My Annual Good Friday Post

Today is Good Friday. As a Christian this is one of the most important days of the year for me, the day we pause to commemorate the torture, crucifixion, and death of Jesus Christ. Some of you my wonder, why on earth would a day like that be called “good?”

Because even though it was a terrible day for Jesus it was a very good day for you and me. Over the course of my career I’ve been able to work on several projects that help explain that message, and every Good Friday I like to take a moment to share them:

Are You A Good Person? Cartoon

Here’s an 8-page cartoon Gospel tract I illustrated several years ago for the ministry of Living Waters. To date over five million copies have been printed in English and it has been translated into over twenty languages. You can download it for free in multiple languages at www.FreeCartoonTract.com, or you can purchase printed copies from the ministry of Living Waters.

Based on the tract’s success, Living Waters also hired me to produce an animated version, which I supervised with the help of two terrific animators (Michael Foster and Chance Dodd). To date it has received over a half million views on YouTube and has been subtitled into 19 other languages. If you like the video you can download a free HD version to use however you’d like.

Finally, VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer has recently completed a series of videos called “What’s In The Bible?”. I’ve had the privilege of working on a few of them. Here’s the trailer for Volume 10, which covers the life and ministry of Jesus including his death and resurrection. In this episode I designed a few of the characters and did a smidgen of animation.

Here’s a clip from the episode explaining the meaning of Easter:

You can order DVDs or digital downloads from the series at www.whatsinthebible.com. Also, if you subscribe to JellyTelly.com you can stream all episodes of “What’s In The Bible?” to any computer or mobile device.

I don’t make any money or royalties off of these items. I just believe in them and want to share. Thanks for indulging me. Here’s wishing you a very happy Easter filled with peeps and jelly beans!

Check Out These Kickstarters

There’s some terrific projects on Kickstarter right now that might be of interest to other artists. Unfortunately I can’t get the videos to embed in my blog, but clicking the images below will take you to their Kickstarter page:

The NOMAD Art Satchel

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I’ve seen a lot of gadgets and gizmos designed for artists ranging from brilliant to blah. The NOMAD Art Satchel looks like it belongs on the brilliant end of the spectrum, and judging by how quickly it was funded a lot of other artists think so too.

HOO-HAH! Heroes Behind The Heroes

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This creators of HOO-HAH! Heroes Behind The Heroes have interviewed tons of really big names in the comic book industry for their documentary. Unfortunately they seem to be struggling to get traction on Kickstarter, but if you love comics this seems worthy of support.

Erfworld: Print Book 2, Draw Book 3

erfworld

Full disclosure: I’m not a reader of Erfworld so I know very little about it, other than that creator Rob Balder has had three other Kickstarter projects that were wildly successful so there must be something there. Also, Rob was incredibly generous and helpful when I was launching my Kickstarter for the Pose Drawing Sparkbook so I’m happy to return the favor. Check out Erfworld: Print Book 2, Draw Book 3.

 

 

I’ve Been Nominated For A National Cartoonists Society Award

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For several years I’ve been a proud member of the National Cartoonists Society. It’s a terrific organization that celebrates cartooning in all its forms, and its membership includes many of the giants in the industry.

Every year the NCS holds a black-tie dinner and gives out several Reuben Awards (named after cartoonist Rube Goldberg) to the top artists in various categories. If it’s possible to combine “prestige” with “funny drawings”, the Reuben awards banquet would be it. Think tuxedos and giant foam cowboy hats.

The NCS just announced the final nominees for 2013 and I’ve been selected in the Advertising Illustration category. Wow! This is a real honor and puts me in some terrific company. The other two nominees this year are Rich Powell and Sean Parkes. The winner will be announced on May 25, 2014 at the Reuben Awards Weekend in San Diego.

We are in the process of selling our house and buying a new one so whether or not I can attend will depend on the timing of our move, but I really hope I can make it. The Reubens is a terrific event and a rare opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the industry greats. Any time you get that many cartoonists together it’s also just plain fun.

While I’m on the subject, the NCS just launched a brand-new website. Check it out. You can also follow the NCS on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Sketchbook Update: Happy St. Patrick’s Day

St Patrick's Day illustration by Cedric Hohnstadt

Today’s sketch is a combination of three things:

First, I’ve been having a blast following @sketch_dailies on Twitter. At the moment it’s a very popular feed with over 15,000 followers. Each day a new character is suggested and hundreds of artists from all over the web draw their version. The best ones are retweeted and they are amazing! Today’s theme, naturally, was “leprechaun”.

Second, I’ve been trying to add a sense of story to my practice sketches. I wanted to try something original with the end-of-the-rainbow idea. It seems to me that if there really was a pot of gold out there on a hill somewhere it would be foolish to leave it out in the open with only a small, unarmed man guarding it.

Third, I like to try and tie each sketch into the Pose Drawing Sparkbook somehow. At the back of the book is a bonus list of 100 Moods and Emotions to draw. This might be a good fit for “Dumbfounded”.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

 

Concept Art for ‘Veggies In Space’

Last year I was hired by Big Idea to help develop some character designs, costumes,  and misc. artwork for their new DVD Veggies In Space. Now that the DVD is available for purchase I’m allowed to show a bit of the artwork I did. I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet but it was a lot of fun to work on.

Here’s a few of the characters I worked on. The costume designs for the main characters were inspired by Star Trek. For the villains I thought it would be fun to do something reminiscent of the cheesy Flash Gordon serials of yesteryear.

VeggiesInSpace-CostumeThumbs-v1VeggiesInSpace-Cuke-Turns-v1VeggiesInSpace-Vidcap2

VeggiesInSpace-Ziggy-Turns-v1

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VeggiesInSpace-Lunt-LuntarVIS_Luntar2

T-Bot-Turns-v5VIS_TBot2I also got to illustrate some misc. background signage. Here’s a billboard and the cover of a brochure:

Print
PopcornRing-v2

Veggies In Space is now available from Amazon, iTunes, etc. Here’s the trailer: