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Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Hotel Bud Light, Las Vegas: Chalkboard Art Mural

Now I know I haven't posted since New Years but that is of course because Kaplan Design Labs has been busy!!!

Last week The Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas, was transformed into "Hotel Bud Light, Las Vegas" for the Nightclub and Liquor Distributors Conference.

For a special event which took place in Festival Hall in the Hard Rock Hotel Conference Center, I was commissioned to do a Chalkboard Art Mural spanning 2 walls each roughly 8 feet in length and almost four feet high, making this wall almost 16 feet long.

This was our largest chalkboard to date and because it was at a special event and due to the design of the awesome interactive beer tap wall that The Mash Group, an Exhibit Design company from St. Louis custom designed for Anheiser Busch, the job had to be done after the build of the wall for the event was completed (about 3:00PM on Sunday) and had to be done by the time the event started at 10:00AM on Monday morning.

Me and my lovely assistant as well as a core chemist here at the Design Laboratory, Elizabeth Kaplan, worked for over 20 hours straight to come through on the deadline while making changes to the design on the fly to accommodate a Photo Shoot taking place the next day for the Anheiser Busch executives.

The designs were pre-made digitally by me in cooperation with The Mash Group and AB.

Digital Design Proof Side 01

Digital Design Proof Side 02

Needless to say KDL kicked some art ass and the project as well as the event was a huge success. On top of the Interactive Tap wall which featured my mural of awesome, Festival Hall was completely filled for party action with Pool Tables, Fooseball Tables, Multiple Bars/ sampling stations, a ton of Flat Screen Televisions, a DJ Booth with Dance Floor, and a Basketball Court!!! Talk about a party! Below are some pics we took during the build. Unfortunately our week was to busy to make it back to the party but I thuroughly enjoyed working on this project and cannot wait to collaborate with Anheiser Busch and Bud Light again.

Sorry the pics are so low res, the fancy phone's battery died towards the end of the project ;) I will dig up more photos and update the post soon soon so make sure to check back!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy New Years 2014: 3d typography

I know its a little late but I forgot to post these when I made them for New Years 2014. They made it to the Facebooks and Twitters but not Blogger so here you go!

Pro Tip: Save render time by making your color variations in Photoshop using the Hue/ Saturation Tool.

Friday, December 27, 2013

New Limted Edition Prints in Store! Retro/ Vintage Apple & Macintosh Faux Product Posters

I wanted to announce that I now have prints available on my Etsy store of the Apple & Macintosh faux advertisements I made a while back which were featured on my blog at an earlier point.

They have received a warm welcoming since posting. They are all signed and numbered limited editions.

As a reminder if you didn't see the original posts all artwork are original vector tributes to different art styles and decades. The Bondi iMac is done in the style of a psychedelic 1960's concert poster, the 1st generation iPod is done in an Art Deco inspired Early 1900's Print Advertisements, and the Macintosh Plus is an homage to the style and artwork of the 1980's. All artwork features original prices, release dates, and specs of featured illustrated products.

Check it out!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Using 3d / CGI (or the illusion of) for presenting your work

I wanted to do a quick post about presenting artwork by using 3d software to make your portfolio shine above the rest. A long ways back I wrote an article about how presentation is your portfolio is just as important as the work/ content in your portfolio.

 This is an extension to that advice. Below are images that I put together which showcase some of my 2d artwork using 3d compositions to bring the artwork to life:

As you can see, presenting your artwork in simple 3D compositions can really make your work stand out. Most art directors go through hundreds of portfolios a day. Use techniques like this to make the cut.

If you do not know how to use 3d software, try something like this:

I made this piece %100 in photoshop (artwork itself was done in illustrator and photoshop.)

You don't need to be a 3d artist to creatively showcase your work, you just need to be creative with the tools you have available!

If you can't be bothered with this kind of stuff or would like me to do it for you shoot me an email for a quote. 

If you found this information helpful please consider donating to the blog so that I can continue to offer free advice and do so on a more regular basis...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sketching and Painting Hikes: Landscape Painting, Drawing, and Sketching at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

For a little more than six months now I have been assisting my wife, who is employed as an Interpretive Naturalist at Las Vegas' local hiking and general outdoor mecca, Red Rock Canyon.

Basically, Liz leads a group of visitors on short hikes to some of Red Rock Canyon's most scenic areas where during the walk Liz will give a series of lectures on the history, plants, wildlife, and the climate of the South Western Mojave Desert. Once we arrive at the destination, I give instruction, tips, and tricks to give hike-goers an introduction to how to sketch, draw, and paint Landscapes as well as the basics of drawing wildlife and plants.

The event is in the process of being elaborated upon in which rather than giving just an introduction to Landscape Painting and Drawing during the course of a single hike we will actually work on developing a finished composition over the course of 2 or 3 outings.

Below are a few pictures of some of the fun we had at our last outing, as well as Liz doing her thing!

We are currently discussing starting a blog dedicated to the "sketching/ painting" hikes for posting news, updates, and artwork from each future event. I will also continue to post updates here at

If you would like to sign up for one of Liz's next hikes ( the next one is a historical sketching hike at the Willow Springs trail-head on Saturday 10/26/2013 ) call (702) 515-5367

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By donating you make it easier for me to post more often on more topics and give me the ability to spend more time answering your questions. If you enjoy reading or have found any of my posts valuable feel free to let me know.