Thursday, April 3, 2014

Illustration for MLS

Hello! It was pretty busy for last few weeks. I want to share one of project I finished! So in mid of March, Daniel Nyari, who is a great illustrator and a brilliant art director for Futbol Artists Network(FAN) sent me an email to do an illustration for MLS Insider which would be aired in April. The topic was about Jason Kreis, NYCFC's coach moving to Manchester with Manchester City FC's support to study the culture and gain as much knowledge as possible for NYCFC in next season. Daniel wanted me to do like what I did for several football players. (symbols and surrealistically) So I started sketching and I got...

This is what I sent to Daniel. The sailor ships represent his journey to the city and also Manchester City FC has a ship on their crest, so I thought it would be double metaphors. And the Aquila on the sky symbolize Manchester City. Daniel immediately replied me back with very positive feedback, but the color to be NYCFC's team color.

So I changed the color and started working on final.

After I finished it, I sent it to Daniel, and there was few things to revise. (change the eagle to NYCFC's logo, and put a silhouette of Manchester City's Crest.) I can't show the final version before the revision, but I will when I have a chance to.

So this is the final with revision. It has been aired through Kick TV and you can check this.....


Thank you Daniel for great art direction!! Such a wonderful direction!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Illustration for Pickles Magazine

Hello all! It is been a long time!!!

On February, I got an email from Ned, Director of Pickles Magazine in London to do an illustration for next issue. They sent me an article and at that time, the title was not decided. But it was about how soccer players are doing their job with no passion and just working as a job. (Like a boring office job that you don't care of.) After I finished reading the article, I was so excited to illustrate.  He threw me some ideas and I started sketching from them. 

These are the two sketches I sent to Ned. I quiet liked the first sketch, because it has a lot of things going on and more people. But relating to context of the article, second one would fit more than first sketch, so we both agree on second sketch. 

This was the final drawing. I liked the patterns. :D


And today, I just got the copy of the magazine, and found out that the title was "For the Love of the Game" I think it perfectly fits with the article. GREAT TITLE!

Thank you Ned for great art direction!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

illustration for Hemispheres Magazine

It 's been a long time! Last month, I sent my promotional cards to numerous art directors and a day after, I got contact from Hemispheres Magazine. They asked me to do an illustration for an article in December Issue, about how tennis ranking is running in weird number system. The article has really interesting facts that can shock many people. The art director wanted me to draw Nadal and Djokovic playing a game in tennis court with some concept. I started sketching, and I got....

The art director liked the third composition, but wanted to have different concept. So I did...

The balls represent the numbers in ranking system.

I got approved with this one, so I started working on final. 

This is the final, and the link to the article is here.

Thank you Claire for the great art direction!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How I do an illustration, step by step

This is another personal piece I just finished. I want to show how I work step by step.

First, I make thumbnails before I do sketches. It is very important, because you can see the general composition and color balance in sketch stage. I usually do 5-10 thumbnails for one illustration. But for this illustration, I directly went on ink, (sorry people, but I just wanted to do that because it is just a personal piece. :-P) 

Second, after I choose 2-3 thumbnails, I start drawing sketches. When I do it,  I also put colors. Some people don't put colors in sketch stage, but for me, I had experiences that sketch looked good, but when I colored it for final, it looked HORRIBLE! So I try to put color to see colors work with balance and contrast. (Because I didn't do thumbnails and sketches, I had a hard time doing coloring this time.)
(something like this?)

After I get one good sketch, I start final drawing. I use sumi brush, cold press paper and ink from Dr. ph Martin. I tried several inks, but I personally liked Dr. ph Martin's thickness. 

(This is the final drawing for the illustration.)

I also like drawing on cold press paper; it gives textures. especially when I use dry-brush technique, it gives great texture like on the peonies. 

Fourth, I scan the drawing, import it to photoshop, and start color it with multiple layers. I separate layers by foreground, midground, background, and figures, so I can manage contrast between different ground levels. (I will post how I color with details later.)

After I finish color it like coloring books, I start coloring lines. If you read a post I posted long time ago about how to pick up line works, you will see how you can color lines. (

And then, I put shadows and lights.

for shadows and lights, I do them in different layers, I usually use multiply option for shadow with very light colors. And for light, I play with different options like overlay, softlight, screen, and many other options. For this one, I just used normal with lighter opacity. 

At last, I put textures and adjust it with adjustment layers.  I do several ways to apply textures. First way is using paper textures I scan. you can also find paper textures in google, but it is hard to find in high resolution. And I like scanning textures I make. I keep paper texture images in a folder, so I can reuse it. Another way is to use brush tool. I have many brush presets I made in high resolution like over 2000. (I will write a post.) I use them like stamps in different layers. 

For the light glowing, I used paper texture, made it yellow, and masked the layer with circle gradient tool. 

Thank you for reading this and hope you learn something from it!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Broken Inner World

I think this is still in progress, but I just want to show what I am working on! (maybe it is already finished)

I am trying to mix more digital aspect into my work for this, (like the light drops) but I don't know it is working or not.

This is how the sketch was developed.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Spot Illustration for Baltimore Magazine

Hello! I hope everyone is doing good. I received an email from Baltimore Magazine few weeks ago to do a spot illustration for Style Guide in September issue. the story I covered was about Preakness and art director wanted me to illustrate a girl's portrait with crazy design of hat and flowers in graphic shape. I wanted to illustrate with Alphonse Mucha's inspiration. Art director also mentioned that she wanted to put some tile for background. So I started sketches and I got....

I personally liked second one with feathers, but because it was going to be really small, (1"x1") I thought third sketch was better, and art director agreed on it. And she wanted few changes on color (orange hair, dull blue strip on hat) So I started working on final on Wednesday, and I could finish it on Thursday night.

You can check this in Baltimore Magazine September Issue. Thank you Sophia for great art direction and a letter! It really touched my heart. :D

Monday, August 12, 2013

Radamel Falcao for Pickles Magazine, issue 6

So, right after I graduated from MICA, I got an email from Pickles Magazine in London to do an illustration for an article in their Issue 6. The article was about how AS Monaco is taking the French League with power of money from Russia. Recently, AS Monaco scouted many great players like Radamel Falcao, Eric Abidal, and James Rodriguez. They only gave me general concept, which was to illustrate Falcao and money power. So I started my sketch from there.

(Crown and red and white stripe are representing AS Monaco.)
I wanted to illustrate first sketch, because I thought it has pretty interesting objects to draw. But in concept second sketch was stronger, so I decided to do the second one. And instead of making money bills in same color, I changed to draw Euros with different colors and Rubles (Russian Currency).

This is the final piece.

Few weeks after, they asked me to use this illustration for their cover. I said yes, and it looks like....


Thank Ned for great opportunity!