Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Pensacon 2024 Recap

I speak highly of Pensacon for a reason. There is something about this show, well, there are a lot of some things about this show. Do not get me wrong, all of the shows I do repeatedly year after year mean something to me, but they are all different and unique. Mike Ensley and his team make an amazing show and a wonderful con to be a guest at. The attendees are great and are always super excited and happy to be at the con. The returning artist family continues to grow, and seeing them every year is such a treat! Pensacon stands out as the start of the convention season for me and sets the pace for the rest of the year. And if Pensacon was any indication for the year, it is going to be a crazy, fun time.

The Grand Bazaar at Pensacon 2024!

When I returned to Pensacon post-COVID, I did not know what to expect, and what I found was my sales more than doubled from 2020 to 2022. I assumed it was a fluke, but my sales were slightly higher in 2023. That was, of course, a fluke as well. Then we come to 2024, and sales have doubled from 2022. I had my single best day yet at a convention and the best total sales at any convention to date. I also sold an original for more than I have ever sold a piece of art. What does this all mean? I have no idea. But I know I need to get my second book finished! People want more!

Besides record sales, there was a singular moment for me at Pensacon this year, and that would be the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel Q&A panel that I was on with James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter. For years, I believed it would make for a good panel if you had cast and crew together talking about the same projects from their respective viewpoints... and it turns out I was right. I had SO much fun! James and Charisma were welcoming, and we had loads to share. I brought the few remaining artifacts from my time on Buffy and Angel, and the crowd went wild. I will be honest, LA was very hard. It took a lot to live and work out there, and at times, it felt like everything was working against us, especially some of the people I worked with. At times, I found myself in very hostile working conditions. This is something I haven't really spoken publically about, and one I will continue to leave vague as much as I can. This is not the time for that whole conversation. But I would like to say that being on this panel has brought me so much closer and peace with what I went through out there. I am in a really good place now, and my memories of LA and working in the film industry are a whole lot brighter.  

I launched the Kickstarter for my book at Pensacon in 2020, and to continue to return there and to have more and more people telling me how much they enjoyed it, how much it means to them, and how excited they are for book two means more than I will ever be able to express. It is wild to be selling a book to someone, and to have someone walk by and tell me how much they love the book is tremendous. Thank you to all of you who have journeyed to the Grand Bazaar.

We focused on the con during the day and ourselves in the evening. We didn't have any late nights or big adventures this year, and I was fine with it. It is better to miss out on a few things and to be rested and ready for a long day at the booth. We had meals with wonderful friends and saw so many familiar faces. From start to finish, this was an amazing Pensacon and one that will be hard to top. Again, thank you to Mike Ensley, Julio Diaz, Lemmie Crews, Roland Paris, Mark Maddox, Steve Wise, and way too many others (sorry that I am not mentioning you all) for making Pensacon so wonderful for the both of us. Here are some photos and additional thoughts.

The final evolution - hopefully for a long time.
After Gen Con 2023, we invested in our own trailer to make events much easier and cheaper. Then, on the way to IX, my car's transmission died, and we had to get a new car on the return trip from IX. NOW, after all that, we have a trailer and car fit for the road and convention season. This was the first time out for all of this, and it was perfect. Also, having a trailer and the convention set up no longer in storage, I have saved around six hours of work that went into getting the trailer, driving around town, loading the trailer at storage, etc. AND then the reverse of all that at the end. SO happy to be done with all of that.
We have stayed out at the beach since 2022, and while it is away from a lot of the excitement of the con, it does allow us some peace and quiet.
The calm before the storm! The vendors are on the ground level, the artists are on the third-story ring, and the celebrity guests are on the second floor under us.

I always have the best neighbors, and they make beautiful art.

Saturday was the big day for many reasons, and it started like this.

James started the panel by getting the crowd excited and cheering for the camera.
It was a packed house with standing room only in the back and the second tier. It was impressive!

23 years ago, I worked with these folks on some shows. I never thought I would see them again, let alone be on a panel with them. They were gracious and made sure to include me in everything. I could not have asked for a better time.
BEHOLD! Thanks to folks in attendance, I have some fun photos to share.
Those in the back couldn't see the heads I brought, so I ensured they could.

Again, the packed room and some heads.

And again, James, Charisma, and I.
See, I told you I worked on some crazy things at the beginning of my career!

And here is some of the panel that has been uploaded to YouTube.

