Tuesday, March 18


I just put up a brand new site this morning, complete with new blog! Please go take a look at josholland.com, and be sure to start following the new blog over there, or on your preferred method of social media. I'll be leaving this one up for those who want to dig, but starting fresh over there.

Aside from blog things, new work, new avatars, and great big giant images await you!

Thursday, March 21


I've been insanely busy so far this year, mostly with storyboarding and concept board illustration projects for some major food brands. It's the kind of stuff that only a few dozen people ever get to see, so I like to take on a purely fun project with some good exposure from time to time.

If you live in the greater Denver/Boulder area, you may have already spotted this one. Rooster asked me to do a cover for their Music, Art, and Culture Issue, and I was happy to oblige them. A little hand drawn type, some character work, and a lot of photo reference got me there on a pretty quick turn. Rooster was also kind enough to give me some love on the interior as well.

Next up: PBR artist series, Conscious Alliance festival poster action, and something coming to a teevee box near you...

Monday, January 14


I was catching up on some of the year-end posts from my favorite designers and illustrators the other day. But when I tried to recall what I'd done in 2012, not much was coming to mind. After sifting through my folders a bit, I realized that I've done a TON of stuff this year, and I only couldn't remember because the work I do tends to be all over the place. Here's what was new in 2012:

I worked on several projects creating illustrative assets for animation purposes, two of which appeared on MTV and Cartoon Network. This was great fun, and brought me back to my animation days at CCAD. My life has come full circle. Next year I'll be drawing creater-owned comic books again.

I worked on developing the looks of two different games this year, which was a blast. Hopefully I can share that work one day!

Storyboards for motion, presentation boards, concept boards, character sheets, whatever you'd like to call them. I continued to build a portfolio of concept work this year, most of which I will never be able to post, unfortunately. This is my favorite stuff to work on lately though. The quick turns are always a challenge.

Above all, I'm trying to just have fun with what I do, and I think it's showing. I plan to do a much better job of documenting and posting my adventures this year, so please consider following me in the following places:


Here's a huge visual breakdown of some of the major projects I worked on in 2012. I realized it's really handy for me to analyze the range of work I do in one place like this. I'll have to make this a yearly exercise. Happy 2013 everyone!

Saturday, November 24


Lots of new items, sales, freebies, and a drawing for timely orders over in my SHOP! I'll have more info on all these 2012 projects soon!

Friday, September 28


I did a recent interview with Boulder-based Rooster Magazine. We discussed life as an illustrator, inspiration, my recent gallery showing with wife Shannon Bonatakis, Paper Diamond, and more.

Tuesday, August 28


This shirt was designed for Cease Fire, a charity event raising money for victims of recent wildfire and shooting tragedies in Colorado. I've had a lot of people asking me how they can get this shirt since the event, so I'm offering it online for a very limited time. All orders are considered PRE-ORDERS, and the shirts will not be printed until the end of the pre-order on September 10th, 2012. After that date, the shirts will be printed promptly, and shipped on the following week. After that time, the shirt will no longer be available.

All shirts are printed on high quality American Apparel blanks.

Profits from this shirt will be donated 50/50 to the victims of CO wildfires and the Aurora shooting tragedy. The first 50 orders will receive a free 5"x7" screen print, so act fast! Remember, the last day to order is 9/10/2012! ORDER YOURS HERE!

Friday, May 11


I've been doing a ton of fun stuff for Paper Diamond in the last couple of months (some of which hasn't been released yet), including a music video, new EP cover, promo illustrations, etc. Here are the highlights:

This is an image that was inspired by my "Can We Go Up" single cover. It's being used for apparel and promo.

This is the cover image for PD's latest EP "Wavesight" via Mad Decent.

This video debuted last Wednesday night on MTV, and here's the uncensored version from PD's youtube page. You'll notice my greasy little fingerprints in a few places in the video. I'll explain.

This animation test showcases the custom type and background layers I created for the project. I didn't have anything to do with the animation in the actual video, but I put this together for myself to see how my illustration loop was working. Interesting to be back working in After Effects again. I've been doing a lot of commercial illustration work for animation lately, and I'm really enjoying it.

My smoke layers isolated. The following are screen grabs of the final product as it appeared in the video. Looking forward to working more with Paper Diamond in the future! Lots of fun projects in the works right now.

Tuesday, October 11


I did another beer inspired piece for this round of PBR art festivities. I used salvaged junk wood for the surface, and built 3 small boxes from it. I then transferred my sketch and just tried to have fun with the faux vintage look, pushing and pulling with paint and sandpaper. Overall, it was a good exercise in simplicity for me, allowing my surface to provide. Now all I have to do is get PBR to give me some real work! I think I've got their demo down. How cool would a whole campaign of these characters be?

