Streamline Pilot Special Edition

When given the opportunity to revisit a disc called the Pilot; I was all over it. The last time setting foot in the Streamline Pilot universe was for the Electron Limited Edition. That design featured a fearless fighter pilot locking in on his target. This time, however, it was time to step outside of that mindset.

Going into this design, I initially thought about how cool it’d be to take what I did with the Electron design but pump it up and put in a science fiction/ futurism space. I created a ton of thumbnails based on a technologically advanced fighter jet pilot. The thought of holograms or how future pilots would navigate the skies really stuck with me. In the end, we all agreed that while neat; we should create something totally fresh and new for the Neutron line. Those ideas might be revisited so I apologize in advance for not showing them.

I diverted to a Pilot character stepping onto the tarmac. Putting the viewer in the scene of a spacecraft pilot getting ready to debark on his mission. There’s something about showing massive scale between the character and where his attention is. I thought about mission bays, Ralph McQuarrie (prolific Star Wars concept artist) and how effective they were at creating these imaginative ideas. The ending result was a homage to the work that really got my gears going in concept art and illustration. There were numerous Star Wars concept art prints lining the school I was attending. Those pieces made me inquire more about that type of work and motivated me to go after that discipline.

My philosophy is to create these vast landscapes while always letting the viewer to fill in bits of detail. It allows them to create their own story or simply add to it. That’s what this stamp was all about. It was about not strapping down Streamline Discs’ brand identity to a certain period or time but expanding the possibilities heading into the future. The long steam trails coming from the left side of the image is homage to early 70’s fantasy and poster art. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. Feel free to share among your peeps on any of your social spaces.

Hyzerbomb-Marksman

I was invited back to help Matt Siri and Hyzerbomb create a Limited Edition disc for Nick Hyde Memorial fundraising efforts. I wanted to continue things that helped make last years stamp successful and put them into this years design.

While I don’t want to rely heavily on reference, It was definitely needed this time around. While having experience shooting various munitions in the Marine Corps; I didn’t want to mix in wrong parts or screw up small details about the weapon the Marine is shooting. I found a fantastic image from John M. McCall that captured a Marine engaged in a firefight with an M249 Semi-Automatic Weapon. The overall shape worked well for stamp layout and would allow the signature clouds/ smoke from last year to make an appearance. It was important to me to keep this scene vague. No targets or houses to show where in the world this Marine was fighting. It leaves the design open to interpretation.  Having the helmet overlapping the “Marksman” text toward the far right kept the legibility intact and allowed that interaction.

Why a machine gun over a sniper rife? -  This is something Matt Siri asked me as well. While every Marine is a rifleman, I felt like the sniper rifle and knowledge was out of range of my understanding. I do know that Scout Snipers in the Marine Corps shoot outstanding Expert scores at the rifle range. I felt keeping the weapon a machine gun keeps the gunner feeling like the common Marine. It added action to the scene and allowed the opportunity to add some flying “brass” shell casings coming out of the ejection port cover.

In the end, my goal was to create something that felt similar to last year. Keep the continuity going. I want to thank Matt Siri for giving me an opportunity over these last few years to create something to help raise funds for the Nick Hyde Memorial. That’s what it’s all about.  If you’re interested in purchasing one, they are available here:

 http://hyzerbomb.com/product/swirly-marksman-mike-inscho/

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. 

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/