Neale Osborne’s ‘The Castle of Desires’

©Neale Osborne

©Neale Osborne

In a storm-swept tavern in a village of yore, Cornelius, the secretive sorcerer’s apprentice, gives the unsuspecting Professor Gast a key – one with the power to unlock the doors of the magical Castle of Desires. Within its chambers are all that any man could wish for: wealth, leisure, servants, lovers – and, if he so desires, he may even summon up a military empire …

On the eve of Hallowe’en, 1937, Maximilian Richter arrives at the cartoon studios of Pineville, an isolated gated community in the sun-kissed Californian hills. As a bit-part actor in early talkies – as gangster, tough guy, hired muscle, hoodlum – every scene Max had been in had simmered with sin. And now, within the walls of Pineville, Max is free to cheat and sweet-talk his way into the affections of the unsuspecting community, stirring up a secret storm of seduction, vice and violence.

©Neale Osborne

©Neale Osborne

Neale Osborne’s allegorical novel, a story-mirrored-within-a story, is a unique period piece set on the edge of historical Hollywood … and deep in the chambers of a mythical fortress.
The tale can also be seen as a homage to the pioneering greats of film animation: Georges Méliès, Willis O’Brien, Ray Harryhausen & Ladislav Starewicz…and even features a recreation of the Carthay Circle Theatre premiere of Disney’s ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’

‘The Castle of Desires’ is out now in paperback, with four signed copies available in a Goodreads giveaway (for readers in the USA, Canada, and UK, until the 5th of April.)

To see more of Neale’s illustration work go to his website and page.


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Ryan Ketterman’s VAC CON Poster Series Tells Their Story

©Ryan Ketterman

©Ryan Ketterman

Photographer Ryan Ketterman’s recent assignment was to highlight the VAC CON story of “Employee Owned”.  The story told through photography was mobilized into an engaging poster series to celebrate and reward VAC CON’s incredible employees.

©Ryan Ketterman

©Ryan Ketterman

©Ryan Ketterman

©Ryan Ketterman

©Ryan Ketterman

©Ryan Ketterman

©Ryan Ketterman

©Ryan Ketterman

Client: Vac•con

Agency: Anton West Advertising

Executive Creative Director: Jefferson Rall

Senior Art Director: Andy Gosendi

Art Director: Colin Barnes

To see more of Ryan Ketterman’s work go to his website and Altpick page.

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Cade Martin Photographs Giving NBA Stars

©Cade Martin

Photographer, Cade Martin, recently attended the “Behind the Bench” (the NBA Wives Association) black tie event “Touching A Life Gala” to benefit the American Cancer Society.  Cade photographed several of the celebrities in attendance to create a portrait of the NBA All Star Weekend ambience, which was used in a Huffington Post piece that week in February.

“Carlos Boozer (above image) is a Duke Graduate, Olympic Gold Medalist, and Two-time NBA All Star. He was also one of the nicest folks at the event that night”, says Martin.

It was an eclectic group of stars, including NBA players, athletes from other sports, and a dash of Hollywood, too. They all gathered for the greater good, focused on giving back to society, particularly children who are suffering. Dr. Jackqueline Mclean-Marks won an award for fighting childhood leukemia and Amber and MLB Star C.C. Sabathia (images below) won an award for their efforts benefitting underprivileged children.

©Cade Martin

CC Sabatnia

NBA Big Man Marcus Camby made his career with New York Knicks, and then the Denver Nuggets. He was the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2007. He was also the NCAA College Player of the Year in 1996 with UMass.

Marcus CambyKevin Willis is a retired NBA player known for playing with the Atlanta Hawks. He is a 7-foot power forward/center. Willis ended his playing career after the 2007 season, returning to his clothing business, Willis & Walker.

Kevin WillisA charitable citizen of Baltimore, Rock Blackwell is the WBU’s Light Heavyweight champion.

Rock BlackwellShannon Lanier is the cohost of Arise 360, delivering the newest & hottest stories in American entertainment & culture.

