I’ve always had an affinity for the world of the infantry, I worked alongside them a lot as a forward observer and had to train in many of the same proficiencies when down on the line. Be it 11B or 0311, the infantry of the US Army and the USMC are some of the most highly skilled combat forces in the history of warfare. They are men I’ve been proud to serve alongside.
Be it light, airborne, air assault or mech, they find a way to adapt to the situation and overcome it. There is no substitute when the bullets start to fly for a soldier or marine at your side whose sole job is to carry their rifle and put rounds on target.
So, it’s been some time since I last posted here. In January, I started working full time at Ranger Up! Since getting the job I’ve been setting up my new life in a new city and getting myself through a probationary status with the company to a full designer status. It’s been hectic and a little stressful at times but it’s been some of the most rewarding work I’ve done since I was in the military. Converting my ambition to work as an artist full time was daunting, even terrifying at times. I felt like it might never happen and I’d just end up having to abandon it all together in exchange for a little stability.
With the new job comes a lot of new art. Some I can share here, others that will be filed away for the future.
I’ve been lucky enough to see my work go from a design meeting concept to final design to printed shirts and products. Seeing stacks upon stacks of shirts with my design on them go out the door to people. Even seeing fans getting them as tattoos!
Last year, I wouldn’t have thought it possible that I would be here, in a place like this, working in the field I’ve loved so much. Back then it was just a dream to be considered as I struggled to make heads or tails of what it was I was trying to accomplish with my life again. I’ve sacrificed so much to get to this point, that some days I need to remind myself what it was all for. Every day I sit behind my desk, I can’t help but feel pride in what I’ve accomplished in the face of so many obstacles. There is still so much more to achieve. More goals I want to meet. The bigger picture is finally clearer than it’s ever been.
Be it Air Assault, Rangers, Special Forces, Force Recon or other, fast roping into the fight seems to be a favored method of troop delivery amongst many groups in the military. It’s quick, it’s accurate and effective. It also gives the troops on the group quick egress as well once the mission is complete. The downsides well noted as well. With visceral reminders like the Battle of Mogadishu etched into the consciousness of anyone who sees a helo flying too low and slow.
The base drawing for this was done some time ago with the Force Recon drawing, but I felt a need to distill it even further soon after it was finished but didn’t have time to really ensure it was completely ready for print. The above was an exercise in working on my line quality in a digital medium and I found a new interest in working on the Wacom Cintiq that carried me through the rest of my courses at MICA because of this one piece. I was able to clean specific areas and even create new lines that fit the original pencils perfectly.