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

Axiom Plasma Fireball: Special Edition

The Axiom Fireball has been a chosen go to for overhand and forehand dominant players. I was given the opportunity to create a special fundraiser for the Disc Golf Pro Tour in 2018. When the opportunity landed in my lap to create a Plasma design for Axiom Discs this year; I was all over it.

Overall, the idea in my head was there. It was just a matter of figuring out the horizon line and overall fireball shape. I have a huge respect and love for Robert Valley’s work. He was trained under Peter Chung and worked along artists I’ve been admiring for years; Alberto Mielgo & Jamie Hewlett (NSFW). I like that push, pull and stretch that Robert is able to get with his perspective and characters. It’s more of an elongated figure style. Both simplified and graphic in his approach. Robert is a master at the fish eye effect. It’s more of first person view to his stories. I love that he doesn’t think about it, it just happens. You see this style with the final guy on the right side of the stamp.

All in all, It went through a few stages. We found that my initial punk dude was more in a comical superman pose. It didn’t feel right so ZAM (Art Director at MVP Disc Sports) helped me out and scrounged together a few reference photos of silhouetted bodies against a blast. Nothing too grotesque. If I could’ve kept the clouds filled in and graphic, that most likely would’ve been my ending place with overall cloud style. The restrictions of hot stamping needed me to break it a part a bit. I experimented with some tribal’esque cloud fills but felt overall, it didn’t fit the vibe well. It did, but it didn’t. I wasn’t aiming for a Polynesian scene or outcome but when I do, I’ll make sure to transfer that idea forward.

What do you all think? Did this equal up to 2018’s MVP Open Fireball stamp? If not, why? Leave your comments and I’ll make sure I return any questions or opinions you might have! Thanks.

Tyler Schrock- The Schloth

I would say Tyler Schrock and I had a successful freshman outing with his “Schroctopus” Tour fundraiser disc for 2018. He was able to make a few refresh orders to help get him to disc golf events last year after being sponsored by MVP Disc Sports. It was awesome to see that he wanted to work with me again in 2019 on a concept in the same vein as the previous. This time, the connection was a game his alumni club came up with called “Sloth”. It was a mix of rugby/soccer/handball.

We shared some references back and forth and it was time to get to work. The most iconic way you see a sloth in their habitat is hanging from a branch. That position also gives way to a rounded shaped backside that works withing the template I previously mentioned. I went to the sketchbook and nailed the position. The likeness of a sloth was a lot of trial and error. Either the sloth looked to chimpanzee-like or not enough to identify.

In the end, the reference gathering process helped me out so much. I was able to look at a few stylized examples and put those observations into our final stamp layout. This stamp screams lightheartedness. It really is an example of the person this art represent. While I’ve yet to meet Tyler, I know he’s represents MVP Disc Sports with the upmost professionalism as an athlete and ambassador.

Do you like the design for this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Carolina Hurricanes-Homegrown Series

Being invited back to such a great local hockey initiative is pretty exciting. The Carolina Hurricanes reached out for a poster design for the 2018/2019 Homegrown Season. The Homegrown Series aims to get the local art, food and breweries more visibility. After some rearrangement of days, I was assigned Jan 11th 2019 against the Buffalo Sabres. What most people do not know, is that I’m a WNY (Western New York) kid. Born and raised in Steuben County and only 2 hours south of Buffalo. This assignment was exciting but difficult as Buffalo pulls at my heart strings. To that end, I never watched much hockey growing up. The only player from Buffalo that I knew was Dominik “The Dominator” Hasek. One of the finest goalies of the NHL at that time.

To springboard off of the success of 2016's "PNC" poster, I feel as if I should stick to my passion and strength: Landscapes. I like the sound of the "Take Warning" motto the team has. I wanted to depict a small herd of Buffalo light boxed in front this gigantic (freaking huge) hurricane type of system moving in behind them. The bison would act as a secondary read. It's a mix of opponent based imagery but all in all, creating a beautiful poster that people would be proud to hang in their homes. 

After much tweaking and trying to get this concept to work, we took a 180 and focused on an interior scene of PNC Arena. I felt it was a good compromise. The whole idea was to celebrate the “Caniacs” and fans. This year showed the birth of a cool winning celebration on home ice and to partially show that concept ended up being pretty fitting. Carolina’s starting goal tender, Scott Darling was released by the team mid season. It’s the risks you take showing players jersey’s in the poster. I was happy to edit it to make it current.

I thank the Hurricanes and the Homegrown Series for allowing artists and local business’s show what they have to offer. If given the opportunity, It'd be an honor. What do you think? Do you like the original idea or where the poster ended up? Comment and share this post!

