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.

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.
 

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. 

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. 

Special Edition MVP Limit

"Push it to the limit"

The MVP Limit is a 24.5mm High Speed Driver designed to be the fastest, most overstable disc in MVP's entire line up. My Art Director, Zachary Kelbaugh laid out a pretty good description to start planning behind:

"We talked about the conceptual intersection for the name... being the fastest, most overstable disc -- and the class as a whole refers to space travel, with the speed of light being the theoretical limit for speed in the universe. "

I had an opportunity to bust out my love for everything 80's. I changed into my jammer shorts and pulled out the 80's action playlist on Spotify! Getting started on this didn't take me much time at all. The initial idea was to mimic the typical action movie posters of the time (Rambo, Over the Top, Big Trouble Little China). Heroic character posed in the center with explosions, and commotion happening behind him/her. I even went so far down the rabbit hole and stumbled onto some retro-futurism which was really neat. None the less, for the scope of the project and how the release was playing out, We went with a retro-wave direction into the rough and final stages. As a team, we felt like keeping the design clean and tech felt more MVP without crossing into the Axiom Discs branding. 

In the end, there are some things that you all aren't getting a chance to see. There were some really solid ideas in the thumbnail stage that just might poke their head up when a new project comes a long. A little bit out of my comfort zone but it takes experimentation like that to really grow as an artist. I hope you all enjoy. You can pick up this special edition and a bunch of online disc golf retailers. 

Axiom "Black Widow" Vanish

I've had the honor of working with MVP Disc Sports and Axiom Discs a lot this past year. They needed some reinforcements for this years Halloween themed stamp. Spider 2.0. Very first question I asked myself is how I'm going to stack up to the original design by hot stamp legend, ZAM.  

Expanding on the iconic black widow that was on the first release was the focus. I had a lot of fun and it was a definitely a stamp I learned from. With the core being lighter in color than expected, I had to shift focus off of just lighting hints from the initial plan and add black contrast to the spider. The stippling technique and use of the natural disc color, played a huge roll at the end. 

I want to thank Axiom Discs and MVP HQ this opportunity. During the rough phase, all the staff really helped to dial this in. Definitely was a group effort. It's a big release trying to follow up to their first Spider stamp. 

2016 Solitude Open presented by MVP Disc Sports

Tournament Director, Brian Usher and MVP Disc Sports joined forces to present a PDGA Pro A-Tier and Amateur B-Tier event called the 2016 Solitude Open presented by MVP Disc Sports just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. The event is hosted at Solitude Mountain Resort and features 18 holes down this beautiful mountainside. One, if not the best, mountain disc golf course in the country. Players will have to travel to the top using the ski lift and the tournament is a must for many top tier disc golfers in the region. While looking up reference of this mountain course, what instantly struck me were the beautiful aspen trees. Their texture, contrast and unique trunk lines allowed me to play around with shapes within the viewer. By using a simple two point perspective, it keeps the design simple and centers on the player's path, landscape and event logo. 

Brian came to me in full trust to illustrate everything and anything that spoke to me about Solitude and what the course offers. We worked closely together to explore a few ideas. A sense of vastness, trees & wind vs. player, clash vs. harmony. After a few thumbnailing sessions we landed on the idea of just how massive the Solitude disc golf course is in relation to the competitor. You will see in the development sketches that we explored the idea of having multiple figures in the stamp but it ultimately came down to the "you and the course ahead" mentality and I think it worked perfectly within the composition. I really enjoyed working on this design and was honored Brian and MVP teamed up to get these produced in a 2 foil set up. Black being the base color while an accent color is used for the Solitude Open event logo. It allows a good choice of variety to the event and player's packs. 

If you are interested in scoring one of these fundraiser discs for the 2016 Solitude Open, please get up with Brian Usher at brian@brianusher.com
https://youtu.be/eMdJqFPiSVo

Jennifer Sawyer 2016 Tour Stamp

Team MVP Women's Pro: Jennifer "JSaww" Sawyer reached out to me for her first fundraising tour stamp. My first booked stamp of 2016!! The exploration process was fun! Her professional occupation is in construction so immediately our idea was to create some sort of saw graphic. The images below show the different stages of development.

After a few saw iterations, my mind jumped to Jennifer, as a human being. I've never met her so I asked questions about what she did in construction, her favorite movies, era's that she enjoyed.  1930's & 40's, vintage fashion, construction, & graphics from that era.  I wanted this stamp to be enjoyed by everyone but most importantly, reflect the person's name that's on the stamp. 

After a few ideas and conversations, the decision for a universal stamp was the ultimate winner and a full saw blade stamp would solidify and fit within the budget and timeframe. We were able to get a double stamp option in time, so breaking the stamp up into two different foil choices was the way to go. During the process of showing Jennifer the design update, I will quickly mock up what it would look like with two different types of foil. I think it's always important to see how the hot stamp looks in both a negative and positive form. I'm very happy with how the stamp came out and look forward to more opportunities down the road.  Thanks, Jen! 

To support her 2016 tour, you message her at:
jsawyer0211@yahoo.com

Sol Spinner

I was presented with a great opportunity. I play disc golf. It's a serious hobby of mine since back in 05'. MVP Disc Sports/ Axiom Discs (both operating under the same roof in Brown City, MI) approached with an idea to start an "Artist Series" where they would seek and find unique artists to create a stamp pertaining a certain theme. They would be able to chose what color combination to go with, to support the design. Pretty much I'm running the pilot for this new line and couldn't be happier. The idea was to release this in the summertime.
Anyone knows how blistering hot it gets here in the south. No one wants to leave their air conditioned living room on some days. That blistering sun is something trying to be captured in this design. I don't surf or skate but I've always had a love for the artwork making it's way on boards.  I want to thank Chad and Brad Richardson from MVP Disc Sports / Axiom Discs and ZAM.  Not only for the support but allowing me to be the first design coming off their press using gold foil. There were a lot of firsts with this one. 

This disc is a limited release (only a 1000 made) Axiom Clash. It sports an orange Proton flight plate/ white GYRO™ rim with gold stamping. It will be available on September 12th. 

Here she is!