Gore! Workspace! Spera!

The dead guy that brings the end to all humanity... and my home work space. It's small, but I love it. At least it isn't a meat locker like my usual space at the moment (though I love my arctic chamber)..

There's a lot missing from this image, it's just the first layer of the drawing. I'm planning on adding another layer of bugs and disgust. It's an image from a series I'm working on for a short story.

Always on my desk whether I use them or not:

"It's not how good you are, It's how good you want to be" -- Paul Arden
Araki, photofile (gotta love mini photobooks) --Thames & Hudson
When You Are Engulfed In Flames" -- David Sedaris
ART/WORK: Everything you need to know and do...
One Hundred Demons... roughly translated, Yoshitoshi
Handjob: A Catalog Of Type -- Michael Perry
Fables Covers -- James Jean
Acme Novelty Library -- Chris Ware

And my latest sketchbook:

At the beginning or very end of every year I end up buying a sketchbook. Not on purpose, it just sort of happened. They haven't all made it through the full year, they usually are "full" (whenever I feel like stopping) after several months. It's tough picking out a good sketchbook, this may not apply to most people but I have to really personalize and at the same time make the book less precious to me. If I can't manage to do both with each new book, somewhere along the line I lose interest in working in the sketchbook. HEY, maybe it's strange? But that's how I relate to my books. This is why I own a million moleskine's that are precious and unfinished and stacks of black canson books with scribbles and mistakes. I'm looking forward to my new cotton rag paper sketchbook though--off white pages? heavy paper? I think this one will make it.

Yeah, I'm kind of a paper geek.


I wanted to mention a project I took part in a few months ago that has been steadily and epically coming together. Spera! From the about page:

Written and created by Josh Tierney, Spera is a collaboration between artists from around the world, illustrated and told in consecutive sections that incorporate character designs by Sarah Ferrick. These sections form a tapestry of artistic styles and storytelling methods, turning the world of Spera into a poetic, surprising and wholly unique realm.

Above are two of the images from my section. Here's a link to the site! http://spera-comic.com/ Check it out! There's a lot of beautiful work to enjoy.

Happy New Year people!



Nothing goes as planned.

Personal work is still progressing, I had a few set backs on the pieces I was working on a few weeks ago-- when I said I was originally updating. Things are back on track though. Trust me, I want to post an update.

As far as life goes, the band is practicing pretty intensely (I play the drums. Aaand we play metal. Evil evil metal. Word.). As soon as we start having shows, I'll post something-- or at least a link to our site. I'm still sketching and drawing new ideas, and I'm still a teacher.

I've just about completed my first semester as a teacher at Harlem School of the Arts... and I have to say, I have an even greater appreciation for every single teacher/mentor I've had up to now. The kids I've had the honor of teaching are incredible! I'm constantly blown away by their creativity. I've even been introduced to new concepts just helping them develop their ideas, which has been really enlightening. This sort of thing happens to me just about everyday I teach, and has caused me to question and reevaluate all the lessons I've learned on my incredibly caffeinated path through art education.

How many hours of figure drawing? Making god awful paintings? How many gallons of ink did I go through to this day? Is that enough? How many different medium's did I try before I decided I loved ink? How many different sizes felt comfortable to work at what stages of my development? Who did I look up to in the comic world when I started? .... it goes on. I've heard it a million times, but as cliche as it sounds, it's the truth when people who work with kids/teens say they draw inspiration from their students. Also, overcoming the terror of all the eyes and ears paying attention to you is damn good for us creative introvert types. There are scarier things out there than having people listen to you. I promise.

It really makes you think when a 10 year old looks at one of your pieces and in two sentences gives you an idea that helps you take it to a finish. Don't underestimate the youngin's!



In the meantime..

Here's a better shot of a piece I posted here a few months ago. It's definitely an improvement-- pro' photographers are life savers. I'll be making a decent post in the following week, promise. Sketchbook, pieces, life update...


Kinda sick and disturbing.

A detail of a piece I'm working on. Blood, bugs, guts. More to come.


