Shutting It Down

March 12th, 2018 by Phil

I’ve had Minotaur Studios for eighteen years now, but it’s time for a change.  I’m packing the boxes and moving on to a whole new website. Moving forward, you can find me at

I’m still doing freelance illustration and design work. But I’m also doing more writing. In fact, it’s just as important as my image making at this point, and this website wasn’t able to accommodate or highlight that change in focus.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by through the years. This rusty old place will be open for a little while, but I’m not sure how much longer. I hope you’ll stop by my new, spiffy spot soon.



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Big Ol’ Kitsch Update

November 1st, 2013 by Phil

I’ve been dropping and leaving and abandoning little Scrabble paintings all over Richmond and even Northern Virginia in the last week. Here are 8 more!

Bits o' Kitsch #10, Hi Moon

Hi Moon, left on a hotel lobby table,

Bits o' Kitsch #11, fire-breathing duckling

Fire-Breathing Duckling, set down upon a table with water coolers,

Bits o' Kitsch #12, Green Robot

Green Robot, sitting on a bench outside a community center,

Bits o' Kitsch #13, Mustachioed Bee

Mustachioed Bee, residing on a fountain in front of a science museum,

Bits o' Kitsch #14, Square Robot

Square Robot, dropped in a cafe,

Bits o' Kitsch #15, Crowned Sparrow

Crowned Sparrow, waiting for tickets at a theater box office,

Bits o' Kitsch #16, Dapper Sparrow

Dapper Sparrow, enjoying a First Friday art walk,

Bits o' Kitsch #17, Epic Beard

and Epic Beard, chillin’ at a coffee house.

The top two I left at the Holiday Inn Dulles while I attended the annual conference for the Mid-Atlantic region Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (or SCBWI). The Hi Moon painting sat on that table from about 9 pm Friday night, through breakfast, and nearly until lunch on Saturday. The Fire-Breathing Duckling sat on the water cooler table, where dozens of people stopped for a drink, for at least two hours. So I’d like to think children’s creators are the most honest people in the world and everyone believed that whoever lost these objects would be back for them. I’m hoping it wasn’t a sort of rejection of them as nobody wanted to take them!

If anyone is wondering about the order that I’m leaving these, it’s totally random. Scrabble tiles come in a little black velvet bag. After completing these paintings, I put them all back into the bag. When I’m going to leave one, I just reach my  hand in and grab it.

This update brings us to 17 out of 50. Thirty-three more to go!

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Five More Bits o’ Kitsch

October 25th, 2013 by Phil

Five more tiny Scrabble paintings have been left around Richmond, VA for people to find. They are:

Bits o' Kitsch Purple Pirate

Purple Pirate, left near the river,


You’re Aces, abandoned at a sports bar,


Hello Astronaut, set adrift at a coffee shop,


Good Job, deposited at a Japanese garden,


and Pink Sugar Skull, deserted at a bookstore cafe.

There are 41 left to go! There isn’t any particular schedule here, so they could pop up anywhere and anytime. If you want to follow along in real time, follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks!

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First Four Bits o’ Kitsch

October 20th, 2013 by Phil

I’ve released four Scrabble tile paintings into the wild around Richmond over the past two days. They include:

Coffee Yum

Coffee (Yum) dropped on a bar top,

Rabbit with Laser Eyes

Rabbit with Laser Eyes deserted near some street art,

Pink Yum Yum Lollipop

Pink Lollipop (Yum Yum) taped to a wall,

Panda Eating Bamboo (Nom Nom Nom)

and Panda Eating Bamboo (Nom Nom Nom) left on a bench.

Hope they found good homes. I’ll post more updates as things progress.


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Bits o’ Kitsch

October 17th, 2013 by Phil


Today marks the beginning of a fun project that I’m calling “Bits o’ Kitsch”. I’ve recently completed fifty tiny paintings on Scrabble tiles. Forty-nine of the images include motivational sayings or ridiculous subject matter currently having a heyday in pop culture (robots, mustaches, and the like.) Because not every moment of life is rabbits shooting lasers from their eyes and lollipops, one image is a reminder that we are all mortal and death is inescapable.

I’m going to abandon these paintings around Richmond, Virginia over the next few weeks for people to serendipitously discover. They will show up in restaurants, parks, libraries, park benches, and wherever I find myself as I live my life.

I will have no contact with the recipient and won’t have any idea how the interaction completes itself. Alternately, the recipient will most likely* have no idea where the tiny painting came from, what it’s intended for, or, perhaps, if they should even take it. Through the paintings, the recipient and I will have a small moment of unknowable contact.

Hopefully, it will simply make them smile. Well, forty-nine will hopefully smile. I’m not sure what that fiftieth, reminder-of-death person will think. Maybe they’ll smile, too. Or I’ll have accidentally ruined their day.

But since I won’t know where these paintings will ultimately end up, I’m fully prepared for and expect some of them to be lost, thrown away, or find some obstruction that prevents them from fulfilling their intended purpose.

The mystery will kill me but it’s also kind of the point. I wonder on my end what happened to them, the recipient wonders on their end where they came from. Mysterious, unexpected interactions can have a big impact. For some random Richmonders, I’m hoping to just induce some smiles or remind them of their eventual demise.

I’ll be documenting this whole thing as we go along here on my blog, my twitter account, and my Facebook page. So if you’d like to follow along, there are three places to do so. When they are all distributed, I’ll post a grid featuring each piece.

So… here we go!

*Yup, I’m using a footnote. I say “most likely” because there is the chance that someone who reads this blogpost could find one. But I am under no grand illusions about the number of readers I have on this thing and fully expect that 100% of the people who find these pantings will have no idea where they came from.


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