Sunday, December 30, 2012

Harmonicraft is one of the top album covers of the year!

The Torche "Harmonicraft" cover made it into the ReDefine 2012 album covers of the year!!! It can be found in the Painting & Illustration section, here.

If you want to know more about the Harmonicraft cover, go here.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Opened a store at Big Cartel.

2012 is coming to a quick close and I've started gearing up for 2013. One of the first things that I've started on is building an online store. I don't really have much posted for sale, but will have both Thick As Thieves packs for sale as well as a couple of original art pieces. There will be more to come in the new year.

There are two original pieces for sale at the store now:
"AntiChrist" - used for a Job For A Cowboy shirt design
"Blood Of The Angel Shall Grease The Wheels" - used for the cover of the Lesbian side of their split with Ocean.

Thanks for all of your continuing support and friendships!!!!

Santos Illustration at Big Cartel

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Harmonslaught cometh!

If you caught Torche on one of their stops during their tour with Converge & Kvelertak, you were privy to hearing two new crushing tunes. Both come from the new self-released (Amnesian Records) 7" entitled Harmonslaught. Side A is the bomb note riddled "Harmonslaught" and the B side is the dark and heavy rocker, "Rock 'N Roll Mantasy".
The cover art was came from a conversation one night while hanging out in the art room with Rick and Steve about parodying some old metal covers with the Harmonster characters. For some reason, not Rick and I suggested Onslaught "Power from Hell" cover. It's simple and yet metal as fuck! I did replace the demon with one of the evil Harmonsters, so he had to have some kind of vegetable in the design. So, I replaced the demon's axe with a giant asparagus spear. The pentagram at the bottom is also formed out of mushrooms to complete the veggie theme. When I sent out the cover art, I titled Harmonslaught. I'll be damned if the song isn't called that and I couldn't be more stoked!!!
I have many more ideas that will soon be revealed for new designs for Torche in the coming months.

The 7" will be released Thursday, December 13th and a record release show is scheduled in Miami for Friday, December 14th with Holly Hunt and Post Teens.

You can order the 7" using the link to No Idea Records distro here:
Torche "Harmonslaught"

Friday, December 7, 2012

My first illustration for Epic Ales.

 My first illustration for the Epic Ales' Pumpkin Pie Gose beer label is now out. It's a small batch, so they are going fast. If you miss out, don't worry. I'll be re-working all of their beer labels in the coming year and doing more detailed illustrations for small batch releases. We're also working on getting some metal themed beers going, too. If you ever come to Seattle, you can visit Epic Ales brewery as it's now opening it's own restaurant to go along with the brewery.

You can check out more of their beers here: Epic Ales

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Torche's "Harmonicraft" is on SPIN's top 50 of 2012 list.

It's nearing the end of 2012 and the "best of" lists are starting to show up. That being said, SPIN has Torche's "Harmonicraft" coming in at #22. Feels awesome to see those guys getting the attention that they deserve. It's also awesome to see my art on an album in the top 50.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Trippy little things.

I started designing a cover for a new project by Ben Koller and Steve Brodsky and it's a cartoon acid trip. Ben asked me to do something in the vein of the Harmonicraft cover, but make it trippier to match their music. I thought that I'd post a detail from the progress. More to come on this one.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Back from tour and hitting the ground running!

Converge - Torche - Kvelertak - Whips/Chains. Last night in Boston, MA.
If you were one of the lucky people to have caught the Converge/Torche/Kevelertak/**Nails/*Whips-Chains tour, you got to see one hell of a crushing show. I feel lucky to have been able to see it every night for nearly 5 weeks and had a blast along the way. From Chris Maggio (Trap Them) perpetually drumming behind the merch table for Converge, to seeing a healthy and happy Matt pike, to nightly injuries in the pit, the tour couldn't have been more fun and easy going. Being in the van with the Torche guys was always good for a laugh, too. I would gladly tour the world with those guys, anytime.

You can find pics from the tour here: Converge/Torche/Kvelertak tour 2012

Now that I'm back, I'm already at the art table working on the next projects on my list. I'm currently working on a logo and shirt design for local grinders, Brainscraper and sketching up character studies for a cover for a new Ben Koeller/Steve Brodsky project. I'll also be working on a tour poster for Wino for his week long tour with Clutch on the East Coast. So, It looks like I'll be busy up to the holiday break. There are many more projects on the horizon including a Kvelertak shirt, High On Fire shirt, Thick As Thieves 3, and art prints.

