Friday, June 12, 2015

Diana Ross

It's been a while since I posted something on here. Sorry about that. There were a few performers I wanted to paint since the last time I did a portrait for TGIF. Sadly, it just didn't work out. Some just slip through the cracks and sometimes stories get dropped. Some big regrets. But I was glad to do this one of Diana Ross.
Here's some details —

Here's the full cover —
See more on this story at

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Kawaii Kon 2014

I haven't posted in a while. Sorry about that. But here are two items going up for auction at Kawaii Kon this year. Hope you enjoy. The first was inspired by the anime "Kill La Kill" and the other by the animated short "Paperman."

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bill Cosby

Comedic influences when I was a kid: Robin Williams when he was doing stand-up, Eddie Murphy, and Bill Cosby. His stand-up, The Cosby Show—everything he did I loved. His show introduced me to Ray Charles. He even reminds me of my grandfather. I grew up with this man. I love this man. So why wouldn't I paint a cover when I had the opportunity to.

Here's a detail:

And here's the full cover:

This has to be my most favorite portrait so far. Very fun doing this.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Equal Marriage Rights and Bacon

Just supporting equal marriage rights and my love of bacon at the same time.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Kawaii Kon 2013

Every year, I participate in Kawaii Kon's art auction. I rarely sell my work during the rest of the year because, honestly, I don't like to. I'm too attached sometimes and other times, I think no one will like it. This year I had three pieces for sale, and all three have found happy (I hope) owners. The piece above, "Wheel in the Sky," sold for the most. It was my favorite of the three and is based on the video game, "Journey." (I hope you get the 80's music pun.)

"Adventure Time" is a show I got into because of my nieces. And guess what. They grew out of it. I didn't. I still love the strange, adult (sometimes dark) humor. No other show can pull off their main character liking faux meat meant to taste like humans. Kids are lost to it. Eccentric adults love it, like the one that bought this. It was the smallest of the bunch, but the one I had the most fun making.

I reviewed "Portal 2" for my newspaper's video game blog when it came out in 2011. Next to "Uncharted 3" it was my favorite game of that year. This one had two pieces to it that played off the game's concepts. The main character, Chell, was porting from one picture frame to another. This is the piece that got the creative train going on the rest of the other pieces. It was sold at silent auction and the last time I checked, it was going for more than I thought it would go for. In total, I made enough to renew my car's registration. One last thing to worry about.

I'm glad other people were so excited about these pieces that they went for what they did. I suppose I will never know what others will like until I put it out there.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hold These Truths

This is one of the few TGIF covers where text is the star. If I had it my way, it would have been black and with text and nothing else. You can see what I mean below.

It would have gone against the grain but I think I could have made it work. The Star-Advertiser has a policy where photos are king. But recently, this trend of text being the center of attention is hopefully something I can build on in the future (without getting a mouth full from people on the top floor.) Still, one of my favorite covers yet.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Return to Sender

Sometimes, when I'm cooking, I have way too much time on my hands.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Oscars: The Academy's Movie Masturbation Material

Why I think "Argo" will win the Oscar for Best Picture this year: It's a movie about a fake movie being shot in Iran. Explanation? The Academy loves themselves so much. And because they do, they reward movies about movies. If the subject of the film has an element about movies or acting or theatre (British spelling), it's gonna win.

Last year, "The Artist" won a ton because it's about silent movies. And it only beat out "Hugo"—also about movies—because only one could win and "The Artist" was the moviest movie of 2012. By the way, both films won 12 Oscars between them. Twelve!

The year before was "King's Speech," which is about a King who is taught to act like he can speak in public. Acting! "But it beat out 'Black Swan,' Joe." Shut up! That's ballet!

2010: "Hurt Locker." No movie-related nominees that year. Moving on.

2009-2003: No movie-related nominees, unless you count "Finding Neverland," but that movie was more about literature. And it sucked.

2002: "Chicago," a movie about actresses fighting for the spotlight beat out "The Pianist," a holocaust movie? What?

2001: "A Beautiful Mind" beat out "Moulin Rouge." Exception to my theory? No. It was a whorehouse, not a theatre.

2000: "Gladiator": Ancient theatre. "Are you not Entertained?"

1999: "American Beauty," where one of the characters thought the most beautiful thing in the world was a plastic bag floating in the wind that he filmed? The film clip of the floaty bag was one of the last things shown! COME ON! Movie masturbation. Though "American Beauty" was a great "mystery-of-life in a mystery" film, I think "The Green Mile" should have won that year. No Oscar ever for Frank Darabont.

1998: The most tragic Oscar Best Picture upset. "Shakespeare in Love" beating out "Saving Private Ryan." Yes, "Shakespeare in Love" was a great film. Great film. But "Saving Private Ryan" was the greatest war movie of all time! The first 20 minutes of the movie defined how cinema was to be filmed for the next decade! From 1998 and on, all you saw in movie action scenes was high-speed film running at normal, real-time speeds. Look at any war movie after 1998 and see the cinematic impact Steven Spielberg created. "Shakespeare in Love" was a romance comedy with Shakespeare in it. Man. Spielberg's best movie since "Schindler's List" losing to a romantic comedy directed by John Madden. No, not that John Madden. Director of "Captain Corelli's Mandolin." "Oh, THAT John Madden."

And I think, tragically, history will repeat itself and Spielberg's best movie since "Saving Private Ryan," "Lincoln," will loose to ANOTHER movie Ben Affleck is in, "Argo" (he played the legendary actor, "Ned" in "Shakespeare in Love." Huzzah!)

