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Creating CJ Costabile

A full year after Memorial Day 2010, I got a call from a Duke parent regarding a custom order for his son’s 2012 graduation present. It was Duke’s LSM who scored the winning goal in overtime against Notre Dame back in 2010 – CJ Costabile.

Memorial Day of 2010 was the last time I attended the NCAA Men’s Final Four of Lacrosse in Baltimore, MD.  Duke University won the title beating Notre Dame in overtime by a score of 6-5.  A full year and a number of months after the event, I got a call from a Duke parent regarding a custom order for his son’s 2012 graduation present.  The individual involved was Duke University’s long-pole/face-off man that scored the winning goal in overtime against Notre Dame back in 2010 – CJ Costabile.

Enter Steve Costabile.

I remember seeing the Connecticut area code appear on my cell phone when the first call of inquiry was made.  I thought it was the alumni office of my New-England boarding school, South Kent School, informing me about an upcoming event in NYC.  But when the person on the other line mentioned that his son was currently a member of the Duke Men’s Lacrosse team, my attention span firmed up right away.  When the parent on the phone confirmed his name, Steve Costabile, father of CJ Costabile, I did about 5 “mental back-flips” but remained professional on the line.   I probably asked more questions about CJ’s playing career, than Steve asking questions that were art related, to me.  We discussed the details of what he was envisioning for CJ’s gift, and thought a picture of him taking a shot on goal, would be the fitting.  As a goalie, shots taken by poles were the hardest to read, and SAVE.

I was under strict orders NOT to expose this until after Memorial Day weekend.  When the piece was done and turned in at the middle of April, it was hard to keep it “under the radar”.  Until now.

The following photos display the development stages behind “CJ Costabile”:

The graphite foundation...
Inking the features...
Helmet, jersey, gloves...
shorts, legs, jersey number... etc.
a few more details...
Filling the image up...
Got to have the stick made...
I used a partial shot of the piece as a Welcome/Homepage for The Art of Lax™ site.

As the little things started to make up the big picture, it was time to add the signature lines depicting the movement and motion in CJ’s shooting form.  CJ’s father, Steve Costabile, was very adamant that the motion lines had to be in there.  According to him, the style of having motion was a definite reason in getting a custom piece done for CJ.

The finished piece of "CJ Costabile"

Like ANY other custom order projects, I had a great time doing this.  I also had a great time communicating with Steve Costabile via email or phone, getting to know him and talking about his numerous trips on the road with his wife, Doreen, watching both CJ and his brother, Nick (currently, a goalie at SUNY-Cortland).  Once the piece was finished, Steve Costabile drove into NYC to pick up the piece from me, not wanting to risk it being lost, or damaged by any of the delivery services (USPS, FedEx, UPS).  I didn’t blame him!  It was great to meet in person.

I feel very honored to have done a custom order for an National Champion and a 2012 Tewaaraton Trophy finalist.

The 2010 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Final:

The following photos were taken during my weekend at the 2010 NCAA Final Four of Lacrosse in Baltimore, MD.

Hawking The Art of Lax™ "Crank" t-shirts from the trunk of my car in the parking lot. It's called Entrepreneurship... whatever it takes!
Duke and Notre Dame facing off... CJ at the X.
Coach Danowski and Duke players talking things over...
We're about to head into OT...
Duke players rushing the field right after CJ's goal!
Post-game pic of me and my view from my "nosebleed" seats in 2010.


Vid of CJ’s winning goal in OT to take the 2010 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse title:




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