Back to work.

Friday, October 5, 2012

New Lamb Of God designs and tour with Torche.

Detail from one of 3 new Lamb Of God designs coming soon.

Fall is here and it's nice to get back to cooler weather, touring, and indoors working on lots of art. Seeing as this blog will be sparsely updated in the next month due to being out on tour, I thought that I'd write a quick update.

I'm working on the final touches on the last of 3 new Lamb Of God shirt designs. The detail above is the design that is currently on my art table, but will be at the merch table on their upcoming tour with In-Flames, Hatebreed, Hellyeah, and Sylosis. One other design will be available on the tour and the third design will be an online exclusive with Hot Topic. Look out for them when this tour comes to crush your town.
Dates for this tour here:
Lamb Of God

In a week or so, Seattle's Epic Ales will be releasing their "Pumpkin Pie Goose" beer. It'll will be the first in a series of beer's that I'll be doing labels for. The designs are cartoon in nature and have been fun to work on.
You can check out Epic Ales here:

Last but not least, I will be on tour for the next 5 weeks with my ever awesome friends in Torche. I will be behind the merch table slinging that gear and music. Stop by and say hello if you're able to make one of the shows on the tour. Try and make it out, it's going to destroy.
Tour dates here:

I'm going to get some rest for a few days before the tour starts. It may be slow around here for a bit, but I'll be back with some pics and more art in November. Until then, keep killing it!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


The second edition of the THICK AS THIEVES mini print pack series is now available. This installment sees a new roster of artists, 6 new designs, and the start of the use of a theme. This pack's theme is Childhood Fears/local Creatures Of Lore and the artists have also written short essays to accompany their intense designs.
Quick pic of the printed envelope, mini story book, and prints.
The pack will include all original art on six 3 -color prints from:
   -Alison Lilly
   - Mike Fisher 

   - Christopher Parry
   - Konstantinos Psichas
   - Demian Johnston
   - Alexandros Pyromallis
   -18 pg. mini story booklet
   - Limited Edition of 50 and will not be re-printed
   - All packs are in a 9"x9" printed envelope and hand numbered
   - Print sizes are 8"x8" with Alexandros' print at 8"x5"
$25 N. America
$30 World

THICK AS THIVES Second Edition

A HUGE thanks to the artists involved, Andy Crawshaw at Broken Press/112 Printworks, Cvlt Nation, and all of you that have been picking up the packs and letting people know about the Thick As Thieves project. THANK YOU ALL!!!
The first edition featuring Mark McCormick, Casey McKinley, Tom Denney, Glyn Smyth, and Santos can be found here:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

New Neurosis song at NPR!!!

Jason and Dave Ed wearing my designs.
NEUROSIS has just released the new track, "At The Well",  from their forthcoming 10th album "Honor Found in Decay". NPR has been killing it the past few years by premiering songs and albums from some of metals top artists. No doubt that they made everyone's day with the news of the Neurosis song. I can tell you that not only was my day made by hearing it, but as soon as I saw their new promo photo I was beyond stoked. Jason Roeder is wearing my "Reptilian" art shirt (he also printed them) and Dave Edwardson is wearing the Kylesa "The Constant" shirt design that I inked. Made my year with that one!

You can hear the new track here:

NEUROSIS "At The Well" from Honor Found In Decay

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A little bit of news and a TORCHE teaser.

Evil Harmonster is evil. You'll see how evil soon enough.
 It's almost a month until I leave for the Converge/Torche/Kvelertak tour and I'm feverishly working on a few projects before I go.

The first is a recently finished new 7" cover/t-shirt design for Torche. They'll have both on the upcoming tour in the US. I wish that I could show you more than the small detail pic (above), but you'll all have to wait a bit longer.

In other news, Randy is out of jail and Lamb Of God will be out on the road, touring with In Flames. On this tour, I should have 2-3 shirt designs over at the merch booth. There also may be some other artwork on that tour from me. I've been dying to post the designs up, but will have to wait until the tour starts October 30th.
You can catch them here:

The illustrations that I did for Epic Ales will be available in the next few weeks. The first beer being released will be called "Pumkin Pie Goose". I'll post up some info about that project as soon as he gets them bottled and ready to go.

The THICK AS THIEVES Second Edition packs had a small delay, as I sent Andy the wrong file and the cover was printed as a negative. Yeah, that sucked. Now, Andy has the correct file and I have re-ordered the envelopes to be re-printed. The official release date for the packs will now be September 25th, 2012. Everything will be ready to go by then. I already have the prints and they looks so sick!!!

