Monday, March 30, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
As the title might suggest, here's the initial sketch for the Victory Garden article. It's a bit of a strange combination between 1940s bomber nose art and Alphonse Mucha (background, at any rate) poster design. Still, it turned out nicely in my opinion.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Here are a few concept drawings for a second "Programs and People" article about a reemergence of Victory Gardens. The circular concept was the one chosen. I think it's the strongest of the three. The first is mediocre at best and the third (the woman with the orange shirt) doesn't read correctly. She's meant to be standing in front of a silhouette of vegetables, but if that thing looks like anything it's either some kind of nuclear mutation or a stain you might get on your shirt after riding the Tilt-a-Whirl.
Here's the final piece. My solution to the overly-sincere tone of the initial layout was to take it in a more caricature-like direction. I think I made the right choice. On top of solving the Rockwell dilemma, this approach offered me more license with the color and facial expressions. I particularly love the woman's hair. The traffic signs are pieces of ancillary art, to be placed throughout the article for cohesiveness.
I asked a friend of mine recently how work was going for him.
"Good." He said, and smiled. "Work is always good."
I realized he was in an enviable position. It seems rare for people to respond that way. Then I realized that I can say the same thing. I draw for a living. Work is always good.
I've finished the illustration for the feature article in the upcoming issue of "Programs and People" (for details on the subject matter and concept drawings, see below). I would have finished much sooner, but I started over at one point.
Initially, I took a more serious approach to the subject. It wasn't exactly realistic, but it was closer to the style you might find in a graphic novel. Having just finished (and enjoyed thoroughly) the poster for "Art on the Green", I thought I would continue in that vein.
However, problems began to emerge. Initially, the instructor/teacher character had curly hair, different glasses, and a smirk or wry smile. But when I looked it over, the scene just looked creepy to me. I changed the face dramatically, but at that point a different problem became evident: the subject combined with the style of illustration I had chosen resulted, in my opinion, in an overly sincere feel. Nothing I could think of would have saved the piece from looking saccharine.
So, even with the deadline looming, I decided to start over, knowing I would never be satisfied with the illustration I had started. (I apologize for the poor quality of the image, but my scanner wasn't quite large enough to accommodate this one.)
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
I've decided to enter a poster competition for the Art on the Green festival in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho. It's my first time, even though I've been attending the festival every year since I was young. This is the initial layout drawing. The man depicted is General William Tecumseh Sherman, the Union Army general after whom Fort Sherman (the fort grounds on which the festival is held) and Sherman Street are named.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I'm currently working on a new assignment for "Programs and People" (agricultural magazine) and I finished up the concepts moments ago. The feature deals with the benefits of high school students in rural Idaho towns receiving dual credit (credit at both the high school and collegiate level) for agricultural classes.
This subject was a little more complicated to distill into visual form (and I had about two days to do them), but overall I'm satisfied with the number and strength of the ideas I generated (though some are far stronger than others). Ultimately, the concept featuring the teacher, student, and traffic sign was chosen.
Now comes the hard part.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I can't remember exactly why I began this illustration or where the idea came from. I think it may have had something to do with some depressing news about the economy and my thoughts on some of the people responsible. I'm not sure if I'll finish it, as I have more pressing projects to address.
I returned home today from my first visit to Austin. It was phenomenal. Great food, great people, great music. The weather is also hard to beat. Along the way, I put a few things in the sketchbook. They're not specific to Austin and weren't necessarily inspired by it, but I think they're fun nonetheless. Occasionally I'll get wrapped up in long term projects and forget how much fun I can have by sketching without putting too much thought into it.
This illustration accompanies a story involving a conservative radio talk show host named Zeb Bell and some controversial comments he has made on his show. The article also delves into Idaho stereotypes, rural Idaho ideologies, and what constitutes hate speech.
I think this is one of the best illustrations I've produced for the BW thus far. Bell's portrait/caricature turned out nicely (I didn't even have to alter his expression from the reference photo I used). What makes the illustration germane to me, however, is the background. Ordinarily I would treat the background as ancillary, but here it ties the entire piece together. The Idaho silhouettes forming the negative space of the confederate flag (a symbol of many things, one of which is an entrenched approach to racial relations in this country) seems to me to be an excellent way to visually communicate that, in some parts of Idaho, old times there are not forgotten.