What I'm working on...

Last week I had finished the year-long apprenticeship at Ugly Duckling Presse. It was a good year. I have received lots of supports and mentorship. I’m leaving the studio with gratitude and sentiments. Although the program is over, I still volunteered to come to the studio to finish some works. One of them is the cover design of an upcoming book by the Russian leading writer Dmitri Alexandrovich Prigov—Soviet Texts.

Below is the teaser of what the book cover might look like in the end. We’re sending the translator for approval. We shall see this book come through pretty soon.

The other leftover project was printing some mailing stickers for Ugly Duckling Presse. The design was fun, and the letterpress printing was exciting! I’m thrilled that I kept learning something new towards the end.

Other than wrapping up my works at the studio, I was doing job-hunting and promoting my motorcycle graphic T. Last week my friend and I went to a photoshoot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with street art and I’m quite happy with the outcome.

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If you like one of those shirts, you can order them at https://society6.com/jamieillustration

And don’t forget to subscribe to my monthly e-newsletter at https://jamiespenandink.squarespace.com/subscribe

Urban Sketching in Taipei

Hello everybody! Happy Lunar New Year! I finally came back from my trip to Taiwan last week, and I did not miss any coldness in NY! I hope you all survived from the freezing air.
It’s good to reconnect with my family and friends after a year and a half and do some urban sketching here and there, so I would like to share some of them with you today!

Toast Chat Cafe

A cafe across my house with cats walking around in there. It had become one of my usual spots in Taipei when I go back. I tend to avoid going there on weekends for the crowds of cat lovers, but on weekdays it’s a quiet place to do your own work.

Loving Hut

This is a quick sketch of a couple I did while waiting for my friend at Loving Hut, a whole vegetarian restaurant.

Eslite Cafe

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Eslite Cafe is located inside of Eslite bookstore, which is like a Taiwanese version of Barnes and Noble but even better! I’m often amazed by the art designs and stationary over there. What’s the best is the Dunnan location is 24-hour. If you’re a sleepless artist, Eslite bookstore is your savior.

Metro Cafe

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I stumbled into Metro Cafe while waiting for a friend at Taipei Main Station. Their sandwich is pretty good. The bread is softer unlike baguette sandwich which hurts inside of my upper mouth.

The trip had reconfirmed my praise to Taiwan —the great customer service, the high-efficiency at government bureaus and the convenience in transportation. It’s no cliché by seeing different worlds, you’d appreciate more of what you have.

In The Make of "More Than A Starter Bike"

Happy New Year everyone! This is the last piece from 2018 that I’d like to share with you –my “More Than A Starter Bike” illustration.

This is the final piece of my motorcycle shirt series. With the generous help from my peers, I’m glad I finally put it together. Now let’s see how it changed 360º from the initial sketch!

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As you see, the preliminary sketch is pretty centered, perhaps stiff. It would look fine on a t-shirt, but if I want to stand out from the crowd, I knew I needed to push the envelope.

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So from there, I did quite a drastic change. I moved the image to the center and put the texts on two sides, but then the image hindered the flow of the text. I was stuck again.
At this point, my classmate Jacinda suggested, “Why don’t you put the type on top of the image and arrange it in an arch shape because the motorcycle looks like it’s coming out of a tunnel?” BINGO! She gave me such a genius but also obvious idea that sometimes an insider couldn’t see. So there I went making my second change.

I used the reference from the app Skelly and my own motorcycle.

I did the line work traditionally then scanned it into Photoshop for coloring.

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And here you go! As usual I did a black and white version. As a “beginner’s bike” rider, sometimes I feel like motorcyclists have a misconception of '“the bigger the better.” I feel otherwise, a smaller bike can make your ride a breeze in a dense city such as NY, and it definitely handles the traffic better than bigger bikes which often times overheat. Every bike is built for a specific purpose, and I believe Suzuki TU250X is “more than a starter bike.”

Motorcycle Movie Poster Design

Hello y’all! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving (if you’re not tired of hearing it yet.) This week I’d like to share few of my sketches of movie poster designs about motorcycles. I watched Easy Rider and The Wild One specifically for this assignment.
SPOILER ALERT! I’ll mention the plots of the movies below so scroll down at your own risk, lol.

