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Friday, March 19, 2010

Red Light Winter

Directed by Benjamin James Wilson, Red Light Winter by Adam Rapp, was the opening play for Youngblood Theatre Company's current season. The play was really well casted, and opened strong on the 21st of January at Alchemist Theatre in Milwaukee, WI.

The set I designed for this play was so far the most complicated set i designed. The first act being in a cheap hotel in Amsterdam, and act two taking place in a cheap apartment in New York, the change of location during intermission needed to be quick but definite. The play was very prop heavy, so the less you had to do to change the space itself, the better. I designed the set so that it was only a matter of moving two hinged walls. It was a tricky idea, but with Fjosh Redbeard, Technical Director of Pink Banana Theatre Company, helping with the construction, we were able to pull it together.

This is the promotional image I made for the show. I feel like I've seen this image just about everywhere by now...internet, tv, etc... Its okay though. I was happy with it when I made it, and it was fun to make.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Alright, so when I say that SkyGarden "focus's on, but is in no way limited to, Painting..," this project is a good example. Hired by an interior design firm, my job was to make 4 surfboards. A strange but intriguing project for a Midwesterner.

This was a new challenge for me. But it was a great experience, and I learned a lot about materials I don't usually get to use. These surfboards are made for the purpose of being mounted on walls outside of a gift shop/mock surf shop, in a building located not too far outside of Orlando, FL. Though they wont actually be used for the purpose of surfing, I still made them as though they were- using the same materials, and executing the same processes.

The designs on the boards were created to work with the colors and patterns used in the wallpapers and upholstery chosen by the interior designers. I also referred to the abstract elements of nature... the the shape and movement relationships with in landscapes...

I will try to get some good pictures of them in the future when they are installed, along with the mural I will be painting next to the boards. The mural will keep to the same theme.

Tomas and the Library Lady

Tomas and the Library Lady (by: Jose Cruz Gonzalez. based on the book by Pat Mora), this season's addition to First Stage Children's Theater's Multi-Cultural Assembly Tour, ended just the other week.
Tomas and the Library Lady, is a story about a migrant boy who travels from Texas to Iowa with his family. Tomas has nightmares about his school teacher and his struggle with English. Upon moving to Iowa, he makes friends with a librarian who teaches him english and how to read, as well as stand up for himself. Its a fun story, and children really enjoyed it.

This was my first time working with First Stage Children's Theater, and my first time designing the set to a traveling show. It presented a lot of new challenges, but it had exciting end results. I also met a lot of great people.
A lot of my projects tend to usually contain more mature/serious content, so this was a chance to play around with my not-so-obvious interest in children's book illustrations. It also allowed me to step out of my usual mindset.
Tomas and the Library Lady was a play originally designed for the use of projectors as a way to change scenes and bring in extra characters. The Director of First Stage wanted to avoid having to deal with technology and the never-failing troubles technology causes while on the road. So we created two set pieces that started as book shelves and had panels that moved and opened up to reveal different places and characters, not only making travel and clean up easier, but it cut out all the technology other than sound recordings. It was convienent enough for the actors, and the children reacted to the moving panels really well.
For the design/imagery, I decided to play on the idea and visual characteristics of Mexican folk art. It was culturally fitting, and keeps a nice story book feel.
The actors did an amazing job, and director was great to work with. I am glad they asked me to be a part of it.

SkyGarden LLC


As of Late 2009, I officially have my own company: SkyGarden LLC. A company that focus's on, but is in no way limited to, Painting and Design. It is, and will continue to be, a lot of work. But this is something that I've really wanted. It's something I have the drive for. And I intend to really make the most of it. Painting and creating is what I love, and it's what I am best at. I can only hope that everyone supports SkyGarden and allows me to show them what I am capable of.

As this blog continues, I will update information on projects and events with SkyGarden, as well as continue to update information on personal artwork and theatre projects.


Running from July 24th to August 2nd 2009, God Bridge (written by long-time friend, Benjamin James Wilson), was the last of three plays from Youngblood Theatre Company's first season. Ben asked me to create the set for God Bridge, so I did. It was a strong play, with an amazing, devoted group of actors and a good tech crew. and because of that it was not only a great play, but it made the creation of this set very enjoyable for myself.

Along with the next-to-nonexistant budget, this set had its share of design challenges. the venue for God Bridge was a room within the UWM Kenilworth building. Being that, I wasnt allowed to alter or screw into any of the walls or the floor. So, it made for an interesting game of weight balancing and supporting pieces of the set with other pieces. That got to be a challenge because a lot of action happened on that set - fight sequences, jumping around, leaning on walls. I needed to depend on the set pieces to not slide around or wobble. It's concerning when your pretend concrete walls are wobbling around...
I had two other people helping me with the construction and priming of the set, and then I like to keep the painting and detail work to myself... which is usually how it works either way. Mostly because I prefer to work through the night, while everyone else is sleeping.
This play was/is a big deal to me for many reasons, so I don't mind that this entry is REALLY late, I just wanted to make sure it was posted at some point.