded a bit on the explosion coming from the Jomez Pro logo similar to their introduction sequence. Jomez wanted to see what the next step of that design would look like. While we loved the idea of it, i felt like their logo was taking a smaller role in the stamp didn’t feel right. The other idea both parties really honed in on was the Follow Flight shot tracking stamp idea. Follow Flight is essentially Jomez’s most featured post production trick that they use. It allows viewers to view a replay with the flight of the disc highlighted in the shot. The biggest thing is it created more space for a much larger logo.

It was back and forth within MVP’s design team on whether halftone should be included. Everyone was on board for a lightened load of main black foil. The design without it allows the whole stamp to breath a bit more. To have a stamp work on a variety of plastic properties is highly important when they’re wanting a large order. In the end, Jomez was stoked and we were proud to get their support. Let me know if you dig this design! Were there thumbnails that you would’ve liked to see expanded more? Leave a comment and share this blog. Thanks for tuning in!

You can buy the stamp here from Jomez directly!
https://www.jomezpro.com/shop/?orderby=date

Mike 'Sully' Sullivan "45"

When Mike Sullivan of Team MVP approached me to do his Team MVP stamp, he was kind of giving me the reigns to come up with something. We chatted a bit over private message and our conversation led to music. Mike is a huge 70's punk/ New Wave fan. He also shares a common interest in vinyl. I've been wanting to do a record stamp for a while now and this was the opportunity to pitch it. Some of his favorite bands from that era were Crass, Joy Division and The Clash. My advice to upcoming designers: Talk to you clients! Make a connection. You just never know what might come out of it. I’m sure most people outside looking in had no idea Sully used to be an avid vinyl collector. I’m glad both and he and I were excited about pursuing this challenge.

Mike loved the idea and I quickly got to work. The hardest thing about doing this was that this needs to work on every disc color. Records are finely detailed and it would take lines under typical stamping requirements to pull off the sheen/ intricacies of the grooves. I had to plan smart and figure out a way that this could be possible, while also keeping it graphic and instantly recognizable. One common theme we both agreed on from the very beginning is this was before advances in colored label and surfaces. Most punk records were black and white or very simple graphically. I don’t know much about these bands so it was straight to google search to get some overall themes established. We knew that a full 12” record wasn’t doable with the center sprue being off limits. The next option was a 7” and if fit perfectly for what we were wanting to pull off.

The important thing about this stamp was breaking up the huge fields of black within the design. I used a simple halftone pattern technique to break apart the solid black and help ease up the overall tonnage for the stamping machine. One reference I found really fit well for placing all the information while mimicking the exact punk style Mike was aiming for. I had a blast working in a different style than past stamps. The initial plan was to use a clear holofoil for the record surface. MVP was out of that foil so they wisely went silver metallic and it worked out perfectly. It reflects the disc color and almost achieves the same effect we were going after.

Overall, I appreciate Mike Sully giving me full reign to run with it. I feel these bursts of excitement toward a project creates an overall better product in the end. Thanks everyone for tuning and and learning a bit about how I was able to pull it off! Share this blog if you feel so inclined.

MVP Open-LE Resistor

With the success of the MVP Open Pro side Limited Edition Fireball stamp, it was now time to turn my focus. The goal was to take the same general theme as the Fireball and create a triple foil stamp with the same visual appeal for the Amateur side of the MVP Open tournament. Since this disc will also debut in the same new "Firebalm" Plasma plastic as the Fireball, it should me for a pretty nice pairing. 

Going into this design, the idea of inverting/ flipping of what was done previously, was brought up among the marketing team. I really liked that idea and ran with it. The Resistor is a widely used utility fairway driver that also has a lot of overstability (the typical flight of a disc that turns left for a right handed backhand thrower). Since I couldn't use the shot mimic'd in the first stamp, I have the disc golfer throwing a typical backhand hyzer that follows the overall circumference of the outer edge of the stamp.

The Fireball had it's font treatment on the bottom of the design, I also wanted to change this up as well. For the Resistor wording on the top portion of the design, I would design that area to act as if the circuit board and different pathways connecting itself to it. As I continued to layout out the circuits and pathways, it felt flat. I switched gears toward the end and made the call to work around the Resistor typeface and create bolts to simplify.

All in all, it was awesome to continue a theme from one Limited release to another. That's a first for me and hope everyone digs it. Thanks so much for stopping in and reading about this design. The MVP Open was a huge success and I can’t wait to see what next year brings for MVP Disc Sports.
 

MVP Open Fireball LE

I loved everything about working on this project. You go into the thumbnail process thinking that something like what you did could never work or not be as good. During our initial staff meeting, I was able to show a few of the thumbnails from my sketchbook. The vast majority and better reaction was to the yin yang design. I'm glad I've got great people to rely on and encourage me to take that idea a bit further.  The other thumbnails were worthy enough for possible future expansion so I can't show them, unfortunately. 

