Archive for the ‘sketches’ Category

Chivas and Miller Lite

August 28, 2012

for the “Expresa tu Pasión” Chivas and Miller Lite contest

This is a poster I designed for the “Expresa tu Pasión” contest for Miller Lite, the official sponsor of las Chivas de Guadalajara in the US.

My design is currently competing. If you like it, vote for it here It takes a bit of work to register, but once you are registered you can vote once every day. Check out the other artists that are competing and check out this Miller Lite Sizzle video.

I was thrilled when I was contacted about the contest a few months ago. I’m a big Chivas fan and Miller Lite is an off the hook beer. The assignment was to design a poster that featured Chivas fans demonstrating their passion for their team.

These are some of my initial sketches

My first thought was to do something with the actual Chiva, the teams mascot. But then I decided to use a fan with a Chiva mask  instead. Miller Lite shared with the artists some products they have designed and one of them was a Chiva luchador mask, so it seemed appropriate.  

My artwork is influenced by Pre-Columbian art. For this piece I looked at  this page from the Borgia codex for inspiration. I believe that the two Gods are Quetzalcoatl and Miquiztli.

I liked the mirror like effect and decided that I should include at least two fans in my poster. This is a sketch which is getting close to what my final design was. I included a pair of Chivas and some old school soccer balls as a framing devise. I dropped them from the final piece though, so that it would be cleaner and have a billboard like effect.

…Mohawks and fohawks are in style among soccer players

Marco Fabian



The 11 stars at the bottom of the poster represent the 11 championships the team has won. Chivas are the most succesful team in Mexican soccer, they have the biggest fan base and they are the only team in the league that plays with Mexican players only. Four players of the Mexican soccer Olympic team that just won the gold in London are from Chivas. This is a short vid I made animating the poster. The song is “Chivas de Corazón” by Banda Machos.

I took a bunch of goofy pictures rocking my friends autographed Chivas jersey. Unfortunately it is not mine…



el rebaño sagrado

Marco Fabian


I illustrated the cover of a book about Las Chivas a while back. I have a blog entry about it with images and interesting anecdotes of the team. Check it out here its in Spanish… y arriba las Chivas!!!!


June 13, 2011

ZapaShiva tee

I have been making some t-shirt mock ups lately. The one above is of ZapaShiva, a Zapatista woman in the pose of the Hindu godess Shiva. I’ll write about the image on my next post.

This is another mock up I made.

Original Baller

I am thinking of submitting my designs to Threadless. An online store and community where you submit your design and people vote for it. If people vote for your design Threadless considers printing the tee and selling it. The designer/artist gets a cash prize.

M train, West 4 to Marcy Ave

This one has one of my subway sketches on it. I made it on the M train from the West 4th Street stop to the Marcy Avenue stop. To see more of my subway sketches click here. Any thoughts or suggestions on these tees? If I print them, would you buy one?


May 18, 2010


One of the most exciting experiences I’ve had this year was attending the Tbilisi Regional Art Festival -Degree & Profession in Tbilisi, Georgia. I was invited to present my project Journey of a Mixteco, which was my senior thesis at Parsons the New School of Design in 2008.

I went to the festival with Lydia Matthews, Dean of Academic Programs at Parsons and three other Parson’s alumni: Christopher Nesbit from Photography, Ida Benedetto from Design and Technology and Georgeana Ortiz from Fashion. It was Lydia’s sixth time in Tbilisi. Besides her work at Parsons she is a curator and has brought artists to the city before. We were the only American university invited to the event. This invitation was largely due to the relationship and passion that Lydia has with the Georgian country.

Several European universities were invited to participate. Unfortunately due to the volcanic ash, only Parsons and the Yerevan State University of Architecture and Construction from Armenia were able to attend. The event was hosted by the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts, but several schools from Tbilisi were involved. The Romualdo del Bianco Foundation was an instrumental sponsor of the event.