The grey skies are coming, so it's time to stay in the art room and kick out some new shit.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

TORCHE Is The Bastard shirts for sale and new Torche things.!

The Torche Is The Bastard shirts are now for sale at Torche's bigcartel page. They were supposed to have them on their short NW tour a few weeks ago, but a mix up with UPS caused them to be late and they never made it out to us up North.  They will also be printing the "Beard logo" shirt I made for them as they travel over to Europe.

When they get back, I'll have a new design worked up for their upcoming self released 7" that will be available on the tour with Converge and Kvelertak. It will also be made into a shirt design to be sold on the same tour. The design is a nod to an old thrash band from the 80's and like every other TORCHE design, has been fun as hell to work on.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Touring with TORCHE!!!

*NAILS, COALESCE, & WHIPS/CHAINS will be on some of the dates, too.*
When I saw this tour I was amped beyond belief and hoping that it would come to my neck of the woods.  I can now say that I'll be joining TORCHE in their trek across the US. I'll be slangin' some merch. So, when you come out to see this amazing lineup, stop by Torche's merch table and say HELLO!!! See you in October/Novermber!!!
                                                 Tour Dates Here:
                         CONVERGE/TORCHE/KVELERTAK US 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

SLEEP "Beyond" design available online.

The SLEEP merch store is up and has the "Beyond" shirt/hoodie that I had designed for their European Tour. If you don't live in Europe or you live in the states and weren't able to go to the shows in Tampa, Seattle, or Oakland, here's your chance. Head on over to get one at the SLEEP merch online store.  SLEEP STORE

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

CVLT NATION posted about the new THICK AS THIEVES packs

Today, CVLT NATION put up a post about the new THICK AS THIEVES print packs on their site. If you like heavy music and brutal art you already know that they are huge supporters of the scene. Sean & Meghan are great folks and if you haven't been to their site, I suggest you go now.

Thanks, Sean & Meghan!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

THICK AS THIEVES: Second Edition mini print packs PRE-ORDERS!!!!

The second edition of the THICK AS THIEVES mini print pack series is now available for pre-order. This installment will see  a new roster of artists, 6 new designs, and the start of the use of a theme. This pack's theme is Childhood Fears and the artists have also written short essays to accompany their intense designs.

The pack will include all original art on six 3 -color prints from:
   -Alison Lilly - Mike Fisher - Christopher Parry - Konstantinos Psichas
   - Demian Johnston - Alexandros Pyromallis
   -16 pg. mini story booklet
  Limited Edition of 50
  All packs are in a 9x9 printed envelope and hand numbered

   *Packs will be shipped early September.*

Order packs here:

The 1st edition is still available here: THICK AS THIEVES first edition
Featuring: Tom Denney, Mark McCormick, Casey McKinley, Glyn Smyth, and me (santos).

Thursday, August 16, 2012


With the new THICK AS THIEVES packs being worked on and close to being released, I decided to design a logo that would be used for as long as it's relevant. I've been enjoying working on the first two editions, but am looking forward to curating more.

 I'm going to put in an order for TAT logo stickers after I get the printing done on the packs and will also use the logo in future endeavors related to the THICK AS THIEVES series. In fact, the roster for the third installment is almost complete and a theme has already been chosen.

For now, the second pack is coming along smoothly. PRE-ORDERS for the second edition will be on Tuesday August, 21st, here the EyeBleedInk page. I will also have more info at the new THICK AS THIEVES tumblr page. There's not much up, but that will be changing in the next few weeks.

I'm also starting work on a series of beer labels for a good friend of mine at EPIC ALES. I'm working on the first two labels of a continuing series. The labels will consist of images of more surreal monsters in the vein of Torche's "Harmonicraft" album cover. There is also talk of more beer related projects in the future. It should be fun. And, who doesn't want their art on beer labels?

So, keeping busy on some projects that aren't related to music are in the works. More info to come.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Progress on the second edition of the print packs.

All of the files and illustrations are ready for the second edition of the THICK AS THIEVES print packs series. I talked to Andy earlier today and we're planning on getting the printing done in the next two weeks. There will be only 50 packs available and each will contain 6- 3 color prints and a mini storybook with short essays by each artist regarding their pieces. The theme for this pack is "Childhood fears/monsters" so you can guess how awesome the stories are. I will be posting a link for pre-orders sometime next week, so keep an eye out.

