Monday, October 20, 2014

De La Salle Mural Project: Part 1

Clearing the cobwebs in here—haven’t posted in a while but I have so much to talk about that has happened in the last several months!  

Right now I want to talk about this wonderful opportunity I have at my former middle school, De La Salle Academy.  After over 25 years they have moved from their 1-floor location in the upper west side to a beautiful 6(?) floor building a block away from Port Authority.  The building, renovated by CookFox Architects—the ones responsible for the new Bank of America Tower—is truly a space conducive to learning and exploration.  My mural project for the school has evolved from simply explaining the history of the school in the upper west side to now instilling the warm yet strong culture and foundation of De La Salle Academy in their new location.  In my visual language I see it as the “ visual gatekeeper” of the De La Sallian tradition-- prominently displayed in the mezzanine library for all to reflect on and see.

All artsy language aside, I have a hard deadline of November 20th to finish the mural so I’ve been doing a little hustling to get this done.  The focus and challenge will be the line work… hoping to get that part started next weekend.  Will continue to post the progress on it every week until it’s done so be sure to check back soon!  Here are pictures of the last 2 weeks of the process so far:

Wall primed & ready for art with CookFox superstar architect Zach

Pencil lines on wall

Color Comp process on my laptop

Color blocking begins-- the fun part!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

R.H.A.P.: Red Hook Art Project

I'm so excited to announce that I have taken on a weekly volunteer opportunity at the Red Hook Art Project in--you guess it--Red Hook, Brooklyn.  R.H.A.P. is a non-profit organization dedicated to tutoring, mentoring and empowering Red Hook youth to develop their self-esteem, self-expression and creativity.  A longer term dream of mine is to open up or be heavily involved in an organization like this where I can give back to communities similar to the one I was raised in.  I'm a strong believer in giving back to communities in need and if I am able to do so using my skills, even better.  The kids pick up new skills and build on ones they already have, while my soul is fed-- everyone benefits!

Today my student and I worked on proportions of the face.  She is so quick, smart and talented and I feel honored to be a part of her new journey into the creative world.  Her drawings already show so much life and character, I can't wait to see what else she can do as we continue to work throughout the year.  I'll keep posting progress in the upcoming weeks but in the meantime, here is what she did in today's session.

Thank you to Tiffiney and Dierdre at R.H.A.P. for welcoming me into your awesome team!  For more information, hop over to their website:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Alum Art Show @ St. Andrew's + Workshop

I travelled down to Middletown, Delaware over the weekend to a show I was a part of at my former boarding High School.  It was great to see my former classmates and older fellow alums connect in this kind of setting and cause.  The campus is even more breathtaking than I remembered and I truly miss working in the wonderful space that is the O'Brien Arts Center.

I submitted 3 of my pieces, all connected by medium: linocut.  I recently converted a digital piece to a linocut.  It was such a pain to reprint so many times and still not be completely happy with it but at some point the deadline catches up and you have to let go.  Overall I am excited to see all three pieces together.

The workshop portion of the weekend was my highlight.  It was great interacting with the students and teaching them how to linocut.  In the beginning they were very precious and particular about their drawings but once I forced them to stop drawing and jump into the printing-- that's when the magic really began.  You can tell each of them have a unique style and eye for it so it was refreshing to see their different takes using one medium.  Some blood was shed in the classroom (newbies using knives--despite me telling them to move their non-working hand away from the knife)--but it's all part of the struggle of printmaking.  At least that sounds more interesting!  I think I may have a new interest in this teaching thing.  We'll see where this goes...

A special thanks to John McGiff and Bernadette Devine for inviting me!

more photos from St. Andrew's Gallery:

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Wine Label Design: Cellier du Boulez

I found out recently the wine I designed a label for is on sale at Astor Wines.  If you want to buy it online, click here.  I have't tried this one yet but the Zampoñas I designed was SO GOOD!  I highly recommend it! (click here for the link on the Astor Wines website).

