I am a freelance Illustrator, Designer, Art and Creative Director
available for both on-site and off-site work.
I have nearly 20 years of agency, design studio, and in-house design and art direction experience. I have done design and illustration for national ad campaigns, publications, trade shows, packaging, and comicbooks.
La Mano del Destino is a comicbook series that I write, draw, and publish. Set in an alternate, jet-age Mexico of the 1960s, the story tells the tale of a once-champion Luchador who is betrayed by his friends and makes a Faustian bargain in order to exact his revenge. We learn quickly that the bargain’s limitations may prevent our champion from attaining his goals and/or maintaining his character. Entire issues ca be read at castleandkeypublications.com
In addition to creating the comicbook, I also produce a veriety of related merchandise.
On occasion, I have been allowed to pitch ideas to various comicbook companies. This is a pitch that I put together for DC Comics which featured a fun, new take on B’Wana Beast - one of DC’s third-tier (at best) characters from the late 1960s.
“The B’Wana Beast: Full-time champion Luchador who moonlights as a crime-fighter. He claims his mask is ancient, powerful and grants him the ability to bend the will of ill-intentioned men. And, because the mask derives it’s power from the ancient Meso-American animal totem - the Jaguar, he now has the ability to merge two different types of animal into a single being under his mental control - though reports and eyewitness accounts of these abilities are suspect at best.”
“When a rare radioactive isotope form of Nth Metal is unearthed in the jungles of southern Mexico and a black ops security contractor for Lex Corp. moves in to seize it - threatening The B’Wana Beast’s people and the habitat of his beloved Jaguars - our hero will be tested and his true power is revealed - or the appearance of impossible, seemingly hybridized creatures merely a side-effect of the radioactive Nth Metal?
Whether he is simply a Luchador who has over-committed to his back story, or truly a hero in possession of superpowers, remains to be seen.”
I was fortunate enough to collaborate with writer Chris Sims on a pitch for DC Comics that featured Batman from a far-flung future. Sims had an amazing concept, plot, and script for the comicbook mini-series and I was able to bring my visual interpretation to his vision for this pitch.
BATMAN 3000: PLANET LAZARUS
All writing by Chris Sims
In the 31st Century, there is no Batman. The legacy of Superman has flourished for a millennium, inspiring the Legion of Super-Heroes, but Batman remains shrouded in mystery, thought of by many as a legend. One man, archaeologist Lan Taylor, has spent his life trying to prove that the Batman did exist, and a strange old man has given him directions to a faraway planet on the outer rim of the galaxy that contains the information he’s been looking for. When he and his son Brane finally discover proof, they’re attacked by forces with an interest in keeping the legacy of Batman forgotten: The Legion of Assassins, led by Talia, who has obsessively been stamping out every trace of Batman for the past thousand years. With his father dead, Brane Taylor uses his knowledge and the resources of the forgotten Batcave to become the Batman of the year 3000, hunted across space by Talia and her Assassins.
The Mystery of the Forgotten Asteroid
Led by the Old Man (a wizened, thousand year-old Bat-Mite), Brane, Lan and their Khund bodyguard, Grax, arrive at Gothos, an asteroid orbiting a desolate planet on the far reaches of space. Exploring it, they find a Batcave -- one built fairly recently, within the past century, sealed away and apparently never used. It contains remnants of the original Batman and stories of the way the legacy has been suppressed, enough to prove that Lan’s theory about the Batman was right. While they’re exploring, Assassins arrive. Lan is killed, and Bat-Mite sacrifices his life to save Brane and Grax.
The Menace of the Masked Assassins
Brane and Grax use the equipment in the cave to escape the asteroid just as it explodes, using the pre-programmed coordinates in their “Batmobile” spaceship, returning them to civilized space. There are assassins waiting there, though, and Brane and Grax are separated, leaving Brane to survive using the skills he picked up traveling around the galaxy with his father. Overcoming the odds, Brane learns that the people trying to kill him are part of the Legion of Assassins, sent to murder him and end the Batman legacy by their leader, the Demon’s Head.
The Secret of Planet Lazarus
Brane decides to turn the tables on the Assassins, hunting them rather than waiting to be targeted. Using information from the Assassins he defeated, he and Grax fly to Lazarus, a mysterious planet entirely controlled by the League. They infiltrate, with Brane forced to decide how he goes whether he wants to take his vengeance or live up to the legacy his father gave his life to revive, but when they approach the Assassins’ leader, she reveals herself to be Talia.