Sunday Funday! The last day of the show did not disappoint!
I got to meet a war criminal.

We sold out of hardcovers!
Even though I brought more books than I did last year, I still sold out an hour or two before the show ended. I even ended up selling the well-loved display copy. This hasn't happened to me yet, and it was a shock and a thrill.

Lastly, my one purchase was an Anguirus drawn by Toshihiro Ogura, who just so happens to have been the suit performer in the Anguirus (among others) in the Godzilla Final War. He stopped by the table early in the show, and thanks to Jessica Etchells for making this happen!

That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog. See you back here on Friday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability, head over to my website:

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Never Before Seen Art at Pensacon!


As I write this, the good folks behind Pensacon are hard at work to get every last detail finalized for this weekend. This means I do not have final details on everything I wanted to share with you today. That said, I think I have something pretty cool, BUT you will have to come to Pensacon to see it. For the first time ever, I will have some of the original concept art that I created for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel with me for sale at Pensacon!

I would love to share these pieces with you, but for now, they must remain obscured.
If you would like to see what I will have with me, I will see you at Pensacon this coming Friday through Sunday!

In time, I will share all of this art with you, but for now, those attending Pensacon will get to see them first and have the opportunity to purchase them. These are only a few of the works that I did for the shows, and these are pieces I am comfortable with parting with. It is a mix of early and late work and ranges from paint to marker to pencil. These are all definitely part of the Buffy and Angel history. 

Speaking of art, I will be debuting many new art pieces for book two of the Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia. If you are on my mailing list, you have already seen a lot of this new work, but not all of it. If you are attending Pensacon, you will be able to see all of my newest work for the book!

Lastly, the panels are not finalized yet, so I can not share a complete list of my panels, but I can say that I will be on a VERY cool one that I am looking forward to. I will do my best to announce it ahead of time on social media. This is not everything, though, and I have a couple other surprises planned, but I will share them later or after the convention.

That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog. See you back here after Pensacon! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability, head over to my website:

Monday, February 19, 2024

Color MtG Artist Proofs for Pensacon!

*UPDATE* - All have sold. THANK YOU!

As mentioned over the weekend, I will be returning as a guest to Pensacon this coming Friday. I have some special surprises planned, and I can share one of them today! I plan to have (already completed) color Magic the Gathering available at all my convention appearances this year - and moving forward if the interest is there. As Pensacon is my first event of the year, it will be the first convention I am taking color proof that I have completed ahead of time. I will still be taking color orders at the show to complete after it is over, but this way, you can get one now and not have to wait or worry. I am sticking to the basics for this first group but focusing on some of my more popular cards. Here is how the Ancient Carp, Blufferfish, Festering Mummy, and Gudul Lurker turned out.

My Ancient Carp, Blufferfish, Festering Mummy, and Gudul Lurker Magic the Gathering artist proofs with color handmade art on the back.
Marker, ink, and acrylic paint of card.

For these, I wanted to pull directly from the original drawings for the card art. I have been working on a method to transfer images onto the backs of the cards, and this allows me a lot more options for my artist proofs. Historically, one of the biggest hurdles for me is working this small. I enjoy drawing much larger, and so getting a sketch on the back of the proofs that I was happy with has been a big challenge. Thankfully, I believe I have a solution, and these cards, along with many of my more recent offerings, are proof that my concept is sound. I am not sure if I will be making any unsold cards available online after the show or if I will be rolling them over to the next convention. I guess I will cross that bridge in a week. Here is a closer look at each card, and if you keep an eye on my socials, you might see some videos of the cards!

 Ancient Carp - SOLD
Blufferfish - SOLD
Festering Mummy - SOLD
Gudul Lurker - SOLD

That is all for my first surprise. As long as things get announced and finalized before Wednesday, I will have a lot more surprises for you then. If not, I will have a couple of surprises.

That is all for another exciting Monday on the blog. See you back here on Wednesday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability, head over to my website:

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Pensacon 2024 Guest Announcement - AND IT STARTS THIS WEEK!

I am THRILLED to announce that I will return as a guest to Pensacon this week! Pensacon starts this coming Friday afternoon, February 23rd, and runs through Sunday the 25th! I will be bringing the Grand Bazaar back in all its glory as well as some exciting surprises. We LOVE Pensacon, and we always have a fantastic time there. I do not have enough good things to say about Pensacon, and I hope to see you there!

I will see you at Pensacon from February 23-25, 2024!

