Archive for July, 2009

Turtle Torino

An old friend of mine, which is an understatement considering we go back 20 years, emailed me this afternoon requesting a black and white illustration commission of a turtle smoking a cigarette. He needed a decal for his car that was similar in style to a friend of his whom uses a monkey.

His description of what he needed simply stated, “Can you draw me a cartoonie turtle smoking a cigarette.  He needs to be kind of rugged and standing up right.” He also attached an image of the one his buddy has as a reference for the style.

I could think of no more a rugged looking character than that of Clint Eastwood from his latest film, Gran Torino. I present to you all, Turtle Torino.


Turtle Torino


Where are they now?

How’s it going? Man, I would first like to start out by apologizing for a lack of updates. We both have been really busy lately with school and work. I promise though that we will have some cool stuff coming your way in the near future. With that being said, I would like to go ahead and tell you that this post is more of an update. It’s a “where are they now?” kind of thing. A few months ago I made a bunch of ridiculous looking t-shirts with my face, which soon came to be called the Nick V shirt. Surprisingly, I ran out of shirts pretty quick. One was even sent as far away as England, and another to Philadelphia. Some of the lucky shirt owners were kind enough to send me some pics of them wearing their shirt.


This was the shirt I sent to England. I sent it to a graphic designer named Marie Campbell. (note: this is her daughter, not Marie)


This the shirt  I sent to my friend Kyle, who plays in a band called The Tell Tale Heart here in Jacksonville.


This is my friend Randy Vale who lives up in PA. He went out on a road trip this summer and brought the shirt along with him.


So like I said early, we apologize for the lack of updates but we are getting on it. Thanks to everyone who checks out the blog, we really appreciate it.


may the force be with you
-nick v.

Pacman Busting on the Scene

For some reason, I imagine that Pacman is this big thing roaming the halls of some dark ghost infested series of hallways busting all the light blubs, given his size, as he makes his way around. The ghosts are just looking, trying to find out who is breaking them all—Complete home invasion. A giant Pacman would be far more terrifying than a ghost with no arms or legs.


Pacman—A Closer Look
Ink, Digitally colored


What’s this?

Everyone gets bored sometime. Especially when your sitting in class listening to a lecture for 2 or more hours. So usually what I do is pull out my little sketchbook and draw in it while listening to the lecture. I actually use it a lot. So for this post I figured I would put up some of the pages from my sketchbook. 

-nick v.





Unfulfilled at Work

For when there is that longing at that office job, that we have all had one time or another, that there is something better suited one would rather be doing.

—Jim Ward

Unfulfilled at Work
Ink, Digital

Unfulfilled at Work


I just want to start out by saying it feels good to be home. A whole week without communication to the world was enough for me. The trip overall was fun though. Got to see a lot of relatives that I haven’t seen in about 6 years. Well anyways I wanted to take this post and show some interesting things I saw on my trip.

-nick v.







Process: Wolf Man Dan Handmade to Digital

Kicking off the month of July, shortly before making my way to Atlanta for 311 live on the 4th of July, I wanted to put out another “Process” post—the first being Sophisticated Jazz Monkey a few posts back. This time around is a little bit different. Where before I took something and worked digitally early on in the process, this time digital it the final process and the more traditional approach is the workup.


The final composition is one of the advantages to creating illustrated characters digitally: one can take different aspects, make adjustments, and change overall scale for a number of different applications.


The fully digital recreation was done using Adobe Illustrator CS3 with different layers making up the character, the clothes, and the color. Notice that the final digital version has had some tweaks and adjustments compared to the original drawing—the main benefit of this process. Characters such as this seem to work stronger in a clean digital format.


Going from the original to the digital, I first used a transparent overlay to trace out the line work I would need to then scan and trace over with the pen tool. Doing this gave complete control of line weight, depth, etc. where using a default stroke does not.


Here again is the original/starting point for this process post.

Thank you all for coming by and checking out the blog. Feel free to pass it along whenever you see something that you like, and we leave it open for anyone to comment as well. If anyone has any suggestions, questions, or ideas we could use to make our projects better please drop us a line at our email address or hit us up on Twitter and Facebook.

Have a great 4th everyone,


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