Lon Tweeten

Photo by Akos Major.

Thanks for visiting.

My "journey" in graphic arts began as a cartoonist for the Oklahoma State University school paper, the O'Collegian. I wasn't very good, but I loved telling stories illustratively so much that I would stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning drawing and then get back up at 6 and do more of the same! Needless to say my regular school work suffered. But I learned then that your most important move is making a career doing what you love to do.

The Dallas Morning News was the perfect next step for me. I had complete autonomy for any creative risks I wanted to take while making the news fun to read. Having dabbled in school as a math major, the computers now populating newspaper art departments were the perfect fit for the young me.

At the Washington Post I had to step up my game. I learned to let the information dictate the amount and style of accompanying illustration. I was lucky enough to work on several ambitious journalistic works. On one such project, I helped illustrate stories on discrepancies in official and civilian accounts of local police shootings—considered an epidemic in the 90s. The series won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1999.

My dream job came soon after at Time magazine. The publication's reliance on rich visuals and playful, clever infographics was a big draw. The graphics team there was just adopting 3D illustration and I jumped into the cold water with them. We were really doing some pioneering stuff then -- pushing the limits of the software and hardware. Much of my early work there was in seamlessly combining 3D scenes with photographic imagery to help explain and illustrate news.

Years later the style of the magazine (and much of the industry) changed to a cleaner look with flat, graphic, vector illustration. My efforts went more to concepting ideas and crafting storytelling rather than hours of modeling and rendering. There was a natural segue from this style into web animation. First in adapting print graphics to digital on the iPad, then to the more elaborate voiceover storytelling.

So that's the 2-minute version of how I got here. Please take a look at my body of work. I think you'll see the joy of a young college cartoonist in each and every piece.