In addition to myself, there will be a TON of amazing artists, guests, and vendors at Pensacon 2024. It will be SO much fun, and there will be many amazing things to see and do. This is the year not to miss.

I will be sharing some of my secrets this week before I head to the convention as well as my panel list. There are some fun and exciting things planned and I can not wait to share them! Again, if you are in the gulf coast area and want to have a super fun con experience, then I highly recommend Pensacon!

That is all for another exciting surprise Saturday on the blog. See you back here on Monday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability, head over to my website:

Friday, February 16, 2024

BLOG-a-versary - And then there were Fifteen AND Twenty-five

Huh! And here we are. Fifteen years ago tomorrow, on February 17th, 2009, I began this blog. On top of that, 2024 marks my twenty-fifth year as a professional artist, and in June it will be nineteen years since I starting making monsters for WotC. A lot has happened, a lot is actively happening, and there is an uncertain future ahead for all of us. Not everything in the past year has been good, and this is one of the reasons I haven't posted a 2023 year-in-review post. It is all still too fresh and actively happening. I mean, I can't even post images on the internet anymore without processing them twice to protect them from being stolen by billion-dollar tech firms.

A little look at the studio a week or so before this is posted.
By the time you are seeing this, the piece I was working on will now be completed.

Will any of us be employed this time next year? Will there be any need or want for art and artists in a year? This is definitely NOT where I foresaw myself twenty-five years ago, on so many levels, both good and bad. We shouldn't have to ask people not to steal from us, but here we are. But I want to stay positive... as much as possible in these uncertain times. Since mid December I have been on fire making new art for book two of The Grand Bazaar of Ethra VanDalia. Like, a LOT of art. I am moving at speeds and getting things done at a rate not seen in four years. It has been really nice - as if I am finally breathing a deep, full breath after being submerged for nearly too long.

Throughout the COVID years (2020-2021) I was moving in slow motion and the "post" COVID years (2022-2023) has been spent adjusting to the new normal and all the horrors that have since surfaced. But in the past few months, I am finally beginning to feel like myself again, like a working artist. So, with all the chaos in the world I am doing my best to stay focued and work on my little world and focus on getting to the next day. I have been doing this stuff for a quarter of a century. I hope that I can keep this thing going, that we all can keep this thing going. If not, the world will become a much worse place. 

I will get back to making art; you should probably do the same. If you ever have any questions about my work, this blog is the best place to direct them.

That is all for another exciting week on the blog. See you back here on Monday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability, head over to my website:

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Infected By Art Volume 12 Selected Work

I am happy to announce that I have been selected for inclusion in Infected By Art Volume 12. I love IBA, and it is a true joy to be included in a publication that features so much amazing real art. You can see a complete list of the art included in IBA 12 on their website. This year, while several pieces from the Grand Bazaar were passed up, it looks like a recent piece for Dungeons & Dragons was selected!

Cranium Rats in Disguise
Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse
11 x 14 - Digital
Art Director - Emi Tamji
© 2023 Wizards of the Coast LLC

This was my favorite piece that I did for that book, and is remains one of my favorite recents works for D&D. And this shows, as always, you never knoew what will make it into a juried event. If you are curious, here is everything I submitted for consideration in IBA 12.

Congrats to everyone that made it in, and a huge thanks to the jury and to Bill Cox for all his work in making IBA a reality. I can't wait to see the completed book firsthand!

That is all for another exciting surprise Thursday on the blog. See you back here on Friday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability, head over to my website:

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Razorvine Blight - Dungeons & Dragons - Process

Today, I am happy to share the process and steps for one of my contributions to the Dungeons & Dragons supplement, Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse. I have never worked on anything Planescape related in the 19 years I have made monsters for Dungeons & Dragons, so it was a real treat to finally stick my tow into this world. Granted, only making two pieces leaves me still very much clueless about the gaming world of Planescape. Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse focuses on the city of Sigil and the various planes that can be accessed there (and if I am mistaken in this, sorry, I sadly do not know much about this one D&D realm). I made a plant and some rats, so today, we are starting with the plant. Here is the final painting for the Razorvine Blight.

