What's Up with Jacob Stoltz:
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Matt Von Ohlen, 1981-2016
Matt Von Ohlen: a great man, beloved by all, killed on 2 July 2016 by a hit-and-run driver while cycling in the bike lane in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York. We were friends since high school. His is one of the great faces. See you in our starry home, my friend. You are missed.
To Matt's family & friends: this portrait is yours to share, print, and do with whatever you like.
Click image to open high-resolution version in a new window.
Ad design for Seeger, a multimedia solo play about Pete Seeger by Randy Noojin, debuting at the NYC Fringe Festival, August 12-28, 2016.
Sing-along with folksinger/activist Pete Seeger at a benefit for U.S.-Cuban normalization where he uses his greatest songs to tell of his adventures with McCarty-era witch-hunters, the Blacklist, Peekskill riots, and how a sailboat helped clean the Hudson.
Watch for the show coming to a stage near you, and stop back here for more poster designs.
Grand Theft Autobiography
Flyer illustration for Grand Theft Autobiography, a play by Daniel Pinkerton of Fortune's Fool Theatre, debuting at the Minnesota Fringe Festival, August 4-14, 2016.
At the brand-new STRIKE THEATER,
in the historic Thorp Building, 1620 Central Ave NE Minneapolis, neighboring Tattersall Distilling and Diamonds Coffee.
Thursday 4 August - 5:30 pm
Saturday 6 August - 10:00 pm
Monday 8 August - 7:00 pm
Thursday 11 August - 8:30 pm
Sunday 14 August - 1:00 pm
Ticket info through FRINGEFESTIVAL.ORG
A friend commissioned me to make a custom cornhole set. My father-in-law built them, and I designed and painted the plaid pattern. I had free reign with the design, and this is one I'd been wanting to try, employing an 1950s-60s color scheme that's always resonated with me.
See my Cornhole page for more information on building custom cornhole sets and painting great-looking designs that stand up to getting whacked by beanbags all summer. I have specific advice regarding geometric spraypaint and masking tape designs such as this.
25 May 2016
My latest bookplate design, hand-drawn and -lettered for my mother in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright.
See more examples in the Design Department.
Just create a design, tile nine times on a letter-size image, print on self-adhesive label paper, and cut out!
Find a nice little box to hold a pile of the bookplates, and stick one on the lid. Makes a great gift!
Lasso of Truth comes to Minneapolis!
APRIL 15 to MAY 1, 2016
The Playwrights' Center, 2301 E. Franklin Ave, Minneapolis.
All shows $20 or pay-what-you-can!
Do you like comic books, feminism, history, non-traditional marriages, and bondage?
Go see Lasso of Truth!
This exciting play features about 100 of my comic-style drawings projected on stage as part of the script, to echo, enhance, and run counterpoint to the actors' dialogue. See examples and read more about the play in the Illustration Department.
I am thrilled that the play has finally come to my hometown, and that I finally got to make a poster for it!
Best of Kansas City 2015
From Kansas City's The Pitch:
Critics' Choice Award
As practitioners of what is perhaps theater’s youngest design element, projection designers are essentially innovators. This is especially so in the case of Jacob Stoltz, who surprised us with some of the most handsome (and production-suited) projections we’ve seen to date. Stoltz, a graphic artist, supplied a series of pop-art-style renderings for Lasso of Truth, Carson Kreitzer’s ode to Wonder Woman and wonder women. Stage characters became comic-book characters, with word-bubble punch lines and superhuman traits. And Stoltz’s comic-book stylings supplied a large part of the play’s charm and connective tissue, transforming a simple, compartmented set into clearly delineated playing areas.
I am honored by this award and write-up for my work on Lasso of Truth. Follow the link to examples of the projections in the Illustration Department.
Feast of Wolves
Go see Feast of Wolves at the Southern Theater, November 7-15! Tickets at WorkhausCollective.org
The game of Cornhole is ubiquitous in yards and on patios during the summer in Minneapolis. It's great because you can hold a beverage in one hand while you play. You may call it Beanbag Toss, but according to the American Cornhole Organization, the bags must be filled with feed corn or, better yet, resin beads. My father-in-law built this set, my wife sewed the bags, and I painted it with these characters I designed (click to enlarge).
Make your own custom cornhole set:
Read more about the materials, design, and creation process in the Illustration Department.
