This, that, and also, etc… showcases my recent work, enthusiasms & appreciations.

Artwise, I work in gouache, watercolor, and graphite. Frequent collage work. Occasional photography. All the work is informed by some mix of representational painting, purposeful abstraction, vintage illustration, mid-century design, and pop.

By trade I work as a commercial artist. I run a small operation called Universal Exports of North America, working in close partnership with clients on matters of aesthetics, strategy & management. It’s also an occasional publishing imprint & will have sporadic retail activity. Open by appointment or by chance.

Until recently I served as the Executive Creative Director at Brownstein Group, an advertising agency in Philadelphia.

As far as backstory goes — Grew up in Niskayuna, a suburb of Albany, New York. In 1993 I left the University of Pennsylvania with an architecture degree & minors in art history and creative writing. While there I served as the Art Editor of The Daily Pennsylvanian & 34th Street

I spent the mid ‘90s out in Los Angeles working amongst the collapsing scenery of the pre-Napster music business. I started out as Barry Manilow’s one-man art department, working for his management company, Stiletto Entertainment. It was an exhilarating gig that basically served as my apprenticeship — retouching, design, photo shoots, prepress, the emergence of the web as a medium, media buying, events, etc…

In 1997 I struck out on my own, founding the Daniel Shepelavy Design Company. Around the same time some comrades and I formed The Telegraph Company, a record label, publisher & distributor. We migrated East around 1998 and settled in Brooklyn. We put out a passel of ace records, published a few books, tried to get some movies made, & generally had a blast — just as it dawned on our audience that they could download just about everything for free. By the millennium we, and the biz as we knew it, were done.

In 2001, drawn by romance & affinity, I moved to Philadelphia. I packed up any designs that I had done that were punky, risque or louche and FedEx’d them to Gyro Worldwide (now Quaker City Mercantile) – the anarcho-syndicate agency home of Puma, Kamel, Salem & Winston cigarettes, Sailor Jerry Rum, Bikini Bandits & Delilah’s Den of accomplished ecdysiasts. A week later I was working in advertising.

With Telegraph folded, I made good on a long standing desire to start painting again. In 2003 I studied for a few months with the preposterously gifted painter & educator Al Gury, currently the head of the Painting Department of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Also I began working through a series of textbooks published by the Famous Artists School in the 60’s. Many of the great commercial illustrators – Rockwell, Bob McGinnis, Bob Peak, Al Parker – were on the faculty. It was basically correspondence course for artists looking to learn the commercial pulp/magazine style of illustration in its heyday.

Back in advertising, in 2004 I had the opportunity to help build out another upstart shop, 160over90. There I worked as a creative director for American Eagle Outfitters, Nina Shoes, Loyola University Maryland, Sony Pictures Entertainment, AND1, Nike & SoBe Beverages.

In 2009 I carved out this modest little lagoon online & set to transmitting. I tumbled into pretty steady blogging for a fat 3 years or so. That led to tumbles & tweets, flattering re-blogs, getting picked up briefly by Another Magazine, corresponded & hat-tipped with some fascinating cats. Some interest in my illustration even led to tryouts to provide product paintings to the legendary J. Peterman catalog. Close, but not quite.

In late 2009, the writing here led to a relationship with the newly published Uppercase Magazine — “A magazine for the creative and curious.” It reads like a conversation between folk riffing with ardent enthusiasm about whatever fab things they’ve drawn, thought, photographed, collected, discovered, etc. No lofty curatorial snobbishness or hipster veneration – just a democratic spirit & a celebration of beautiful things. I got to write about Glenn Gould’s crush on Petula Clark, 40 years of synthetic fabric advertising, shaving, baton diagrams, staging UFO pictures & romance novel cover art in the 70’s. Those articles and more are collected here, if you’re curious. The whole buy vicodin houstonUppercase venture, gallery, books, blog etc… seem of all of a piece. Well worth it. Explore here.

In 2010 I left to become the Executive Creative Director at Brownstein Group. The shop is Philadelphia’s oldest independent, now on its 54th year. I oversaw an absolutely ace studio, where our clients included IKEA, Western Union, Ebay, & Wawa.

In March of 2017 I formed Universal Exports of North America, a small, independent concern under which I consolidated all of my motley commercial & aesthetic endeavors.



