Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Eurotrip Sketches

I've traveled in Europe throughout the last month, have visited friends, family, colleagues and clients. I especially enjoyed re-visiting London and Berlin. Here are some sketches, all done on location…
EDIT: American Illustration has done a feature about these, with some additional drawings
St Paul's as seen from the Tate Modern, London
View of Museumsinsel / Berliner Dom

View from the steps of the Altes Museum, Berlin
Markstrasse, Ravensburg

Friedrichshafen / Bodensee
Backyard of my friends in Karlsruhe

Monday, July 6, 2015

'The Truth And Other Lies', for the New York Times

I've got a new piece in the New York Times Book Review, this time it's about Sascha Arango's new crime novel The Truth And Other Lies. 

The "sociopathic antihero" of this crime story is a famous writer who lives a rich life, but he has a secret: All his book are really written by his wife, who despises publicity and just wants to write.
He's not a good guy. When his mistress reveals she's pregnant, he decides to murder her, as not to jeopardize his comfy arrangement.

Joseph Finder, the reviewer, is also a best-selling novelist and I recently had the pleasure to illustrate a review of his latest book, The Fixer. I have to admit, I do enjoy working with crime and noir in these assignments!

Many thanks to Art Director Nicholas Blechman, who's about to leave the Grey Lady for greener pastures… always to pleasure!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Last Boy at St Edith's by Lee Gjertsen Malone

The cover I did for Lee Gjertsen Malone's debut YA novel, The Last Boy At St. Edith's, has just been revealed and I'm excited to finally post about it! As the cover shows, the story is about a young boy stuck in an all-girls school, and his adventurous attempts to get himself expelled.

It was great fun to illustrate this long crowd of characters wrapping around the entire jacket, and to letter the title by hand. I'm also really pleased with the palette and limited color.

Here's a look at the original drawing. All line-work is drawn by hand, though I did make numerous digital tweaks afterwards and redid the type several times till we had it right.

Thanks again to the awesome folks at Simon & Schuster, especially Art Director Laura DiSiena, and Lee Gjertsen Malone for her great story! Now we have to wait till the book comes out in February of 2016!

Monday, June 15, 2015

New York Times Book Review: The Fixer

Here's my latest piece for the New York Times Sunday Book Review, illustrating a review of Joseph Finder's new thriller, The Fixer.

In a mundane setting, a former investigative reporter looks into the mysterious past of his father, after finding a pile of money in his home's crawl space.

After my the initial scribble, I added the flashlight effect, which really made the image. The final consisted of two drawings overlaid.

You can read the whole text on the New York Times' website.

Many thanks to Art Director Nicholas Blechman!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Children's Story for Johnson & Johnson

A while ago, I had the pleasure of working on a project with Johnson & Johnson, for their Care In Action initiative. They asked 5 children to tell them a real life story about caring. With the help of author Patricia Larkin these were shaped into five short picture books, and I illustrated one of them. Here are some of my spreads.

In Matthew's story, he saw some firemen in action, and it inspired him to also become one, in order to also help people.

You can download a pdf of all the stories here. Thanks to my friends at JWT / Hogarth, especially Hugo Fitzgerald, for arranging this project, and the nice folks at Johnson & Johnson. I hope the project inspired a lot of care!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Illustration for National Journal

I had the pleasure of working with the National Journal a couple times recently. In the most recent issue, I have a piece in about the Heels And Helmets movement, which is using sports to empower women in the business world.

 I used a little more ink wash on this one, to make shapes more organic and painterly. Trying to mix things up!

Here's the original sketch we went with. There was still some tweaking to do.
And here's the printed piece. Thanks so much to Art Director Erin Aulov!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

American Express Commissions

I was commissioned by American Express to create illustrations inspired by their credit cards, illustrative interpretations of their designs, to be used on Social Media, especially instagram. The subject matter was entirely up to me, as long as the card elements were present. So used this opportunity to create some futuristic cityscapes: a Green City, a Gold City, and a Platinum City.

The Green City was inspired by lost civilizations in the jungle, though mine was very much alive. The Gold City is high in the mountains, inspired by places such as Machu Pichu. The Platinum City was originally set in the Antarctic Ice, but I decided it should be on another planet, to end the series on an even more futuristic note.

First sketch for the Green City
Pencil stage
A look at the finished line-art, I'm using my trusty blue line method.
It was a great assignment, thanks very much to the awesome team at Alldayeveryday who brought me on board for this project, and to American Express for working with me!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Last-But-Not-Least LOLA Update!

I've been working hard on the drawings for a brand-new Last-But-Not-Least Lola book, this time she encounters – The Cupcake Queens! Author Christine Pakkala has written another charming and adventurous tale about Lola and her three friends.

There might or might not be a ghost in this one (you'll have to read to find out!), but the main story in all of these books are themes of friendship, jelaousy, and how to navigate them, while staying true to yourself.

As always, it's published by my awesome friends at Boyds Mills Press, and you can pre-order it now on Amazon or IndieBound. I've already gotten my advance readers copy, here's a look:
A video posted by Paul Hoppe (@hoppeindustries) on

But not only do we have a new book coming out, also the previous volume, Last-But-Not-Least LOLA and the Wild Chicken comes out as paperback this fall! It even has some bonus material, and has a lower price point– if you missed it last year now is your chance! Some more pics from it are here.

We also received some very nice reviews for this one, a really nice one from School Library Journal and even a *starred* review from Booklist, who calls Lola the "the up-to-date heir of Beverly Cleary’s Ramona stories".

And finally, there's also news about the very first book: Last-But-Not-Least Lola Going Green received the "Green Prize" from the Santa Monica Public Library. Three cheers for LOLA!