Like the kid filming the floaty bag in "American Beauty," the Academy Awards will talk about substance. But most of the time, they're waiting for a chance to film their next-door neighbor topless to stroke their own "ego" later. Pleeeeaaassee prove me wrong, the Academy.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Manti Te’o

Manti Te’o was nearly awarded the Heisman trophy. As a tribute, we ran an extensive profile in a special section by the Star-Advertiser Sports staff. They asked me to do a cover and this is what they got. Not very happy with the left side. Would have been remedied if I had more time to work on it. Though the same could be said about Notre Dame's offense. OH!

Here's a detail:

Sunday, December 16, 2012

On Guns and Teachers *Mature Language*

As a personal time stamp, this post is about the Newtown, CT shootings.

I don't remember his name and I don't plan to, because if I did, he fucking got what he wanted. And fuck him.

Ok, so maybe teachers should be armed, right? 

The mother of the Newtown killer was a teacher trained with a gun, yet she wasn't able to avoid being murdered. We don't know the whole story, yes. Still, the end result was 20 murdered children. Would they still be alive if she didn't own a weapon? Wouldn't the likelihood of school mass murders excel if guns were permitted on school grounds? If someone snaps, would pointing a gun calm them down? What if they didn't stop? Should we teach teachers how to educate children, then teach teachers the moral implications of when and if they should take someone's life?

Train them, sure. But what about those unfortunate moments when trained police officers have shot unarmed people? I've taken a gun training course. They train the safety of shooting. They don't train correct judgement or bad fucking luck.

So if teachers are trained to holy hell and they're allowed to carry a concealed weapon, whoever started a school massacre may be stopped, but they'd still shoot SOMEONE. After killing 6 people—including a kid—with one Glock, Jared Loughner was physically subdued by a number of people. They got the gun away from Loughner and pointed it at him. Someone came out of Safeway with a concealed weapon and pointed his gun too, but not at Loughner—at the guy who got it away from him. He didn't shoot him, thank God. Good fucking luck prevailed that time. But he still had a moment of bad judgement. It just didn't last long enough to turn into bad luck. Forcing and training teachers to wear guns will not prevent murders or clear our conscience of the wrong that has happened. It'll create more opportunities for bad luck. 

Should we have the right to own guns when we are obviously not privileged as a species? Right to bear unlimited/any type of arms? 


Limit it. Limit the shit out of it. One gun and/or hunting rifle per person. Then if you want one, earn it as a stable and sensible human being. And if you DO earn it, police the fuck out of that person—you should be watched. Wanting to own something made ONLY for killing is tantamount to wanting to own a fighter jet or a flame thrower. Oh, and fireworks are banned in my state. 

If your gun is stolen, you should go to jail depending on the precautions you took to store your human killing machine. If it was in a top-of-the line safe which they had to lift out, then fine—100 hours of community service. If they stole it from your desk drawer, then a couple months in a minimum security prison. Not fair? Fuck you. You want to own a killing machine, EARN IT. Earn the privilege to own something that can kill a human being. You want it, earn it.

I understand the sportsmanship of it, the thrill of holding something that could kill you—I own a motorcycle. Still, does a person need an assault rifle? In fact, what the hell is the mother of the baby killer doing with a Sig Sauer .223 semi-automatic rifle? I don't ride around on the world's fastest motorcycle. And there are speed limits. What's the limit on the type of gun or how many bullets one person can own? 

Ok, so you want a gun. You passed the strenuous mental examination and are trained in gun safety. You don't mind being watched forever. You have a gun vault to put it in. You've earned it. That'll be $10,000 for one handgun, $70,000 for a rifle. Yeah, it's that or a Porsche. Hey, it should cost a shit load for a killing machine.

What's so wrong with having guns sell for the price of a car? People will find ways to make what they want. 3D printing has allowed for the opportunity to print working firearms. But when it comes to over-the-counter guns, why should everyone suffer because someone doesn't want to? Will not being able to own a gun kill you?

"Violence begets violence"Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword."Jesus

"I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice." Abraham Lincoln

Note: You notice all who I have quoted above has been martyred. If my life is a wasted one, I pray you do not quote me. And let's hope, for my sake, that happens. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Jake Shimabukuro

There are certain local artists that I've been waiting on to do a portrait for TGIF. Certain factors have to line up to get an event or person on the cover. I got lucky in this case because Jake Shimabukuro is one of my favorite local musician. I was a fan of his first band, "Pure Heart," and being able to do this TGIF cover on his upcoming "Jake Shimabukuro and Friends" concert was a big honor.

Here's a detail:
And here's the final cover:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Myriad Joe

I love doing ambigrams. I also love the font, Myriad Pro. Why not combine the two? So I did with my name. It's a constant battle with myself and my ego. Conceded.

EDIT: Guess I should put my last name up here too. Different styled ambigram.

Friday, November 09, 2012


Anyone else look at a "w" and think "vampire teeth"?

The Nutcracker

Hawaii Ballet's "The Nutcracker" has a really great logo they've been using for a few years now. Designed by Wall-to-Wall Studios, it features a brilliant double image (, which is something I love doing. This was most evident in my TGIF cover for Phantom of the Opera, pictured below.

For "The Nutcracker" cover, I tried the same approach. I don't think it was as strong as the Phantom cover, but I think it was decent enough for a blog post.

Here's the final version with text. It feels more complete with a font on there:

I really think Wall-to-Wall Studios designs are far more superior. Sadly, I only had an hour or two to work on this decent cover. Trying for better next time.