2 August 2015
The other day a childhood flashback recalled some Ferrara Pan candies I would get from the canteen at summer camp in the late 1980s. There have always been Lemon Heads, but preceeding today's Apple Heads and Grape Heads were Johnny Apple Treats and Alexander the Grape. (The racist cherry flavor shall remain nameless.)
Click to view high resolution version.
A Google image search revealed a complete lack of high reslution images of the Johnny Apple Treats package, and no vintage boxes were for sale on eBay (which I would love to scan and enlarge to reveal the printed Benday dots). Referencing a printout of a tiny JPEG, I set about recreating this logo and character by hand with ink and paper, and then coloring digitally.
The next thing I knew, I had spent several hours meticulously recreating an illustration that must have originally been dashed off quite crudely. What drove me was the strong pull of nostalgia. I also have a thing for creepy anthropomorphic food.
So here it is, my gift to the internet: a high resolution image of Ferrara Pan's Johnny Apple Treats package. You are welcome.
Is Alexander the Grape next?
30 June 2015
I am honored to have been nominated for an Excellence in Theatre Award from the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle for my illustration work on Lasso of Truth, along with three others from the production. Congratulations! The awards will be presented on 9 March 2015 at the Victoria Theatre in San Francisco.
Go see Skin Deep Sea, 13-21 February 2015 at the Playwrights' Center, 2301 E. Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis.
I designed this logo for Minneapolis bodyworker, healer, and endurance coach, Scott Hatch. Check out QuantumLifeWorks.com and make an appointment for a massage and infrared sauna today!
Here's an illustration from 2012. It is a tattoo design for a friend in memory of Lacey the cat.
Ink on paper with digital toning
8 x 8", 2012
Lasso of Truth, the play by Carson Krietzer I helped develop as graphic artist, has moved to Synchronicity Theatre in Atlanta on its rolling world premiere. Go see it, 26 Sept. to 19 Oct. 2014!
I've done a few new drawings for some rewritten scenes. Here is a selection:
I'd like to share these color mockups of an aborted illustration assignment, inspired by WWII posters.
For each version, I wanted to limit the color palette as much as possible.
Macbeth poster mockups
Ink on paper with digital color & lettering
Original 17 x 11", 2014
We've got All-Star fever here in Minneapolis!
Ink on paper with digital color
8 ½ x 11", 2014
I've been anxiously waiting to expose this album cover I illustrated and designed for St. Louis's own Will the Thrill!
Sorry to Disappoint Ya
Ink on paper with digital color & lettering
Original 11 x 11", 2014
Art direction & original concept by Willie Aguilar
Click to buy Will the Thrill's CDs directly from Willie!
Preview and download digital copies at Will the Thrill's CDbaby page.
Buy the poster on my Etsy site!
Will the Thrill plays an updated and original brand of '80s hair metal, and he shreds masterfully. He has reached a new level of artistry with this latest album. It was a blast bringing his vision to life on the album cover, and I'm proud to be a part of it.
Follow Will the Thrill on Facebook
In the Illustration Department you will find new navigation buttons on the top and bottom of each page, enabling you to easily move from one page to the next. They will soon be up in every department on the site.
If you stumble upon a broken or incorrect link, please let me know.
Look for this green button on select works of art; click on it to purchase originals and prints safely and securely through etsy.com.
One of my current projects is making drawings for a short animated video for the Minnesota Timberwolves! Stay tuned!
New on the site:
My Lasso of Truth page, with lots of artwork and information about the play.
A search bar on the left of each page.
Better navigation to quickly page through the artwork.
Easily purchase prints and original artwork with a click!
A useful & entertaining semi-monthly e-newsletter. Click on INFO/CONTACT on the left and subscribe today!
If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, it's your last week to catch Lasso of Truth at the Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley! Check out all the press it's been getting.
Here's some more of my artwork from the play (see more in the Illustration Department):
Here are select panels from one story arc in Lasso of Truth, the world-premiere play running now through March 16th at the Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley, CA. (See more in the Illustration Department.)
Set in the 1990s, the characters in these scenes are The Girl & The Guy, masterfully played by Lauren English & John Riedlinger.
The comics I drew for these scenes are black & white like the indie comics of the period such as Love & Rockets, and Optic Nerve.
If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, don't miss Lasso of Truth at the Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley!
This world-premiere play by Carson Kreitzer ends March 16th!
My comic-style art, as part of the script, is projected above the actors on stage. (See more in the Illustration Department.)