Skull Dog, thing.

The last two weeks:

Drawing. Drumming. Teaching. Drumming. Drawing. Teaching. --HORRIBLE ALLERGIC REACTION--... drawing.


"EY ...ey youngblood!"

I've landed a teaching job, so a lot of my time has been driven towards getting ready for the upcoming semester (in about 10 days). I've never taught before, but I'm loving the challenge already. Should be a good time! I'm also juggling a few other projects, expect updates to come in bursts over the next few weeks. Look! Sketchbook zombie.



No matter how friendly someone seems on the approach, always sign a contract.

A designer from a reputable book publisher contacted me sometime last year(July?) to work on a big project. It was a book cover for a new young adult fiction novel; about a girl who is essentially stranded on an island. The designer claimed to be a fan of my work, so even though I knew the schedule would be intense(2 weeks, give or take), I was determined to make it happen. This publisher was also overseas at the time, so working around the 6hours ahead/6hours behind schedule was a valuable lesson in time management.

I was told to redraw the boat near the deadline and ended up submitting both of the above for approval.

UNFORTUNATELY, I was not paid. I worked solely on this project during that time and ended up working for free. When I sent the high res files, the publisher and designer became elusive. When I finally got in contact with the billing department, they gave me the run around, eventually told me I would be paid. Months passed, follow-up emails unanswered I painfully accepted I was screwed.

A few months later I found they didn't use the image for their bookcover, but I could argue that they stole the color scheme and the general feel of the piece for the final image they used. Unfortunately, it's an "idea" and those are generally up for grabs before execution or incredibly debatable. My time spent was severely undervalued.

In the end...

Even if it's your Mom. I'm serious.

That said, I'm avoiding mentioning the publisher in this post because honestly, burning bridges isn't my thing. I'll leave the rest to Karmic retribution.


There are few things worse....

There are few things worse....than being an illustrator and finding out you're not getting your email. If you sent me anything in the past two weeks, feel free to resend.


15min ink 2

Fun between projects... September is a busy month.


15min ink drawing

Everyone loves Zombies

Am I right? Drawn during an episode or two of Lost and colored during 1/3 of a Hendrix album.

No Supervision

Part of something big.



New work! Image update as soon as I get access to a better camera. This piece was all about rhythm for me, rather then symmetry. It was a lot of fun to make, and taught me a lot in terms of control and patience. ANYWAY, thanks for checking it out!


Work in progress vid part 2, final piece

12+ hours of thinking and drawing (and re-redrawing) later...

here's the url in case theres problems with the vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaR5bEB-TW8

And the final image:

Thanks for checking it out!



6/17/09 ...Work in progress vid

You'll want to play your own music in the background for this one. Youtube has a terrible rights-free music selection...


Work in Progress

A new piece I've been working on.


posters? book covers?

Some quick posters I inked to keep myself warmed up for the bigger projects. The one on the left is a poster for my band or at least some EP art whenever we finish recording. The one on the right is work in progress-- but it could go in a few directions now content-wise, so I left it alone.


Accepting commissions!

Accepting commissions! $75.00 each, including shipping.

You get: 11.5 in x 17 in original inked artwork on handmade khadi watercolor paper, the ink I use is Yasutomo brand ink, the blacks will be rich and sexy, I promise.

Payments through paypal, shipment through fedex. Expect it to take 2-3 days to create depending on the complexity of the image. I'm also open to the idea of getting say-- a single word and making a response to it. Contact me at ray@jonesray.com , serious inquiries only please.

p.s. As far as reproduction of the work goes, I own the rights to the image, this is solely personal use/ collecting.


Autumn Release -- Now slightly more recession friendly!

Autumn - the collected works of Ray Jones 2007-2009, 8x10 and 42 pages. --The book contains work from my "book project" -Peaceoffering, as well as the TBFL (to bury future lovers) series now simply known as Autumn.

I decided to publish my book through Blurb.com. The paperback is $22.95 not including shipping.

Order here.