Razorvine Blight
Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse
11 x 14 - Digital
Art Director - Emi Tamji
© 2023 Wizards of the Coast LLC

I was asked to design and illustrate the Razorvine Blight. There are other sapient plant monsters in the worlds of D&D, so I had some limitation to keep in mind, other than that I was free to explore this new monsters. The Razorvine Blight was described as:

This is a sapient plant creature made of razorvine, an uncontrollable hazard endemic to Sigil. Like the astral blight and needle blight, it should appear vaguely humanoid, like it took on the shape of one of the city’s pedestrians.

I can get behind all of this, so I got to work on some thumbnails. As I have stated countless times here before, I start nearly all of my projects with a photo shoot as I act out the monster and get my head around the physicality of it. Once I feel like I have enough reference, I start scribbling. Here are the thumbnails that I submitted.  

Razorvine Blight - Thumbnails
 © 2023 Wizards of the Coast LLC
These were well recieved and I was asked to update option 'B'. I was happy to make the updates and got to work. Here is the updated thumbnail that I submitted.
Razorvine Blight - Revised thumbnail
 © 2023 Wizards of the Coast LLC

It wasn't quite where it needed to be yet and I was asked to make some additinal changes to the thumbnail. I was feeling pretty good with where this one was when I submitted it.. Here is the revised and updated thumbnail that I submitted.
Razorvine Blight - Revised and updated thumbnail
 © 2023 Wizards of the Coast LLC
The revised and updated thumbnail was approved without additional notes or revisions. I was now approved to take it to the next process phase. I always create a final traditional drawing for every project to work out the details and to give myself a tangible product from the assignment. Here is the Razorvine Blight drawing.
Razorvine Blight
Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse
11 x 14 -Colored pencil on paper
Original - SOLD
Art Director - Emi Tamji
© 2023 Wizards of the Coast LLC

The drawing was approved without comment, and it was time to start on the final painting. Here is the painting of the Razorvine Blight taking shape.

Razorvine Blight- Process
 © 2023 Wizards of the Coast LLC

This piece falls in line with my other recent works in that I completed it in record time. I am finding that I can get in a groove and get these isolated figure pieces done very quickly. This has not been something I have necessarily been focused on doing but instead has happened over time on its own. I mean, one would hope if you do something repeatedly that, you will become quicker and better at doing it. It is nice to see that playing out for me. Some of the color and deco were already worked out for me in the style guide, but for me in all of my D&D pieces I am aiming to make something that looks cool nad checks all the boxes with the assignment. In the end, I beleive I was asked to make some of the leafs more pointed here and there, but that was the exstint of revisions at the end. Here, again, is the final painting of the Razorvine Blight.

Razorvine Blight
Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse
© 2023 Wizards of the Coast LLC

That's all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog. See you back here on Friday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability, head over to my website:

Monday, February 12, 2024

Looking Back: Working on the The Chicks video for Goodbye Earl

It is funny how I can be reminded of something I did over two decades ago. Last week, I was reminded of my work on The Chicks' video of Goodbye Earl. This was early 2000 when I was still fresh out in Los Angles making monsters - so nearly 24 years ago to the day. As all this happened 24 years ago, I do not have much to show for my work during this period. While I tried to keep a camera with me and get some photos when I could, there just wasn't the speed and ease we have now to take dozens of pictures and videos without care. So, I will be sharing a total of two pictures and hopefully the stories will make up for the rest. 

It was a Friday morning when the shop got the call. They needed a zombie/dead makeup for the actor Dennis Franz on set and ready to go by 6 am Saturday morning. This is a good time to mention that at this time in the industry, it was not uncommon to have EXTREMELY short turnarounds for video and commercial projects. I have no idea if it is still like this today, but twenty years ago, it was typical for us to have various commonly needed items ready to go so we didn't have to pull all-nighters. But when you get a call for a custom makeup that has to be on set in less than 24 hours, well, you know you are going to have a long day, and night, ahead of you. Needless to say the boss took the job and the two of us made a zombie makeup overnight. I was still just a pup of 25 years old, so an all-nighter was not the issue it would be today. I have never been a fan of them, but I could do them when needed, and this was definitely one of those times.

Dennis Franz in our "Dead" Earl makeup.

