New Business And New Work

Over the past couple of months I've used my down time between editorial illustration assignments to launch an online T-shirt business. As someone who wears a lot of tees and has always appreciated the medium as a form of personal expression, designing my own shirts is something I've always wanted to do. The push to finally take action came from my wife, Lynn.

Lynn is an associate professor of gender and sexuality studies at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and has a new book entitled Vibrator Nation: How Feminist Sex-Toy Stores Changed the Business of Pleasure. Earlier this year she asked if I'd like to design some merchandise for her book tour. Of course I did, so I designed a series of T-shirts featuring images of some vintage and classic vibrators that were popular during the early era of women-friendly sex-toy businesses in the 1970s. I also created some simple vector drawings of 25 different vibrators and sex toys that we had printed on tank tops and tote bags. You can click on over and take a closer look at

Vibrator tees, tanks, and totes are only the initial line of merch. In the coming months I'll be releasing some new designs featuring images that, you know, aren't sex toys. Be sure to sign up for the mailing list, so you'll be the first to know when they're available … and you'll also receive a discount code for 15% off your first order!

In other news … I recently completed illustrations for Orange Coast, Desert Companion, and The Economist. The piece for Orange Coast is about a ride-hailing service for the children of busy parents. (Art Director: Mindy Benham)


The illustration for Desert Companion is about Nevada Republican's desperate recall efforts. (Art Director: Brent Holmes)


And the piece for The Economist is about the sexist "Google Memo" kid and how Larry Page should have responded. (Art Director: Mirabel Fawcett)


I also completed a website redesign for Katrina Karkazis, who is a Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Biomedical Ethics at Stanford University. Katrina is currently working on a book about "sex testing" and sports policies that ban women athletes for having naturally high testosterone.

Aside from work stuff, this summer Lynn and I took a drive up the coast of Maine. We ate seafood every day, did a lot of hiking, and spent two nights on Monhegan Island, which is one of Maine's 4,600 islands. It is truly a beautiful part of the country and I highly recommend you pay it a visit. OK. Bye!



New Work! (Willamette Week and Desert Companion)

Last month I was contacted by Willamette Week in Portland, Oregon to create a couple of pieces for their 2017 Bike Issue. The top illustration accompanies a story on the advantages of biking over driving, as traffic in Portland is awful and only getting worse. The bottom illustration depicts scenic rides in the greater Portland area. Many thanks to AD Julie Showers for the fun assignment.


Below are a couple of political illustrations for KNPR's Desert Companion. The top image is for a story on the new UNLV/MGM think tank, a bipartisan effort co-chaired by Harry Reid and John Boehner. The bottom image goes along with a preview of the 2017 Nevada legislative session. Republican State Senate Leader Michael Roberson must have enjoyed seeing himself with a giant-size head, as he used it as his Twitter banner for a while. Thanks to Designer Brent Holmes and Deputy Editor Scott Dickensheets for the gigs—always fun to work with those two gentlemen.

50 Years At The Village Vanguard

In December of 2015 I was approached by my friend Eric Allen who asked if I'd be interested in designing a book he was writing about the 50th anniversary of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, which has had a Monday night residency at the Village Vanguard in New York City for the past fifty years. I'd never designed an entire book from front to back so I was excited to have the opportunity to do so.

The final product is 14 chapters spanning 316 pages, with over 500 images and a 33-album discography. This was by far the largest single project I've ever worked on. Fortunately, the entire process was incredibly smooth due largely to the organizational skills of the authors, Allen and Dave Lisik.

The amount of energy they put into this book is mind-boggling. Whether you are a casual jazz enthusiast or a full-blown fanatic, this book deserves a place on your shelf. It is, I'd argue, the definitive telling of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, cementing its place in the history of jazz in the United States.

Below are some images of the book (which can be purchased here). 

The Joy Of Commissioning

During the years I worked as an editorial art director, the activity I enjoyed the most was commissioning original illustrations. Once I'd read a draft of a story and got a feel for what kind of art might fit its tone, I would begin searching for an artist whose style might work well for the image I had in mind. I'd dig through the ever-growing list of illustrators I hoped to work with one day and pitch the gig to one of them. The only thing more exciting than seeing the final illustration was getting that initial response from an artist saying, "Im in!" Below are some of my favorites, with links to the artists' websites so you can check out more of their work. Enjoy!

Kristian Hammerstad, Las Vegas Weekly, 2011

Kristian HammerstadLas Vegas Weekly, 2011

Kristian HammerstadLas Vegas Weekly, 2011

Jason Seiler, Las Vegas Weekly, 2010

James Shepherd, Las Vegas Weekly, 2010

Chris Morris, Las Vegas Weekly, 2010

Chris MorrisLas Vegas Weekly, 2010

Thomas Pitilli, Las Vegas Weekly, 2012

Caroline Vos, Vegas Seven, 2015

Danny Hellman, Las Vegas Weekly, 2012

Danny HellmanLas Vegas Weekly, 2011

Eric van den Boom, Las Vegas Weekly, 2011

Jerry Miller, Las Vegas Weekly, 2008

Andy Ward, Las Vegas Weekly, 2012

Michael Park, Las Vegas Weekly, 2010

Mart Klein, Las Vegas Weekly, 2011

Chris Notarile, Las Vegas Weekly, 2013

Travis JacksonLas Vegas Weekly, 2008

Jungyeon Roh, Las Vegas Weekly, 2011

Kira Shaimanova, Las Vegas Weekly, 2011

Koren Shadmi, Las Vegas Weekly, 2012

Yann Legendre, Vegas Seven, 2014

Robert Ullman, Las Vegas Weekly, 2012

Nigel Buchanan, Vegas Seven, 2015

Mike Tofanelli, Las Vegas Weekly, 2011

Mike TofanelliVegas Seven, 2013

Mike TofanelliVegas Seven, 2014

Mike TofanelliVegas Seven, 2016

Mike TofanelliVegas Seven, 2014

Mike TofanelliVegas Seven, 2016

Mike TofanelliVegas Seven, 2014

Mike TofanelliVegas Seven, 2016