I may come out with a small supplementary sketchbook-book with all my sketchbook work all the way back to undergrad soon, but I'm planning that right now.


Work for Sale

I'm selling the last 3 large pieces I created at the show, but I thought I'd give the interweb a chance to buy them too. If anyones interested that is.

Each piece is priced at $850.00 USD, not including S&H which I would handle through FedEx.
Payment will be through Paypal.

Each piece is 60'' x 36'', Sumi Ink on Khadi Handmade Watercolor paper. It's really really thick/ heavy paper.

At War with Deceit


Like the Abyss

Work will be shipped after the MFA Illustration thesis show comes down. Contact me via email at ray@jonesray.com.


MFA Illustration Thesis Show/ AI-AP TRIBUTE Web Gallery/ Book Release

MFA Illustration Thesis Show - excerpts taken from Illustrationmundo.com:

School of Visual Arts (SVA) presents “Selected Works From MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Thesis Projects,” an exhibition that brings together books, figurative paintings, graphic novels and narrative series by 20 students graduating from the MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Department at SVA. Curated by faculty member David Sandlin, the exhibition will be on view at the Visual Arts Gallery, 601 W 26 St. 15th floor, New York City, from May 1 – 16, 2009.

The Visual Arts Gallery, located at 601 West 26th Street between 11th and 12th Avenues, 15th floor, is open Monday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm; closed on Sundays and public holidays. Admission is free. The gallery is accessible by wheelchair. For further information call 212.592.2145.

More info here: http://www.illustrationmundo.com/wp/1358


I found out I was chosen to be in the upcoming TRIBUTE ai-ap web gallery for 2009. Hotness!


News on my book:

Autumn - the collected works of Ray Jones 2007-2009, 8x10 and 42 pages. --The book contains work from my "book project" -Peaceoffering, as well as the TBFL (to bury future lovers) series now simply known as Autumn.

I decided to publish my book through Blurb.com. The paperback is $29.95 not including shipping. I'm making a $5 profit from each book-- so if you buy one when its released, you're essentially buying me a meal haha. I'm waiting for my first proof to come to me on May 4th, I'll post details on ordering here if I'm happy with the turn out.


Like the Abyss


Just finished.... I made more of this up along the way then usual. A really stressful piece. A lot of the (ink)painting is black on black, so I'm not sure how effective this photo is.


Quick Sketchbook post

I figured between pieces I'd post a few sketchbook drawings. They're mostly mindless mark-making that evolves into something. I usually do these just to keep my brush technique warmed up for the bigger pieces..

Coney island... the only sketch not out of my head. That had to be the most overcrowded and literally saddest aquarium I've ever seen in my life. I hope they get some funding or whatever it is they need to improve.


GRAFUCK 4 Exhibition

Some info on a show I'm in. If you're in the area you should definitely check it out.

Gallery Nucleus presents the GRAFUCK art exhibition celebrating the release of the highly anticipated Grafuck 4 art book. The exhibit features an international roster of artists who have contributed to the fourth edition of this notoriously popular book series.

Illustration, photography, fine art, and graphic design come together in this intriguing and provocative collection of images and ideas. The new release boasts an impressive centerfold illustrated by the award-winning James Jean.

Several artists will in attendance to sign the new book release.

Live body painting by Jim Mahfood. Interactive displays. Exclusive artist merchandise. With music by DJ R-Rated.

Sponsored by Nerdcore

Opening Reception:
Saturday, April 11, 2009 (7pm to 11pm)
Free admission and refreshments, Ages 18 + with ID required
Exhibit runs through April 20

Gallery Nucleus
210 E Main St
Alhambra, CA 91801
Just 15 mins outside of downtown LA
Contact: Wade Buchanan

Book Pre-Order:
The new art book is now available for pre-order. All pre-orders will be signed by the artists attending the opening reception. They will be shipped the week of April 13. Pre-order link: http://gallerynucleus.com/detail/7331