The Duel of the Demon’s Head
Talia reveals that this was all a trap, that Brane has been lured to his death like the hundreds before him. She reveals that she is the reason there hasn’t been a Batman legacy, that she has stamped it out every time someone has taken it up in revenge for Batman forcing her (as she sees it) to kill her own son. She gives Brane the chance she gives every Batman -- a one-on-one duel against a thousand years perfecting the art of murder. Brane duels and loses, but prepared for his defeat by automating an attack from the Batmobile. He saves Talia from death, but she escapes, swearing vengeance, as he and Grax set out to join the Legion as Batman and Robin.
I’ve always felt that the transition of Marvel Comics’ Sunfire from his first appearance as a villain in X-men #64 to hero in Giant-sized X-men #1 was a bit ill-defined. I wrote single issue story which takes at the 1970 World’s Fair (in Osaka, Japan a mere 2 months after Sunfire’s first appearance) that explores the sacrifices a masked hero must make and the impact hat the choice to be either hero or villain will have on Sunfire’s life. This was done as a portfolio piece to showcase my writing and illustrative storytelling abilities - though I would love to do this project for Marvel at some time.
When designing the mark for this publishing company, it was of paramount importance that the logo be flexible enough to not only echo and brand the classic, clean ethos of the company, but also seamlessly become part of any comicbook that it publishes’ trade dress. For this purpose, a modular system of branding was created.
At the end of each year, Harkins Theatres releases the next year’s newly-designed loyalty items (cup, popcorn t-shirt, and gift card) with much fanfare and a big rollout - this is one of the company’s biggest, annual marketing efforts. For 2012, the theme was “comicbooks” (as comicbook movies were becoming some of the largest box office draws in the world). I created the illustration for the cup (which then gets used on the shirt and cards) by doing comicbook-style illustrations of movie characters from that year’s upcoming movies.
Additionally, I created the one-sheet posters to announce the new loyalty items. The campaign won a Silver ADDY.
This publication had a brand standard for the magazine, but needed to expand that look and feel in to corporate branding for a B-to-B media sales kit. In addition to conveying the character of the publication, we needed to create easily-digested information bytes about the target demographic, impact, and reach of AZ Teen, as well as, pricing and schedule information.
For their 10th Anniversary, the Phoenix Film Festival wanted to move away from film poster parodies with “Camera Head” (the festival’s mascot) inserted into them and, instead, focus on “Camera Head” as his own, independent icon.
I created a more detailed illustration of “Camera Head” for this campaign making him more iconographic - a broad departure from the photographic/PhotoShopped versions from the past.
Wells Fargo bank wanted to create am internal, service-enhancement campaign for its tellers to increase enthusiasm for offering quality service to its customers. They wanted the campaign to “cheerlead”, inform, as well as, be “banking-focused”. To this end, I created a Monopoly-style, vintage cheerleading team.
I also illustrated and designed note pads and Post-It note pads to be present at the teller window to underscore the initiative’s core principles.
Photon is a company whose new web and mobile application provides a platform for the quick, easy, and secure sharing of medical imaging between hospitals and specialists. The logo and branding needed to convey the company’s technological savvy, but also reflect the application’s ease of use.
I created a brochure that expounds the company’s history, delivers a product overview, and provides a step-by-step tutorial of the application. The brochure was built with bright, open photography, and a clean design sense to echo the “ease-of-use” sentiment of the application.
Jewish News is a long-standing, community paper whose new ownership wanted to all aspects of the paper. The mark and masthead were created to allude to the past and future coming together (the modernity of the letterforms with the traditional Star of David nestled in the center). Also, the new mark is modular and allows for the icon to easily be used alone for social media purposes.
Each division was given a unique color combination, section headers were developed and color-coded, and icons were created for each of the columns. A color palette and hierarchy was established to clearly delineate content type whether it be in print or online.
The newspaper’s layout was developed with a bolder use of photography (without antiquated, bordered edges), cleaner use of fewer fonts, and a front-page index that was more enticing than the previously cluttered version. All of these changes serve to make the paper as much of a lifestyle magazine as it is a community paper.
