Strong Suit SS16 x Sunflowerman

For my first ever Grand Look Book I had the amazing honor of collaborating with Strong Suit Clothing.

I featured 6 pieces from Strong Suit's Spring/Summer 2016 with inspiration from the late, great portraitist and watercolorist, John Singer Sargent. 

The Paintings


Color Studies


Color Studies are becoming more and more important in the editorial work that I create. This series of work for Strong Suit is one of the first times I have taken such special care to paint color studies.

Each study has become a unique work of art, a loose and tiny version of the completed works.

Compare the Studies to the Final Works (yet to be published) to see the structure that supports the series. Then dig back into the sketching and concepting stage to see what ideas led the Color Studies.

At this stage I can splash colors and move wildly with the brush. Most colors will translate directly to the Final Work but certain decisions made here will help to decide what not to put into the Final Paintings.

Concepts and Sketches

I began with thinking about the Strong Suit brand. Located in Little Rock, Arkansas, producing quality, contemporary suiting at an accessible price with fabrics sourced from Italy. So I drew up a list.

  • Serif Logo Font
  • 'Strong Suit'- a common idiom
  • accessible price
  • European fit
  • American brand- Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Italian fabrics

This led me down the path of Italian Unification. Names like Mazzini, Garibaldi and Cavour sprang up but those were all too Italian with little to no American influence. Then I thought of the Renaissance but the same issue existed. 

Strong Suit Clothing sketches
sketching Strong Suit Clothing

Then I thought of the great American artist, John Singer Sargent. He was after all, born in Tuscany and spent much of his life living in Europe, learning Italian and French and yet still an American. On top of that he was the greatest portraitist of his day.

It was settled. The Grand Look Book for Strong Suit Clothing would be centered around the work of John Singer Sargent.

Strong Suit sketching and concepts

Andrés Sendra

Andres Séndra blue double monks

Andrés Sendra has been making boots and shoes for over 100 years. Still located in the same Spanish town of Almansa, where it began back in 1913.

A fit so good you could walk on water. That was the concept I pulled together for this editorial piece featuring my newly beloved Ocean Patina, Double Monk concept shoes from Andrés Sendra. Inspiration for the piece drawn directly from my time living in Grand Haven, MI (more about that on the Sunflowermatt blog).

Andres Séndra fashion illustration
Andres Séndra

See Andres Sendra on

Esquivel Shoes at Colette

Esquivel Shoes painting for Colette

I was fortunate to be able to collaborate with Esquivel Shoes for their part in Cabinet of Curiosities at Colette.

By using beautiful textured hides they were able, together with Guillaume Salmon and Thomas Erber, to add a unique patina to each handmade pair. 4 pairs were created for men and 4 pairs for women.

Accompanied with each pair is a one of a kind painting by Me. To create the paintings I used the pages of a vintage book that inspired the style of boots. The event is being hosted by Colette, in Paris.

Esquivel Shoes painting for Colette
Esquivel Shoes painting for Colette
Esquivel Shoes painting for Colette
Esquivel Shoes painting for Colette
Esquivel Shoes painting for Colette
Esquivel Shoes painting for Colette
Esquivel Shoes painting for Colette
Esquivel Shoes painting for Colette
Esquivel Shoes painting for Colette

ONS X Sunflowerman

ONS animation

On my last visit to New York I stopped in the Onassis Clothing boutique. I was meeting Geo to take a look at the collection and to be featured in the ONS Manual.



ONS x Sunflowerman

ONS is still a young fashion retailer. They've had some time to define their cuts and silhouettes but are still seeking to define their voice.

One thing they are doing extremely well is seeking out unique individuals and sharing a bit of their stories on the ONS Manual. I stopped in to share a bit about myself and do a shoot wearing all ONS Clothing.

Read my nonsense and see the full feature at


As the subconscious is to the self, the sketchbook is to the illustrator.
As necessity is to the invention, coffee is to the illustration.

As an artist, as an illustrator, as a thinker of thoughts I keep a journal with me at all times. I record ideas in words and images, I take notes on lectures and conversations. My collective conscious is reborn through my journal. 

Scrolling down you will get just a taste of that consciousness.

As an addict I drink an espresso every morning. Sometimes I find myself with a second cup, wondering where the time has gone but ever so happy. Coffee has become an important part of my creative process. It is an essential part of the routine that starts my day.

For a leather journal cover like this, scroll to the bottom for the link.

For a leather journal cover like this, scroll to the bottom for the link.

Sunflowerman Sketchbook with coffee
Sunflowerman Sketchbook with coffee. Lion and Strong Suit
Sunflowerman Sketchbook with coffee
Sunflowerman Sketchbook with coffee and SevenFriday V
Sunflowerman Sketchbook with coffee and Eleventy
Sunflowerman Sketchbook with coffee and shoes
Sunflowerman Sketchbook with lion and strong suit
Sunflowerman Sketchbook with coffee and shoes
Sunflowerman Sketchbook with coffee and monk strap
Sunflowerman Sketchbook with coffee and Fracap
Sunflowerman Sketchbook with coffee and penguin

Tawny Goods Wingtip Boot

Tawny Goods.

Tawny Goods contacted me about gifting one of their kickstarter funded products. I agreed that I would paint an illustration of the product whenever I could find the time, and although that may seem a tacit endorsement of the product it certainly is not.

Tawny Goods Black Boot fashion illustration by Sunflowerman

When the boots arrived I immediately fell in love with the aesthetic. I'm notoriously excited about simple aesthetics (ask my wife). This boot pushed my simplicity a bit with the wingtip and the brogue but maintained the simple aesthetic by way of being all black leather, with a slight contrast in brown laces and brown sole.

Tawny Goods drawing

I was in love, but then there was the real test of my affection- wearing the boots.

And I did, for days, and days, and nights and outings and innings and I was in love. A general issue I have with boots is the difficulty in actually wearing them. Fitting my heel and arch through the small opening at the top causes my body to tense and my stress levels to rise.

Not with Tawny Goods. Loosening the laces to slip my feet in is no issue at all. Like a perfectly tailored jacket, these shoes became like my feet. It was like they were made specifically for me.

Tawny Goods boot wash of watercolor
Tawny Goods boot illustration
Tawny Goods boot illustration

The Tawny Goods Wingtips Boots have a cool factor to them. It's a bit 'dangerous', a bit rebellious. Much like jeans in the 70's and cigarettes in the 60's, my imagination takes me on journeys with these boots. Fighting for my right to party.

Tawny Goods editorial illustration

Painting Tawny Goods on Periscope