Fiber-optic Shark Head Exhibit Piece

I built a custom light up shark head exhibit piece that illustrated the Ampullae of Lorenzini. The final pictures ended up being a little dark, as the area’s not really lit for photography. The process started with a fiberglass blank of a shark. It came completely unfinished. I also had the taxidermy supply company not include the foam on the inside so I could still have access. The first step was to cut off the joints, and patch them. I then reinforced the inside with a lot more fiberglass as kids were going to be crawling all over it. The mouth...

Aquarium Murals - Marvels and Mysteries

I recently changed jobs and had a baby, so I’ve been rather busy lately. I haven’t posted a lot of what I’ve been working on lately, so I’m planning on fixing that with this series of posts. One of my last projects at the Aquarium was to do a whole bunch of exhibit murals. I never did post the finished products. This one ended up turning out a lot better than I was hoping. It’s kind of hard to see some of the detail in the photo of the illustrations. The octopus was from another mural that ended up needing to...

Aquatic Oklahoma

Done! I digitally super-imposed it over a shot of the space were it will be going. Now time for the weekend.

Arapaima, Sea Nettle, and Crab Mural

It’s been awhile since I posted much here. I’m going to post some of the things I’ve been working on here in the next few days and try and catch up a bit. Here is a mural and gallery title graphic that I put together. The requested direction for the graphic was to have a bunch of animals on a mural that would draw visitors into the exhibit galleries. The mural is printed vinyl and PVC on vinyl for the gallery titles. I produced the actual artwork on paper with gouache, colored pencils, and ink. I then photographed it, and prepared...

Fiberglass Shark Models

A package… for me? 8 of these guys inside all of them. Lots of dremeling and sanding later… After some bondo and expoxy work, the seams are covered and they have finished mouths and teeth. Lots of airbrushing and sealing. Time to hang them. Shark frenzy. Notice the 2d printed sharks in the background as well.

Shark Exhibit

The Shark Adventure exhibit at the Oklahoma Aquarium is one of the defining galleries of the facility. One of my projects was to renovate and theme the “dry” areas around the tank. The approach to the exhibit and the ramps leading to the walk-through shark tunnel were completely reworked as if they were part of the same pelagic (open-water) environment that the sharks themselves inhabit. The designs and artwork are all combinations of photos, digital paintings, and 3d computer generated artwork. They were done in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Newtek Lightwave 3d. The walls were painted in bands of color...

Shark Ramp Airbrushing Numero Dos

This side shark ramp has been a blitzkrieg of work. I’ve airbrushed the ramp and had the murals installed in two days. I still have a little bit more blending and stencil work to accomplish today, but really this ramp has flown by. All hands have been on deck and we’ve been working like crazy. I’m stoked. That’s me airbrushing on the lift. That’s one big shark! The graphic is 16 feet long I blocked off the graphic and then blended around it with the airbrush. The megalodon is rather menacing!...

Shark Exhibit Mural Artwork

I also haven’t posted the artwork of the other murals so I might as well do them right now. This was a fun guy to make. I took a photo of a great white, and then painted over him with my computer tablet in Photoshop to change the proportions and details. I moved a lot of stuff around and added muscles here and there. It was nice to have a photo to directly sample from. I think it helped acheive a good level of realism, plus I worked on adding a lot of texture details to the smooth skin surface along...

Shark Exhibit Airbrushing Progress

Further progress on the shark ramps. I’m started to airbrush the walls in order to create a smooth gradient of color. I will add more details after this. As can be seen here the walls are painted in bands of blue in order to provide good coverage when I airbrush. So far this process is working really well. Meek Litho made it out again today and installed another backdrop, this time the entrance mural. Now I think this space says “exhibit” and “experience”. It’s weird how similar the photo looks to my original renderings (even though I did change the artwork on...

Oil Rig Vinyls Going Up

The oil rig vinyl backdrops started going up today! I love how transformative backdrops are. I can’t wait until they are all up, the tunnel is painted, and it gets lit. I also finished the last graphic bubble today. Progress!...

Shrimp Boat Exhibit

The shrimp boat exhibit was an enhancement to an existing gallery space. My role in this exhibit was to develop and design the graphic elements. My role started with artistic renderings to visualize the space, and continued with developing the backdrop imagery and the informational graphics. Construction Concept Rendering In the News Designs copyright their respective owners.

Shark Exhibit Concepts

Let me first off say that we have an amazing walk-through tunnel and shark tank at the Aquarium as you can see from the photo above. However, when I first got the job here I thought to myself that the exhibit and space around it could really use some help. The sharks and tank itself are absolutely fabulous. The problems are the extremely dark tunnels and the complete lack of any type of signage. I tried tackling a little bit of that without any funding by installing some small graphic boxes. I chatted quite a bit with some of the employees...

Airport Play Area

The Tulsa International Airport invited the Oklahoma Aquarium to create a children’s play area in a waiting area outside one of the terminals. This was my first major exhibit project at the Aquarium. I designed and constructed the display. Play Area Opening The ProcessThere were many challenges with creating this display. The first was to create a fun bright space for kids to play that was safe. Another was coming up with creative solutions on how to build a durable display out of relatively inexpensive materials, rather than spending a lot of money on prefabricated play toys. I had help with electrical...

Shrimp Boat Concept

The shrimp boat exhibit is nearing completion. The project started out with the Deputy Director and Curator here at the Aquarium coming to me to discuss one of their proposals for a new exhibit. They described to me what they wanted to do for an exhibit and what kind of animals would be in it. We walked to the potential spaces and they walked me through what they were thinking. I created a graphic for the first location. They decided to tweak again and asked me to create a new one. The second one wasn’t so great so they tweaked...