Streamline Flare Special Edition

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

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

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

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

Magic Warlock

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

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

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

2019 Jomez Pro

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

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

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

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

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.

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 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. 

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! 

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!