Process: From brick and mortar to pen and ink

Posted on July 25, 2017 by Phillip Thompson | 0 comments

This is a bungalow in Mayfair, a neighborhood bordering Albany Park and rich in bungalows. I thought this home was cool because of its Spanish tile roof and dormers. I also thought it was interesting in that the home has its entrance on its broad side. Generally, Chicago bungalows have their front doors on their narrow side--which is part of what makes the Midwestern bungalows unique and distinct from the much broader California bungalows, for one. Enjoy. 

This was made by talented videographer, Jack Brandtman, who has a series of fantastic Chicago-themed videos on his Youtube channel . This is part of his series on Chicago makers. Go support him by watching and subscribing!

New Relief Prints: Memento Mori series

Posted on May 31, 2017 by Phillip Thompson | 0 comments

Here are a few relief prints--made via linocut--that I want to share. This is based on the "Memento Mori" concept that dates to the Roman Empire. Memento Mori means "Remember death," or "Remember that you will die" and is supposed to encourage one to be humble in life and appreciate life. It was a saying that in particular was directed at the victors and leaders in Roman, the conquering heroes. It was supposed to be an antidote to hubris. 

The theme was woven through medieval and Renaissance art, as well, through the work in particular of northern European woodcutters and painters like Hans Holbein and Heironymous Bosch.

I wanted to take the theme to a few modern settings, and this is the result.



Closeup: The Subway Ride.


Closeup: The Selfie.

Tribute to Shel Silverstein

Posted on May 09, 2017 by Phillip Thompson | 0 comments

I've always loved Shel Silverstein's work. When I learned he grew up and lived in Chicago, I started reading more about him and thought it would be fun to put together a brief illustrated tour of his life and make a nod to his poetic and artistic style. An attempt, anyway.

What I realize, trying to imitate his work, is that his drawings look simple but there is a lot going on. There is power and looseness in the line work, there's very deliberate choices about white space--i.e., what NOT to draw. His illustration complements his poetry, which is also, on the surface, simple and to the point. Usually there is some twist or turn at the end that makes you think. Just like his famous song "A Boy Named Sue." 

His work is a great lesson in minimalism. Shel can make simple black and white text and pen strokes turn into some of the most beloved, thought-provoking, and colorful pieces of work for all ages. 

Going to Printer's Row this year? It's on June 10-11 by Printer's Row Park in the South Loop. Come find me and say hello.

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Homes of Famous Chicagoans

Posted on May 08, 2017 by Phillip Thompson | 0 comments

A Year of Homes: 2016

Posted on January 01, 2017 by Phillip Thompson | 0 comments

Here's a look back at a selection of the homes and buildings I drew this past year. It was a great year. Wishing you all the success and happiness you wish for in 2017. 

Here's the link to a vertical scrolling page of home portraits

Locking in: The Creation of the 7 Locks Brewing logo

Posted on January 01, 2017 by Phillip Thompson | 0 comments

Some friends of ours, Keith and Laura, opened a brewery in Rockville, Maryland, called 7 Locks Brewing. It's a great spot, great beers, highly recommended--check it out if and when you're in the area. 

Last year, the 7 Locks crew decided to give their original logo (below) a re-design ahead of some new beer releases. 

Keith approached me to take on the task, which I gladly accepted. I shipped them the final logo just before this past Thanksgiving. 

I was happy with the outcome and the development process. In this post I wanted to share that process, showing the stages from concept to finished logo, with the sketches along the way and my thoughts and reflections on each.

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The Night City Sky maps.

Posted on November 28, 2016 by Bench Bookkeeping | 0 comments

One of the disadvantages to living in Chicago (and most big cities, for that matter) is missing out on a clear view of the night sky. What's worse is forgetting it's up there.

Whenever we head back to Katie's hometown in more pristine northwestern PA, I'm always blown away by the epic night scene that reveals itself nearly every night. These days, the closest I'll get to the night sky from within the Chicago city limits is a visit to the planetarium and packet of astronaut ice cream.

This past summer, Katie challenged me to come up with a way to combine the fascinating patterns of city streets with the immense depth and unique patterns of the night sky. Many iterations and false starts and trashed drafts later, we finally came to a design that we liked a lot. The series includes Chicago, Washington, DC, Boston, New York, and San Francisco.

We're happy to introduce this as out latest print release, and it's available exclusively through Uncommon Goods. Right here. Image below for your consideration.

In other news: If you're interested in anything from my storefront, use the offer code THETURKEY15 for 15% off all purchases until December 4.

Thanks for reading. There's some work that I'm chipping away at that I can't wait to share with you. In the meantime, I wish you a great and comfortable holiday season for you and yours. Don't hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any ideas for projects, prints, or world peace.
All the Best,
Phil
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