The shot is called an underhand thumber. It looks rather painful but a shot that does exist to get the player out of an unfortunate spot. I found the shot through an old throwing clinic video on YouTube. I watched the flight and thought it would fit perfectly (with a little bit of modification) to that of my yin yang concept. I think the dynamic of the fireball crashing toward the foreground is why this was a success. Last thing I want to mention about the design is the spacing of the the heavy items of the stamp. The Fireball text and ball itself are pretty heavy. I consciously wanted that weight balanced so I gave the sky a full foil with minimal spacing for rays and birds in the sky. I think the balance worked out well!  

The Limited Edition Fireball design is a tour fundraiser for the Disc Golf Pro Tour. The MVP Open will be at Maple Hill Disc Golf Course located in Leicester, Massachusetts. This event brings some of the world's top players and will be an exciting time. If you're in attendance, there may be some left at the Maple Hill Disc Golf store. 

Robokitty

As the disc golf season starts, I often get the opportunity to help disc golfers fund their season long ambitions. Amanda Melwiki approached me with a rather interesting design idea for her tour series disc. She says to me:
"I’m thinking a cat but I want pieces of him to be missing and under he’s a robot"
"you might have to get a bit girly too..."


Amanda was rocking a dubstep tune by Excision called "Robo Kitty". The idea came to her that with her love of felines and an appreciation for this track. The idea was worth exploring. With those beginning ideas and rules now set, it was time to get to work.

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Reference Sheet

I began with a pretty extensive reference sheet. Drawing cats is not my strong suit. So getting as much anatomy and idea reference as possible will help me and the client understand what direction this idea could lead to. 

The challenge with this design was clearly "How am I going to mix a kitten with its face missing in spots and keep it cute?" I tried a dozen or more sketches. We both arrived at the idea of introducing more foils to the design and splitting the concept straight down the middle. It allows both sides to have a clear representation while not overcrowding/ overcomplicating the design. 

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First crack

Here is the very first go at it mixing feline and robot/cyborg properties to her. You have to start somewhere. I'm exploring the Persian kitten because of the well defined face features. They're adorable kittens and well renown.

Bad ideas out of the way! It's rare that the first drawing you ever do for a project sticks. The upper left persian grumpy kitty stuck out to both of us. Now it was the task of mixing the robotic properties and adding a bit of cuteness. The idea of the split came from this initial Pinterest board Amanda had created to get some ideas flowing. 

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Fork in the road

The idea of the split came from this initial Pinterest board Amanda had created to get some ideas flowing. You can see I took a liking to the idea of doing a split down the middle like the left side example. 

These roughs were made knowing that split was going to happen. The next stage was figuring out how the robot side of things were going to look like. The great thing about this is I'm still in a traditional mindset and pumping out quick ideas on paper. Nothing is digital yet so those options can be explored rather quickly. As you can see from the sheet, some of these ideas (especially dealing with the eye socket of the kitten) got a bit dark/ or away from cute. Toward the end, I was able to reel it back in and experiment with the rays/electric bolts surrounding the Robokitty head. 

Amanda was excited and loved the roughs. It was now time to really finalize the robot side of Robokitty and get this stamp finished for her. Main things that needed tackling were how the two hot stamping foils were going to be split up. Would I do the left side in black..and the right side of the kitty in pure secondary foil? It took a few mockups in photoshop to determine what I was going to do in Adobe Illustrator. 

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Final Mock Up

I like to create a splash image for my clients to use to get the word out. During this time between file submission and receiving product, If they want to tease the notion of what's coming, I leave them the option to do so.

I'd like to thank Amanda Melwiki from Team MVP for being so engaged in the process. She helped gather references she was drawn to. She was quick with feedback on every draft I sent her. Robokitty was a challenging task but she made this project fun. I'd also like to thank MVP HQ for giving this dual foil stamp what it needed. They did an excellent job using accent foils that really fit Amanda as a person. 

Schrocktopus

With the 2018 disc golf season among us, it was with great excitement that the first tour stamp of the year leaned on my love for the octopus. I was given pretty much open freedom to come up with a stamp for Tyler Schrock of Team MVP. "Schrocktopus" is his nickname, so we ran with it. 

Going into this project, My focus was on giving Tyler Schrock the real estate I thought he wanted. I went to the sketchbook and used the octopus within his name plate. The ideas resembled something he could take and use on other applications or patches. The feedback I received from the thumbnails surprised me a bit. While most Tour Discs have the sponsored player either written somewhere in text or with a signature; Tyler didn't want that. He wanted his stamp to focus more on the art and his nickname. Going into the rough draft, I had a pretty clear picture of how this artwork was going to finish out as. There were last minute changes that needed to be made, though. It's a valuable lesson on logo use and the end solution was to insert the official Team MVP seal. It replaced the MVP "Orbit" logo from the initial final.  The stamp lost a little bit of playfulness (in my opinion) but I still think it came out great!  

