Illustration · Life

The Whining Pig

While sitting, stationary, in freeway traffic a few weeks ago after a particularly trying day, I decided that I needed to get off the freeway and out of the heat, so I pulled up Yelp to see what was around. Familiar with a few of the larger chain places nearby, I wanted something smaller, quieter, where I could just sit, cool down, and unwind a bit before I got home.

Yelp showed that there was this little bar three minutes away just off the freeway, and even though I was could see the complex it was in, I just couldn’t place their location. After finding a parking spot in what could be argued one of the worst parking lots in Phoenix, I wandered into The Whining Pig. To say the place was small would be an understatement. With the u-shaped bar in the middle and chalkboard paint on the walls, it was exactly what I was looking for. There are no taps; everything they serve is in bottles (wine too). With the extensive beer menu on the opposite wall I sat down, ordered something cold and started doodling in my sketchbook.

One of the owners was tending bar that day, and asked if I could send it to him. This little guy might be my first sketch that’s made it up on a a wall other than my own!

A photo posted by aaron thomason (@aaron_t) on



I really liked a doodle that I had begun in a meeting one day, so I decided to take the time to flesh it out a bit more. One of the best features of the ProCreate app on the iPad is the fact that it will export the video of the process. I discovered this feature last year and created my little red balloon movie on Cameo.

Here’s the final version of the image:

And here’s the way-more-interesting video of the process:

Zinno from aaron.


Illustration · Life

Back to basics with Field Notes

Camping in the mountains of Colorado is sometimes about as far off the grid as one can get. Being 15 miles from my questionable (at best) AT&T coverage, I found myself going through technology withdrawal. Not because I felt like I had to be online all the time, but because there was interesting stuff happening all around us and there was no way to share that information with the world — which sounds like I had some kind of complex now that I think about it. Without access Twitter or other social networks, I could experience these happenings and try to remember to tell people later, or, more likely the case, forget because something else cool happened later that bumped the previous experience off my radar.

I was able to take some pictures with my phone, but eventually it ran down, and it wasn’t all that useful in the rain anyway. Fortunately I had one of my trusty Field Notes Brand memo books and a pencil in my bag, so that became my Twitter for a week. One good thing about camping is that there is a lot of down time, so when something worth recording happened, like when the raccoon that broke into one of our containers, I could record it with a quick sketch and come back later when I had time in between fishing sessions or while waiting for the rain to pass to fill in the details.

Now that I’m back and plugged in I thought I’d post the sketches.

Chipmunk food

Giant chocolate banana muffin thing
Seriously. There were probably more calories in each of these muffins than I got most days at home.

Caught one fishIt's raining Thieving RaccoonEagle fishing Nightcrawlers  Broken grill Cigars with dad Spider pillow heebie jeebies Muddy boots Mosquito fill-up  Pouring tent

Field Notes
Field Notes – Durable Materials indeed

Scraggly Cat

While on the plane to San Francisco I had some time to get to know the Sketchbook Pro app a little better. While perusing the daily sale listings, I came across a scraggly old cat illustration for sale. What with the great texture in the fur and background, I thought it would make for a decent first-run with the drawing app.

I’m much better with a digital pencil than I am with a digital paintbrush:

I think I can get the hang of this.