Announcements & Press Releases · Books

New Book – Kid, Grandpa, Donut

Kid, Grandpa, Donut book cover Webcomic Kindle

I’m very happy to announce that my new book Kid, Grandpa, Donut is finished and ready to read!

Here is the official description:

One pink donut with sprinkles. Two people who want to eat it.

If Kiddo can finish his chores before Grandpa does, he gets the whole thing! With the help of his kitty, he is determined to win, but how far is Kiddo willing to go for victory? And, really, are cats good partners?

James Hough, author and illustrator of Starving Artist (Jim Public:2013), brings another story of hard work, sacrifice and the pursuit of a delicious treat, with a child-grandparent relationship and lots of drawings of a cat being a cat!

The story was always meant to be light and fun, yet it took me about 18 months to finish! I’m hoping to improve my time on the next one. I wrote so many versions of this story, some much shorter and some much longer. At one point “Grandpa” was “Dad” and the twist was that he made ice cream in the garage (???). My hope is that this finished version is less random…

Ultimately, this story became what it is because of two main inspirations:

  1. Cats are cute and furry, yet they have infinite talent for getting in the way, and
  2. I love watching my kids’ relationships with their grandparents, particularly with my wife’s dad.

Take those influences from real life, and throw in some Scott Pilgrim, Mo Willems, Calvin & Hobbes and lots of color, and you get Kid, Grandpa, Donut. I hope you’ll read and let me know what you think!

Kid, Grandpa, Donut is available to read any time as a webcomic. You can also purchase from the Kindle store. It’s published digitally by Jim Public, 2019.

Webcomic Kindle

Happy reading! While you’re perusing, I’ll be seeing if there is a story to be told featuring our other kitty, Tiger Feather.

Donut and Tiger Feather on the bookshelf

Donut (left) and Tiger Feather

In the Studio · New Artwork

A Few Digital Sketches, Soon to Be Finished Paintings

Below are a few digital sketches that represent a snapshot of what has been going on in my painting studio lately. Working digitally like this has the huge benefit of offering infinite flexibility when working with colors. I also love to dig for intuitive geometric compositions in my paintings, and Adobe Illustrator is well suited to this kind of sketching. horizontal-studies This sketch should be a finished painting by now, but I keep revisiting it, tweaking the colors to try to achieve the balance of light/dark and intensity that it needs. I ended up going with the top design with the chain of small rectangles running across the diagonal. red-pink-white-blue-concept Continuing to play with the red/pink/white/blue palette and simple—bordering on obvious!—geometry. austin-commission-concept I am currently making the painting that is depicted in this digital concept photo. I created the palette after spending some time at the collectors’ land in west Texas, home of big skies, cedar, mesquite, and earth. When finished, this painting will be an important piece of the collectors’ newly remodeled home! orange-green-red-study This sketch did not make the cut for the above commission, but it has found a place in my painting queue. It uses the west Texas palette, and does some of the things with simple color, light and space that keep my eyeballs coming back to look again.
Announcements & Press Releases · James Hough · Shop

Prints Available at thefailurestore.com

Sean Slattery—one of my favorite friends and artists—has created an online portfolio/retail store, and I am so happy to be a featured artist on the website! It is called The Failure Store, and it has lots of Sean’s artwork along with his collaborations, including a tiny sample of works for sale by Ripper Jordan, which I was a part of with Sean and artist/friend David Ryan in Las Vegas. Here are the things by me that you can pick up there. Each one is a digital print, 11″ x 14″, signed and dated by me on the back. james_hough_miajames_hough_lorde140502-soccer-ball-web-ready-11x14james_hough_dan_and_phil Thanks for having me, Sean!
Illustration

Silly M.I.A.

james_hough_mia This is my personal favorite of the Fujikawa-esque fan arts I’ve made. It brings together M.I.A.’s loudness and Gyo’s softness, and I just kind of like how all the pieces came together. Now I need to take some time to finish coloring a piece with the working title, “Bad Blood.”
Illustration

