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Light Fighters – 14×11″ Graphite on Bristol

Prints available here.

Light is a relative term in the world of ‘Light Infantry’.  They live and die by what they carry.  Every ounce is considered.  Every meal, change of socks, and baby wipe a measured dance between comfort, longevity, and necessity.  Mission dictates, but sometimes the mission can change.  The troops on the ground having to make due with what they have, or what can be dropped in for them.

I’m really excited to have this piece finished at last.  It’s been on the back burner for a long time and it was just great to have a little time to continue to explore this series further.

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Infantry Notebook

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Get Yours Here!

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.

“Follow Me!”

Sinners and Saints

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Sometimes you get to try some new thoughts out with a new shirt. This new one for Ranger Up was a different approach for me. Taking a type driven design based around a saying and building it into a design is always tough. But sometimes you see the right inspiration here and there, find bits and pieces that make sense. And build something new with the parts. Sinners and Saints comes from the idea that you can be both in your lifetime. When you are military, you’re essentially both at the same time. A savior to some and a sinner while you perform the action necessary. There’s something nice and old school about this one. The typeface, the scroll work and small additions. I’m looking forward to rocking it.

Get yours at RangerUp.com.

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Forward Observer

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Forward Observer – Graphite and Digital

Prints Available

I know a lot of people stress their job selection and finding just the right job for them when they enlist.  I knew I wanted to join the Army, and while I didn’t know exactly what job I was going to go with, I knew it would be combat arms.  I had no desire to go in any of the admin/supply/etc. jobs.  When it came down to selecting the job I was going to pick, my recruiter and I simply went through a list of high bonus combat jobs.  When it came to 13F Fire Support Specialist, it just seemed right.  He was an old Mech Infantry guy and so knew FO’s I could talk with.  I had a quick chat with another recruiter who gave me a quick run down of the job and I was set.  I love what I did as an FO.  It was the best mix of small unit and large scale operations.  It allowed me to get into the mix with all combat unit types from Infantry to Armor to Scouts.  And it allowed me the chance to meet and befriend some of the greatest people I’ve ever known.

This drawing has been in my head for some time, and with all of the commission work I’ve been knocking out, I hadn’t had a chance to get at it.  I’m glad I was able to finally get around to working it up.  Though it wasn’t without issue.  I had a lot of trouble creating a believable sense of scale and background and I think that’s why it took me so long to work out an idea on how to color the background and fill in the scene.  I tried to let the color do most of the work with this one and I think it succeeds.

For more of my work be sure to check out my Facebook page or and shop.

Ranger Up

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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.

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With the new job comes a lot of new art.  Some I can share here, others that will be filed away for the future.

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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!

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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.

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Battle Dawgs Racing Shirt

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Shirts Available Through BattleDawgsRacing.com

The glacier.  The dogs.  The trees.  The river.  The camaraderie.  So much of what went into this piece was an instinctual reaction to the trip I took to Alaska this summer thanks to Alaska’s Healing Hearts and Battle Dawgs Racing.  There was some time spent in my sketchbook, and on my computer just doodling trying to capture the right feel.  To bring something of my experience into the work and not have it feel disjointed and without focus.  The base shape for this was hashed out digitally, but it wasn’t until the ink started going down on the page, it finally felt as though it was coming together.

There are so many things in here that seem to just happen, and felt correct the second I saw them.  Deciding to build the image around drawings I did while I was up at the glacier camp with the dogs, the two you see here are from the Battle Dawgs team, Hugo in front and Duster at his back.  The team was a major focus for me.  Seeing them all together on the line stuck with me, and I knew that having a solitary dog on the shirt would never feel correct for what Battle Dawgs is about.  It’s about having each others back.  Being there regardless of how hard things get.  And getting through it.

If there’s one thing you don’t ever get used to in Alaska it’s just how majestic the natural world around you feels.  When the shapes around the dogs started going in it was just a reaction to this.  A primitive and visceral representation.  The shapes around the dogs began to form a mountain range and tree line with the gaps between giving rise to a river.  Things that in all honesty I didn’t see or even comprehend having done until they were already there.  It’s something all to important to the mission that Battle Dawgs and Alaska’s Healing Hearts is on.  To share the beauty of Alaska with veterans and to show them that ‘the world is bigger than the four walls of your room.’

I knew I wanted to weather the final image, to give it the grit and rugged look that would help it feel more stenciled and military.  And when the texture was laid over I knew it spoke to more than just military, but also to the dog sled team as well.  Running a team is tough, gritty, exhausting work.  Just getting the dogs from their kennel to the line, trudging through the snow, was an endeavor.

‘Helping our warriors one step at a time’ was a line pitched by Rick some time ago.  And something that I believe fits the Battle Dawgs mission perfectly.  They race, they inspire, they help, they heal and they keep giving back to those who have sacrificed so much of themselves and well being:  our service men and women.  To add the Battle Dawgs paw print at the end is to give their word, their signature, that they’ll continue to do so.  One race, one outing, one warrior at a time.

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Shirts Available Through BattleDawgsRacing.com

M3 Bradley

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Prints Available
Free Shipping until October 12th!

There’s something about the profile of a Bradley that just calls to treadheads. Yeah it’s too tall. A bit unwieldy in the corners. An absolute pain to maintain. But it’s distinct. It’s tough. And in all honesty wasn’t even supposed to exist. You can’t help but love the thud of the gun when you fire. The wail of the engine when you gun it, and all those cuts and bruises from pulling the 25mm chaingun make you appreciate it all the more.

I’m using this as the principle art for the unit shirt for the fine infantry of Able Company 1-63AR. And it’s making me want to do more of these ‘armor in profile’ drawings. Look for some Abrams, Paladins, and 113’s to show up soon! And if you’ve got some great reference shots from the field, send them my way!