PBR put on 3 art shows in the area, but I was most excited to make something for the Sundown Saloon show in Boulder. That was my favorite spot back when I lived there. It's a basement bar, low light, full of old beat up wooden furniture and odd smells. The perfect place to duck into after being dragged to froufrou cocktail spots all evening. I think my piece captures the place affectionately known as "The Downer" splendidly.

Monday, October 3


I recently did some artwork for Boulder-based recording artist Alex Botwin, AKA Paper Diamond. Alex is a really rad musician, and I now have the distinct pleasure of calling him and his Elm and Oak partner Berk Gibbs friends of mine. Look for more cover artwork in the near future, and some top secret collabs between myself and PD's micro army of arty allies, Lifter Baron and Nook. Exciting stuff! And according to Interview Magazine, I'm best known for my work on Gorillaz... Yep, that was totally me (we had nothing to do with that Jamie Hewlett, I swear).

You can download a high quality copy of the music on Soundcloud, where the track has been steadily kicking ass since it dropped in September. Or you can just click on the youtube clip below.


Coming to a video game magazine near you, I just kicked out this print ad/promo shirt combo for Game Guzzler. It's a job website for people in the field of... you guessed it. Phil was super cool to work with, and I think we gave his beloved monkey mascot a much needed facelift with this piece. Check them out if you're job searching in the industry.


Just rattling off a few new posts on this fine Monday morning. I recently took part in AIGA's Ink Off event, where I took on local comic book artist Matthew Allison in a "battle to the illustrator death." Holy shit guys. I've never done live art before, let alone timed competitive live art. Normally I'm under the impression that an hour isn't enough time to do anything. But when your brain is whirring, and your opponent is flying through some familiar characters, there's nothing left to do but sling some ink, and fast! You can see the final product while I'm talking, got some good shading in just before the buzzer.

Ink Off! Ice Cream Social from AIGA Colorado on Vimeo.

Friday, September 9


Here are a few recent commissions from my ongoing Kaiju Project. I've added a couple of new slots on my store page if you're interested in getting a custom kaiju of your own. They've been labeled "temporarily sold out" for a few months while I've been on hiatus, so snap them up while you can. Check it out, someone commissioned a Pubear kaiju! Hell yeah!

He Was Never The Same After That...
acrylic on wood panel (INQUIRE)

Illegal In Japan
acrylic on wood panel (SOLD)

Play Me Some Cactus Music
acrylic on wood panel (SOLD)

They Never Could Find Words
acrylic on wood panel (SOLD)

The Parasite
acrylic on wood panel (SOLD)

Thursday, September 8


Let me just say upfront, I do not in any way endorse violence, racial stereotypes, or drug use. The following project is a series of commissioned apparel designs inspired by Mexican narco cinema. If you're offended or confused, just watch the previous link and you'll understand. They're B-movies that share a lot in common with American grindhouse, which means silly over the top with sex, drugs, and violence.

This was a very... difficult project to work on. I think at several points I even considered turning it down because I wasn't sure if it was ethical. "What the hell am I doing?! I'm drawing decapitated cartel victims..." was something that came out of my mouth at some point. And for the love of god, never google image search "drug cartel" with the safe search off. I've seen things I wish I could unsee while researching this project.

But for all the difficulty I faced getting started, I took it as a challenge. What started as morbid sketches that no sane person would ever want to buy or wear, slowly became fun comic book villain-esque character studies. So I put on my Tarantino hat, and just had fun with it. Best not to over think these things right? Bad guys kick ass!

Wednesday, September 7


Since flying solo almost one year ago, I've been staying crazy busy doing this and that for startups, agencies, and big companies alike. While I'm very happy with the kind of work that has been coming my way, MOST of it will never end up on my blog because it's either (A) too far outside my wheel house, or (B) under a strict non-disclosure agreement (NDA). But thankfully I've got a grip of non-NDA work that's fit to post, so here are two good examples of the kind of thing I've been up to this year. More tomorrow!

CROCS™ Chameleons Ad
agency: Friends of Mine x Sleeping Giant

I've already done two projects with Friends of Mine, and they've quickly become some of my favorite people to work with. The following is a commercial that was put together on a very tight deadline, and still came out pretty great. The boys at Friends of Mine came to me to create a hefty library of elements that they could then animate. I cranked away for several days, handed over the elements, and a few days later Crocs had this magical little children's ad on their hands.

Backpocket Brewery Woodcut Illustrations

If you know anything about me, you know that I frequently lust for a good microbrew (the hoppier the better). Needless to say, I had a lot of fun drawing in a completely different style for Backpocket. They approached me about illustrating some common objects that would eventually brand their various beer styles. This was to be done in a rustic, woodcut style that would gel with their existing design work. To be clear, I did not design the labels, only the first image layout and all of the elements within.