The first edition featuring Glyn Smyth, Tom Denney, Mark McCormick, Casey McKinley, and Santos. are still available here:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Those TORCHE bastards.

TORCHE will have a new shirt with them next week when they come out West. Unlike the Akron Family's attempt to use the Man Is The Bastard round old school logo, complete with the MITB skull, TORCHE have created a simple homage style shirt for their 4 date Northwest tour. Instead of the iconic Bastard skull, I'd drawn up a Harmonster skull to make the design fit TORCHE.

You'll be able to pick one of these up on one of these stops:
Monday, August 13th 2012RotturePortland, OR

Tuesday, August 14th 2012The HighlineSeattle, WA

Wednesday, August 15th 2012The A ClubSpokane, WA

Friday, August 17th 2012BadlanderMissoula, MT @ TOTALFEST

Hopefully people will realize that the members of TORCHE and I have been MITB/Bastard Noise fans for a long time and have played shows, booked shows for them, and been friends with members past and present. So before anyone wants to start some shit, remember that this is only a shirt and a proper tribute to a band we all love.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Harmonster skull crusher!

 I wanted to post this little pic of a Harmonster skull that I just drew for a new TORCHE design. You'll be able to see what it's being used for as soon as the guys send me a pic of the final design.

So much fun to create a skull for an imaginary creature.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Crewkoos Interview.

My interview for Benoit over at Crewkoos is now up. Thanks to Benoit for asking me to be a part of this.
You can check it out here:

Crewkoos Santos Interview

In other news, the polls are now closed on the question of what people would like to see available for sale in an online store. Prints were #1 with 72%, new Santos shirts 2nd with 56%, and stickers and misc merch came in at 27%. Looks like I'll be starting with the prints and shirts. I'll be looking into making prints for the new Howl "Demons & Diamonds" design and the older High On Fire "Bastard Samurai" design.

This week, I'll be starting on putting together the next THICK AS THIEVES packs. I'll post more info on those soon with a pre-order to follow. All of the art is sick as hell, so be on the look out for info.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Demons & Diamonds.

Orange version. Design might be printed in two different colorways.
 It took a little over a year for the HOWL guys and I to get the ball rolling on this design, but it's done and just ahead of the release of band's sophomore album.

In March of 2011, I had the pleasure of tour managing Kylesa on the first Metalliance Tour. As it was a package tour, HOWL were one of the bands included and I was able to see them tear shit up on stage nightly. It's always good to tour with a band. You get to know them and their music and when it comes time to work with them, you have a better idea of what they're looking for and what will fit their aesthetic. This was the case with HOWL.

After the tour,  Rob, Vince, and I were talking about making a shirt relating to the song "Heavenless" and coinciding with the release of the video for the song. As it was only a few weeks before the video premiered, we opted to wait and work on something to go with the next album. I was still influenced by the song when I sketched out the design, but knew that above all I wanted the design to be metal as fuck. If you've seen them live, you know that they are one of the sickest metal bands out there. Why not match that intensity in the design? All of the classic metal elements are included within the design from the evil goat priest and cannibalistic demons to the dissected angel. I also wanted a sort of sinister beauty to come through by adding the nightshade growing from the mouth of the angel. You can also figure out the symbolism tied to that one pretty easily. The one aspect that I didn't figure on was that the design looks good when you look at the design upside down, too. Having the angel on top produces a different look and makes it so that you can double the use of one shirt design.

Lastly, there's also a nod to the one and only Dick Diamond in the piece. Who's Dick Diamond? Good question.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Taking the day off.

HOWL's beast of a detailed design is finally done after 3 weeks and I'm taking the day off to rest. Here's a pic of a simply colored design, but I'll be posting up a full color, full pic of the design in the next week.

As for today, I'll be sitting back and resting up so that I can tackle putting together the next edition of the THICK AS THIEVES mini print packs on Tuesday. I'll have the pre-orders up in a week or two.

I'm going to enjoy the outside world for a while.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Volcom hooking up the ads.

Another box from Reid at Volcom was waiting for me at the PO. Inside were a few decks, some records, and a copy of Alternative Press from June. Inside the copy of AP was this awesome two page advertisement for TORCHE's Harmonicraft. Volcom really knows how to hook it up!

Volcom Entertainment has a nice stable of bands and has put out a lot of records that I had never known were out. You can check their catalog here: VOLCOM ENTERTAINMENT.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Torche and goats.