Most of our Parsons group flew from JFK. Some of us met for the first time at the airport. Ida, who is a Fulbright grantee in Ethiopia, flew from Addis Ababa to meet us.

Hagia Sophia

We were able to work out a day stop in Istanbul before heading to Tbilisi. Istanbul is an incredible city, and it was a tease to be there for such a short time. Click here to see more photographs I took while in Istanbul.


The Tbilisi festival organizers were incredible hosts, especially Nana Iashvili the Dean of the Faculty of Art Media, who always looked after us. Plenty of food and wine were a must every day. During our visit we attended a variety of cultural events and were able to go sightseeing in the country on two occasions.

We visited Mtskheta, Bodbe and Sighnaghi.

near the Jvari monastery

I was really taken aback by the churches. They are very sparse, like caves and have wonderful Byzantine art. Being in such ancient places makes one realize how old the world is.

This is a link to more photographs



We we were in Tbilisi for 4 days total. On the second day Georgeana and I participated in a Shibori workshop. Shibori is a Japanese dying technique. The workshop was held at La Maison Bleue, a textile art studio established by five artists, all graduates of the Tbilisi State Academy of Art. The workshop instructor was Keti Kavtaradze. I got to meet her and Nino Kvrivishvili, also an artist at the studio.

Nino Kvrivishvili

The students that participated were from a variety of universities and from different disciplines, but mostly from textile design. These are the pieces that Georgeana and I produced.

Click here to see more photographs of the workshop.


Presentation Day

On the last day of the festival we did the presentations of our thesis. Ida presented Lilliput, a photographic non-linear travel log. Chris showed his drawings of vanished buildings in New York imposed over photographs and videos of what stands there now. Georgeana showed a sustainable fashion collection inspired by the atmosphere and a best practice manual for sustainable fashion designers. I presented Journey of a Mixteco, a short graphic novel based on the true story of an undocumented Mexican worker that now lives in New York.

when I come to New York I have so many jobs, man

There were a number of Georgian students that that also presented their thesis, as did two of the Armenian students. Most of the other projects shown were in the fields of architecture and animation.

After the thesis presentations there was a break. Afterwards there was a presentation of the projects that were produced during the workshops. In most of the workshops a variety of students came together for a couple of days and put together a short presentation that addressed a topic. Many of them had to do with globalization, and many were a celebration of  Georgian culture and heritage.

A fashion show followed, and afterward there was a ceremony to announce award winners.

Christopher won the award for the best design. And to my delight my project won the prize for the best presentation. I was thrilled. It is very encouraging to know that although my project is very specific to an area in the world it is able to transcend and to be appreciated and understood in a completely different part of the world. I really want to continue developing the project now. I am looking for grants. Suggestions for places to look into are very welcome.

Chris, me and the xinkhali

It was a very special trip for me. I was able to connect with my Parsons peers through out the week and I was able to connect with some of the Georgian staff, faculty and students. They were very glad I won the award and that made the experience that much more memorable.

Georgians can and love to sing

I know the Festival was being filmed for a program on Georgian TV. I would love to get a hold of that footage.  It’d be very amusing to watch. I’m also looking for a youtube link to Mexican soap operas in Georgian. I saw a clip on TV for one of them at the hot baths…


The flight back to New York was brutal.

at the Istanbul airport

Sunset Park Subway

December 22, 2009
D or N to the R

D or N to the R

A few weeks ago I received an email from Monica Toledo, an illustrator and designer from the IDC department at Parsons, the department I graduated from. She asked me if I’d be interested in participating in her project. It entailed creating an image about the experience of being a Latino artist that lives or has lived in New York which she would then hand embroider. I said sure. The image at the top of the post is the one I created, I will post the one she did based on it soon.

