TSO and King Rurik

Last summer I spent a decent chunk of my time prepping for my first major published work. I inked the pencil art of Greg Hildebrandt for a narrative piece commissioned by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra! It was very, VERY exciting, but one of the most nerve wracking experiences of my life.

I was given one week to do the finished work, but fortunately, I’d been practicing and experimenting with some of the panels for a few weeks before the final assignment. And to make it even more fun, I was told NO white ink. Now, if you’re not a person who inks, let me explain.  Normally, when you make a mistake you fix it with white ink, because it is similar to the color of the white paper. Simple, right? Unfortunately, the paper we were using was not perfectly white, and the only use of white ink allowed was for intentional marks.. Add to that the fact that I had never professionally inked before and these pages were all over sized, and you might say I felt the pressure.

Typically, I am not a coffee drinker. That week, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, and chocolate covered espresso beans became my new best friends. I have never appreciated the power of caffeine in all of my years until I got that project.

Here’s the practice art:

One of my favorite parts of this project were the moments when Greg would say as I left the office, “Make sure you don’t F*CK it up!” If you’ve ever met Greg, you’d know that he was only joking, but it was certainly a good reminder to make sure I indeed did not f*ck it up.


In the end, this project was very involved for both of us. I worked my hardest to make sure that Greg’s art FELT like his art. When I was all done, he went back in with washes of gray or color where he felt it was appropriate. The finished work was clean, organic, and beautiful. I was honored to have this opprotunity. It was a once in a lifetime experience, and I could not have been more excited. Want to see where it ended up? TSO released a new album, “Letters from the Labyrinth” in October 2015. The narrative art was used in their CD booklet, and in the 2015 Winter Tour Program.

Below, you can see the 2015 Program, and a sample of the art for the year. We only have a few left, but you can get them signed by Greg! To buy your program, visit here: https://www.spiderwebart.com/productsd.asp?snob=111334

Thank you for your support!!


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