I really respect and enjoy the work of Jon Contino for a few reasons. The first is that he’s able to draw an anchor, put it on a t-shirt and actually make it look good. I’m definitely in the camp of people who think anchors are overused, but when Jon draws them he gives them some spirit that makes it work. Second, he does most of his work by hand, which definitely comes across really clearly. It all feels charmingly off, like something your grandfather might have tattooed on his body from “the war.” Both of these points might sound like half-compliments, but I guess what I’m really saying is that he defies these normal conventions and captures the inherent beauty of things.
My third point is the fact that he runs a really nice personal blog. He puts up little personal pieces, news about his clothing brand CXXVI, and best of all, he answers people’s questions and gives advice. People ask him how he gets the look and feeling of his drawings, business questions, tips about textures, all kinds of stuff. And the fact that he takes the time to answer these questions make him a pretty rad guy, in my book.