Friday, December 17, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Those Sharpies keep inspiring me! If I were to build a city, this is what it would look like. -m

Thursday, December 9, 2010

sharpie sketch

I got these new fine Sharpie markers. They come in really nice colors. Now I bring them with me to every meeting :) -m

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Passage of Time

I knew for my next creation I wanted to push what I do. Collaging with clip art alone was starting to feel a bit limiting. When I created our website, I experimented with photo collage. I was instantly hooked! The process is the same; with clip art it's scanning.. with photos, it's shooting. Being these images all live on the computer, the crossover was easy, and photos have much more life to them.

I thought bringing my tattoo to life would be a nice in-the-moment challenge, and I already had a *concept and blueprint to work with. The gathering process was the fun part, as I felt like I was on a scavenger hunt with printout in hand trying to photograph all of the elements it required. I've been to the zoo, museum, antique malls, downtown, the library, and around the house to make this happen. The effort, though demanding at times, made it all the more rewarding upon completion. -C

*see original tattoo drawing previously posted.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Metamorphosis 2010: Art For Kyrie

Local artist Tuesday Schmidt asked if we'd want to participate in a silent art auction to benefit the Kyrie Foundation raising research funds to fight pediatric brain cancer. We're honored to be part of this exciting event and glad to support a good cause. Above are the two pieces we're contributing. A simple white frame felt fitting for Mirna's 'Stormy' piece. I lit the 'Refugees' frame on fire around the burning mountainside. The quality prints are provided by Tip Top Gallery. For all the event details, check out the poster. -C

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Enchanted Forest

This is a piece for an upcoming show in February. All submissions will be reviewed by a jury and select pieces will make it to the final gallery show. More details to come!

Monday, November 1, 2010


I made Al's Halloween costume this year! -m

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tip Top Gallery

Both Mirna and I were recently approached to be part of an online art gallery, called Tip Top Gallery, that offers limited edition archival pigment prints of photography and illustration in various sizes. After seeing how simple it works and hearing some of the other talented artists that were going to be involved, we gladly agreed. The site is now live, and will continue to be updated, so check back often. We will be linking this to our twoheadedbeast website soon to bridge the two and make buying prints from us even easier. Thank you Tip Top for the opportunity. -C

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Abandoned Places

Just wanted to share a link from '' of this fascinating collection of modern day ruins. !!! Love !!! -C

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Giant Creepy Cat

To all you cat lovers out there, this is for you. -C

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

quick monster study

Another Halloween inspired Photoshop sketch -m

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Poor Stiffs

I recently went to photograph animals at the zoo for my next piece, and was quickly reminded that the suppressed behavior of caged animals left them either pacing, asleep, or absent all together. So I took what I could and headed to taxidermy heaven, aka Cabela's. I left thinking one man's retail paradise is another man's good laugh. Who'd have thought the Big Bad Wolf would be reduced to a men's shoes model. -C

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Saw this gem-stop en route to a camping trip. Wow. -C

Thursday, September 30, 2010

lunch box notes

Here are some samples of my daily morning sketches that I put in Alex's lunch box. He's a great kid and has always appreciated them (that's what keeps me going every morning...) I've been doing this for a couple of years now, so it's become a habit. And as habits go, I don't think much of them and don't expect him to either. However, he made my day recently when he said that he and his friends always wonder what the drawing of the day just might be. Knowing that he and his buddies are excited to see them just makes me melt... Aaahhh, I'm so lucky. -m

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

sunny side up

Just a quick sketch from a few days ago. -m

Monday, September 20, 2010

the Shake Shack on Santa Fe

Our neighbors recently opened up a little restaurant called the Shake Shack on Santa Fe in old downtown OP, and asked if we could help them out with signage. The idea here is simple; serve up good old fashioned burgers and shakes, with an emphasis on being local, organic, and sustainable. A simple hand-done, nostalgic solution felt fitting. -m

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I recently had the great pleasure of working with an old friend from college, Mr. Michael Marsicano, on the album artwork and design for the band Gilgongo. He flew out to KC to brainstorm old school, face to face. The idea we ran with is to have this spider vixen on the cover with an expression leaving you to assume she's awaiting her next victim. Opening to the inside reveals a guy actually wrapping himself up in her web, victimizing himself.. a theme found within. We wanted the colors to support the overall melancholy vibe. The grey on the disc shown above is faked in to represent the raw disc, which slips out of the inside right panel. He illustrated the exquisite figurative work, I worked all of the supporting elements, layout, and lettering. -C