Shannon LanierBritish journalist Sharon Carpenter is a reporter and host for REVOLT TV, an innovative new cable network by Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs.

Sharon Carpenter

Sharon Carpenter Former New York Jet and current Arizona Cardinal Antonio Cromartie is credited with making the longest play in NFL history, returning a missed Ryan Longwell field goal 109 yards for a touchdown.

Antonio Cromartie

To see more of Cade Martin’s work, go to his website and Altpick page.

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Jon Blacker Hits the Road with Video

As Photographer Jon Blacker branches out into video, Altpick Connects is there to ask some pertinent questions about his next career move.

Altpick Connects: As a photographer what is your interest in pursuing video?

Jon Blacker: Having been a photographer now for well over 20 years, shooting video opens up an entire new client market to and adds an entirely new dimension to my story telling both for the client and for me.  It’s an incredibly refreshing new tool for me and I’m very much enjoying the process, both technically and aesthetically.  Varying statistics indicate that there’s a significant tipping point right now in media where, particularly online, viewers want to see video.  From large corporations all the way down to one-man shops, businesses are seeing this trend and are embracing this method of telling their stories be that on their web sites or their social media streams and that trend in turn presents a great opportunity for visual storytellers.

AC: Were there any stumbling blocks in the transition from photography to shooting a documentary?

JB: The single biggest stumbling block relative to this documentary project in particular, is securing funding.  With editorial or corporate work, either still or video, the funding is provided by the client; it’s commerce.  Making a documentary film is an entirely different ballgame and through a number of sources including friends and a number of businesses, getting the money to be able to take this 12-week road trip and shoot this film has been extremely challenging.  I have set up an Indiegogo campaign ( that’s now down to it’s last few days (ends March 4) and has not done nearly as well as hoped despite a significant social media presence.  The three-month autism awareness tour leaves on March 21, so it’s really coming down to the wire.

AC: There is a great public interest in craftsman and the artisan creativity.  What is the topic of your first story?

JB: I was contacted by a luthier who builds incredible custom acoustic guitars (he’s built for the likes of Sammy Hagar, Alex Lifeson and Zakk Wylde among others) and also offers hands on courses in guitar building.  He was looking to have a video created that showed what goes into building one of his guitars, so over the course of three shooting sessions, we followed the entire process from thickness sanding the wood for the top of the guitar body, to the completed instrument being placed into its case.  It was a great project to shoot and really shows the incredible artistry and craftsmanship that go into his work.

AC: It seems that your focus is not only the human-interest factor, but also bringing awareness to the mainstream.  What was your interest and driving force on the autism documentary?

JB: I have an uncle who is mentally challenged.  With his parents having passed over 15 years ago now and with his sister (my mother) having passed in 2011, I am in contact with him every week.  He lives in a nursing home in the city where he grew up and has lived since he was born (about 3 1/2 hours north of Toronto) and is doing really well.  Having been around him my entire life, I’ve seen the stigma and misconception attached to what people think being mentally challenged is; there is a huge knee-jerk tendency to allow the condition to define the person, which quite gets my back up.  I know for example that my uncle loves sports, particularly hockey and is an encyclopedia of facts and statistics.  He’s not retarded, he is James.  Similarly, when I learned of 15-year-old Austin’s story, I felt it a great opportunity to explore that concept further.  Austin is an absolute marvel on the go-kart track, having been racing for just 8 seasons; he is already a three-time champ.  He faces significant challenges at school and has fine motor control concerns (he can’t tie his shoes, or write is the name for example) but when he’s behind the wheel of his kart, he’s like any other 15-year-old.  In his own words, he’s said that what he loves most about racing is that it makes him feel free.  In addition to the human interest component and telling Austin’s story, one of my main goals in making this film is to show what autism is, but perhaps more importantly, to show what autism is not.

To see more of Jon’s work go to his website and Altpick page.