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Reference from the motorcycle that Peter Fonda rides in the movie. I simply let the shape of the handle bars dominate the layout and lead the viewers’ eyes.

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The alternative idea is inspired by the ending of the movie when one of the riders Billy, played by Dennis Hopper who’s also the screen writer of this one, got shot by a rifle. With the expectation of a typical American road trip movie, the ending of Easy Rider shocked me. It turns out, Easy Rider isn’t easy at all…So I have this image in mind, I want the viewers to wonder where the rider is while Billy’s cowboy hat blowing in the wind…indicating his death.

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The second movie is Marlon Brando’s The Wild One. Riding his own motorcycle on set and with the wardrobe of his own, Marlon Brando certainly created a fashion icon of the 60s which still remains classic today. So instead of depicting him, I let this classic look stand alone by itself.

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I’m intrigued by Marlon’s performance in the movie. Although I’m always distracted by his voice, I like how he added little details to the characters to enrich its life. Remember his character Johnny always likes to dangle the stolen trophy from his hand? I like this setting because it makes Johnny feel more boyish. Instead of holding the trophy firmly, this dangling gesture indicates Johnny’s personality and his mental status.

Have you seen the movies I introduced today? Let me know what you think!

"To The End of The World" is now available!

Hello everyone! Now you can shop To The End of The World products on Society6 now! You can also check out my complete product line at here. Below you can have a peek at some of the merchandise. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

In the Make of "To The End of The World"

Hi everybody! Hope you all had a fun Halloween(or not, like me, working as usual.) This week I am proudly presenting the second of my motorcycle graphic t-shirt series – To The End of The World. The idea is to express the freedom and unbounded journey a motorcycle can provide you. I believe that’s the one of the charms many of us fall in love with motorcycles. Sometimes you just want to get away from your daily routines for an hour or two, to the suburbs, to the rural roads, and come back to it with a refreshing mind. That’s the feeling I want to demonstrate here.

This is my initial sketch. I used my own motorcycle for reference.

This is my initial sketch. I used my own motorcycle for reference.

Here’s one of my reference shots. It’s a Suzuki TU250X.

Here’s one of my reference shots. It’s a Suzuki TU250X.

After seeing my initial sketch, my professor suggested to add a skeleton to it to tie the series together.

So I used the reference from Skelly, the app I mentioned last time.

So I used the reference from Skelly, the app I mentioned last time.

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As usual, I did a black and white version. After adding the skeleton, I simplified the reflections in the mirrors and added a road of triangle shape to put the scenario more in place.
The t-shirts will be available in the next couple of weeks!

"V-Twin Engine at Heart" is available now!

Happy Halloween folks! In the month of spooky decorations and flying skeletons, my V-Twin Engine at Heart t-shirts are available on Society6 now! You can also check out my complete product line at here. Below you can have a peek at what I have. I encourage you to subscribe to Society6 since they have discounts very often.

ChalkFIT

In the mid Fall while everyone’s busy picking pumpkins, the senior Illustration students had begun the annual mural paintings outside of Fashion Institute of Technology. Our professor, Dan Shefelman, is the founder of this fun event few years ago. With the background of political science, I find Dan has some interesting angles to approach art. Plus this year we’re doing augmented reality for our finished painting.


The theme for this year is – The Future is ... The Human Experience. Below are my initial black and white sketches.

The robot dating app on the left is the silly side of me. I always like to create something highly relatable to everybody. Don’t try to deny, I know you’ve used some of dating app like Tinder before (or still now). Although the robots may not need to date other robots in the future, maybe we do?
As for the sketch on the right, I envision future humans would be living under the water with the rise of sea level.

Then here are the color sketches. I decided to go with the robot dating app in the end.

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Once refined the sketch, I began my mural painting.

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You see our idea is pretty fantastic right?

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And don’t worry, we did not vandalize your city building. The medium is pastel so it’s totally power-washable. For most of us, this is our first time doing large painting on limestone or concrete in public. It’s a positive experience.

