Vector Illustration

Vector Portrait Illustration

My favorite way to create vector graphics, mockups, informational drawings, and typography pieces is with Adobe Illustrator. It is part of my lexicon. I am visual. I am technical. I create. I can use whatever tools available to communicate visual ideas but when asked what I reach for, I favor Adobe Illustrator because it's comfortable and efficient; it's old hat. And I wear a lot of hats.

Here you'll find a collection of hand-drawn editorial portraits created for various assignments. It's all about the béziers.... I draw with the pen tool on a Wacom Intuos tablet. I draw as I would anywhere, with any tool. The computer is just a tool. It is not a device that makes the image; it's my hand, my mind's eye, and my years of editorial experience that renders an emotional realism to what is considered flat art. As with any tool, I strive to add the elements that engage and inform. Drawing with digital tools makes it no easier nor any faster; yet expands my versatility of image making and distribution.

John Snow - hand-drawn with Apple Pencil with Procreate - 2019
Barak Obama - hand-drawn with bezier tools Adobe Illustrator - 2008 - 2014
Hillary Clinton - hand-drawn with bezier tools Adobe Illustrator- 2008
George W. Bush - drawn with bezier tools Adobe Illustrator - 2002
Modern Blind Justice - hand-drawn with bezier tools Adobe Illustrator
Taylor Swift - hand-drawn with bezier tools Adobe Illustrator - 2012
Matthew McConaughey - hand-drawn with bezier tools Adobe Illustrator
Arnold Schwarzenegger - hand-drawn with bezier tools Adobe Illustrator
pee wee herman - hand-drawn with bezier tools Adobe Illustration
George Harrison - hand-drawn with bezier tools Adobe Illustrator
Julianne Moore - hand-drawn with bezier tools Adobe Illustration
m - hand-drawn with bezier tools Adobe Illustrator
Margaret Sanger - hand-drawn with bezier tools Adobe Illustrator
Tahoe Wilderness  - hand-drawn with bezier tools Adobe Illustrator
Gibson Yoga - - hand-drawn with bezier tools Adobe Illustrator
Joe Maddon - live draw during World Series
John Kerry - hand-drawn with bezier tools Adobe Illustrator
Gary Coleman - hand-drawn with bezier tools Adobe Illustrator
Genentech Development Science Illustration
 Pope John Paul - hand-drawn with bezier tools Adobe Illustration
John Turturro - spot illustration hand-drawn with bezier tools Adobe
                                                                                Illustrator - 2004
 Allen Ginsberg - hand-drawn with bezier tools Adobe
                                                Illustrator
Dick Cheney - hand-drawn with bezier tools Adobe Illustrator
- hand-drawn with bezier tools Adobe Illustrator

About Vector Style/Technique

SVG and Vector Graphics have long been a passion of mine for their infinitely crisp hard edge, versatility and small file size. It's impact on digital art, to me, is akin to the juxtaposition of Pop Art / Abstract Expressionism. Both are abruptly different from each other but were able to co-exist, thrive, and evolve within the same time and same place. It is a point of inspiration when questioned how can one be technical and creative. The analogy goes beyond the obvious comparisons, as do I. The comparison helps show how conflicting styles, views, materials can still become canon and revered, even decades later, all stemming from the same systems of influence. There's strikingly obvious visual contrast between a portrait of a woman by de Kooning and a portrait of a woman by Lichtenstein - but they are both deemed pivotal to Western Art.

Using technology with design and art is our modern way of responding to the times we live in and the events that fill our days.

As I drew shapes of color to layer atop in Adobe Illustrator when establishing a vector style, I imagined drawing with construction paper and scissors as I did as a kid, layering wild organic shapes with scraps of various colored paper. Bringing the paper portraits to life with layers of everyday scraps was engaging fun. It was a game I created of repurpose, reuse, and renewal. I would amuse myself and others covering rooms with characters and creations from whatever was accululating - scraps of fabric, mailers, computer paper, sales flyers. Adding color and shape digitally in this same manner instills that same joy of creation. This is how I approached and established my vector style. No filters, apps, nor pressing a few buttons made these images - all were started as a blank document, drawn with a Wacom Intuos Tablet, the bézier pen tool, and Adobe Illustrator. All are pure vector graphics with minimal points.

I carry this technique over into SVG, CSS animation, js animation, and with the canvas. Afterall, they're tools too.

Contrast and Color Accessibility

The grayscale thumbnails on this page helps illustrate how color is a key component in accessiblity and the psychology of an image. You can easily envision what a low-fidelity user might see on this page. Color is always a key component to my way of thinking. I ensure all my projects, both digital and traditional - content, code or concept - all have thoughtful, useful color. Color can be powerful, even to the colorblind. Studies on contrast, value, hue, fidelity are some of the first foundational lessons for any successful artist. How color is perceived and used on digital devices varies but the core fundamentals of color do not.

Creating images heavy on color theory, color fidelity, color psychology are a key part of accessibility and vital to any successful project, product, and messaging campaign. Designing with color, context, and wcag awareness is key. It's all around us from the red fire trucks, yellow ambulances, to the various blues of social media and "pinking" of products. Color is calculated and has purpose. Color has power. And with great power comes great responsibility: A responsibility to make content accessible.

I’m open to new opportunities.

If you're looking to connect, let’s grab a coffee and chat!

crosswalk shot across from the sfmoma with painting that reads think outside the building.