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Red Nose Studio Honors Chris Buzelli

©Red Nose Studio

©Red Nose Studio

I was recently asked by Chris Buzelli to create his portrait for the Society of Illustrators 57th annual. As many of you know, he just wrapped up his year as the annual chairman.

I will be the first to admit that I am not a portrait illustrator, but being that Chris and I go back many years I felt that I couldn’t say no.

His paintings are synonymous with warm, glowing light, his long time role as a teacher at RISD shows that he is willing to share his light with others and the bug wings were just too cool to not include.


©Red Nose Studio



©Red Nose Studio


–Chris Sickles | Red Nose Studio

Red Nose Studio Website | Magnet RepsAltpick page | Red Nose Studio Blog

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This Week’s Featured Artists: Robert Wilson, Dermot Flynn, Michael Wylot and Andy Mahr

©Robert Wilson

©Robert Wilson

Robert Wilson has been commissioned for editorial and advertising projects by clientsbased throughout Europe and the U.S. and undertakes commissions for many of the top advertising agencies. Of note are his many sports and portrait campaigns for clients that include Peroni, Adidas, Nike, Asics, O2, BMW, Guiness, Credit Suisse, Gillette, HSBC, Camel Active, The U.S. Marines, Anglo American Mining, Siemens and The Old Vic.

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Born in Ireland, Dermot Flynn studied at the NCAD, Dublin and the University of Brighton, and has been working as an illustrator in London since 2003.  He has worked for a variety of clients in Europe, Japan and the United States including Conde Nast, Pentagram, Littlebrown, Vodafone, Penguin, The Guardian, The Irish Times, Canongate, Winkreative, Vodafone, Target, Custo Barcelona, Mothercare, Adidas, GQ, TimeOut, Dentsu Japan, Orange, EMI, StudioAKA and Mother.

©Dermot Flynn

©Dermot Flynn

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Michael Wylot Photography is a Philadelphia based photographer who specializes in Fashion & Beauty, Fine Art Figure, Music, Editorial, Event, Landscape and Product Still Life.  his work can be viewed in books, magazines, catalogs, billboards and ads all over the world.

©Michael Wylot

©Michael Wylot

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Andy Mahr was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and received his BFA in Graphic Design from Colorado State University in 1994.  Andy then attended The Portfolio Center and received a degree in Advertising Art Direction and worked as an art director and creative director for the next 13 years.  He made the full transition from art direction to photography 8 years ago and has never looked back.  He  developed his own unique and distinctive style, look and aesthetic by paying attention not only to the way things look and sound, but also the theories and concepts that surround our lives, both from artistic and business standpoints.

©Andy Mahr

©Andy Mahr

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To see more work of the artists’ work go to


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The Year Ahead with Artist Gayle Kabaker and Astrologer Susan Miller


When Susan Miller contacted  Gayle Kabaker last year asking to illustrate her 2015 calendar, Gayle quickly realized that this was a great honor. “I sent her many of my favorite illustrations to choose from and we narrowed it down to what became a selection of some of my absolute favorites,” said Kabaker.  Gayle was going to add or change the color on a few and add edges on some to make them work for the horizontal format.   But Susan was adamant that Gayle never compromise her art with cropping or color changes.  What an unusual treat as an illustrator who is used to compromises being part of the terrain! Gayle’s ‘old school’ style, is a mixture of acryla gouache and water-color that she scans and creates collages in Photoshop.  


Internationally known author, columnist, TV personality and founder of the website Astrology Zone, Susan Miller,  finds Gayle Kabaker an enormously talented fine art painter and illustrator.  “I fell in love with her sophisticated portfolio at first glance, and I was not surprised to hear that Gayle had been chosen to do work for The New Yorker magazine.”


Susan continues to say, “My annual calendars, this year called The Year Ahead 2015, are eagerly awaited by style makers in the publishing, advertising and consumer market, so my choice of artist is very important.  The artist’s work would be found in literally hundreds of offices in the US and overseas, as we do a thorough press mailing. (My astrological calendar is unusual in that I write advice on the most important days of the year so that it’s easy to see the best days for initiations.)”