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Greaserama II


This Labor Day we met up with friends to check out Kansas City's 9th annual Greaserama car show. From rusty grime, to pristine perfection, this custom car and bike collective left me wishing I had more time on my hands, a bigger garage, and an old car to play with. Set in an old drive in theatre, there was cheap beer, big hair, and a steady stream of live surf punk/rockabilly music. Though regrettably we didn't stay, at night they were playing a double feature of Grindhouse and Sin City. Finding inspiration in unexpected places is refreshing. -C

Monday, August 30, 2010


Our friends Emily and Sergio recently had a baby shower. As one of their gifts a couple of girls and I designed different iron transfers for the onesies. Knowing that Emily and Sergio always have been big Frida Kahlo fans, I decided that their baby must be a fan as well :) -m

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Šimo Ešić

Recently I was lucky enough to go back to Bosnia for a very short but sweet visit. Besides visiting family and friends, I also met someone who I greatly admire. Šimo Ešić is a children's book author whose books I read as a kid. He now owns his own publishing company and has done some very nice work indeed. Meeting him was very cool for me. I think I could have spent hours talking with him about children's books. The best part of it all is that he asked me to illustrate one of his books! I am super excited about it, and have already started in between finishing some other projects.

Of course, I can't show any of my progress until it's completed (and yes, it'll be a while since it's a 60 page book) ,but here is one example of his books- my favorite children's book right now. It's a "baby's firsts" book, and doesn't look like the typical pastel colored BORING baby book we're so used to. It was illustrated by Ljiljana Manzalovic i Mihailo Pisanjuk. I absolutely love their retro style and Šimo's writing is very fun,clever and still sophisticated.

The cover

This is a page for the baby's vaccines. Given the theme, this could not be more adorable.

This is a page for baby's first photo. I LOVE the camera illustration!

Interestingly enough there is a 'happy event' and 'sad event' page in this book. One of my favorite illustrations. Really a great solution for the situation.

Last but not least, the end pages with the little "bird-notes" :)

Monday, August 16, 2010


One of many reasons why I love working for Hallmark is that it truly feels like an extension of my art education. I still feel like a student. We're offered many amazing lectures, workshops, research days, and every so often (used to be much more common in the pre-sucky-economy-days) we get to go on a trip. A few months ago a friend of mine and I were asked if we wanted to attend the ICON6 conference in L.A. this July. Who would say no to that? This was my first time at ICON. We had a great time, saw many many lectures, and met some amazing artists and art directors. Since this was mainly a group of freelance artists, there were a few topics that seemed to come up time and time again:

illustration vs. animation
contract lingo
getting paid for what you do

It was evident very early on that a lot of clients now a days expect illustrators to have animation skills. This started a debate whether illustrators should expand their skill sets, or continue to illustrate while animators did the animation. In the end, Jesus de Francisco from Motion Theory said it best: Use whatever tool you personally like to tell a story in the best possible way. All movies start with drawings. I agree with him. No one should learn a skill set just because. If animation interests you, now is the perfect time to explore it. If not, there are many other ways to tell a story.

Discussions about contracts were very interesting to me. After hearing many examples and personal stories, I realized that everyone gets to hear the "Well, you're the first illustrator that has a problem with this part of the contract..." from at least one client. I have to say that after this conference I feel much more confident about pricing my work and asking for what I need in a contract to be spelled out in a simple language.

Another thing that illustrators experience on a regular basis is being asked to do work for free. Melinda Beck spoke on this subject. She read a very powerful letter that she had written to a big company who had asked her to do a piece for free because it would be great promotion for her and besides, other successful illustrators have already agreed to it as well... Her letter was so well written, and unlike many illustrators who have the need to blurt out the f word every few seconds, she did it very diplomatically and positively. I wish I had a copy of that letter. I'd frame it and put it in my studio, and I'd read it any time I needed a little confidence boost. There are times and reasons when pro-bono work is very appropriate and fun. But this is something everyone needs to figure out for themselves. However, no one should ever do free work for big corporations and companies.

And lastly, here's a great Q and A quote from the Wayne White presentation:

Audience:"Is the term illustrator outdated?"
Wayne: "Yes. You should be called creationists."

Thursday, August 12, 2010