2018 Holiday Deflector

I’ve had the honor of working on MVP’s Holiday series for a few years now. We approached this project a little bit differently this year. The main gripe I have with holiday discs is that people are out of the spirit as soon as January. In a way, they feel novelty. We decided during the thumbnail stages that we wanted to create a stamp that has a little bit of holiday flare, but not so much that it’s overkill.

My initial design plan had this elk as a symmetrical stamp. Symmetrical stamps really help knock out details quickly and are pleasing to the eye. We decided that the shape of the antlers from the side really give this stamp some character. The single ornament hanging among his antler gives it that touch of holiday feel. The background comprises of flowing wind with abstract circular breaks that resemble snow. John Hafner is a photographer I discovered when trying to find some really good wildlife reference for this project. The way he captures light and subject drew me in. I feel strongly about using a reference if you don’t know much about it. You find more about certain things by comparing multiple images. Fur patterns, the way the antlers form, and can make out different details of musculature by viewing the same animal under different lighting conditions. His wildlife photos helped me immensely during the traditional stages. The last step before vector work was actually illustrating with traditional pen and ink. I used a Pentel brush pen on Strathmore Bristol board.

Breaking this design into 3 different foils was pretty easy this time around. I knew with the illustrative style of the elk and the fact that it’s being stamped on Proton plastic; I’d want something that would work with all different color types. After mocking up the rough draft on a blank disc, I knew with this amount of surface area coverage that some reduction of the design needed to happen. It helps lessen the load on foil stamping machines and makes the warehouse staff happy. I used a simple line fill technique. The far antlers make the elk feel almost 3 dimensional by allowing some of the plastic color through the design. MVP Disc Sports ran half of the run with the transparent shatter foil. The clear shatter glistens in the sun similar to a fresh snow. It’s a great nod to a snowy season. The other half of the run had the gold holographic foil allocated.

Let me know what you all think? Do you think going sideways profile with the elk was a good direction? Happy holidays, everyone. Thanks for reading.

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.

Pounce

It's always a pleasure to help out some fellow Team MVP members with their tour fundraiser stamps. They're depending on a great stamp that will help them travel and tour to the biggest events out on the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) National Tour.  Jason Krueger hit me up to do just that. 

Jason has done a great job branding himself up to this point with his Pounce branding. He wanted me to create a lion stamp with Pounce text treatment in the mouth. I started by hitting the sketchbook and seeing what came out. This stage was all about exploring detail limits, size relationships and where the client valued one thing more than another. Jason was great at knowing what he had in mind. It kept the guesswork minimal and allowed me to hit this stamp fast. 

Thumbnail was chosen and It's common for me to jump into Photoshop to start cleaning up line work. Something wasn't right. Leaving area for the center sprue was deleting detail in the nose that helps identify a lion. I went back to the drawing board and gathered inspiration/ reference to see where I could fix my existing image. I realized there needed to be a few things that needed to exit the stamp. The light rays behind the head was one of them.

Redrawing happens. Don't force something that doesn't feel right. The end result ended up being a mixture of a thumbnail I thought was too detailed and wasn't going to work. With the combination of elements and deleting away a bit of the detail, we had a winner. I want to thank Jason Krueger for his patience and confidence that I could deliver what he was envisioning. 

have any questions? I'd be glad to answer them. Please leave a comment and share this post! 

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.
 

Great 8 - 20th Anniversary

The 20th Anniversary of the Great 8 disc golf tournament was among us! The Great 8 encompasses endurance, grit and sure will to navigate and play 8 disc golf courses in ONE day. It's a grueling but rewarding endeavor. I was asked this year if I could do something to commemorate the achievement. I didn't have much time to work with but I knew a few things:

• Keep it within the marine/animal subject I've been doing the last few years (except the Fibonacci stamp)
• Involve "8" somewhere
• Serpent-like
• Involve both doubles partners into the stamp somehow


Going into this stamp, first thing I had to do was figure out how in the heck to fit 8 hydra heads on one stamp without clogging up all of my space. That in itself was rather difficult, to say the least. I probably spent 6-8 hours with my sketchbook mapping out different solutions. Either quick gestural flow mock ups with heavy line weight from the brush pen or continuations and ideas I couldn't shake. It came down to indecision. I wanted in my mind for all of these to work and be successful. I took the battle scene and a few others a bit further into Adobe Illustrator. Knowing what I had in my head was a bit clearer than what was sketched out, I wanted to give them an honest chance. Receiving real honest critique and suggestions may be hard for some people. When it's offered to me, I'll listen.

