"Yesterday." What does that mean? When I need to title my illustrations for competitions or other reasons, I tend to grab from songs that pop into my head as I look at them. So what is it about that song from the McCartney songbook that screamed to me as I looked at this charcoal on Canson paper illustration, digitally toned and colored?
The story in the picture is one of seeming joy with the young woman looking happy, rather than melancholy...dressed like she is perhaps at some festive place, having a good time -- not exactly reflecting on troubles or looking for a place to hide away -- or is she? Maybe she's the one who went away. This image could be used as a dichotomy to a dark theme. That's a trick I use when thinking of ideas -- the opposite. How can you know happiness without sadness? Therefore, it stands to reason something happy can be used to force the opposite emotion, when in the correct context and with visual clues for the viewer to pick up and ultimately figure out the game the illustration is trying to play. Here, there aren't enough visual clues, I think, to play that game. She is too happy and there is nothing else, besides her dark hair, to suggest darkness of mood.
This was actually a personal piece that seems to receive a lot of good feedback. I used it as part of my promotional poster for the Road Show at the 2005 Illustration Conference in San Francisco. The Road Show is an event held before the official opening of the conference where illustrators congregate and claim space to promote their services to art directors -- like a trade show, but instead of booths, the participants occupy real estate at a table. There was live music, and design and illustration legend Seymour Chwast was there signing his new book. It was a great addition to that year's conference, and I look forward to participating in the same event at this year's conference in New York City. Drop me a line if you plan on being there.
So what does the title mean? Like art, it's in what the viewer brings to it. Take a listen and see if you think it fits...