This project was more design-focused than my last set of wine labels but were just as much fun to work on!  The artwork is inspired by the region the wine was from, Minervois, France-- which is home to these really cool cave paintings.  Thanks to Lorena over at Astor Wines for the opportunity and direction.

Samples of different layouts and colors prior to final version:

Thursday, May 2, 2013

IX CHEL: Moon Goddess Illustrations

A few years back I wrote a story about a Mayan goddess' version of a "Cinderella" story- with a twist of course. In the end she lives happily ever after but in a progressive/feminist sort of way.

Anyway, along with the story came sketches of the illustrations and I recently picked up where I left off. I plan to one day finish Illustrating the whole thing but for now here is one of the finished spreads: Ix Chel and the Sun God glowing in love. Stay on the look out for more updates on this project!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pre Columbian Mask Collection

I just finished working on these masks which I will be using for this year's promotional materials.  My inspiration came from South American pre columbian art-- specifically within the Colombian region: the Quimbaya, Tumaco and Tayrona.  Along the way my love for hip-hop and street art also made an appearance in the stylization.  One of the orange masks reminds me of those 80's flat top hairstyles.  Anyway, there are so many uses I have planned for these guys so I'll continue to post as they come into existence.

Initial Sketches from sketchbook:

Finalized version in pattern form:

On white:

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Wine Labels for Astor Wines & Spirits

I am happy to announce that the wines I had been working on are finished and on sale at Astor Wines & Spirits in New York City!  You can also order them online at

Since I spent so much time working on these I thought I'd take you through my process.  The art director had already chosen the names, inspired by her love of music.  My task was to illustrate and design labels that speak to the native region and tell a little bit about its origin to its buyers.

Sometimes I'll start by jotting down words and ideas then see what visuals I come up with.  That was the case for Zampoñas.  For Sios, I pretty much thought of the concept right from the beginning and went straight to drawing for that one.  Here are some sketches I sent out.  All of these have a connection between indigenous people from the area and Zampoñas, which are instruments traditionally played by two people (as one alone does not contain the full scale).

They went for the mask with the Zampoñas headdress (top, far right).  Next is the finalized drawing, inking, digitizing, adding fonts, etc.:

The dimensions of the labels changed and they wanted to tone down the saturation of colors so it was adjusted accordingly.  As I mentioned earlier, Sios was pretty straight forward.  The traditional headdress is so beautiful on its own that we just went with that and added a border around it.  And that sums it up!  I hope this gives you an excuse to go out and get a bottle!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ivy Queen: La Diva, La Caballota, La Potra

Ivy Queen is one of the leading ladies of the Reggaeton scene.  I admire her for her strength and resilience in a genre dominated by men.  Her style changes frequently, constantly redefining herself but never changing her love for the youth and the Hood.  It is for all these reasons that I thought it was only appropriate for her to be my next portrait.

For this particular piece I wanted to establish a heavier presence of urban and street art as well as a Caribbean cultural vibe-- giving a nod to the music she puts out.

Here are some videos and music that influenced me for this project and represents Ivy Queen's musical career:

Old School Reggaeton, Live - Ivy Queen
In The Zone- Ivy Queen ft. Wyclef Jean
La Vida Es Asi - Ivy Queen

More portraits coming your way soon!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Prez Obama Portrait

 I'm working on a couple of portraits and decided to work on a portrait of President Obama first since he's been a "hot topic" this year with the elections and all.  This was one that I started one night not knowing where it was going to go and at some point, after trying several things, I ended up really liking these stripes that cut across the page. 

I also included pictures of some of the process.  Looking forward to posting more!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

We're Not All Alike: Update

My colleague and friend, Christian Castro, showed me an article written by Luis J. Rodriguez titled, We're Not All Alike.  In his article, Rodriguez explains how it is impossible to categorize Latino voters into one category since there are so many different backgrounds and beliefs.  Anyway, Christian challenged me to create an illustration for the article without having seen the original placed within the article.  Of course I agreed and came up with two solutions.  I am currently in the final stages of the first.

Here is a peak at my progress--more updates soon!