Backing up and restarting isn't easy. It's happened quite a few times in my few years of doing stamp art. Sometimes you just have to trust your gut and not try to force anything. The end product came out amazing and I hope the attendees appreciated it. I want to give a huge thank you to Jay Pontier and Capital Area Disc League for giving me another shot at this. 

2018 Amateur Worlds

2018 Amateur Worlds are here! MVP Disc Sports has partnered up with Am Worlds to produce a limited run of prototyped Prism Insanities. Prism is a concept teased last year where we run a translucent rim and core. It sure looks like a million bucks and I think people will be stoked to have one of these.

Going into this design, as a team we knew we wanted to shed away from the norm. A typical layout for the host city would be a skyline shot somewhere within the design. I wanted to play off of where Charlotte got its name. I scoured the internet to find this article written by Tom Hanchett explaining the birth of the City:"King George III still ruled the Colonies when European settlers chartered the town back in 1768. They named the new hamlet after the King's wife, Queen Charlotte, and gave the surrounding county the name of Mecklenburg in honor of her majesty's birthplace in Germany". 

From this bit of information I stumbled across a pastel portrait of Queen Charlotte created by Francis Cotes. It was this portrait that sparked the idea of meshing new with old. With her finger so eloquently pointed up, I thought it would be a great idea to have her spinning a disc. 

The Dogwood being our state tree and the Laurel on the left signifying the spirit of competition. Designating the 3 different foils was tricky. Since this was to be stamped on a Proton core, you have to pay attention to how much surface area you're allotting and how much light penetrates through it. Too many marks creates a thick and messy appearance when the stamp is in low lit areas. 

You can pick up one of these beauties at the MVP tent at Amateur Worlds in Charlotte, NC. Quantities are limited! 

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. 

Hyzerbomb-Mortar

I was reached out to by the owner of Hyzerbomb Discs to create a special stamp for the attendees of the Nick Hyde Memorial. This design was going to be on Swirl and Glow "Mortar" discs found in their players packs. While military and pre-production experience is a huge plus, I can't stress enough how much reference gathering plays an important role in the final image. 

Starting out, I really wanted to emulate an inspirational Marine Corps war propaganda poster that featured a Marine charging over the hill with a mortar gun painted by John A. Coughlin. It's such a powerful image. I love the silhouette and action within this shot.

I've had my share of firing .50 cal's, M249's and M203 Grenade launchers... Mortarmen require a special ability and something I never trained in. After doodling out those initial ideas with the poster reference in mind; I took to YouTube to find footage of a Mortar team working in harmony and really got to know an outside looking in view. I found a great video reference "Mortars Fly in the Hills of Ft. Carson" and knew this would be the center point of the design. A loader took a pause with a mortar shell primed with a cheese charge. I instantly thought: "Whoa.. who does that? This dude is a bad ass!". It gave me that same type of feeling that the poster did and worked a bit better because he's somewhat in a pause before firing the round. For stamp simplification, I chose to show the loader. This idea felt straight forward and could be easily understood by people who know nothing about mortar firing and or history. 

Lastly, I chose to chisel him up a bit. Create edges and bold, sharp angles to show a more aggressive vibe. I kept shading pretty even and clean to pair with the overall style of the stamp. Smoke in the background  clears out a bit of business to frame him up in the foreground.

All in all, seeing the reactions from Nick Hyde Memorial tournament goers and from Matt Siri is what it's all about. I want to give a huge shot out to Hyzerbomb Discs, their supporters and everyone who signed up for the Nick Hyde Memorial. It was a great pleasure being able to do a military themed stamp. 

Unique Hyzerbomb Mortars are located here while supplies last:
http://hyzerbomb.com/pro…/swirly-frontline-mortar-mortarman/

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. 

Limited Edition-Streamline Pilot

I received a task to assemble a Limited Edition rendition over a short period of time. A Limited Edition run refers to a design that has a specific number of discs available for purchase. MVP Disc Sports Headquarters usually runs a thousand of these designs and then retires the stamp art. 

I knew that one day, whether it would be for my employer or as a separate release through my freelancing opportunities; this idea was going to happen. The short film called "Paths of Hate" by Damian Nenow had a renown affect. I remember watching this film for the first time and being so taken away by the sheer beauty of the clouds and flight of the planes. The look of the film was rather inspirational as well. Another huge influence was the "Aces High" art created for Iron Maiden. With these two fantastic references and a nice sheet of helmet and stylistic goals, it was off to the races. 

