Montage Journal

Initital Sketches

I began my sketches with custom brushes built that simulate pen pressure without requiring a tablet device. The main brush was designed to replicate the heavy hand post-Impressionist style of Vincent van Gogh; thick black strokes with dreamlike colors fluttering in vivid swirls around the lineart. The 39th volume of Montage Journal had a theme of "To Be Brave" which lead me to bring in inspiration from the illustrative techniques of children's books. Below are two sketches where I was figuring out if it made more sense to have the architecture as individual structures, and if sailboats should be added for extra depth, or if I could blend in the visual plane by building out a landscape. As you will see during this process, I did neither – which in full transparency was absolutely exhilarating.


Additional Pages

After I started getting a handle on what the buildings would look like, and that my focus would be on the buildings with celestial flourishes (the moon, the smaller planet), I then went in and started coloring. Since there was no restriction on the colors being used, I kept with the fairytale dreamlike energy being shown and utilized a very wide palette. The individual stages to seek bravery acted as the base for section pages – or pages that break off content. Each of these pages got their own building; extra individual illustrations were done for the windmill and moon. All of these drawings come together as part of the main illustration shown on the cover.


The Cover Illustration

For the cover, I kept everything pretty compact when compared to the airy and open sketches the design began as. I felt that "to be brave" and "montage" worked best in handwritten script, which seemed to go after the concept of notes left by characters in fairytales. The crescent moon hangs through the cozy, slumbering village – reminding everyone to sleep feeling brave and empowered. The orbiting planet was a detail closer to the end of this process I implemented to balance out the composition.


Product Photography

I designed the sets and photographed everything myself while in isolation at my partner's apartment — there was plenty of flora and table decor to create compelling atmospheres. While these photos were only for my personal use, I did utilize them on social media to promote the journal further, as well as the incredible work Montage's team does every year.


With love, from Brooklyn.

I am fortunate to have worked in collaboration with Joelle and Nina from Montage on this issue – your support and insight is always taken into consideration, and working together was an honor.

Case Studies

StasisPersonal – Lyric Booklet

MØLPersonal – CD Packaging

Montage JournalIllustration & Product Photos

Ability MediaEditorial Collages

Isle EtherealCompositing & Retouching

Day PopPhotography & Design

New SeancesCollage & Illustration

Scene DaddyArt Direction & Design

Wire DoodlesIllustration

Digital ArtPersonal – Artwork