The last time that Torche came through the Pacific NW, I was able to catch a ride with them to their Portland show. While we were there, we stopped by Wealth Underground Farms. We got to run around with some goats and were given a tour of the amazing garden that they tended to.

Chris and Nolan have a podcast as well as run the farm, so after a delicious lunch made from fresh veggies out of the garden, they interviewed Torche. You can hear the interview and check out the Farm To Artist blog and podcast here: FARM TO ARTIST: Lunch w/ TORCHE.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Free Randy Blythe!

Quick drawing. I took the placement of the mic from live photos of Randy.
If any of you have been following the story behind Randy's arrest in the Czech Republic, you know that's it's been a crazy time for him, his friends, and family. There is a lot to the story and as I don't know all of the circumstances, I will not elaborate. But, you can look it up and read up on it later.

For now, I wanted to draw up a little something for them. They've always been really good to me and a few other artists that I know, so I wanted to help by bringing some attention to Randy's situation.

You can help Randy's legal defense by donating here:

You can sign this petition, as well:

Thanks to everyone in their support of Randy. Hoping for the best in this situation. I am also truly sorry for the loss of life, concerning the fan.  Hopefully, everything can be worked out.

UPDATE: Fellow ink slinger, Brian Mercer has taken this simple design and is adding a border to it. We will be giving the design to Mark and the LOG fam for use in any way that they see fit.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


 Ryan Kasparian is a sick artist via the Midwest US.  He's been putting out brutal designs and making sites for labels and bands that stand out from so many others at a time when most designers have me snoring by the end of the page. Ryan has also run his own shirt label and recently asked a few of us to be a part of the INNOVATE THE MIND Collective. I'm honored to be a part ITM and am in the company of some of my favorite artists today.

Check out the site and show some love to some great guys and amazing artists:


Thursday, July 5, 2012


I've been busy inking the new design for HOWL and thought that I'd post a quick pic of detail. It's a small section of the design and there is so much to go on this thing.

I'm going to start posting "in progress" pics from now on. Keep checking back for more.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


For the month of July, I will have a poll up here in the right hand column that is asking what you would like to see produced as far as Santos Illustration merch goes. Please vote. And, if you would like to see me make something specific, FEEL FREE TO WRITE IT IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. I will be writing down and considering every idea given.
If you'd like to see prints made, let me know which designs you would like to see printed. Thank you, all!

You can follow me on Twitter as well:

Saturday, June 23, 2012

THICK AS THIEVES second edition coming soon.

Here's a little teaser for the next edition of the THICK AS THIEVES mini print packs. As with the first edition, it will contain 6 prints from six new artists. This pack will also begin the use of themes.

First up, childhood fears. I wanted these designs to reflect the personal fears that each artist had as a child. More to the point, fear of monsters, events, or terrifying figures in their lives. We all have those things that we feared as a child that made us hide under our covers. Well, I wanted them to draw that. With each design I also asked the artists to include a small write up or story about they why's and how's of how their fears came to be.

 I've already seen 3 of the designs and snippets of a couple more and I'm excited to get them all printed. All the artists are awesome and these prints will not disappoint. I will post updates concerning pre-orders, release date, and other news related to the TAT2.

You can check out this editions' artists here:
Alison Lilly
Mike Fisher
Alexandros Pyromallis
Christopher Parry
Demian Johnston
Konstantinos Psichas

Thank you all for your support in this endeavor and thank you to all of the artists who are participating in this continuing series. Big thanks to Andy Crawshaw and Broken Press for printing these all so beautifully.

The first edition featuring Tom Denney, Mark McCormick, Casey McKinley, Glyn Smyth, and I is still available here:

THICK AS THIEVES first edition

Thursday, June 14, 2012

TORCHE in the house. Literally.

Once again, the Torche guys came through and destroyed the Pacific NW. This time they were on their 2nd leg of their tour with old heavyweights, Corrosion Of Conformity and accompanied by Black Cobra and Gaza. I caught up with them at Studio 7 and they were so damned heavy that half the crowd probably went home sterile. Afterwards, they stayed with me and we hung out in the Womb Room. I'm was happy to show them the original drawing of the Harmonicraft cover and just happy to be hanging out with my friends again. Lucky me, I got to catch a ride with the guys to the show at the Hawthorne Theater in Portland and hang out an extra day. Can't wait to see them back around our way in August.

