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.
Just a little heads up to any of you out there looking to snag a print of my Deployed series! There is a promotion going on for my shop on Society6 for free shipping on most of the stuff there. Head over and check it out!
Additional details from Society6:
Promotion expires July 14, 2013 at Midnight Pacific Time.*Offer excludes Framed Art Prints, Stretched Canvases and Throw Pillows with insert.
I’ll try and keep everyone informed when these sort of promo’s happen!
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.
Originally a class assignment this piece was built up to be plastered to the side of a VFW post. I wanted to give a sense of history as well as a sense of the present. With a variety of silhouettes and aircraft types in a setting that has become all too familiar for our current service members. The line advances with a countless number of troops moving ever forward.
The lines were done in ink originally and the colors digitally. I pulled colors from an old NC Wyeth WW2 poster and played with the level of render to both feel painterly and be possible at the mural scale without too much issue. I would love to see this as a full size mural some day.
Marine Force Recon has a long and storied past that has seen them perform a variety of missions from the jungles of Vietnam to the ever changing battlefields of the modern era. Be it reconnaissance, offensive action or search and seizure, the marines of Force Recon are the go to for the fleet.
The mission of Force Recon is so different to the one I came to embody in Iraq, but it’s one I admire greatly. Their level of training and readiness is unmatched by all but other special operations capable forces and the mission types they can accomplish in a variety of settings make them one of the most effective groups pound for pound in any command.
The CH53E Super Stallion is the heaviest helicopter in the US inventory. Used by the Marines and Navy, this beast is the workhorse that makes the Marine ground effort work deep into the combat space, capable of carrying armored vehicles, material and reinforcements to the boots on the ground.
I have to say that over the course of these pieces, I’m slowly developing an affection for all of the great equipment the USMC makes use of. The weapons and vehicles are all built around delivering the most punch as quickly as possible. That much of the hardware Marines make use of can be brought in via this behemoth is testament to that.
Trying to work my way through these images on a schedule that will help me along and motivate me. Originally I was going to work up S, but ran into some issues with creating a composition for the type of unit I had chosen, so instead I moved to this. After only a few quick sketches I had an image I liked and ran with it.
Kiowa Warrior helicopters are one of the less known pieces of equipment in the Army arsenal. Intended as a reconnaissance platform they are also pressed into many different attack roles which they are equally suited thanks to a variety of weapons that can be mounted to the pylons on either side.
They are quick, nimble and effective. And thankfully for the sake of this drawing, striking in profile thanks to that optics suite in the form of a ball above the rotors. I’d love to get a chance to ride in one someday. Any pilots out there want to hook a brother up?