Dinosaur of State


Now available on Gila Ben’s website is a coloring page featuring Arizona’s latest (and largest) state symbol, the dinosaur Sonorasaurus Thompsoni. (By the way, this coloring page was designed to be printed on legal size paper, 8.5"x14".)

https://gilaben.comGilaBen.com features fun facts and coloring pages about my native state, Arizona.


Standing on a Corner in Winslow, Arizona (Route 66 & Hicks Avenue to be precise.)

While I usually consider painting self-portraits to be a waste of precious creative time and resources, I did make an exception just this once. So many little things came together that I felt compelled to do this one. I had my kicks, but I can't take it easy though. Now it's back to the drawing board and paying assignments (and deadlines.)


A Look at Bionics

This month's edition of ASK looks at the often-overlooked subject of prostheses. It’s packed with personal stories and great information about the history of artificial body parts as well as the future of prosthetic devices. Presenting the content in a non-frightening way to young children was a challenge for the editors, art directors, writers, and illustrators. A lot of time and thought went into this issue and I was proud to contribute.

ASK is an award-winning science and art publication for 6- to 9-year-olds. Subscription information is available at:  https://shop.cricketmedia.com/magazines/ASK-Magazine-for-Kids.html


Watch for Cool Rocks!

My daughter is heading off to grad school to pursue her master's in geology so I designed her a shirt to celebrate the occasion and her love of rocks. (Actually, her real passion is geological disaster prevention -- I just haven't finished working on a design for that yet.)

Pick up a shirt of your own here if you too think rocks are cool! GeologyThings.com


Art of Cruising for Kids

Some fun illustrations of mine for the July/August issue of CLICK Magazine about boats. CLICK is an award-winning art, nature, and science publication for children ages 3 to 6.

More info about CLICK: https://shop.cricketmedia.com/Click-Magazine-for-Kids.html


The Old Dog (on his birthday)


Be clever! Learn new tricks they say!
But is it not more clever to be true
to others as well as to you,
said the old dog on his birthday.


Drawing Science

Although I love doing whimsical illustration, I also really enjoy doing science artwork.(Quite fitting since science is a passion and, not to boast, since I'm also the proud father a wonderful scientist daughter.) The illustrations above are from the May/June issue of ASK magazine. ASK is an award-winning science and art publication for 6- to 9-year-olds.

More info about ASK: https://shop.cricketmedia.com/all-childrens-magazine-subscriptions/ASK-Magazine-for-Kids.html


La Fiesta NOT Tijuana

Left — Original La Fiesta rub-on lettering from Chartpak. My winning design in Chartpak’s 1988 International Typeface Competition.

Right A few samples of the hundreds of examples of the font being used that I have come across so far.

Whether online or in the physical world, it’s always interesting to see how my creative work is being used. Some of my work -- like my education clip art and some of my art for websites -- has taken on a life of its own (and, frustratingly, not always officially sanctioned). Another creation that has lived an interesting life is my font, La Fiesta.  Hand-drawn with pen and ink, it was a winner in Chartpak’s 1988 International Typeface Competition, and it often pops up on websites, products, menus, and signs around the world. As one of the winners of the competition I was given a certificate, and a check and had the typeface produced as rub-on lettering and sold at art stores and through graphic arts catalogs.

Once used heavily by graphic arts and architecture professionals, amateurs, and students, rub-on, or pressure-sensitive transfer lettering, made creating attractive designs for publications easier and more affordable. If you needed a fancy or unique look for your work you just drew a baseline using a non-repro blue pencil and burnished the type down on your art board — one — letter — at — a — time. No need to try and hand-letter the type or run around town looking for a typesetting company with just the right font. This was a great cost and time saving tool back in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. Of course, typos were not easily corrected and underestimating the right number of sheets it would take to produce an ad with lots of body copy could be a big problem sometimes. Hazards like pets, small children, heat, tape, and various liquids could ruin your type sheet (and your day as well.)

Then in the 1990s, with the growth of personal computing, everything changed. With this change came the rush to market of fonts for desktop publishing. Many fly-by-night software companies began copying and selling typeface collections. These unscrupulous companies changed the font names and gave no credit (or money) to the creators. Thus, somewhere along the line, La Fiesta’s name was unofficially changed to Tijuana.

A second typeface I created was chosen as a winner in Chartpak’s 1989 International Competition. Named Crayon, it was pretty popular as transfer type but faded when desktop publishing came along.



Award-winning Junior Ranger Book and National Parks Week 2018

If you happen to be headed to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks for National Parks Week (April 21-29) with the kids, be sure to stop by one of the visitor’s centers and pick up a free copy of the Junior Ranger Book.  In late 2017, the book and the creative team that put it together were awarded First Place for Site Publications by the National Association for Interpretation (NAI). I was one of two artists on the team and I illustrated the interior activities in the book. The other artist, Nicolle Fuller, created the art for the front cover. The team was led by the parks' Visual Information Specialist, Erika Williams.

Filled with lots of fun and facts, kids ages 5 and up can earn an official Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Junior Ranger badge by completing the fun activities in the book.
In June 2016 I was the Artist-in-Residence in Sequoia National Park. You can read more about my experience by clicking on the snapshot below...