For the past few months, I've had the pleasure of helping launch the world premiere of Carson Kreitzer's complex, hilarious, hard-hitting feminist play Lasso of Truth at the Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley, CA.
Ms. Kreitzer's script calls for specific comic book panels to be projected on stage above the actors. About 100 in number, I drew them in ink, and colored many digitally to simulate the flat color of mid-20th Century comic books. (See more in the Illustration Department.)
The play centers on the historical figure William Moulton Marston: a Harvard-educated psychologist, inventor of the polygraph lie-detector, and creator of the superheroine Wonder Woman. Marston's theories on human personality are based on the pull between domination and submission. This played out in his bedroom with the bondage practiced by the man, his wife, and his mistress, who all lived together in the 1930s and 40s. Both women gave birth to children by Marston, and continued to raise them together after his death for the rest of their lives. Quite the (true) storyline, and only the beginning of the themes covered in the play!
See this video interview with the playwright and director for a good overview of the play, and an animated sequence of some of my work turning from pencil to ink. If you can't make it to the production, here's the playbill for viewing online.
Design for the centennial celebration of the Kennedy Street miners' houses in Juneau, Alaska. My family and I lived in the third house for a year, until July 2013, when we moved back to Minneapolis. The design was also made into a mug by Tom's Pots (see below).
Kennedy Street Centennial
Ink on paper with digital lettering, 8 ½ x 11", 2013
I am proud to announce the arrival of my beautiful daughter, Lucy Rain, born 18 April.
Lucy Rain, First Portrait
Graphite on paper, 8 ½ x 5", 2013
Another illustration for Tom's Pots, with details of the mugs Tom printed.
Brown Bear Catching Salmon
Ink on bristol, 6 ½ x 10", 2013
Here's a pretty little invitation I designed for my wife's baby shower.
Baby Shower Invitation
Hand-formatted digital lettering with copyright-free clip art, 4 ¼" x 5 ½", 2013
BEHOLD! A mighty T-shirt design for LA's premiere fantasy rock band, Ogre Mage!
Ogre Mage T-shirt Design
Ink on paper, 11 x 10", 2013
Below is my first solo foray into home screen printing. I designed this logo and printed it on T-shirts as gifts for family members.
Stoltz Foam & Paddle Club
Original artwork: black paint markers on Dura-Lar, 12 x 12", 2012
Ink on bristol, 6 x 12", 2012
Designed for ceramic artist Tom Meyer, of Tom's Pots, Juneau, Alaska.
I've been very busy lately, so I will post some things from my sketchbook.
This large drawing of mine hangs in my house, and I finally had it photographed:
Grain Belt Brewery
Ink on 100% cotton bristol, drawn with sable brush, 30 x 20", 2009
Drawn en plein air in my back yard in Northeast Minneapolis, Minnesota.
See detail in the Landscapes Department.
Below: a new poster illustration for a solo play, Hard Travelin' with Woody, written and performed by Randy Noojin.
Check out some details of the pencil drawing in the Illustration Department, and several different poster formats in the Poster Department.
Hard Travelin' with Woody Guthrie
Graphite on paper with digital lettering, 17 x 11", 2012
My logo designs for two websites run by Rick Widen of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Click the images to link to their respective websites.
See more variations of the above and below designs on their respective pages in the Logo Department.
I was surprised to see the logo I designed for the Juneau Empire featured in an AT&T ad.
Some beautiful designs from my personal collection:
My mom gave me these playing cards— still sealed at the time— for Christmas a few years back, when I lived two blocks from the old Grain Belt Brewery in Nordeast Minneapolis. I'm guessing they're from the 1970s.
More than any other designs, those of classic breweriana affect me deep in my aesthetic heart. Solid and bright colors printed in simple combinations, often— like these— with a touch of gold, an exciting mixture of fancy and modern typefaces, and imbued with a soul of history: the generations of American brewing tradition brought over from Germany.
Breweriana is a bottomless well of graphic design inspiration. The next time you find yourself in downtown Seattle, you have to stop for a meal at The Pike Brewery. The place is a breweriana museum, as well as an excellent restaurant and brewpub. No matter where you sit, you are surrounded by beautiful examples of posters, beer crates, and promotional brewery items of all kinds. They really have an astounding collection. When I was there I thought I was in heaven.
Ink on paper with digital color and lettering, 2012