The Corrosion Of Conformity, Torche, Black Cobra, and Gaza tour will finish up June 23rd in Boston, MA and Torche will be playing Orionfest the next day in New Jersey on the 24th. Show up and support a bunch of incredible guys!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A decade of art for HIGH ON FIRE.

The design was called the "Santos" by Des. It took 42 hours to ink sitting on a couch.
10 years ago this month, I inked my first HIGH ON FIRE design. The design ended up being used for a couple of years and sold a ton of shirts in different styles and on many tours. I have a short sleeve, baseball jersey, and a long sleeve with sleeve prints and hand drawn tour dates on back for their European Tour in 2005. It's the first piece to take me to the next level in my progress and is how I was able to start doing some work for Kylesa.

I remember finding out that Pike had started a new band and eventually picked up the Man's Ruin release of Art Of Self Defense. From the moment that I threw that cd on, I was hooked. They toured through Denver but most of their shows were sold out asap due to playing small as fuck bars. I finally was able to catch them a few times and one night while doing a two night stint at the 15th St. Tavern with Jucifer, I decided to ask if they needed art. Pike was behind the merch table smoking a cigarette and I just straight up asked if they needed any art (that's how I used to do it in those days). Pike said "Nope" and I turned and left. I must have looked like Charlie Brown walking away with that sad music playing, because Pike called me back and told me to draw something up and bring it the next time that they came to town. I did and he and Des loved it. It took about 6 months and a move to the NW until I was able to get them the file. After that, I saw that shirt everywhere. Over the years, many more designs have been made and I still have to thank Pike for that first chance.

Thanks Pike, Des, Jeff, and George. I'm thankful for the opportunity to work for an incredible band and an amazing group of guys & friends. You all helped me along this path.

The new design that I'm currently working on is in part a homage to this first design.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


 I broke down and started a Twitter account. You can now follow me here:

Santos Illustration

Monday, June 4, 2012

Two nights of SLEEP.

SLEEP - Night one at Neumo's
The awesome Infinite Productions is celebrating it's 25 year of promotions with one of the best month for shows in years. Red Fang kicked it off by tearing up the Highline on the 1st. The crown jewel on the schedule was a two night stay from SLEEP. Not only did they kill it tonight (night 1), but they'll be back tomorrow night performing an entirely different set.
 If you're able to see them live or were able to catch them in the past month, you'll know that they have my design for sale. Jason was cool enough to hook me up with some merch and also brought me a couple of goodies back from Europe. One being a tote bag with my "Beyond" design and a mission patch from ATP.

I couldn't be more thankful for the opportunity to work with such an incredible band and amazing group of friends.

UPDATE: Night 2 was loud and heavier than night one. If that's even possible. The vibe seemed to be flowing more as classics and a few new tunes, expanded past their original point to elongate into improvisational beasts of puff riffs.
 My body the morning after feels like I've been trampled by elephants.
SLEEP - Night two - Heavier than night one.
Middle pic: Tote, shirt, and hoodie with my "Beyond" deisgn.
Bottom pic: SLEEP mission III: Europa patch.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

TORCHE's sweet tooth.

Just in time for the second leg of the Corrosion Of Conformity tour, Torche has a new shirt design that ties in with the cover of their latest album, Harmonicraft.

Steve and I have been busy throwing around ideas for new designs and this was one that Steve wanted to see. A hot air balloon version of a Harmonster. The balloon shaped up pretty fast, but when I got to the basket area, I had to take a minute to think about who would be piloting the thing. Seeing as the Harmonsters are sweet fiends, I thought that a cute looking tooth would fit perfectly and keep this world a work of the fantastic.

Steve's ideas always are a blast and I'm happy that there's so much more to come.

Check out TORCHE w/ COC, Black Cobra, and Gaza on tour and pick up a shirt!

New LESBIAN album, new LESBIAN logo.

The new LESBIAN Forestelevision album will soon be out. With that, the guys have asked me to come up with another logo for the album and continue their tradition of getting a new one for every album.

 For this incarnation, Arik Roper will be creating the cover art and I wanted something organic to match his beautiful watercolor landscapes. The Lesbros said that they asked for a forest scene, so I wanted the logo to be made of wood and flow with whatever Arik comes up with. It's a definite progression from stiff feel of the 2 previous logos. Plus, it'll look good on a shirt.

For more on the band:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kylesa re-issues.

