Hygienic Horror

Proposed cover for October issue of Spider Magazine, 2013


Ever find yourself forced to do something, only to find out it's something you absolutely love?

Illustrating for children's media never crossed my mind as a college student, but I needed more credit hours to finish out one particular semester. My only option was Christopher Canyon's children's illustration class. Whatever trepidation I had melted away pretty quickly, especially over the course of my favorite assignment from him: a proposed October cover for Spider, the popular magazine for children.

As usual, I started with some thumbnail sketches. We indulged in our mutual love for Halloween and threw a lot of fun ideas at the wall.


Mr. Canyon is a master of experimenting and refining his work to suit the audience and the story he's telling. Naturally, he pushed me to do the same. I must've drawn that dang monster dozens of times before even starting the final. At the time, I hated it! Today, I credit him with teaching me the value of relentless reevaluation and revision, and stopping for nothing less than the best work I can produce before the deadline.

We workshopped this flossing creature, considering the funniest and most interesting details - the pose, the "camera" angle, the knick-knacks and easter eggs - before I took it to final.


Initial pencil drawing


Final proposed cover illustration.

This illustration might be the one I am most proud of from my time in school. When you set out to create something, magic happens when you take time to explore different directions, then pursue the best one with all the fun and energy you can muster.

Check out Christopher Canyon's work here.

If you want some fun illustrations for your kids' project, you know who to call. Let's talk!