Visit our shop & gallery  (12pm - 8pm daily, closed on Mondays)

During the event, enter our raffle contest to win this original artwork by Scott Watanabe valued at $100. Each raffle ticket is $5 and you can purchase as many as you'd like to increase your odds of winning.  Prizes also include a signed book or exclusive art print. Learn more about the event here


You may know that we've been trying to amass a solid offering of fine art books featuring the work of Russian, Chinese, and Japanese artists.  Great for students, painters, or anyone immersed in life drawing and anatomy.  They are the best for inspiration and reference...rare finds indeed.

These are just a few pages taken randomly from the more than 30 books we have available.  Many starting at around $20.  If you know of anyone who may be interested in them, please help us spread the word.  Thanks!

View the selection here



We've been hard at work lining up some informative workshops to help you hone your craft a bit.  Improving your work should be a constant journey and these upcoming events are geared to those ready to take it all to the next level.  The talented Bill Perkins will be here to discuss visually clarity and composition.  You definitely don't want to miss Marshall Vandruff describe the creative process of several well-known artists through history.  Vandruff has a wealth of knowledge and I always walk away from conversations with him knowing more than I did beforehand.

We are also welcoming Jordu Schell who will actually be crafting the strangest of creatures right before your very eyes as he tells you a bit about his career and gives a few tips on working as a creative in the entertainment industry.  And for the first time, we are presenting artist Greg Spalenka.  Spalenka will be conducting a 3-day course titled Artist as Brand.  It is an intense workshop for those who are serious in their creative career and in producing their own unique art empire!

On August 7th, Nucleus is presenting Peck n' Paw and the Black Mirror featuring a collection of work by artists from the Walt Disney Animation Studios.

‘Peck n' Paw and the Black Mirror’ is a loose theme that challenged the contributing artists to make up their own visual interpretations. Each artist created and developed a set of fun characters and environments to narrate the idea.

As you can imagine, the artists came up with some creative concepts and we are exciting to share them with you. Original paintings from the book will be for sale. Save the date!

Opening Reception
Saturday, August 7, 2010
7pm -10pm
Free Admission

A limited release of the books are available at Nucleus. It is hardcover bound and features full-page art. Pre-order your copy here.

You can learn more about the Disney artists and their work here.


OH NO...everything has gone terribly wrong and the city is under siege by an unstoppable mechanical menace.  Writer Mac Burnett and artist Dan Santat tell us the story of a girl's science project that has gone horribly wrong.

On August 14th, in conjunction with Moonshine, we are hosting an exhibit & book signing for OH NO! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World).  All of this will unfold in our upstairs Atrium gallery.  Santat has invited over 30 contemporary children's book illustrators to interpret the book's concept all proof in point that this event will be dangerously fun and not to be missed!  Learn more about the event here

Pre-order the new book here


We are packing up the trucks with all the goodies we are offering at Comic-Con this year.  It's hard to believe we've been doing the Comic-Con gig for six years now.

This year, we are bringing hundreds of assorted prints (some you've never laid eyes on).  We have new artist designed tees by John Klassen and Scott C that just arrived.  I can't wait for you to see them!  We are bringing a few import art books as well.  And things wouldn't be complete without a bit of artwork from artists like Jordu Schell, Junko Mizuno, Chris Appelhans, Scott C, and several others.

Once again, we will be sharing a booth (#2235) with our friends at Flight Comics.  We hope that you can stop by to say hi!

Tonight's exhibit features the work of Chris Sickels, the creative force behind Red Nose Studio, which has garnered awards and has been featured in countless magazines, art books, and advertisements. Among Sickel's clients are Microsoft, Target, Times magazine and Random House books. Chris Sickels can be found in a red, two-story garage that functions as his studio, sculpting puppets out of found objects and clay. The process involves using Sculpey to shape the head, which is usually made first and embodies the emotion of his pieces, and wire armatures covered with foam often form the body.

With a background in illustration, Sickels had transitioned from drawing to creating three-dimensional characters, inspired by the challenge of learning photography. The camera is crucial in his work.  The end result is a delightfully odd world inhabited by quirky, rosy-nosed characters, and can be experienced in person at our upcoming exhibit, Icon6.  