They couldn't get Dennis Franz to us in time to make a life case so that the makeup would perfectly fit his face. To be honest, I am not sure we would have had time to fit a life cast into the day if we wanted to. We selected a face cast that we hoped would be close to Dennis' face and went from there. The boss was focused on sculpting the makeup. It was a strightforward makeup: one piece that included the forehead, nose, checks, and chin - basically all of his face. While the boss was sculpting I was busy getting the set kit together and orginaized. We had one chance to do this right, and as we would be on set far from the shop, I needed to ensure that the set kit had 150% of what we needed. Paints, glues, makeup of all kinds, various extra application pieces to hide edges, and all the other gear and equipment required on set to solve any and all emergancies. The sculpting took hours, as they usually do. Under ideal, or even average, conditions the sculpting could have easily taken days to get all the subtle forms figured out and to add the level of detail needed for up close inspection. But we didn't have the time for all that, and the boss did his thing and sculpted the makeup at lightning speed. If I recall correctly, I was also running errands to get things we might need or were running low on, as well as picking up meals for the two of us. 

Finally, when the sculplure was completed it was time to mold it. Molding a sculpt was always... ALWAYS the most stressful part of the process for me. This was the time you could really mess it all up. To this day, I do not miss making molds. I prepped for the mold process, and the two of us knocked it out as quickly as possible. That said, the process does take a certain amount of time, no matter how fast you would like it to go. At the end of the day, you still have to wait for the plaster to set up so that you can move to the next part of the process. We were slinging plaster in the wee hours of the night, but we finished it, and the mold was sound.  

One of the things that really saved us was that we were already commonly using gelatin for makeup. We would have never had the time if we needed to use foam latex and bake the makeup for hours. With gelatin, you only needed to microwave it till it was liquid, pour it into the mold, and VERY quickly close it and clamp it shut. You had to be careful to watch out of the molten gelatin ozzing out of the seams when the mold clamped shut. The gelatin would be set and ready in minutes if you were in a huge hurry to get it open. We gave it time to cool and de-molded the makeup. It looked good and had good edged. To safegaurd the day we removed the first makeup and poured a second that we kept in the sealed mold that we brought with us, just in case something went wrong. You ALWAYS had to cover your butt in situations like this, you only got one chance, and if things went wrong, it was horrible for you.

Again, Dennis Franz doing his best to be a good "Dead" Earl.

We had two makeups and a complete set kit, so the only thing left to do was head to set. We ended up there around 5 am, if I remember correctly, which meant we were there early and had time for breakfast. One of my consistent memories of LA was how good the food was on set - no matter how big or small the project was, there was great food to be had. After breakfast, Dennis arrived to the makeup trailer and it was time to start our day... that had already been going for nearly 24 hours. 

Dennis was super awesome and a real treat to meet. He was the biggest celebrity I had encountered at that point in my time in LA. I was a big fan of his protrayal of Spike in the live action Popeye movie, so meeting him was a great experience. He shared stories with us and in the middle of us putting his makeup on he let us know he was alergic to latex. An allergy to the most common material used in makeup effects should really have been one of the first things conveyed to us the previous day, but it wasn't. It was a good thing we used gelatin! One of the interesting things about being in the makeup trailer is that depending on the shoot you can hear everything happening on set. It was hard not to hear the music tracks contuiously being played as different secitons of the video were filmed. While the boss did the face makeup I was able to work on Dennis' hands to make sure they were appropriately dead looking.

By the time we got Dennis in his "Dead" Earl makeup to set, the boss and I were getting a little goofy from lack of sleep. The portion of the video with "Dead" Earl did not require a lot of filming as he just needed to shuffle a bit as the ensemble danced and made merry all around. We listened to one small section of the music over, and over, and over, and over, AND OVER until they got all the coverage for the sceen. And with that, it was a wrap for Dennis and Earl. Makeups generally come off quicker than they go on, and this was no exception. I think the three of us wanted to have it off ASAP. As we had been up for over a day and a half, things were getting a little blurry both in the moment and looking back at my memories. We got one last meal as we left set and returned to the shop. I actually do not remember where we filmed that video. We dumped the set kit and equipment at the shop to deal with on Tuesday (we worked Saturday, and the boss decided we should have a whole weekend), and we both headed out to find some sleep. I slept till Sunday afternoon, and it was glorious. 

In time, we got a copy of the video sent to the shop to see the fruits of our labor. It was a lot of work and two full days, but for a few moments, you can see our work in the video. The makeup was not bad, and in fact, we reused it for the zombie chef in the Bogus Witch Project, but we had to make it very quickly, and the boss had always wanted more from it. It was a fun time in the middle of a very crazy part of my life that I am happy to look back on and share with you. Let me know if you have any questions about this!

That is all for another exciting Monday on the blog. See you back here on Wednesday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability, head over to my website: