In Memory of Jeff Hanneman: The Girl in the Slayer Vest

The Girl in the Slayer Vest

In 2002, I was in my Senior Year of High School. I was only 17, and still getting into metal. At this point, I had already gone to my first metal show (Megadeth, October 2001), and I was trying to find more bands to get into. At this point, I had gone from Aerosmith and Hair Metal to Metallica to Megadeth. I wasn’t into Anthrax just yet, and Korn and the rest of Nu-Metal didn’t really interest me much. So what could fill the void?

Enter Tower Records and their recommendation for the top essential metal albums. In it, they listed the three best Slayer albums, and the list help up incredibly true. I had never listened to Slayer, and I got my first taste with “South of Heaven”. By graduation, I owned most of their discography.

When I think of my art, there are a lot of bands that help inspire me and drive me to draw. Slayer are in the Top 5 of bands that contributed to me directly doing art.

Did Slayer make to want to do things? HELL YEAH! It drove me to create, it drove me to draw, it drove me to go skateboarding, and it drove me to want to do amazing stuff with my life!

When I lost my mom, there were a few songs and albums that helped me get through it, and I can’t tell you how much the song “Disciple” helped. It drove me to create the best art I could, and helped me scream and understand how I felt.

Whenever I wear my Slayer shirt, I feel strong and determined. It isn’t because I’m supporting a band, the music, or the scene; its because this band helps to give me the confidence to believe in myself.

And if I learned anything the last 2 days, its this: Metal heads don’t cry, we just listen to Slayer and tough it out.

Jeff Hanneman, rest in peace!

Creative 365: The Best of April

The Creative 365 project is me doing everything I can to do something amazing and creative every single day for a year! Every month, I plan on posting the best pieces from it for you here!

April was a month of incredible highs and lows. Not a lot of illustrations, but with the events in Boston it gave me a chance to do something to try and help some folks in Boston.

Procrastination is the Enemy of Creativity

It Feels like I'm Suffocating

It Might have Been

Boston Strong

We Got Him!

The Gate

Creature

Album Cover idea

Creative 365: The Best of March

The Creative 365 project is me doing everything I can to do something amazing and creative every single day for a year! Every month, I plan on posting the best pieces from it for you here!

This month I saw my work grow and expand more than I thought. There wasn’t as much illustration as I would have liked, but the graphic design and photography I did are among some of my best! There were a lot of bad days, but the work doesn’t reflect it. In fact, in a lot of cases, it overcame them.

If there is one lesson to be learned, it’s this: Drawn even when you hate it, design even if you wish you didn’t have to, and capture every moment you can.

Alone

Wasted Youth 2013

Concentrate on the

Life Won't Wait

Love Who You Love

Another Night at the Hard Rock

City Hall - North Entrance

Philadelphia on a Cold Saturday Night

No President can be Judge, Jury, and Executioner!

You are a Commodity

Airheads - Movie Poster

How I Met Lamb of God

http://th02.deviantart.net/fs71/PRE/i/2012/025/7/6/lamb_of_god_2012_poster___holy_mother_by_luvataciousskull-d4nlzb3.png

The piece you see is one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever created. In 2012, I heard Lamb of God, easily one of my favorite bands of all time, was coming to Philadelphia and were going to have a Meet-and-Greet before the show. I decided that since I couldn’t make it to the show I would at least get Lamb of God to sign something for me, so after some thought, I decided to just go ahead and do a gig poster JUST for them. Literally! I only made 3 copies: Two for me and one for them. The plan was to get two small ones, give them one, and one large version to get signed that I could put up on my wall.

The tale of the piece itself is something else: I had the idea for years but never knew how to pull it off, until it finally clicked. But this isn’t about that, so you can read the history here.

When I arrived at the FYE at Broad and Chestnut, I had run over from work which was just down the street, just 7 blocks away, and I was near the end of the line. I spoke to other awesome fans, met an awesome rep from Sony who took my photo with the poster, and I was getting really excited! Finally, the moment arrived and I got to meet the band, and, despite how many times I’ve met or worked with famous people or someone I admire, I still was starstruck! I wound up barely talking and just having a giant grin on my face! The band was incredibly nice, and they signed the new album, “Resolution”, for me along with the posters. They were all really thrilled with it and like it!

That’s when I got to Randy Blythe, the front man for Lamb of God. He always stood tall to me… partly because he’s a good foot taller than me, but also because he has one hell of a voice! His personality shone through, and he loved the poster! He wound up taking a photo of it and putting it on his Twitter feed! Randy then turned to me and asked, “Hey, are you going to the show tonight?” “No, I can’t, I don’t have a ticket, but I really hope you have a great show tonight!” That’s when he turned to someone and handed me a piece of cloth. “Enjoy the show tonight, man, you earned it!” It was a pass to the show! I could hardly believe it!

I wound up walking down the stairs from the meet-and-greet and out the door with a giant grin on my face! I couldn’t believe it! Not only did I get to meet one of my favorite bands, not only did they like my work, but I just got a free ticket to the show right from them! It was surreal, and like I could hear people calling my name. And they were. “LARRY!” I turned around, all the guys in Lamb of God were yelling my name… because I left my CD up there.

I mentioned at least once how awesome it would be to actually get to do some design work for them, and who knows, maybe it’ll come true soon.

Creative 365: The Best of February

The Creative 365 project is me doing everything I can to do something amazing and creative every single day for a year! Every month, I plan on posting the best pieces from it for you here!

This month was a rough one. I wound up going through a few things, and near the end I was able to start coming up with some amazing illustrations!

Metal Heart

KMFDM 2013 Gig Poster

Hula Girl

This is Spinal Tap Movie Poster

Boring Music for Boring People

Bad Devil

Shattered!!!