Sickels explains his sculptures and photographs best, saying “my work isn't really graceful. It's usually pretty awkward—like if the puppet moved, he'd fall off or he'd trip or he'd run into a wall. It's a bit of beauty and a bit of awkwardness. And I think that's kind of how I am."

We will also be showing some of the artists stop motion work during the opening tonight (like the one below).


German based artist Andrea Offerman arrived in LA last night and dropped by today with her new body of work (14 works total!) for Systema Naturae - Aeris.

Working in both fine arts and illustration fields, her projects have included graphic novels, book covers, and children's book illustration all while consistently showing in various galleries throughout the US.

Offermann's work explores the tension and dialogue between nature and manmade. The two are in constant interaction, oftentimes one engulfs another to create feelings of discord while other times, their relationship appears symbiotic. A master with her technique of choice, Offermann's paintings on wood using inks and oil glazes are intricate but remain delicate, while the wood-grain patterns remain an integral component to the final image by influencing ideas and content.

Using “systems of nature” as a creative platform, this third installment of the Systema Naturae series visually explores 'air' and the connotations drawn from air itself.

Come view Andrea Offerman's fantastic new work in all their glory, including great pieces by Jaime Zollars, Frieda Gossett, and Michael Brown at the Opening Reception this Friday night, 7-11PM.


With two Time magazine covers to his credit in the past month, there really is not much keeping Tim O’Brien down these days.  His work has also graced the covers of Rolling Stone, Esquire, Newsweek, among others. Several of his paintings hang in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and he continues to receive awards and significant accolades from a number of organizations including the Society of Illustrators.  Even as a child, O'Brien's talent was hard to mistake and the artist recalls times when he would waver between being inspired by art and being crushed by how quickly it defined his identity.  Inevitably, O'Brien recognized his calling and has since set in motion a sprawling list of achievements from speaking engagements at esteemed venues such as the Normal Rockwell Museum, School of Visual Arts, and Pratt to acting as a member on committees such as the Illustrators' Partnership of America.

O'Brien's new painting Fire Frog (below) is featured in this Friday's ICON6: A Labor of Line.  In addition to learning more about the Fire Frog piece, you can also read about the process behind his most recent Time magazine cover depicting Edision on the artist's blog here

John Jay Cabuay is an illustrator out of New York City. He studied illustration at F.I.T. (Fashion Institute of Technology) where he received his BFA degree. He later continued his studies at the School of Visual Arts. His work has appeared in major publications as well as advertisements and promotions in North America, Europe, and Japan. He is known for his versatility and ability to caption motion and inject life into his subjects. Whether in color or black and white, Cabuay knows exactly how to breathe life into his characters.


Cabuay is also an adjunct professor at the illustration department of Fashion Institute of Technology and the fashion design department at Parsons New School. Cabuay has also been a guest lecturer at Spero Villioti design academy in South Africa.


Fresh and minimal, Bil Donovan’s watercolors exude sophistication and elegance with simple colors, content and compositions. His timeless style and ideal of glamour have attracted the attention of some of the biggest names in fashion, including Vogue and Christian Dior. His relationship with Vogue resulted in commissions for portraits at events, which utilizes Donovan’s ability to portray a fleeting moment and personality with sparse details and limited time. His career in fashion illustration culminated from the same dedication to studying at a variety of schools while freelancing, and his style developed with experience from traveling and working in Milan and Paris.

These are two of the works which will be included in the ICON exhibit.  These illustrations appear in the Harper Collins book on renowned costume designer Edith Head and are appropriately titled Country Chic and City Chic:

In the upcoming ICON: A Labor of Line, we are excited to be presenting work by New York based artist Chris Buzelli.  We've had the opportunity to work with Buzelli before and have kept an eye on his career as it continues to build greater momentum.  Over the past 15 years, his work has made appearances in numerous influential publications such as: Time, US World News & Report, Rolling Stone, Playboy, The Village Voice, and Boston Globe. With all of his success in the commercial arena, the artist is also able to focus efforts in showing personal work in galleries throughout the US.

The above piece titled Transference will be one of two works featured in the upcoming exhibit.  Transference was done for a recent Rolling Stone article on the band Spoon. Learn more about the making of the piece and view it within the context of the article here

Another editorial piece by the artist...fierce.

"Gary Taxali visually blends now with then. His style, inspired by vintage comics and advertising art, is repurposed with the goal of communicating the ironies and comical essence of popular culture. His work is at once alluring and endearing. Despite the vintage look, he is neither maudlin nor nostalgic. His imagery is rich in satiric verve."
- Steven Heller

Gary Taxali’s illustrations have a rich inviting quality about them that draw one in to tell their story. An award-winning illustrator whose work has appeared in many major magazines, Taxali has exhibited in many galleries and museums throughout North America and Europe. Illustration has been a big part of Taxali's life. Although born in India in 1968, a year later, he and his family emigrated to Toronto. The encouragement of his parents led Taxali to take art classes as a child which eventually led him to pursue an art education. In 1991, he graduated from the Ontario College of Art and immediately began working as a professional illustrator.

A few years later, he began showing in various exhibitions and galleries throughout North America including Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles. In 2005, he launched his first vinyl toy, The Toy Monkey, which includes a special edition specifically created for The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. Aside from his gallery shows and illustration work, Taxali also devotes a portion of his time traveling through lecturing and teaching at various arts organizations and schools such as The Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto. An advocate for the arts, Taxali has invested years of his life and is apart of many organizations promoting illustrators and artists in general. He is a Founding Member of The Illustrators' Partnership of America and sits on the Advisory Board of 3x3: The Magazine of Contemporary Illustration. His style is suited to everything, fine art, illustration, mixed media, screen-printing, and now moving into the world of sculpture: his toys.

Currently, Taxali is working on his next mass production toy figure, "Oh No", under the name of his new company, Chump Inc. as well as 'This Is Silly", a children's book published by Scholastic and slated for a spring 2010 release. Which came as no surprise after finding out the artists who inspire him the most, "core people like EC Segar (the creator of Popeye) and the Fleischer brothers. I’ve always really liked Dr Seuss; Maurice Sendak; 1930s typography, package design and advertising posters; the Russian constructivists. Andy Warhol is a favourite – he helped me a lot. He helped all of us a lot. Picasso helped all of us too". Despite his various skills, the artist tries to keep versatility in his media as much as possible. To this day he continues to live and work in Toronto, Canada.

We will be featuring an original by the artist in the upcoming ICON: A Labor of Line exhibit.


There is a rare one day 4 hour workshop coming up to help you gain some insight into the deft, skill, and chaos that goes into creating some of our best/worst onscreen fears. Slides will be presented, film history will be discussed, and most importantly a demonstration will commence.

As art further assimilates into the digital age, cg models dominate the public sphere of what is perceived as the norm. "Why make it out of clay when you can sculpt it in the computer” they question this while the virtual data become zealous of their more tangible counterparts.

Visiting Jordu's studio was always a feast for the imagination, seeing Jordu work is to experience a birth as beautiful and monstrous as it is captivating. It is actually from in-depth awareness of the human psyche and diligent understanding of organic nature that such creatures are born. Evoking such licit emotions from a piece of clay, as you will see, is harder than it seems.

Learn more about the July 18th workshop here

...Oh and did we also mention that Jordu was on "You Bet Your Life" with Bill Cosby?

Craig Elliot’s carefully crafted and arresting images of nature and the human form have captivated audiences with their visual and intellectual celebration of the beauty in this world and beyond. In addition to his fine art work, he has had a hand in designing many of today’s most popular animated films from studios such as Disney and Dreamworks.  A multi-faceted artist, he is also an accomplished landscape architect, sculptor and most recently, jewelry designer.  Especially known for his exceptional ability with the human figure and creative composition, Craig’s work has evolved into a unique vision informing and influencing fine art, print, animation, and commercial worlds. 

Drawing from the visual worlds of science and nature, the human figure, the grand tradition of American illustration, Japanese scroll paintings and woodblock prints, fantasy illustration, and great artists of Europe, Elliott’s work strikes the viewer at first with a powerful tableau and draws them in to experience the subtlety and beauty within. Beyond the pictorial impact of his work, themes personal to him such as body image, environmental preservation, and social and psychological repression weave themselves throughout his work.