Back in the Spring of 2005, Kylesa had just released To Walk A Middle Course as I was busy working on my first design for the band. In the 7 years since then, they've become great friends and tour buds and I've been able to provide them with a lot of art. So, when Phillip asked me to re-work the cover for "To Walk..." I was more than happy to get working on it.

Drawing the cover ended up being a lot harder than I had anticipated due to my reverence for the now classic and for my respect of Drew Speziale's original cover art. I had went through a few different designs and sketched out a few full covers, but none had the feel that I wanted. Phillip asked that when I started on my re-design, that I include elements from the original, so to re-work a new cover with the ideas already in place made things tough at first. Once I got into researching for the cover art, things started to get easier and I found a direction that I wanted to go open up. The title of the album set it all for me. Walking a middle course is something that I think everyone can relate to in those times in life when you are in between good and bad situations. It's also the reason for all of the action to be within the middle of the design.
 The hourglass, from the original cover, serves a the center subject of time. Within the hourglass are hundreds of beetles of all varieties filling and breaking free from their glass cage. One of the meanings in my research behind beetles was that they represent interference of one's life situations. Their overwhelming numbers breaking free from the hourglass was my idea of those situations multiplying and and not being contained or taken care of.
 In back of the hourglass, is a doorway to the unknown.  Like the Spiral Shadow cover, the idea of the unknown is up to the viewer and hopefully presents some kind of hope even in darkness. This cover is no different. One of the more obvious things in the design is the heart at the top of the doorway. In order to enter the unknown it's something you must possess.
 Out of the doorway, a murder of crows flies forth carrying ribbons in their mouths. I thought the ribbons to be pieces of one's self being carried by the crows to restore that person once they pass through onto the other side. The cycle begins with the crow in the lower left side of the cover that has dropped his ribbon and begun to consume the beetles. I tried to convey the idea of a cycle of introspect and purging for an eventual cathartic outcome. Through time, one's problems, emotions, and life will be tested. Most will come through with new understanding and faith once they have walked through the lowest valley in their pursuit of happiness and some will be stopped by their own personal walls. They'll allow the beetles to consume them.

To walk a true middle course is a trying time in anyone's life, to draw it isn't that hard once you've lived it.

The re-issues of Kylesa's To Walk A Middle Course & Time Will Fuse It's Worth will both be available on Alternative Tentacles on June 26th, 2012. If you didn't catch them on tour with Gwar and Ghoul, check them out this summer on the European festival circuit. 

Kylesa's Summer Festival Touring

Box o' Torche!

I love it when I check my PO box and find that something cool has been delivered. Today was one of those days. Reid from Volcom mailed me all of the sick Torche Harmonicraft swag from the release. Cd's, LP's, posters, and a skate deck all adorned with the artwork from the cover, looks so amazing. Reid did an excellent job putting it all together and my day has been made.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Noisear's new piece of grind.

I always like working with close friends. There's something about the ability to work on a project for someone that you know lot about and knowing just what they're looking for. This has been the case with Albuquerque's NOISEAR.

This is now the 3rd full length cover that I've done for the guys and each time starts the same way. Dorian usually sends me an email with a list of random ideas related to the imagery that they would like to project. He gives me the working title and will send the music (depending on if it's recorded or not) to get me started. Then, Dorian and I usually go back and forth on ideas and call/text until we get the idea at a solid point. It's funny because when he gives me the title of the album, I tend to ignore the list of ideas that he gave me to start, and go with an image that fits the name of the album. Sure, i'll go and try to find a way to include something from his list, but it's worked out much better with just ideas based off of the title. Dorian never seems to mind.

To me, NOISEAR's Turbulent Insurgence was easy to work with considering the state that the world is in. All I have to do is pick up a paper or watch the news to see how one sided this world is becoming and the escalation of the police and military presence on the ground. The center figure is representative of the controlling corporate elite backed presidential pawn. A central figure who controls his people by spewing fear and lies while being backed up by the heavy hand of the police state. A drone stands behind his head as his "eye in the sky" and a symbol of the surveillance and fear from above. All of this while dealing with a population of prisoners who have become only another number beneath him. I'm not sure if people will notice, but The three figures are set within the shape of a spade. My thought on that was of the death card, the ace of spades. The death of free speech, the death of one's right to protest, the death of privacy, I could on and on, but I think that that symbolism speaks for itself. Also included in the cover is zia from the flag of New Mexico. Dorian always asks that it is represented somewhere. It's good to remember where you come from.

Willowtip will be making the announcement soon as to the release date of this slab of sun baked grind. Until then, you can see Dorian and Bryan tear it up with Phobia on their current string of shows. Those guys will always be a slaves to the grind.