Finally it’s my short animation for augmented reality. To enable this feature while viewing the art work, the audience download the app Arilyn. Scan the art work and the animation will play on your phone. I strongly recommend you to try this feature when you stop by Fashion Institute of Technology as you can see different dimension of the works.
The mural paintings are on the side of 7th ave and between 27th and 28th st. We are not sure if it’ll be kept till the end of December so I suggest to come check it out asap.
Hope you enjoy this post and Happy Fall!



In the Make of "V-Twin Engine At Heart"

Hi everybody! Remember my last post about motorcycle graphic t-shirt designs? Well here I am proudly presenting the finished works! This is the first of the three series. I enjoyed the process of this self-generated project, from researching, brainstorming, sketching to the final execution. I wanted to do this because motorcycle-riding is a new hobby I acquired this summer and I like how simple and straightforward t-shirt design is. So voilà, you got the combination.

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This is the initial sketch that you saw around a month ago. Unlike the usual start of most of my works, which is from doodling and some daydreaming. This art actually started with the text “v-twin engine at heart” first. This quote just came to my mind one day then I began to think what illustration could go with it.

Color comp

Color comp

For this design, I decided to go for a retro direction. There’s a lot of images of skeletons in the motorcycle graphic tee’s market, but most of them appear very scary or intimidating to my taste, I like to incorporate skeletons in my drawings because I don’t have to worry about the gender and racial appearance of the figure. It also matches my philosophy.
So after my professor approved the initial sketch, I did a rough color sketch, the one you see above.

Details of the engine

Details of the engine

The engine in my initial sketch is oversized and it feels like a stuck-on to the skeleton, so I found a picture of an engine that looks more like a heart shape, and I warped it in Photoshop.
As for the reference of the skeleton, thanks to my friend Mark, who recommended me an app called Skelly, it has 3-D skeleton and human anatomy which you can turn to almost every angle to get the most accurate perspective of human figure.


And finally! Here are the outcomes. I designed two versions for printing on black and white t-shirt. You also might have noticed that I made the tubes from the engine connected to the skeleton so they feel more like one-piece now.
The t-shirts will be available soon so stay tuned. I hope you enjoy the walk-through of my work in process today.

Sketches from the Motorcycle T-shirts Design

Hello everyone! Hope you had a good weekend and happy Rosh Hashana! 

This week's post is to show five black-and-white sketches for one of my current school projects. I decided to do a series of graphic motorcycle shirts. I try to do something more unique and different from what I see in the current market, which the image is still and the idea is old. I try to revive some of the images I saw and add some fun and humor to it. Some of you might see this already on my social media, now you can see it all in one page and know my thoughts behind the design.

The first idea that came into my mind. My friend suggested to put the engine in between the skeleton's ribs to make it feel more like a heart.

The first idea that came into my mind. My friend suggested to put the engine in between the skeleton's ribs to make it feel more like a heart.

The reference is my own bike, a Suzuki TU250X. I love riding it to Long Island for a daily hiking trip. The landscape in the left mirror is Montauk lighthouse and on the right is Breakneck Ridge in Cold Spring.

The reference is my own bike, a Suzuki TU250X. I love riding it to Long Island for a daily hiking trip. The landscape in the left mirror is Montauk lighthouse and on the right is Breakneck Ridge in Cold Spring.

The idea came from my own personal experience. I often hear people say this to me when I introduce my bike. Their thought on smaller bikes is, "they're great for starters." That I agree, but I also want to justify for small bikes, they also can do what many big bikes can't do, which is moving through small spaces. Small bikes are a blast in dense city like NYC.

The idea came from my own personal experience. I often hear people say this to me when I introduce my bike. Their thought on smaller bikes is, "they're great for starters." That I agree, but I also want to justify for small bikes, they also can do what many big bikes can't do, which is moving through small spaces. Small bikes are a blast in dense city like NYC.

In this design, I want to emphasize the fun adventure a motorcycle can bring.

In this design, I want to emphasize the fun adventure a motorcycle can bring.

Last one features a female rider cruising on the road under the sunset.

Last one features a female rider cruising on the road under the sunset.

I hope you enjoy today's series. If you ever question, "Why skeletons, Jamie?" It's because a while ago I started liking the idea of blurring the lines between sexualities and ethnicities. I don't have to worry about how to depict the character when drawing the skeletons because underneath we're all the same, right?