After attending Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, he began illustrating for various clients and started working full time in the animation industry.  He has worked primarily for Disney and Dreamworks, designing their animated films such as Hercules, Mulan, The Emperor's New Groove, Treasure Planet, Shark Tale, Flushed Away, Bee Movie, and Enchanted, Monsters vs. Aliens, and The Princess and the Frog as well as other upcoming features. Craig has also done fully painted comic book and cover artwork for Dark Horse Comics, World of Warcraft Trading cards, editorial illustration for Realms of Fantasy magazine, and more. His work can currently be seen in the books "Treasure Planet a Voyage of Discovery", "The Art of The Princess and the Frog", "Spectrum: the Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art" #10, 11, 12, 13 & 15 and a gold medal in 16 and Silver Medal in 17, “The World’s Greatest Erotic Art of Today Vol. 2”, “Erotic Fantasy Art”, “Fantasy art Now 2”, Aphrodisia I and his 3 sketchbooks. Several monograph art books are also in the works.

We will be showcasing two originals by the artist in ICON: A Labor of Line opening Friday, July 16th. One of which is below.


John Hendrix
loves to draw. In fact, he is probably drawing right now. Born in St. Louis, Missouri John has been drawing since shortly after that moment. John attended The University of Kansas to study graphic design and illustration, graduating with a degree in Visual Communication in 1999. He received his first commissioned illustration in 2001, for the Village Voice. After working for a few years as a designer, Hendrix moved from Kansas to New York City. He attended The School of Visual Arts MFA “Illustration as Visual Essay” program and graduated in 2003 with honors. Soon after, he did his first illustration for the New York Times, probably the publication he's done the most work for over the years. During his time living and working in New York, the artist has taught at Parsons School of Design and worked his way up at The New York Times as Assistant Art Director of the Op-Ed page for several years.


Hendrix’s work has appeared in such publications as Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Esquire, The New York Times, and Time Magazine among many others. He has also drawn book jackets for the likes of Random House, Harper Collins, Greenwillow Books, Knopf, Penguin, Abrams Books and St. Martin’s Press. His images also appeared in advertising for ESPN/ABC, The NBA and Travelocity. His drawings have won numerous awards, including the Society of Illustrator’s Silver Medal in 2006 and 2008, the 3x3 Gold Medal in sequential illustration and the SILA Silver Best of Show Award.

The artist is a huge fan of typography. As an artist who is writing his own books, he has something to offer that a writer alone or illustrator alone cannot provide. So, the interaction with text inside the frame is a way he uses to create a hybrid language in his work. When asked what a few of his favorite things to draw might be, his answer ranged from old steel bridges, robots, vines, squids, under appreciated civil rights heroes from the 1850’s, watch gears, dimensional bar signage, people with beards, foxes and all kinds of hats. In addition to his editorial drawings and picture books, the artist is teaching Illustration and Communication Design at Washington University in St. Louis.

For the upcoming A Labor of Line, John Hendrix will be contributing two imaginative original works about famous villians who lost their heads (see on below).


We are receiving quite a bit of fantastic work nowadays as we gear up to present ICON: A Labor of Line.  The exhibit features more than 50 top illustrators from all over. It is a collection of some of their best work.  If you are not familiar, The ICON Illustration Conference is a biennial event that gathers leading names in professional illustration converging to discuss the details of their field.  Meeting in other metropolitan areas in the past such as New York and San Francisco, this year's event is the first stop in Los Angeles.  Nucleus is honored to have been selected to present the official exhibit in conjunction with the conference.  The exhibit is a diverse collection of published and personal work from a select group of innovative image makers.

We welcome you to join us on a special Friday opening reception on July 16th.  We promise not to disappoint as we are featuring a variety of medium from oil, ink, collage, silkscreen, sculpture and assemblage.  I assure you there will be something for everyone to feast eyes upon and gain inspiration.  Below is a sampling of the work featured.

Friday, July 16
7pm to 11pm
Free admission, raffle prizes, complimentary beverages by Kirin

Artwork credits: Ryan Berkley, Chris Buzelli, Gary Taxali, Jim Salvati,
Craig Elliot,Tim O'Brien, Daniel Lim, Ching Ching Cheng