Skulls and gas masks, oh my!

New gas mask design on tshirt by Los Angeles artist Wessel 

What do you do as an artist when you can’t afford the supplies you want?

You use the ones you have. A little while back I ran out of paint and had to figure out what to do so I could continue to learn and create. Drawing wasn’t cutting it and I knew I had to learn how to begin to create depth and form through toning. Luckily I had a huge pad of paper left over from a commission and some randomly bought pastels.


These two are from the second round of getting into pastels. I had some more money come in from some recent photo work that got put right back into supples. Unfortunately it wasn’t a lot, so I couldn’t leap back into paint, but, I’m not mad, considering how they’re turning out. 

 New gas mask design on tshirt by Los Angeles artist Wessel

Each turn, each path I take whether by choice, chance, or by necessity is teaching me something.

I’m not letting myself get stuck in any one place creatively. Trying to keep with my philosophy that creativity is the basic skill and anything you do could just be considered an application of that overall ability. Of course there’s a lot of technical stuff you have to learn at each turn, but, the core is still the same.

New skull design on tshirt by Los Angeles artist Wessel 

Why am I doing pastels of skulls and gas masks? Mainly because short-term there’s a commercial outlet for me with them. There’s a good amount of demand in the markets I’m about to enter for stuff that’s cool, colorful, and grim. They are by no means the end-all be-all of what I can and will do as an artist. A creative has to make money any way they can, even if it’s being cliche for a minute.


Lot’s of people also seem to like how my skulls and gas masks come out, so, there’s also the emotional joy of someone telling you something is cool.

My deeper, more long term work is still developing under the surface in a lot of sketches and stuff you’ll probably never see. All of the things I do are just small puzzle pieces in an overall picture of which I honestly have no clue will turn out. 

New skull design on tshirt by Los Angeles artist Wessel 

Working with pastels has been a challenge. Not just the shading, toning, or whatever, but the whole process. Like the Boxes, it’s a matter of trusting yourself from start to finish. In the beginning it seems like nothing, and that from the outline it’s only gonna be mediocre, or even bad...but, keeping the flow going, running with the momentum, and most importantly, paying attention through the whole process...good things do come out at the end.


It’s still pretty early in the morning here in LA but I have so much to do that before I know it, it’s gonna be 10pm and time for bed, with even more stuff to get done the next day.

The daily grind of a freelance graphic designer cum artist trying to make a life from what they love to create and believe in... I hope y’all find something you can grip on to and hold like this.


Have a great day!

 New gas mask design on tshirt by Los Angeles artist Wessel

Check out these latest pieces as graphic art designs here! And, remember, there’s a 10% for all new designs, just enter the discount code NEWDESIGN at the checkout.



New skull design on tshirt by Los Angeles artist Wessel

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