It was a pleasure being asked to work on this for him. Contact Tyler Schrock through this link for inquiries on availability. 

Out Of Bounds #2 - Sasquatch

Here's the 2nd installment in the Out of Bounds Series! I've partnered up with Brian Sweet to venture deep into the woods with this one. The first installment was a Kraken theme where the disc golfer perched on top of the cliffside went for the putt. Brian puts it so eloquently:
 
"What lurks in the out of bounds when playing disc golf? A whisper in your ear, the electricity of your hairs standing on the back of your arm. You can feel your heartbeat all the way up in your neck as you are frozen in fear"

Going into the second design, our initial idea was to have a towering sasquatch camouflaged into the tree line. The disc golfers would have no idea that this giant gargantuan of a beast, looms overhead. This idea did have its challenges. 

The first challenge was scale. To have this beast towering with the treetops dismissed the typical size of a Sasquatch. What really is the size of one of these beasts? My gut reaction and typical approach, when faced with this decision, is to go big! So initial sketches showed the scale I was hoping. As you can see from my rough ideas, blending the beast into the wood line left a lot of opportunities off the table. Typically, a person dominating a scene in a film has the subject taking priority in the shot. To make it this rule effective, I needed to scale the Sasquatch above the tree line. 

In the end, you see that we changed course at the last possible second. Sometimes grinding on a design is an indicator that it just isn't working. Sasquatch dude felt more like "King Hippo" from Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!. Bending the main character over made it felt like he was engaged in the scene. Taking some of that chunk out of his frame and choosing Sasquatch identifiers helped sell the idea. His giant hand shadowing over the poor soul who has no clue, and the chain necklace of his most recent winnings, really made the scene.  All in all, I'm really happy on how this second installment turned out. I want to thank everyone for their support with the Out of Bounds series. I look forward to the next one! ...whenever that might be.  To keep in the loop, join this Facebook group for all "Out of Bounds" news related items!
https://www.facebook.com/OBdiscgolf/

30th Anniversary of the Roc

Excited is an understatement. Jeff Panis (Marketing Director of Innova Champion Discs) reached out quite a while ago when he assumed his new role. A lot of things were on his plate at the time, so we talked briefly and got back in touch a few months down the road. An opportunity was in place to design a commemorative stamp honoring 30 years of the Roc's existence. The Roc has been one of Innova's most popular molds without question. This was a huge opportunity that came with a lot of weight.

In the initial sketches I proposed, there were some good things to build off of. I had awesome friends who helped me out in critique. One of the main things I overlooked that they quickly pointed out was the silhouette strength of the head. My goal was to have this Roc reach a point of near weightlessness. For example, If you stretch your back out in your chair (I do this from time to time) , you arch the back, the chest protrudes out and your chin tips up. This pose is something I tried to capture. As Innova and I progress through the development of the stamp, The head tips back down a bit to give the bird more shape. The wings extend out to give some symmetry to the stamp. The body develops all the way to it's last and final version and the final is the result of of multiple revisions for the better.

If it wasn't for my friends and their fresh eyes to give me critique, the direction of Jeff Panis, Levi Wilcox and the crew to keep pushing this stamp, it would've honestly turned out to be less than what it should've been. What do you all think?  I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading.

2017 Fantasy Disc Golf Calendar

After seeing the 2016 Fantasy Disc Golf calendar with work of disc golf artists, John Dorn and Manuel Trujillo; I knew I had to inquire to see what it'd take to get on the 2017 team. the 2017 team of artists included John Dorn, Manuel Trujillo, Benjamin Hopwood, Duncan "Skulboy" Crawford, Steven Colatriano, Cooper Harkins and myself. 

I was assigned the months of August and November. I've always wanted to do more themed disc golf illustrations. I appreciate John giving me the chance. August (Summer) got me interested in revisiting some Tiki artists I found while I was researching for a mural project years ago.  Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker and Tom Thordarson really inspired this tiki piece. November early sessions had cornucopia themes in mind but as soon as I saw great fall reference, I switched to a forest scene with stirring foliage. I found these neat fire tornadoes while searching as well. One thing led to another. Really pleased with how both pieces turned out.

This is exciting and new for me. My prints are available here!!:
High Quality Archival Prints
More affordable option

2016 Champion Roc+

When the opportunity comes along, you don't pass it up. Innova gave me that chance by reaching out after the success of the first Collector Roc release just a month ago. 

Going into this design,  the window was pretty open. The must-have items were "USDGC 2016/ Champion Roc+"  I was able to come up with a few ideas on an initial thumbnail sheet that sparked a bit more exploration. Below is the entire beginning to end phase of design, implementation and cleanup.

Thanks to Innova Champion Discs for reaching out and giving me another opportunity to contribute to this year's United Disc Golf Championship Roc releases. The Roc+ art will be available to all Innova wholesale dealers worldwide!