For about a year and a half I lived in Sunset Park, in Brooklyn, where there is a large Mexican enclave. I was thrilled when I first found the neighborhood, and thrilled when I moved there. While living in Sunset Park I worked for a couple that was renovating a brownstone in Harlem. I’d ride the D train all the way from 36th Street BK to 125th Street Manhattan. I always took my sketchbook with me. These are some of the sketches I did:

D W4 to 36th St

D 59th to 125th St

D Broadway Lafayette to 36th St

I always tried writing the stop where the drawing started and the stop where the drawing ended. I got the biggest thrill from doing these drawings because I had to draw as fast as I could. I never knew where the person would get off and the drawing would end. I have two sketchbooks full of these drawings and I plan on filling more once I’m underground again.

When Monica told me about the project it seemed natural to me to draw a scene that takes place in the subway, with a variety of Latinos -the mom, the child, the workers, the hoodlum, the teenage girl, the artist- in this case all  Mexicans, riding along.

Here is the full Sunset Park story, which I think also gets at the crux of what being Mexican in NY was like for me:

“I don’t know what the hell’s the matter with her. She’s crazy, me entiendes?” says a girl in her late teens. She’s wearing tight jeans, airforce ones and is bundled in a Baby Phat jacket. With that outfit she could be Dominican, or Black, or Chinese, –or anything, really; it’s that inner City public school outfit—but her features, the flags on the stores around us, and the street carts selling tacos and gorditas assure me that she’s Mexican.

“What is you say? Que esta loca?” says a guy walking next to her. He is wearing tight jeans instead of baggy ones, old black shoes instead of new Nikes, an awkward fitting denim jacket instead of a North Face, a baseball hat that buckles in the back instead of a New Era fitted one. He is Mexican too, but unlike the girl, a recent arrival.

I walk behind them for a couple of blocks before I reach a phone. I listen to them speak Mexican slang: chido, guey, pinche; words that you don’t hear other Latinos in the City say. They mix it with New York lingo –Word? For Real?—and I don’t know if it’s the contrast of sounds, the back and forth of slangs, or the mere sight of them, but something clicks. Something feels right. I’m moving to this neighborhood.

I’m on my last quarters, but I finally reach the guy. “Sorry,” he says, “the room is taken already,” and hangs up. I look around; a mother is about to cross the street. She is holding her children’s hand. They could be the kids that sell dolls and crafts at the market, the kids that watch the goats in the ranches. But instead they are here, surrounded by brick buildings and traffic lights. There is frozen snow on the ground and they’re speaking perfect Nickelodeon English.

I thought that Sunset Park was a big Cantonese enclave, but to my surprise, at least this large chunk of it, is not. Before I take the train back to my cousin’s place I buy myself some esquites –dos pesos—from a lady on the corner. The scolding hot soupy mix of corn, mayo, lime and chile burns my tongue, makes my nose drip and my eyes tear. It reminds me of home.


I pick Willy, my little brother up from the airport. He’s here for a few weeks. He has an interview scheduled at the small progressive boarding school I went to. We ride the train from the A to the F to the R, and drop his things off at my new place on 54th Street. My roommate, Angel, is not home. I’m surprised; he is usually here, sitting in the couch, half watching a bootleg DVD for the nth time and listening to Reggaeton while he instant messages on his Treo phone.

I liked the space and when I saw the Virgen de Guadalupe in the living room I was excited about living with him. Angel was born here, but his mom came from Puebla. He’s been there twice. The other day we were talking about Mexican legends and that was cool, and he says that he hits the salsa clubs on the weekends and I look forward to that; but I don’t know if it’s because of all the postmodern snobbery I’ve read, or the one too many Big Macs he’s eaten, or maybe it’s just the stars and we have different personalities, but the gap between us seems to be growing larger every day.

Willy and I walk over to Fifth Ave and I tell him that I’ll treat him to some food, but really the treat is for me. He eats Mexican everyday. I haven’t had any in months. And we have choices, from 36th Street, where the cemetery ends, all way down to 64th, the BQE, it’s nothing but Mexican Restaurants, groceries, DVDs and CDs stores, with some barber shops, churches, Associated supermarkets and the occasional Burger King and Footlocker between them; a lot of commerce and pedestrian traffic, actually. It’s a pretty happening neighborhood in its own way.

