Archive for April, 2011


Posted in Photography on April 27, 2011 by Thomas Allen

My SPOTS Gold Award — presented by the Society of Publication Designers for my work in Harper’s Magazine (March, 2009).


Posted in Photography on April 23, 2011 by Thomas Allen

In addition to being an artist, photographer, illustrator…I also spend a fair amount of time volunteering for Brookview School (I created the templates for the site). Last year, I photographed, rendered and designed the cover for Brookview’s self-published book, FAMILY GUIDE TO BERRIEN COUNTY. It’s a comprehensive resource for all-things-fun in Michigan’s southwest corner.


(The one on the right is being saved for the 2nd edition):




Posted in Photography on April 23, 2011 by Thomas Allen

The Wall Street Journal – Belated update.


Posted in Photography on April 2, 2011 by Thomas Allen

This weekend marks my debut as a contributor to the Wall Street Journal. I received an email on Monday asking if I could create something for the back page of the weekend edition. The request ended with, “And we’d pay whatever you like…dying to get you in the paper!!!” How often does anyone hear that? I received the copy Monday afternoon. On Tuesday(comps were due Wednesday), I drove south to a new, used bookstore in Stevensville—Mr. Jack’s Paperbacks. It was a total bust (I never saw so many romance novels in one place in all of my life). From there, I headed back toward home and continued north to my reliable source—Black River Books in South Haven. However, I totally forgot that they were closed on Tuesday’s. Slightly panicked, I returned home, read over the copy two more times and began shuffling through the same old books that I’ve looked at many times before. That’s when the proverbial truck hit me because my cast of characters were already here. I pulled out my toolbox and had everything cut out, glued down, lit up and sent off in no time at all.

This appeared in my inbox 20 minutes later:

Oh my God, Thomas. What an amazing job you’ve done! Everyone is in LOVE with it. You are brilliant, and you were the perfect choice for this. What a great title to come across! And the cutouts are spot-on…  I cannot thank you or praise you enough!!!!!

How’s that for ‘feel good’?!

When I reopened the original file to prep the high-resolution version, I didn’t like how it was illuminated so I exposed it again — this time with a soft box. While it was definitely better, the global corrections improved some areas while degrading others so I needed to try a different approach. I profiled both of my displays, made more coffee, cleaned my glasses, sat down, fired up Girl Talk, laced my fingers together and cracked my knuckles, unplugged my fully-charged Logitech Performance MX mouse and got to work.

Eleven hours and 46 Photoshop adjustment layers later, I hit ‘save’ for the last time and called it ‘done’. Look for it in all of its 8.5″ x 5.75″ glory.

For an exclusive “backstage” peek at what the construction looks like from behind, head over to Super Punch.

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