A while back I gave an interview opining about advertising and such stuff… It features some of my agency work, shout outs to my Telegraph days, Philly ad folk & illustration cats, & some old heads I crewed with at the old pirate ship down the street. On the site I’m in some ridiculously prime company, with folk from Saatchi, Leo Burnett, Droga5, etc… Flattered to be asked and hope it provides a few minutes of satisfying diversion. Enjoy. Read it here, then



Some Pocket Manifestos

I must go to Nature disarmed of perspective and stretch myself like a large transparent canvas upon her in the hope that, my submission being perfect, the imprint of a beautiful and useful truth would be taken… enraptured by a gallant attempt to distill a precious meaning from life’s experience – to make a spot on a globe a window into universal circumstance, & to fashion of one’s personal chronic tourism a crystal whose facts reflect an entire life…
— John Updike

After all, the best pop functions as a liberation even when it’s formally received – it celebrates a formula in ways that are audible and infectious.
— Robert Christgau

Some velvet mornin’ when I’m straight
I’m gonna open up your gate
And maybe tell you ‘bout Phaedra
— Lee Hazlewood

The world is beautiful before it is true.
— Gaston Bachelard


An Index of Aces

Twenty Artists
Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Francois Boucher
Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio
Vija Celmins
William Merrit Chase
Joseph Cornell
Marcel Duchamp
Gil Elvgren
William Etty
Jasper Johns
Gustav Klimt
Claude Manet
Robert Rauschenberg
John Register
Francis Picabia
Ed Ruscha
John Singer Sargent
Alexis Smith
Johan Vermeer
Andrew Wyeth

Ten Illustrators
Rolf Armstrong
Robert Bonfils
Chesley Bonestell
Darwyn Cooke
Frank Frazetta
Robert McGinnis
Charles Santore
Mark Schultz
James Steranko
Wallace Wood

Fifteen Books*
Lucky Jim, Kingsley Amis
Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
Mezzanine, Nicholson Baker
Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon
Rabbit, Run, John Updike
Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel
Gold Bug Variations, Richard Powers
Candide, Voltaire
High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
Slow Days Fast Company, Eve Babitz
Orphan Masters Son, Adam Johnson
Watchmen, Alan Moore
Our Man in Havana, Graham Greene
Flashman, George McDonald Fraser
Carter Brown, various pulp series

Ten Photographers
Uta Barth
William Eggleston
Sam Haskins
Dennis Hopper
William Klein
Helmut Newton
Robert Polidori
Ed Ruscha
Stephen Shore
Bunny Yeager

Fifteen Critics & Essayists
Nicholson Baker
Richard Dawkins
Thomas Frank
Paul Fussell
Dave Hickey
Christopher Hitchens
Robert Hughes
Pauline Kael
Janet Malcom
Czes?aw Mi?osz
Camille Paglia
Michael Shermer
Lawrence Weschler
Leon Wieseltier

Ten Bands*
Brian Eno
Bad Religion
Jethro Tull
Serge Gainsbourg
Stew / Negro Problem
Ennio Morricone
Iron Maiden
Sandy Denny
Roxy Music

Ten More Bands
Guided by Voices
Men Without Hats
Mountain Goats
Christian Mistress
Roky Erikson
The Scientist
Thin White Rope

Fifteen Records
Call of the West, Wall of Voodoo
Expressions, Music Go Music
Ha Ha Ha, Ultravox
Message to The Country, the Move
Permanent Waves, Rush
Pros/Cons of Hitchhiking, R. Waters
Red, King Crimson
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Scary Monsters, David Bowie
Streethawk —A Seduction, Destroyer
Lyres Lyres, Lyres
The Cars, The Cars
Too Much Sleep, Bongwater
Bat Outta Hell, Meatloaf

Twenty Songs
Baby Sign Here, Henry Badowski
Crashland Consequence, Ric Ocasek
Down in the Park, Gary Numan
Find Another Fool, Quarterflash
Golden Boys, Vagina Dentata
Ha Ha Ha, Flipper
Kids In America, Kim Wilde
Metro, Berlin
Never Been Any Reason, Head East
No More Heroes, Stranglers
O Superman, Laurie Anderson
Proper Ornaments, Free Design
Public Image, Public Image Ltd.
Radar Love, Golden Earring
Sat. Nite Holocaust, Dead Kennedys
Sirens of Titan, Al Stewart
Smoke & Mirrors, Evelyn
Sodium Pentathol Negative, Fashion
Total Eclipse, Klaus Nomi

Fifteen Movies*
Repo Man
The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
Gates of Heaven
Star Wars
Lives of Others
Moonrise Kingdom
In like Flint
How to Steal a Million
Rikki Tiiki Tavi (short)
Queen Margot
Shot In the Dark
Scarlet Pimpernel
Thomas Crown Affair (remake)

* in order of preference, all others alphabetical



Dan Shepelavy can be reached at

~ dan@shepelavy.com ~

Self-published in fashionable
East Passyunk, Philadelphia, Penna.

Programming by Cristian Rivera
Hosted by proxy in lord knows where

To conclude with
Science Fiction Double Feature
~ in full chorus ~



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