For 2013, I developed a campaign Phoenix Children’s Hospital that showcase the areas or excellence and recent ranking by US News and World Report. The award shield wasn’t just tacked on to an ad as a supplemental message, but was so integrated in to the ad that the award became part of the headline. This approach was executed in print, outdoor, and online.
The outdoor for this campaign was created in two separate ways and the media insertion allowed for the red version to run on digital billboards during the day and the light version to run at night to maximize the contrast and impact.
Additionally, the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation (the non-profit, fund-raising entity of the hospital) wanted an awareness campaign to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the hospital. I created the following campaign showcasing patients holding gifts wherein the tone on tone blends the child and the gift alluding to the fact that the healthy, happy child is the gift.
“Jason was able to provide a graphic element that brought our campaign to life. The result was our advertising executions broke through the clutter to provide the Coyotes with the awareness necessary to be put on entertainment seekers consideration lists.”
- Ted Santiago, Former Coyotes VP of Marketing
For the Phoenix Coyotes’ 2013 season (a season that followed a half-season lock out), I created a campaign that focused on the no-frills, workman ethos of the team. I branded the campaign in only the teams colors and presented players and a player surrogate in a bold, iconographic manner similar to worker’s art. Gone were the stippled and gritty fare of typical hockey ads, and instead I created clean, bold images whose strength was their simplicity.
We took the bold, and simple message online with site takeover advertising and sold out opening day in record time.
The out of home elements were impossible to ignore.
The campaign’s tagline was crafted as an invitation to the audience to not just come be a spectator, but to come be actively involved in the event taking place - don’t just watch the action, join the action; Join the Hunt.
Desert Schools Federal Credit Union has an endorsement deal with Larry Fitzgerald and for this TV spot, I created a commercial that focuses on Larry as a great father and member of the community, and only tacitly touches on his greatness as a player. The idea of Larry’s “everyday greatness” is then lent to Desert Schools.
My Alma Mater had branding that had much to be desired. I stepped in and offered my services to the school, but the volition of a new branding effort which had already begun could not be halted. So, unfortunately, the following is merely my proposal for new branding for Cypress High School.
The primary logo was crafted with much respect to the traditions and ideals of the school. I also wanted to focus on the positive attributes of the Roman connotation of the school’s name. The branding needed to be that of a serious learning institution, but also be able to expand to encompass athletic teams.
Knowing the variety of uses that the logo would be needed for, I created a modular system that expand or contract to fit any need from report card to the gym exterior to sport jerseys and social media.
I created a Roman pattern to expand the branding and allow for branding where a logo may not be applicable. Also, naming the colors “Navy”, “Monarch”, and “Silver” gives the palette gravitas beyond simple color names.
With the new brand standard in place, the school’s business system was created, as well as signage for the buildings and hallways.
The sport team uniforms were design and are congruous with uniforms within each sport, but special attention is paid to create the illusion of a Centurion’s helmet crest and segmented shoulder armor wherever possible. Additionally, Varsity and Junior Varsity patches were created to distinguish between the two squads, but allow for a single uniform design to be used as a player moves from one squad to the next by simply replacing the patch.
As part of their deal to remain at the Glendale Arena, the Coyotes changed their name to the “Arizona Coyotes”. A stop-gap logo was made, but a complete re-brand was at one time in order and I was invited to pitch ideas. The situation has changed and it looks like the stop-gap will be in place for a while, but here is what I had come up with, but never had the chance to pitch.
Having dealt with the old logo for a season, I sought to remedy some of the limitations from the old mark. The howling head looked OK on its own, but always created odd negative space around it when used in ads and as a social media icon and it did not mesh well with the letterform version of the team name when they were placed together. Also, the howling head on a jersey always looked like the coyote was looking over a player’s shoulder - this was neither effective, nor too terribly intimidating. The logo I created solves all these problems and allows for all the elements to be used together or separately to brand the team. It also has the only “AZ” ligature icon of any major team in the state (a merchandising opportunity that has yet to be seized.)
The uniforms were designed to have a classic feel and also be uniquely Arizona - from the “AZ” icon on the helmet to the state shoulder patch. Also, for the first time, there would exist a “whiteout” uniform so the team could stand united with its fans.