Saturday, April 4, 2015


I recently stumbled across a gem:  the 1957 BYU Commencement Adress by Cecil B. Demille. That's right, the same Cecil B Demille who directed the film classic The Ten Commandments in 1956. It turns out that Demille was very close friends with the Prophet David O. Mckay, who gives the introduction.

Demille speaks in part about spirituality as it relates to his creative process, in part about his love and respect for the Mormon people, and in part about his convictions about the importance of following God's commandments. May more men like Mr. Demille arise in Hollywood— talented, uncorrupted and courageous.

Unfortunately the audio for the speech is not available, but the full get can be found here:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Martin Luther King Day

Yesterday was Martin Luther King day. I grew up hearing, watching, and reading selections from Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech in school, but it wasn't until two years ago that I listened to it from beginning to end. I decided to make it a tradition since then. My family and I listened again last night, and I did the drawing you see above while listening. Listening Dr. King's speech is always a powerful and sobering experience, and a solemn reminder of what a gift it is to enjoy the rights we possess in the free world today. If you didn't get the chance to listen yesterday, here's a link:

Note: Special thanks to Maggie Gallup and the L. Tom Perry Special Collections for the texture, which they were so kind in allowing me to photograph last week from their 11th century copy of Libri Quattuor Sententiarum. Your kindness will not soon be forgotten.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

New Project!

The Book of Mormon is amazing. Its miraculous origin, its spiritual power, and the human stories within it combine to make it one of the most powerful and exciting books ever written. I love the Book of Mormon, and one of my greatest passions is in telling its stories visually.

I will be graduating in December from art school at Brigham Young University, and for my final project (on display this May) I have decided to do a concept art exhibit about the life of Captain Moroni (The Book of Mormon, Alma 43-Alma 62). Moroni was the Chief Captain of the Nephite armies, and saved his nation from the brink of destruction more times than Spiderman, remakes included. I've loved his story ever since I was a kid, but was surprised to find that it's never been visually explored to any great depth. There have been some gorgeous individual paintings, a short film produced by the church, and even a 1978 comic book version in the Church produced children's "Book of Mormon Stories", but never has the story been treated to a re-telling at full depth or scale.  Even The Living Scriptures, which has told virtually every other Book of Mormon story in their fantastic animated films, has left the story of Moroni untouched. In the past, it's just been too big—both for the imagination and to handle on a reasonable budget. At the moment, I'm not up to the fiscal challenge of financing a full-scale trilogy about the life and career of Captain Moroni. However, I feel technology has caught up with imagination to the point where I can at least visualize it. Here's a taste of some of my preliminary work:

Basically, the idea is to create concept art (design a look and feel) for an imaginary film trilogy about the campaigns of Captain Moroni.

Several of the characters in the exhibit will be modeled in 3d and printed out as physical statuettes. Above is a model of the Bible's David that I did as a test last summer. Below is the same model, printed out 3 dimensionally in plastic. For more information on this piece, see the post on my professional art blog.

I'll post more as it develops, keep your eyes peeled! 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Nephite Costumes

I've always struggled with costume, largely because of a lack of knowledge/ visual library to pull from.  However, this semester I'm taking a history of costume class at BYU, and it's helping a ton. It's amazing how, while technique is important, so much of art and creativity is just about having something in your imagination to pull from. I'm a big advocate of not only educating your hands and technical skills, but educating your imagination. Study outside fields and dabble constantly in new visual material, so that you always have fresh ideas.

These characters are intended to be Nephites from the Book of Mormon.  As we don't know exactly where they lived or what their clothes looked like, I've based their clothes on a combination of Greek, Middle-Eastern, and Argentinian ideas. Not that these cultures would have had a particular influence on the Nephites, it just felt like a believable look.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bandit at Sebus

This was kind of a fun sketch I left out of the hiatus post yesterday.  It's one of the bandits attacking Ammon at the waters of sebus (the original story can be found in Alma 17 through about 21).  He's got these kind of interesting "nunchuck-axe" things going . . . lol