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!

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! 

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 shout 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/

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/

19th Annual Great 8

The Great 8 tournament is in its 19th year. It's a one day, 8 courses, from sun up to sun down event that only the crazy dare to do. I had the honor of doing this year's stamp and was really excited, even though it was down to the wire (totally on me). We've returned to the nautical themed roots to have something pair up well with the dual octopus stamp that was done a few years ago. 

The major hurdle with this stamp is what you can see in the early stages. I wanted the huge whale to be coming out of the water and landing on top of the ship. To make that read clearly was definitely a challenge. After much debate and great advice from my friends, the whale was flipped the other way. I couldn't agree more with the move. 

I want to thank Jay Pontier for always giving me an artistic freedom when it comes to doing these stamps. It makes it so enjoyable. 

MVP "Limited Edition" Teleport

The MVP Teleport is the first one out of the gates for MVP Disc Sports 24.5mm class of high-speed drivers. To commemorate the release of this disc, MVP came to me wanted a limited edition stamp.  My job was to portray teleportation while sticking with what MVP's brand identity is and to create this design using their three foil stamping abilities. 

Mathematics, science, and technology take the forefront of what MVP's graphics have always been about, My mind started there. How would I depict teleportation in a way that worked well? That was tough. If you take a look at my thumbnail process in the very first gallery image, you see the spectrum was pretty wide. Anything from math grids and charts to space pilots entering a warp tunnel. My main hurdles with this design were turnaround times and getting the funnel graphic and perspective to give off a disorienting point A and B. Hot stamping has a limit to line width that will be transferred to the disc successfully. What I wanted to do is convey these two portal entry's that disappeared to the disc color while keeping the main and important element (the Teleport name and MVP logo) bold and black. 

All in all, I'm super grateful for the opportunity and learn the most when I step outside my comfort zone. The Limited Edition stamp will be available through most major retailers that carry MVP Disc Sports merchandise. What do you all think? Does it keep with the brand? Leave me a note in the comment section. Thanks for stopping by. 

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! 

UFO Glow creation

Tim Robbins and Will Davis of Disc Hunt approached me for a product they were getting ready to market called UFO Glow. They loved the art I used for a disc golf doubles event last year called "Crazy Chain". I love creating that type of style and was happy to be aboard to help them all out.

After seeing early product prototypes, What instantly came to mind was something dealing with UFO's. There were also some other ideas to play around with like the Nuclear Power plant since we're based and live rather close to the Harris Nuclear Plant.  Not saying I've been abducted by aliens in the past but many of my family members can attest to my infatuation with Aliens. I knew this is what we had to do. 

I had to overcome a few obstacles after seeing that the low camera angle would not have shown off the UFO Glow tape like I was planning to. A friend of mine really helped me get it back to what really mattered. The product itself.  I had too much going on in the first initial roughs. Your eye focused more on the disc golf basket, and UFO while the intended focal point was left to be picked up as a secondary or third read. I took the idea into Google Sketchup, nailed the camera placement and took off from there. I needed to forced the field of view more and get the product and contrast working in the foreground. 

In the end, mixing the crazy chain style of illustration with that classic B movie/ Mars Attacks! influence was the right way to go. The customer couldn't have been any happier. 

2015 Tupelo Bay Open Hot Stamp

I received a call from Phil Lawrence, Tournament Director of most disc golf events up in Greensboro/ High Point area. He had an idea, but needed me to pull it off.  Working with a 5 inch radius, some of those ideas didn't make the cut. I fit in what I could, to make sure the stamp resemble the overall story. 

The annual Tupelo Bay Disc Golf tournament is set up on a professional golf course located at Tupelo Bay Golf Center in Garden City, South Carolina. 9 holes I believe, are permanent all year round. The rest of the course is set up with mobile baskets. It's one of the few events with an area so large, that participants are able to use golf carts.  At the end of the tournament there is a little competition to see who can grab the most baskets with their golf carts. 

The main idea was to have some of these items:
The name of the event/ golf cart/ baskets being transported/ a resemblance to the Tupelo Bay course/ and the Tournament Director, Kirk Yoo in the fairway with a measuring wheel.  You will see on some of the less successful attempts I try to cram all the ideas in the design but they always feel too busy.

I appreciate Kirk Yoo, Chris MacLeod, Mike Norris and Phil Lawrence for giving me trust in this tournament hot stamp design.

2nd Red and White Showdown Hot stamp

Opportunity has presented itself and I couldn't pass it up! Tournament Director for the 2nd Red and White Showdown, Alec Falzone asked me to help with his 1 day tournament event next month. I will admit this one was a challenge though.

Alec gave me an initial idea to try mix in NC State Wolfpack mascot "Tuffy" beating up on a Tarheel type of character. It was a great idea! BUT not being able to modify existing logo's that are used, seemed to slow down any thumbnail I tried. Looking back I probably should've worked a bit more with character development from the get go. This is why thumbnailing is so vital. You see a bunch of "what the?" and bad ideas but eventually you get your hand to actually draw something more relatable. It just takes a few more practice sketches and a little bit of reference. As you see from my thumbnail sketches. My brain said that a badger/cat looks close to a wolf. That's certainly not true

End result came out well and I'm really glad to have helped out Alec with his tournament. I wish him the best for the fundraiser. This is just one of the many fundraisers ran to get the NC State Disc Golf Team to the Annual U.S. Collegiate Championships. Thanks for checking out my blog.
Sketchbook development
Working Illustrator file
Stamp on Discmania S-FD



Oak Hollow Open 2015 Stamp

  Oak Hollow Open Tournament Director and friend of mine, Phil Lawrence reached out to me after seeing the recent Great 8 stamp. He told me to just "do what you do" and sent me past years event examples to get my wheels turning. As a fellow Graphic Designer/ Photographer/ all around graphics guy, he gets it.

The idea behind the stamp comes from memories of playing the temporary course as a motivated intermediate disc golfer back in 2010 or so. You see many new courses, new faces and make great memories playing the tournaments blind. I remember Festival Park. I remember it well. Driving into Festival offers you a beautiful hillside view of Oak Hollow Lake and wood dock for Hole 1.

Out of all the crazy ideas in the thumbnail process, the scene of Festival made the most sense. With the suggestion of Phil, we decided to use a scenic shot of the signature Hole 9. It's an elevated tee throwing over the water and tight landing zone onto the green. I wanted to create a sense of energy that was in the rough draft. To do that, I was able to live trace my pen drawing into Illustrator and then go back through and clean up trouble areas.

The end result came out killer and really speaks to why this tournament gets bigger and better every year. Thanks to Oak Hollow Disc Golf Club for giving me this opportunity!


Thumbnail session 
Final



17th Annual Great 8

I had the privilege this year to design the 2015 17th Annual Great 8 stamp for Cary Area Disc League. I appreciate the opportunity they gave me to just run wild and go off of my gut. The end result is something I am pretty proud of.

The final design was stamped on a limited number (100) Champion Fundraiser (CFR) Glow Roc3's. Here I am showing the general design process leading up to the final design. Not every pre-planning sketch is in here. It would take up too much space. Thanks for stopping by!

Final Design
Process Sketches




Crazy Chain

I did this for a disc golf Secret Santa recently. The initial idea started on a simple iPad sketch. I took the disc golf basket into Photoshop and adjusted where needed. From there, it went into Illustrator where I cleaned up the line work. For the final step, I brought it back into Photoshop. I worked by using clipping masks to paint each section conveniently. It saved time as I was able to knock this out pretty quickly.

Final