The only challenges were the hands, yoke and overall look of the pilot. I scoured through countless old war plane movies to help improve the drawing overall. The way the thumb pads are putting weight on the triggers from my initial drawings, was the reason I left them be. In the  "Aces High" example, the thumbs are exaggerated; as if "Eddie" was quickly willing to fire. I feel they were an important part of the story but the main focus and action lines went more toward the pilot's piercing menace. Halftoning is a popular method of shading using one color, but sticking with clean heavy to light parallel lines kept the overall design less chaotic. This method also allowed me to take focus on the curvatures of the hard surfaced elements. Goals for the look of the fighter pilot were to mix old and new. Keep the overall style clean with a slight retro feel to it. The use of initial symmetry in the vectorizing process, helped keep this stamp balanced. In the end, I actually really like and recommend this disc to players. That enthusiasm and the chance to create a limited edition, really helped me pull through to get this stamp ready for production.

These are available online on April 20th from most major MVP and Axiom retailers. What do you all think? Please like, share this with your friends and comment! 

Special Edition-Neutron Matrix

The Matrix is one of MVP Disc Sports hottest midranges in their line up. With it's combination of low profile and similarities to Axiom Discs' longer Envy putter, it's finding a place in many players bags. I was tasked with creation of a Special Edition stamp for it and couldn't be more grateful. 

Going into this, I knew 2 things: Tie it into the Matrix theme. Don't make it glaringly obvious that I've straight up ripped off of the motion picture. I know fans can resonate with that but that's an easy way out. I wanted to concentrate on illusion, parallel dimensions and artificial reality. Many of my environment stamps are based around the idea of a singular human taking on what's in front of him/her. The game of disc golf is all about it. The choice to place the character on the bottom third allowed the sky to open up and give me the ability to play with towering perspective. 

The main challenge was incorporating 3 foils into the design. My general stance has been if there it isn't a need, then don't try to push it. In the end, we experimented with a holographic transparent foil for the storm that fills in around the falling baskets. It was important to me that it didn't take away from the bones of the stamp. I think the end result came out fantastic. 

I'm curious to hear your thoughts! I'd love to see your comments. 

Nailed It! Disc Golf - Custom Hot Stamp

I was approached by Brad and Jenna Tritten from Nailed It! Disc Golf store out of Weston, Wisconsin. One of the best clients are the ones who see your strengths and let you have creative freedom to hit the sketchbook and see what sticks. Going into this stamp, I wanted "Nailed It! Disc Golf" to be priority one. This kind of 2 foil concept worked well for previous Solitude Open stamps so I translated it to their idea. 

The original Nailed It logo includes a disc flight path and a tree to the right of the typography. I felt extracting that from the logo and developing a stamp along the lines of a disc golfers nemesis. Tree's seem to be something even the most skilled disc golfer can't always escape. I felt like this idea would resonate with most disc golfers.  The plan was to keep the illustration in black/ base foil and allow their logo shine with the second metallic foil. Toward the end, I felt a soft gradient could really lend itself to different colored foil options for the hot stampers at MVP Disc Sports, Headquarters. This stamp was also run as a single foil offering for Dynamic Discs, Latitude 64 and Westside disc options. 

I want to thank Brad and Jenna of Nailed It! Disc Golf for their patience and overall positive attitude throughout this entire design process. Everything from stamp creation to help with embroidered patches. It was one of my favorites from 2017. What do you all think? I'd love to hear your initial thoughts and reactions in the comment section.

You can purchase these discs and various items at their website! 

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/

The Beat Doc

Mike Murray is The Beat Doc. Beats and percussion are his lifeline. When Mike came to me needing help, I couldn't turn him down. Friends have to help each other out in times like these. Since Mike plays drums for many different artists in and around New York City, it only seemed fitting to create a brand around his drumming using a graphic logo. The initial idea was simple, assemble drumsticks into an EKG line play. The idea is simple yet fits so well with his Beat Doc branding. 

Mike had a previous concept ready for viewing. The concept lacked clarity and looked so oversimplified that the scale/ length of the sticks didn't make too much sense. This image was to 1: Create an image for the background of his website. 2: This image would also have the possibility of producing shirts. The first challenge: How to improve upon this design he was set on? How can we have these drumsticks make sense being different lengths of the EKG heartbeat? We break them.

"One man's trash is another man's treasure". I feel that saying fits Mike perfectly. Mike walks his dog, Pistachio daily and discovers the coolest items. Discarded drum pieces that could be brought back to life.  Using the broken sticks and assembling them into something that makes sense and beautiful was the ultimate goal. Attached is the pipeline and work it took to get the graphic at its final state.  Make sure to check out The Beat Doc at https://www.thebeatdoc.com/