Tag: poster

A Brief History of the Blues: Promotional Artwork

Last year, I mentioned that I’ve been working on my graphic design skills. My younger brother is a musician and I made a promotional poster for his holiday show last year. He has another show coming up at the end of May so I made another poster for him. The process was much smoother this time around and I learned lots of new techniques and shortcuts. If you’re a beginner Adobe CS-user, I strongly suggest watching tutorials on YouTube and then trying out things yourself. Watching videos helped me out a whole lot.


If you’re in the Roanoke area and you enjoy great music and food, then you should definitely come to the show. I guarantee you will be impressed and entertained! As always, thanks for reading :]

Gabriel’s Facebook Page
Gabriel’s Website
Event Page


From the Vault: RHCP Concert Poster

Fun fact about me: Red Hot Chili Peppers is one of my all time favorite bands and I’ve seen them in concert twice. Seeing them for the first time in 10th grade during their Stadium Arcadium Tour is mostly what got me hooked. It was my first big concert and I got to go thanks to my best friend and her parents. The experience was amazing and definitely in my top ten best, most unforgettable memories.

RHCP Concert Poster

So anyway, when I was taking an art class in high school (11th grade I think?), one of our assignments was to make some sort of concert poster using a layered cut paper technique. I chose to make a poster for the concert I went to. I actually really enjoyed the process of cutting each layer of paper, although I never used the technique again. Maybe I’ll try it again sometime.

RHCP (detail 2)

I was really happy with my final piece. I’m thinking I need to dig it up and stick it in a frame soon… Anyway, thanks for reading :] New artwork should be up tomorrow.


Superhero Posters

Captain America

Many of you may not know this, but I was an RA (resident advisor) for two years at JMU. In a nutshell, this means I was in charge of a group of freshmen in a residence hall and had to deal with roommate conflicts, policy violations, and a bunch of other things that come with freshman year. Another part of my job was creating and hosting programs for my residents. I was required to do (per semester) two community programs (to encourage bonding), one multicultural program, and one academic program. My last academic program took place during a theme week in our residence hall. Our theme was superheroes.


We always had to advertise our programs in some way, and for this particular program, I was feeling pretty ambitious. We had seven “halls” in our residence hall, so I decided to make seven posters, each with a different member of the Avengers. Just so you know, my program was about teamwork in an academic setting. See the connection?

The Hulk (program ad)Spiderman

For each poster, I took a 14″ x 17″ piece of bristol paper (my favorite paper) and lightly drew the portrait in pencil. I then painted the portraits with watercolor and outlined everything (plus added some shading and texture) with a sharpie and a fine point ink pen.

Iron Man (process)

So what became of these portraits? After all, they were among approximately 200 freshmen for several days. Well Iron Man was the only one who went missing. I also made the mistake of hanging Wolverine up above a water fountain and he ended up with water on his face (although I think it looks cooler this way). I sold Thor to my boss and gave Spiderman to my niece as a gift. The rest are still in my possession :] Thanks for reading!

Wolverine (before/after)Hawkeye


Graphic Design

As an artist living in a culture that relies heavily on technology, I’m realizing more and more that I need some graphic design skills. There is a need for graphic designers in so many fields whether they’re art-related or not. When I interviewed for the teaching job I have now, the man interviewing me said that computer arts skills are basically a requirement for being an art teacher today.

Ever since I was a student at JMU, I’ve been dabbling in graphic design. I took a computer graphics class as a sophomore (or maybe I was a junior…) and I was introduced–key word introduced–to Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and In-Design. I learned a ton of information, so much that I forgot most of it after a few months because I didn’t use the programs anymore.

In the past year however, I’ve been getting those skills back and then some. My younger brother, a talented musician, has kept himself very busy with his music and is working on an album release and some shows here in Roanoke. I designed his album cover (hopefully I get to share that with you guys soon) and I just designed my first promotional poster for him:


I’ve used Photoshop and Illustrator for both of these projects and the trial and error process is basically how I’m coming to understand them better. It’s a slow process, but the results are rewarding. You can expect some more graphic design projects in the future! Thanks for reading :]


I’m Feeling…



I’ve been thinking a lot about the direction of my current body of work. Even though I’ve known this for a while (thanks to my dad), I feel like right now I really need to complete at least one painting every week. That is the only way that I can discover new ways of expressing my thoughts and feelings about diabetes and decide which methods are the most effective for both myself and my audience.

To remind me of this, I recently bought an inspirational poster designed by Nikki Hampson with this Ira Glass quote on it:



“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners. I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good. It has potential. But it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions.”

I really love that quote. When I was student teaching earlier this year, my high school cooperating teacher showed it to me and I never forgot about it. I found the poster here :]

There’s a lot going on right now, especially with the holidays coming up, so it will be a challenge to finish at least one painting a week, but I think I can do it. Wish me luck!