“Gayle and I collaborated so well with that the project was a joy from start to finish. I had ideas, and so did Gayle, and my creative director, Jackie Meyer, former Creative Director of Warner Books, loved the flow of the work. It was important to me to link the paintings to the mood of the seasons, and they did, quite beautifully. My 2015 calendars have shipped and are continuing to sell, and the response from readers on social media is highly enthusiastic. This project was a home run from the very beginning!”



az2015coverbuttonstring10Virgo was a painting that Gayle created for a gallery show, which later served as the base painting for her ‘June Brides’ New Yorker cover.

az2015coverbuttonstring12The Scorpio image was considered as a fall fashion New Yorker cover.

Leo was Susan Miller’s first consideration for the cover of the calendar.

Gayle created the Sagittarius art specially for the calendar.

In the end, Susan felt the Libra art was best for the cover. “I  am so happy with how this calendar turned out!”, says Kabaker.

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Prints are available of all the art – go to to reach Gayle’s store.

To purchase the calendar go to:

To see more of Gayle Kabaker’s work go to her website and Altpick page.

To go to Astrology Zone, click here.

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Valentine’s Day Wishes from Altpick Members!

Valentine’s Day is a great reminder to be thankful for all of our loved ones, family and friends.  Let’s celebrate with some wonderful images from our Altpick members.


©Beppe Giacobbe

©Beppe Giacobbe

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Happy Valentine’s Day to you from the Altpick family of artists!

To see more of the artists’ work, go to


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The Fine Life of the AVO Moment by Zave Smith

©Zave Smith

©Zave Smith

by Zave Smith

“The lights are low and the music is hot.  A small group of friends are sharing a moment and sharing the pleasures of a good cigar”.  This was creative brief that we received from Michael Olsson of Colangelo, create that perfect  “Avo Moment” for the launch campaign of their new Cigars.

The opportunity of helping to create a brand is what people like myself dream of.  The opportunity of creating visuals for a brand has compelling, as this one is exciting.  As a photographer and as a person who loves the ambiance of a Jazz Club, whose favorite activity is enjoying an evening in the company of friends over music, fine whiskey and a good smoke, this project is a dream come true.

I have spent evenings just like this in clubs from Florence, Italy, New York, Chicago, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and New Orleans.  It is the magic in moments like these that Avo represents, that “Avo Moment” is what these pictures need to be all about.

After the usual rounds of portfolio viewing and multiple bids, Zave Smith and his Agent/Producer, George Watson of Watson & Spierman Productions, were selected to create this “Avo Moment”.  Three models were casted, rooms full of “extras” were invited and a wonderful Jazz Trio provided both the musical inspiration and visual texture that was needed to make this scene feel real.

We hope you enjoy the results.

To see more of Zave Smith’s work, go to his website and Altpick page

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Steve Williams Collaborates with Burdette Ketchum on Gate Hospitality Project

Ponte VedraV-14_GHG_0055 MAILER EPPING_LR-2Photographer Steve Williams was chosen by Burdette Ketchum ad agency to create lifestyle photos for their client, Gate Hospitality Group in Jacksonville. The four-day shoot took place in September at four of their resorts: Ponte Vedra Inn, Lodge and Club, Epping Forest Yacht Club and The River Club. “We had a great crew and models, along with with wonderful production and art direction from the agency”, Williams says.

These photos will be used for ads and websites.

Here’s how the photos were used:

Ponte VedraV-14_GHG_0055 MAILER A1_LR-2-1

Ponte VedraV-GHG_AD_JAXMAG-1-1

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Ponte VedraV-14_GHG_0055 MAILER A1_LR-3

Here are some ‘behind the scenes’ shots:

IMG_8709 IMG_8727 IMG_8718To see more of Steve Williams’ work go to his website and Altpick page.


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