I’ve moved!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2010 by jcastillo81

I have moved into my “big-boy” apartment as well as moved my blog to my new website.  Please visit my new blog site: here

Thank you!


“MacCutcheon Scotch Whisky”

Posted in Uncategorized on May 20, 2010 by jcastillo81

Only a few days until the Lost finale!  I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself when it ends.  Well, to help you celebrate I made a MacCutcheon Scotch Whisky label for you to download, print and stick on your favorite whiskey bottle!

Click this link to download

And if you do use the label please feel free to link to pictures of you using it at your Lost party.  Enjoy!

Also, if you are an ABC person please don’t sue me, thanks.

Dangerous Animals Club

Posted in Drawing, Photoshop with tags , , on April 30, 2010 by jcastillo81

The Tobolowsky Files is one of my favorite podcasts on the web.  Actor Stephen Tobolowsky (aka Ned Ryerson from Groundhog Day and a bazillion other characters) tells entertaining, heartbreaking, and hilarious stories from his life.  He covers everything from childhood to overcoming difficult college professors to stories from film sets to loss of a parent.  He does so honestly and with love.  One of favorites was titled the Dangerous Animals Club.

He tells of he and his childhood friend spending their days collecting dangerous animals from the nearby forests and overgrown fields.  This reminded me of my own childhood when my best friend and I would do the exact same thing.  One summer we amassed a rather impressive collection of snakes found under our porch, spiders, toads, ants, and any other creepy crawly that we weren’t afraid to poke a stick at.

Today, I feel awful about keeping these wild animals in little cages on a shelf behind our garage and performing “experiments” on them that could only be considered torture.  But as they say; boys will be boys.

This illustration is an tribute to the Tobolowsky Files and my own childhood.  I’ve also submitted it to Threadless for voting so please take a moment and vote for my design to be printed as a T-shirt!!!

Dangerous Animals Club process

Toad detail

tarantula detail

spiders detail

snake detail


Coffee Shop Hipsters

Posted in Sketches, Uncategorized with tags on April 30, 2010 by jcastillo81

Sketched these at New Wave Coffee today.  Fun times!  Also submitted this to Illustration Friday “Ahead” …even though its actually several heads… get it?  …with the heads.. and the… oh, nevermind.

face sketches done at the coffee shop

C2E2 2010

Posted in events on April 19, 2010 by jcastillo81

Nerdfest…um I mean C2E2 took place this weekend and I got to spend 8 hours walking through a magical land of nerd-dreams. It was fantastic! If you’ve never been to one of these conventions there are dozens of comic shops, publishers, artists, writers, podcasters, and geeks of all kinds pimping their wares and schmoozing with each other. As an artist, my main goal is to spend the majority of my time in Artist’s Alley – the space for artists of all things geek and at all levels of their career (or hobby in some cases). It’s always inspiring and educational to walk the alley.

Most of this was free...

The highlight of Artist’s Alley for me was meeting and chatting with Jason Seiler. He is an amazing illustrator who’s main focus is caricatures and he’s one of the friendliest artists I met. I mentioned that I saw his interview on Chiustream which lead to a 40 minute conversation about being passionate about art, helping young artists and finding your niche. His most valuable words of wisdom were that you should never doubt your ability to create art as a living. If you keep you doing it with passion and honesty, you will succeed.

If you want to be blown away by meticulous line work and cool Pirate stories check out the art of Jeremy Bastian. I picked up an issue of his Cursed Pirate Girl series that has an absolutely amazing and original style. And PIRATES! The artwork is surreal and fun and the attention to detail is out of this world. He also told me that he draws the comics to scale. Which means that the incredible detail you see on the pages is the same as the original artwork. If you can find it, I highly recommend picking up any of the issues of CPG. The book itself is produced on high quality paper and has a hand stamped logo on the cover and the writing is a lot of fun!

Jeremy Bastian's panels are simply beautiful.

Right up there with pirates is rocket ships and dinosaurs. As I browsed through the indie exhibitors my attention was grabbed by row of books that appeared to contain both of those and more. I picked up Two Fisted Science and started flipping through it. Author Jim Ottaviani approached me and said “That book is a collection of true stories about scientists.” “Cool!” I said. “Realy?!” He replied as if he’d never heard someone respond favorably to the idea of a book about scientists. Kids, let me tell you, science IS cool. Anyway, Jim chatted with me about how awesome Carl Sagan is and I picked up his book, T Minus: the Race to the Moon. It was a tough choice because I really wanted to get his book about Cowboys and Dinosaurs but had to watch my budget. This is also a lesson to other exhibitors at shows: don’t be a pushy salesperson. Just be friendly and I think people are much more likely to buy your stuff.

Another cool find was a sweet boutique publisher called Baby Tattoo.  I picked up a really cool Gris Grimly picture book. Grimly has a great whimsical and slightly twisted style that reminds me of a Tim Burton movie (and my friend Shayne) but is still his own.

Little Jordan Ray’s Muddy Spudis about a kid on a journey to sell his potato. He meets lots of crazy characters including a mustachioed clam, that are drawn with a great energy and unique design. Very inspiring stuff if you’re interested in picture books.


And of course, there’s the Iron Man Props, vintage Batmobile and Back to the Future DeLorean.

Bat mobileIron Man helmetsIron man helmet and gloveiron man chest power thingiesdelorean


Posted in Drawing, Photoshop on April 14, 2010 by jcastillo81

A while back I did this illustration for a Roosevelt University publication. The article is about the educational and social difficulties children of migrant workers face. Today I got the printed magazine and it looks great! It’s always a good feeling when you see your work in a professionally printed magazine. The smell of the press still on the pages is better than the new car smell if you ask me.

migrant children article

I also wanted to give a quick shout out to Josh Kemble’s new Podcast The Examined Life of an Illustrator. Josh used to co-host the excellent but now “podfaded” Big Illustration Party Time. His new podcast is incredibly personal and chock full of great information for young professional illustrators and inspiring stories for those of us toiling in our illustration dungeons. Check it out!

Coffee Shop patrons

Posted in Drawing with tags on April 1, 2010 by jcastillo81