We settle for Restaurante el Charro, between 42nd and 43rd, right across the Park. A girl with a DF, a Mexico City accent takes our order. Willy, short for William Tlaloc Smith Hernandez, gets some enchiladas and I get chiles rellenos and a tamarind water. On a 1 to 10 scale, it gets a 7, and I’m being generous. The cheese is plasticky, the rice and beans are a little too mushy and acrid. But the portions are good and the price is right. The check comes and I pay. I leave a good tip, the way an older brother should.

We walk up the park. The grass is thawing and yellow. Its slopes look into the Jersey industrial shore. We turn around. The sky is silver and vast. On the right, lower Manhattan’s skyscraper peek over Brooklyn. It’s a gray, nippy day. We won’t see one of those beautiful fuchsia sunsets that give the park its name; not today.

Soccer balls start to fly as we reach the top. They are all Mexicanos, all paisas, playing on a large concrete slab next to the basketball courts. We could try to pick up a game, but Willy and I decide to roam some more. The neighborhood is just a new for me as it is for him.

We walk past an empty pool and then go down the park’s west end into streets lined with brownstones. Willy tells me about our little cousin Luis, the devil. He saw him yesterday at my grandma’s before my uncle put him on the plane. He tells me of little Luis’ “Chivas! Chivas!” battle cry before he kicks your shins. Then he tells me about Norberto and his other friends in San Miguel. I tell him that this semester is rough, that I’m scratching for money, but that I finally have a job as a cashier at an Indian fusion food place in Soho.

I ask him how Dad is doing, if he is recuperating at all and Willy is saying, “So-so,” when we reach Eight Avenue. So this is where all the Chinese people on the D train that I transfer out of on 36th street end up. It’s the mirror image of Fifth Ave, but instead of Spanish, the Restaurants, bakeries and groceries have big red and yellow signs with letters I can’t read. Instead of tortillas or mole the stores sell bok choi and crabs, and instead of tacos or tamales the street carts sell boxes of Lo Mein, Mei fun and fried rice for $1.25 a pop.

I’m used to it, its three years in New York now, but for Willy its something else. He is coming from our picturesque town, where the only foreign language is the English that ex-pats and bohemian gringos –our father being one of them—speak. As we reach a corner we see a white man, big like a polar bear, in a janitors outfit roaring Russian, or I don’t know what into his cell phone and Willy says, “Its funny how all these different people are here, but they are all in their own worlds.”


We head back to my place, to my bare room, to my flat air bed and take it easy. We have a quiet and uneventful night. In the morning after bagels with cream cheese –Willy didn’t want tamales—we head to the park. It’s a beautiful and sunny day. He does the talking and scores us a game. This is what he does; soccer is what his life revolves around back in San Miguel. I haven’t played for years.

It’s four on four, with four medium step goals and goals that have to be scored bellow the waist. “Where you from?” says a guy in our team.

“Guanajuato,” I say, “and you?”

“From DF.”

“There are some people from DF arriving, huh?” I say. I can tell some of the other guys playing are from there also. They have that Mexico City grimy street wit and vampirey looks that the more indigenous looking guys from Puebla or Guerrero don’t have.

“Yeah,” he says, “we’re starting to come out,” and then goes, “Guanajuato? A chingaos? Where is that?”


We last three games before they beat us. Beto, the guy from DF, scored most of our goals, and me and Willy did all right. The only pissed off one is the Ecuadorian kid that played defense most of the time. He leaves. El cabrito, the older pale guy with the long sheep hair and the skinny legs, pushed him and fouled him one too many times.

We sit on the floor near the fence and wait for one of the teams to loose so that we can play again. I watch the goalie grab a can of beer from under a jacket, the goal’s post, and sip while the ball is away. “I was dying in there,” says Beto. “I’m all hung-over, you know?”