New "Turbulent Resurgence" shirt design.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

KYLESA LP re-issue package!

Alternative Tentacles is re-issuing both "To Walk A Middle Course" and "Time Will Fuse It's Worth" on June 26th. The pre-orders are up now at several sites, but Indiemerch has come up with and awesome Hessian Collector's Bundle. Check it out and order yours today. Only 200 of them are available.

Hessian Collector's Bundle

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

TORCHE's "Harmonicraft" cover art.

I'm so happy that April 24th has come and gone and TORCHE's Harmonicraft album is out. I know that the LP's were released for Record Store Day and that several people received their pre-order LP's in the mail, but I wanted to wait until it's official release to talk about the cover art.

First off, the album is a lesson in how fun metal can truly be. The songs are heavy and catchy and full of energy. It's one of those records that I've been listening to end-to-end while roaming around the city for the past few months and it always manages to put a smile on my face.

First rough sketch of the cover.
Late one night after Torche had played Seattle, Rick, Andrew, and I were talking about art and Rick mentioned that it would be cool if I worked with them on some project in the future. I was totally into it, but really didn't think that I would actually get the job of working on the cover for their follow up to  Meanderthal . Hell, it was 4am and we'd been smoking out for hours at that point, so I thought it would get lost in the haze. Then, I got the email a couple of weeks later from the guys to start working on some sketches. They gave me a ton of feedback and ideas throughout the process and I was able to quickly come up with a few sketches. Steve's starting idea was that he wanted a cover that was inspired by the awesome landscapes that Roger Dean had created for such bands as YES and ASIA. A colorful fantasy world filled with floating islands and such. They gave me a lot of freedom to go my own way after that, but wanted me to think outside of my usual subject matter. 

I had toured for 7 weeks with Kylesa in 2010 alongside Torche, so I was able to get to know the guys well during that time. It helped out when it came to turning their ideas into a solid concept for the cover. They are a fun group who radiate that from the stage and it becomes infectious to those around. On tour, they would go to movies and stop in at water parks or bowling alleys and still make it to the show in time. They had a fucking blast! That gave me the idea of turning the "floating island" idea into creatures that housed fun landscapes. There's a water park, an amusement park, and a magic castle on three of the Harmonsters. Three of them have natural landscapes on them because I know the guys also like nature and camping. And, the other two blue guys are related to where the guys are from.

Miami Detail (actual size of city drawn is 1 3/4"x 3/4").

This guy in the upper right of the cover housed a port and beach of Miami, where Jonathan lives.

Atlanta detail (size of city drawn is 2 1/4"x 1 1/4").
The Harmonster in the lower right houses downtown Atlanta, representing Steve and Andrew's city of residence.

Rick brand ice cream.

I couldn't find a good picture of Gainesville for Rick, so I made up a cartoon mascot of Rick as an ice cream cone. Drumsticks and all.

The Harmonsters being floating islands of fun, needed something that would convey their whimsical nature. Then, I remembered the guys' love for sweets. Easy. I just added tons of the stuff that I had grown up snacking on. There is a little something for everyone with various varieties of candy, confections, and sweets in the design.

Steve also wanted the creatures to breathe rainbows. Why not? Harmonsters probably shit sweet rolls, so rainbows were an awesome addition to the mix. The rainbows are also what the narwhal disco ship is floating on. You can't have good without evil, so it was suggested a few of them could be fighting with a some darker members of their species. Not only can these "dark ones" breathe storm clouds to block out the rainbows, but they do battle with vegetables. Tomatoes, asparagus, carrots, broccoli, and an eggplant serve as weapons against their do-gooder sugary nemesis'.

The narwhal disco ship is just silly. A stoner induced idea of Torche's tour ship breaking down in the Harmonster world only to have the creatures fasten candy necklaces to the hull and pull them gently through the air while they let go of the controls and continue the party in back. The ship itself was based off of one of the ships from the 80's classic, Flash Gordon. A happy narwhal became a futuristic figurehead on the ship adding that touch of whimsy that it needed.

There it is. One of the most fun covers and projects that I have ever been a part of. They have made this project so fun for me by pulling out my humorous side and making me put it to paper.

If you want to hear an awesome record from a great bunch of guys, go and pick up Harmonicraft today! And, catch them on tour with COC, Black Cobra, and Gaza in June!

TORCHE Harmonicraft