Dan and Phil, Jumping on the Ultimate Bed

james_hough_dan_and_phil My daughter is devoted to Dan and Phil. It wasn’t practical to fly them out last December for a Christmas surprise, so I made a Gyo Fujikawa-inspired fan art as a gift. I owe her friend Ashley a debt of gratitude for consulting with me to ensure that I didn’t mess up any details! It turns out that Phil’s colorful bed set is available at IKEA, so my daughter’s bed now sports the comforter and pillowcase that you see on the right. Nothing against Dan’s monotones at all—Phil’s palette just works better on her sky blue walls.
Illustration

Lorde, Riding the Bus with the Knees Pulled In

james_hough_lorde Sometimes when you love a thing you have to do something about it. I love Lorde’s music, and too many times I’ve expressed my feelings by listening to her too much. So, to keep me from overdoing it on the tunes, I made some fan art! I also love Gyo Fujikawa, so I did what I could to channel her line and color, and her light touch:)
Announcements & Press Releases · New Artwork · Other People's Artwork

Jonathan Hough, Maker of Things


That’s a custom lighter by Jonathan Hough. It’s great to watch an artist develop. My favorite kind of artist is the one who—through experimentation, trial and error—seeks the best means to give shape to whatever space his head is in at that moment. And then when that head space shifts, so does the search for the way to give it tangible form. Jonathan Hough, my brother, @jh0u9h on Instagram, is one of these artists. I follow what he makes, and we talk about art, broadly and specifically. Often he is the kind of artist who wants to be responsible for every atom (ideally) that comprises a piece of artwork. Below, check out my small collection of Jonathan’s work. Two of them are paintings made from hand-ground minerals mixed with oil to create his own paints. The third is a hammered metal piece that is part bell and part oculus. They are compact pieces, like gems, representing countless hours of focused making. Jonathan Hough art Now, Jonathan has taken his passion for metals and minerals, and an arsenal of technique he has developed as a jewelry-maker, and has begun collaborating with artists to create custom-engraved lighters. This project is his first big foray into bringing his highly specialized skills to a wider audience. Check out some of his recent collaborations…

David Cook / @bonethrower on Instagram


Reginald Pean / @frenchinald on Instagram


And, the artist himself, Jonathan Hough / @jh0u9h on Instagram



Find Jonathan on Instagram to see more of his work. @jh0u9h
Other People's Books

Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley is a humblingly great graphic novel

“Humblingly” just became a word, because that is how good Seconds is. Seconds, a graphic novel by Bryan Lee O'Malley I recommend this graphic novel to anyone, particularly to aspiring graphic novelists. After I finished the book last night, I picked it up and arbitrarily opened one page, then another, and more, to see if I could imagine coming up with a spread as good as whichever spread I happened to behold. But every page was conceived and composed so beautifully, succinctly, and with such sensitivity to the story that I had to cry “uncle.” O’Malley is working at a level of craftsmanship that both inspires and humbles those who would aspire to create a graphic novel of their own! So, read this story about a brash chef in her late twenties who stumbles upon a way to go back and fix the mistakes in her life. Bask in the cuteness and the depth of O’Malley’s artwork and storytelling. Or just look at the pages. Everything here is worthwhile. Thank you, Bryan, for the great book!!
Life, with Art

3-D Cash Sculptures Passing Each Other in the Mail

My brother turned 30 just before Christmas. He is an artist, jeweler, and gemstone enthusiast, so with a little inspiration I arrived at a novel way to send him his birthday cash: those decade birthdays call for extra recognition, right? 30 Dollar Polyhedron James Hough So here is the 30-sided polyhedron—constructed from 1-dollar bills—that I sent him as a late birthday gift. Late as in post-Christmas. Which means that my brother’s late Christmas gifts to my family must have passed my gift to him in the mail, because we each received our packages within a day of the other. Cash Origami by James Hough's Brother He sent us a cash butterfly and a cash elf boot! We were both shocked and thrilled that our minds had gone to the same obscure place when we decided what gifts to send each other. Neither of us had sent or—as far as I know—even made anything like these cash constructions before! p.s. I should note that though my gift to him was larger in volume, his was larger monetarily:)
Illustration

Runaway Soccer Ball, new and improved!

I made this illustration during the run-up to the 2014 World Cup. I was never thrilled with the final product: it needed some attention. So, I worked with the color palette and value, and now I am happier with the artwork. Watching little kids play soccer is a unique, crazy joy, and here I give the soccer ball’s perspective on it. James Hough, Runaway Soccer Ball, digital illustration, 2014