I nod and start thinking about my high school days, when I’d come back from boarding school and spend summers playing soccer and hanging out with the kids from my neighborhood in San Miguel. Then I start thinking about how those days are gone, about how long the train ride can feel every night; that maybe I should look into other neighborhoods where college kids are living. But then a soccer ball zooms right next to my face, and Beto says, “Orale, guey!” and Willy says, “Orale hermano! Nos toca!” They just scored; it’s our turn to go in. There’s a chilly breeze, but the sun is out. It has kept my bones warm. I stand up quickly, as fast as I can and think to myself that it’s good to be living here.

KID SALVAJE, Where the Wild Things Are meets el Santo

October 19, 2009




















These are images from a children’s book I put together a few months ago called Kid Salvaje. It is a re-interpretation of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. Perhaps the best picture book of all time.

There are many great re-interpretations of classics. Romeo and Juliet has West Side Story, the Odyssey has Joyce’s Ulysses. My favorite is Black Orpheus based on the Orpheus myth; incredible movie and music for anyone that has not seen it.

I find Sendak’s story to be very archetypal. That is probably why it is loved by so many. In a nutshell Max, a kid who is wearing a wolf suit, gets in trouble for misbehaving. He is sent to his room which turns into a forest from which he journeys off to the land where the wild thing live. After an intense adventure he returns to his room with a new appreciation of his home.

In Kid Salvaje -salvaje is spanish for wild- Junior, the main character, loves Mexican wrestling. He gets in trouble too. But his room turns into an arena with a wrestling ring where he encounters los Rudos.

For my research I watched some Mexican wrestling live for the first time. Fun, fun, fun. Those dudes can really fly.

And I watched some of el Santo’s movies. I recommend el Santo vs the Crime King. It gives an explanation for el Santo’s origin. I’ve heard el Santo vs the Vampire women is pretty good but have I not watched it yet.

el Santo

el Santo

What I admire the most of Sendak’s book  is the way  the words and images compliment each other and create a greater seamless whole. And I admire too the way the book is designed and structured. It is conceived in its totality.

boceto del libro

a sketch by Miguel Tanco of WWTA storyboard

Miguel Tanco a wonderful illustrator, has a great entry on his blog about it ( his blog is in Spanish and Italian). The sketch of the storyboard above is a sketch he made.


and grew, and grew

The book begins with a small image of Max causing mischief. Gradually the images in the book grow, until they cover the entire page. It parallels the way that Max becomes immersed in the world of the Wild Things. As Max leaves that world the images grow small again.

I’m planning on self-publishing Kid Salvaje on Lulu or Blurb for anyone that is interested in getting a copy. Or for any publisher out there interested in seeing more, feel free to contact me.

I recently found out about a great website called Terrible Yellow Eyes with tons of artwork by many different artists inspired by Sendak’s book. I’m sure most Where The Wild Things lovers are aware of it. But for anyone that doesn’t, I highly recommend it.

…Oh yeah, and the Spike Jonze movie based on the book just made 32.5 million dollars on its opening weekend.

Guanajuato with Letua

January 27, 2009
le panchule panchu

This last weekend I went to Guanajuato with my good friend Pancho. He plays the stand-up bass in a jazz band called Letua. Check their myspace out: I made sure to take my sketchbook and my camera. These are some of the sketches I did:

at El Corcho de Baco

at El Corcho de Baco

at el Corcho, Saturday

at el Corcho, Saturday





cafe in the plaza San Fernando

cafe in the plaza San Fernando

old friends

old friends

I sold two drawings (not shown here; I sold them and wasn’t able to scan them) which was very cool. I was able to pay for my pozole, my gorditas, the guacamaya and all the other delicious street food I ate over the weekend.

These are some of the photographs I took:

Juarez' head

Juarez' head



from the Cafe Santos

from the Cafe Santos

Don Quijote

Don Quijote

In Guanajuato they have a real thing for Don Quijote. I wonder why that is? There is even a museum, the Museo Iconografico del Quijote, which is dedicated to all things things Quijote. There are some good paintings and sculptures there. I reccommend it.