Drawing Work

Please note that the drawings above have been uploaded as extremely compressed resolution (roughly 1500px wide, often a 70% reduction from the original) for presentation online. The final original artworks have a lot more details when zoomed in.


(See also - my pen plotter work that uses a lot of these drawings as the source)

This series of drawings was started during the pandemic. A lot of them deal with thoughts around decision making, control, influence, and anxiety. I have a lot of thoughts around these works and I've put them together below as mostly disorganized bullet points around approach, technique, etc.

  • Thousands of individual circles are each micro-decisions made by me that feel like an influence on the resultant work but my control over the end form is more a function of:
    • The canvas size and borders
    • Choosing when to stop (do i fill the canvas or stop?)
    • The size of individual elements and how small can I draw them?
    • What kinds of shapes can I evoke
    • Sometimes I'll have layers to help guide a larger shape, but macro- and micro-interactions take a long time to collide.
  • I am not great at drawing things that look like other things, but I can draw thousands of circles and lines that turn into abstractions of larger shapes and forms. I can control where I draw each circle, but I feel I have very little control over the overall composition. I find a meditative process in the moment, but it can also be looked at as a more existential grappling over individual influence over larger systems. Letting go and ceding control to the larger picture while continuing to make individual decisions that can still influence it. I can only step backwards in time a few steps and erasing and reworking things is nearly impossible because of the "linkage" method of drawing circles.
  • A big part of my process is drawing on the tablet itself. The large scale of the drawings and the limitations of a small screen size end up allowing me to be looking at maybe 5% of the overall drawing at a time. I am often constantly zooming in and out to reflect on the larger shapes I'm working on and how the shading and interactions between sections are going. This narrow window and "drinking the whole drawing through a straw" is also a nice surprise element when i finish a big area and zoom out and see how the overall composition has changed.
Taking Forever [compressed]
  • A lot of my artistic background and prior experience is in digital art and real-time video, and I feel like I bring a lot of those learnings here. In a lot of ways this work feels like a reaction against a lot of that work, or a desire to try another approach that is more about long timescales vs. very short ones. I can make split second decisions when performing live video and change the entire canvas, but here I am slowly rendering a single frame over months or years that can then be used for other outputs.
  • I've been asked why I couldn't or wouldn't just write software to generate a lot of the circle drawings (circle packing, for instance, or even AI generated). For me, the drawing of each individual circle feels a lot more like the performance and the art than the resulting final image. It's not about making an algorithm that can generate thousands of less meaningful circles with each new button press of the randomization seed. These are thousands of circles that inherited a little bit of my attention on a quiet evening or a busy afternoon. The shapes, curves, and masses of forms that collide wouldn't really come together in the same way if I was trying to capture them with an algorithm. However, I can't deny that a bit of algorithmic thinking still comes up in my own mind. I've spent over 15 years doing digital art, and I think a lot of that ingrained decision making is still influencing these final pieces.
  • I've never had or really aimed for single frame artworks like these in the past and it feels like a different challenge compared to time-based art. Also, when they are printed or re-interpretted as pen plotter art, I have a physical artwork that can be given away or sold in a more traditional manner and that also feels like a new part of artistic practice to grapple with.
  • I do have a few of these drawings that I've done as just pen and paper drawings, but I find these a lot more difficult to make. They are a lot more taxing on the hand and a lot more anxiety producing about only having a single copy of the artwork vs the iPad drawings that can just be backed up and edited and chopped up. One sneeze or stray mark and dozens of hours can be ruined.
  • I tend to work in chunks of either 10minutes to over an hour at a time when adding stuff. When I started these, I was raising my young toddler and it was sometimes hard to have enough time to attention to devote to a large undertaking with a goal as an end result that required a lot of focus. The open ended nature of these pieces helped me complete them because the end goal was always elusive and not required.
Taking Forever [Detail]
  • Piece names are currently:
    • Influence Of (2021) - 3840x2160px
    • Taking Forever (2021) - 7680x4320px
    • Attention Graph (2021-present) - 7680x4320px
    • Forgiveness Well (2022) - 7680x4320px
    • Trick of the Light (2023) - A3@300dpi
    • In Between Flashes (2023) - A3@300dpi
  • For the circle drawings, I'm eventually considering them a series of 4 that include Influence Of (White), Attention Graph (Red), Taking Forever (Blue), and a fourth piece that hasn't been started yet that will be a mix of white and green. The RGB pixel that many of us spend our days looking at is a big driver behind these feeling interrelated. 
  • The more sketchy/flowy line drawings are in a different space but are meant to explore different drawing gestures and shapes than I can easily achieve with just circles.
  • Some drawings take 10 hours and others take 80+ hours. Taking Forever took about 70 hours over 4 months and I've been working on Attention Graph since the Fall of 2021 and still haven't finished it.
  • I want to show these super large scale some day - I find enjoyment out of seeing a larger form from far away and then watching the details resolve as you get even closer
  • I intentionally make these so that they don't look great on social media/websites/phone screens. They are meant to be seen and experienced at a large scale. I find a lot them are super challenging to share on instagram as such a small size without the ability to zoom in and see details.
  • I am definitely aware of Hiroyuki Doi, Barbara Takenaga and other similar artists that do other work like this but I wasn't aware of them when I started making these :)
Taking Forever - Pan over and Zoom out of details from the full drawing:
Long timelapse videos captured by Procreate that document how these pieces take shape:

 Influence Of - roughly 37,000 strokes:

Taking Forever - this is 70% progress video that is super compressed - roughly 72 total hours for this piece and over 100,000 strokes:

Some hand drawn samples with pen and ink, mostly on 4" x 4" cardstock:

These digital and hand drawn drawings are for sale as prints when needed but I do not have an official shop or fulfillment system set up at the moment, so you may need to reach out directly (see my email address at the bottom of the page to reach out directly)

Selected Works

Pen Plotter WorkPersonal Projects

Circle DrawingsPersonal Project

Polarizer ArtworkPhysical artwork with linear polarizers

TV TelescopeWatching TV from a mile away

Extruded ScreenFiber optic filament display

You're on TVLive TV face swap

i miss you, neighborConnecting local strangers and friends

Self Destructive BehaviorScreen that slowly breaks itself

Hold TimePersonal photo blitz

Movie Stickers100,000 stickers in a room

7up | Music Lifts You UpCommercial Work

Google | Project Re:BriefCommercial Work

Shen Wei Dance ArtsArts Collaboration

Lexus | Trace Your RoadCommercial Work

IBM | Outthink Hidden ARCommercial Work

Samsung | Liquid CanvasCommercial Work

Other Professional WorkVarious Projects

Color A SoundAnalog/digital Instrument

Fake LoveFormer Experience Design Company

Sonic SculpturesPersonal Projects

street_crtPersonal Projects

Music VideosCollaborative video art

Older WorkPersonal Projects

Older Live Visuals WorkAudiovisual explorations 2006-2016