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Opening Night at Strut SF Art Exhibit

On Friday June 7th, the doors opened to my solo art exhibit at STRUT in the San Franciscio AIDS Foundation. It was such a wonderful reception! My favorite part was meeting so many people who traveled from all over to see my art and pick up some prints.

The gallery consists of thirty 11”x14” pieces that show the diverse covers I’ve created over the past few years. I chose the specific size and layout because I wanted to recreate the nostalgic thrill of seeing a comic book shelf in a shop. All the different covers facing you, inviting you to inspect them further. It was also a chance for people to see all the aged paper and mis-registered halftones that are essential elements in my art but are not visible when seen on social media.

Big thank you to Baruch and the STRUT SF team for hosting my art. They’ve been very welcoming and so helpful! Also big thank you to my boyfriend Omi and my assistant Rae for helping with my merch table!

It truly is an honor to be showcasing my art in the heart of the Castro during Pride month! My art will be on display until June 30th, so please check it out before then!

STRUT SF
470 Castro Street

"Same Trixie, Different Parts" for LOGOTV
Final color image of Trixie Mattel

Final color image of Trixie Mattel

Illustration for LOGOTV interview with Trixie Mattel about her documentary premiering at Tribeca Film Festival.

The brief was to make it look like a country album cover, so I pulled inspiration from modern artists like Kacey Musgraves and classic covers by Dolly Parton.

I provided client with 3 different sketches and the selected sketch was turned into the final color art shown.

Original Rough Sketch

Close up texture

Close up texture

Cheyne Gallarde
Heroes of History for LOGOTV

For LGBTQ history month, LOGOTV hired me to create 10 comic book covers honoring LGBTQ heroes. They provided me with an amazing list of people and it was my job to create exciting illustrations of them. Some were quite easy - Harvey Milk for example. I knew I wanted him leading a crowd of people. Others proved to be quite challenging, like James Baldwin. How to convey someone who has created so many powerful novels. For that cover I wanted to showcase the power and beauty of the words as they left his typewriter.

As with everything, these covers started as pencil sketches on Bristol paper. For Harvey, I went straight to pencil, but for others I started with a red pencil. I find ideas come easier when I can draw loose with the red pencil.

After the pencil roughs were approved by LOGO, I scanned them into my ipad and then inked and colored them in Clip Studio Paint. Finally, I used Photoshop to add my finishing touches and all the text on it.

I love this project because I learned a lot and it was great to pay tribute to so many wonderful people with my art!

Queeroes

I was commissioned by Condé Nast to do some illustrations for their THEM brand. The illustration would serve as the key visual for their first ever QUEEROES Awards Show, honoring the most influential LGBTQ+ Community members of 2017-2018. This project took 1 week to complete.

PROCESS

Before I even got the list of the honorees, I got to work producing thumbnails. The thumbnails help me figure out the composition and fix any errors before we get any further. My initial thumbnail showed everyone flying, leaping, jumping - y'know typical superhero stuff! It was scrapped and the direction went more towards an epic movie poster, a la Drew Struzan's iconic 80's style - but with a superhero flair.

Next step was to create a rough sketch featuring the faces of the honorees. I was familiar with a few of the names, but the majority were all new to me. I spent a few hours gathering reference photos, during that phase I got to learn a lot about them and their accomplishments. So many amazing people!

Final step was to ink and color everyone. To help unite everyone and create a sense of cohesion, I used a limited-color palette. Halftones and simple cross-hatching help to evoke the feel of Golden age comics.

The finished illustration was shared as giant posters and given to the honorees at the event. They also shared very thoughtful articles on each honoree, which you can read on their site. It was amazing to work on this and I am grateful to be now only a few degrees away from such inspirational people.