Metal Heart

Wednesday 13 – Curse The Living T-Shirt

Wednesday 13 - Curse The Living T-Shirt

Sometimes, dreams DO come true.

Back in October of 2011, I saw Wednesday 13 was going to play The Troc here in Philadelphia, and I decided to take the initiative to do a gig poster for the show. The show was packed and I had one hell of a good time! Wednesday 13 saw the piece and I wound up printing him out a copy with my contact info.

Fast forward to December of 2012.

I got a message from his management and, long story short, I got commissioned to do a shirt for him! He had a specific idea, and even sent me an original sketch of what layout he wanted. I kept my art incredibly true to it, and I’m glad to hear that he liked the piece, too!

The design is based on Vincent Price’s character Matthew Hopkins in the 1968 film “Witchfinder General”. I actually never got to hear the song, “Curse The Living”, before I drew it, and I’m still dying to get my hands on the new album “The Dixie Dead” so I can. That said, I wound up listening to all his solo work while working on it.

In the end, I’m incredibly proud of this shirt and I had a great time doing it! This was a dream come true, and hopefully I’ll get to work for more people I look up to and admire!

The shirt is being sold on his 2013 West Coast tour, and hopefully will be available for a long, long, long time!

Artwork on the shirt (C) 2013 Wednesday 13, LLC, all rights reserved.

PESTILENCE – Lamb of God / In Flames – 2012 Poster

PESTILENCE - Lamb of God / In Flames - 2012 Poster

PESTILENCE – The First of the Four Sisters of the Apocalypse


Gig poster for Lamb of God and In Flames for their show at The Electric Factory on November 24th in Philadelphia. This is the first in a series of 4 posters. Check out the piece on DeviantArt!

Bride of the Stripping Dead!

Bride of the Stripping Dead Poster
The Admiral Theater in Chicago, IL contacted me about doing a poster for their event, “Bride of the Stripping Dead.” It was a ton of fun to do and the scope was pretty simple: Do a poster of The Bride of the Frankenstein as a stripped with a ton of attitude! I wanted to keep the look of terror everyone was familiar with, but I also wanted to do something kinda nuts.
Over the course of a few weeks, I created a teaser billboard, flyers, posters, newspaper ads, and a T-shirt for their annual Halloween stripping / burlesque event. The billboard was an instant success, resulting in new coverage and a ton of hits on their site! The poster and shirts sold well, and the event was an instant success!

Bride of the Stripping Dead - Long form Poster

Bride of the Stripping Dead Billboard

Bride of the Stripping Dead Shirt Design

MAYHEM – 2011 Gig Poster – The Mouth of Madness!

I wanted to do something COMPLETELY different as a gig poster than I had ever done before, and since Mayhem has always had an aura of terror and mysticism about them (anyone who knows Norwegian black metal will tell you that!), and I wanted to capture the feeling I got from them when I listen to “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”, specifically the title track.

MAYHEM will be playing The Trocadero November 4th at 7PM!

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The idea of the monster was that it was this… thing. I didn’t want it to be anything, actually, just this weird otherworldly creature. Its a mix of Chtulu and the monster from Watchmen, with a bit of my own weirdness mixed in.

One thing I loved about doing this piece was the fact that it reminded me of how I worked back in High School; sitting at my desk at night drawing the most Satanic and terrifying things I could imagine!

I did do the type separately in this case, and I drew it by hand and scanned it back in. Getting the tentacles to wrap was something I wanted, but I also wanted everything behind it, too.

Other than the way the entire typography was handled on this poster, the other big change is the way I showed the main band name; I decided to let it bleed off the page. I knew it was easy enough to read that passing by you would go, “Oh fuck, MAYHEM is in town? I need to go! NOW!”

Wednesday 13 – The Bride of Frankenstein!

Check out the piece on DeviantArt!

When I heard Wednesday 13 was coming to town, I knew I HAD to do a gig poster for it! He’s one of my favorite musicians, and his mix of horror, punk, and metal is just awesome! He has a sense of humor to his music that gives it a large amount of appeal, and his later work has taken on a more sinister tone that has given it a different life!

I wanted to do something that was a mix of classic horror fun and great illustration. I knew I wanted to do one of the “classic” horror movie monsters, you know, the Universal Studios monsters, and I knew I wanted to do them as women. I wound up going with The Bride of Frankenstein, which also happens to be one of my favorite songs written by Wednesday 13!

I decided to do this as fast as possible because I wanted to capture a mix of the old-style movie posters and the grindhouse ideal as well which were both heavily present in his music. I’m pretty happy with the end result!

WEDNESDAY 13 will be playing The Trocadero October 30th at 7PM!

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Art-wise, this thing was insane! I had wanted to do it since August, but I never had a solid idea. With less than a week before the show, I knew I wanted to do something, so I came up with an idea Monday and Tuesday after I got home from work I went ahead and tried to do it full-tilt!

I wound up laying out everything twice, the second time just ignoring any of the rules I knew and having fun with it! That wound up being exactly what I needed, and I think there’s a good feel to the illustration that makes it come alive! I also did a live-blogging of it while working on it.

The hardest part, just like all of my posters, isn’t the illustration itself, it’s designing the actual poster. I got to it around 11:30AM and thought it would only be 30 minutes. How wrong I was! The design was the single hardest part of this piece!

I wound up using a bunch of grunge textures on it because I definitely wanted the piece to look a little old, but at the same time I wanted to make sure the colors still popped.

More than anything, though, I’ve wanted to do a great Bride of Frankenstein drawing for about 3 years now. I never really tried until I had an idea I loved, and I hope you enjoy it! She’ll be used in another piece soon!