“We’ll always have Paris.”

Rick and Ilsa

Graphite sketch: Rick & IlsaI was asked if I would design the collateral material for this year’s Houston Heights Home Tour. It’s a gratis project of course. Since I’m trying to build my freelance graphic design and illustration business, there’s always the anticipation that such projects will raise my profile among prospective clients. That’s never a given, but I can alway hope. Besides, the theme seemed like a fun and interesting idea to design around, and possibly get some nice portfolio pieces to boot. The Heights, like all of Houston, is going through enormous transformation. Hence the main theme “Embracing Change.” The theme for the auction/gala however, is “Casablanca.” The original idea given to me was to use a still from the iconic final scene from the movie. Instead, I offered to create a custom, original image that tied in to the neighborhood theme. I must admit, I was motivated by the anticipated challenge and fun. The final image was created in Adobe Illustrator. I used a graphite sketch I worked up as a template. The only mentionable changes made from drawing to finished art are that I altered Rick’s slack-jawed mouth, and I reduced Ilsa’s figure a bit. Oh yes; and instead of a waiting plane in the fog-shrouded background, I added a home-lined neighborhood street with oak tree foliage.


United Way muralThis is a freelance digital illustration that I created for a corporate United Way fundraising campaign. The image is displayed as a paneled mural in the company’s main lobby. The finished size is 22 by 14 feet. I’ve been creating these for over ten years. See more here. Each year has a theme, and I either produce an image based on that theme, or on a concept that the client comes up with. I always create a concept sketch for approval.Concept sketch I use Photoshop and a Wacom drawing tablet, and import the sketch into Photoshop as a template. These can get pretty detailed, so I make multiple layers so that I can keep track of everything. Despite my effort to keep them simple, I must admit, I love noodling with all the minutiae.