The new art book features over 80 artists:
Alexander Egger
Audrey Kawasaki
Axel Galvan
Brent Bonacorso
Camilla d'Errico
Cesar Finamori
Christian Castañeda
Christina Vantzou
Colin Cassidy
Daan Habets
Danae Diaz
Davison Carvalho/Weeneeds
Diego Beyró / Fabrica
Dino Alberto / An Idle Robot
Eduardo Kerges
Edwin Ushiro
El Mato
Elena Dolgova
Eszter Toth
Eveline Tarunadjaja
Fabrice Lachant
Fernanda Guedes
Gabriel Pulecio + Natalia Hoyos
Givan Lötz
GJ Lee
Ippei Gyoubu
Ina Kyung Lim
Jasphine Chew
Jeff Clement
Jessica Lopez
Jirayu Koo
Jonathan Bartlett
Josh Steinbauer
Juan Camilo Monroy Parra
Kevin Necessary
Kevin Romaniuk
Krzystof Leffav
Laura Tulaite
Leo Volland
Lesja Chernish
Luke Ramsey
Mamifero Familiar
Marguerite Sauvage
Mathias Reynoird
Matty Harper
Mike DeNicola
Mikel Marton
Mitch V
Naja Conrad-Hansen
Nathan Appel
Ned Rosen
Pomme Chan
Raymond Jones
Rebecca Tillett
Rosie Emerson
Saddington & Baynes
Silvio Porretta
Tessar Lo
The Little Friends of Printmaking
Trevor Paul / Firebrand
Trystan Bates
Wilfrid Wood
WOND3R/Aaron Ricchio
Yamabuki House

Cover Art by:
Peter Vattanatham + Fiel Valdez
Vladimir Jedlicka
Saddington & Baynes


New piece

Just finished. Lost some detail in the photo but there's still some to enjoy. 4 weeks til graduation!



Been awhile I know...

I have 7 weeks of grad school left. Panic! Here's part of a new diptych I'm working on. This is on that 3.5 by 5ft tall paper I love using... so it will be about 7ft long by 5ft high when its done. This half is about 60% or so I think. All sumi ink on khadi paper.



...on a sunday. 5-6 Red Bulls and 3 Espresso's later... I can rest.

The second image is what I was trying to show last post. Better camera, but i'm working on getting cleaner shots.


Studio Update

Another new piece shot by my bad camera phone, the one that was meant to be paired with the other fear piece i created.



New Piece

Finally got an okay shot of my latest piece. This one is about... 5ft-ish by 3.5ft-ish on Khadi (spl?) paper. Anyway, on to the next.


In the studio

I've been working on a few new things, the most ambitious being a 5ft by 3.5ft or so ink drawing. Here's a bad camera phone shot of it... I'm hoping to finish it completely before AI-AP. Thats a 0 sumi ink brush, in case anyone was wondering.


New work

I basically live in my studio now. I'm getting a lot done though, my work has made some progressions I'm pretty proud of. The following is one of the first serious "fear" pieces for my book. I'm exploring different ways of composing my blacks and developing textures these days. It's been worth the investment..

This is only half of the whole picture, the other image complements this piece but doesn't necessarily continue the image. I'm still playing with the concept but here's half my idea for now.


The Last Two

The last two drawings from a week ago that I brought to an inked final. If they didn't make it to this round, its safe to say they won't. Ever.


One down

I may rework this later, or just make a new piece from this as a starting point. Too many small anatomy issues for me to nitpick over. I'm happy with it though.



For those who like to see progress shots, this is usually about where I like to take my pencils. At this point, this leaves me enough flexibility for my mark making while giving me a chance to map out where or how I want to balance my blacks.

(Ha! She has a lazy eye. I'm at a point in my drawing stage where If I mess with the eye, I'll end up changing everything, and I like the face overall, so I'm going to leave it alone. When I get around to inking it, I'll take a few minutes to get the face where I want it.)

Still trying to figure out what to do with this. Even if it doesn't work, gotta toss some ink on it just to say I tried to salvage what is, without a doubt, simply an attempt at illustrating some crotch shots. Enjoy!