Friday, March 14, 2008


"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...


Flydesign said...

Man I would love to be in New York with you and to hang out at the illustration conference. Number one I’ve never been to New York and two, just being around other illustrators like you would be awesome. I don’t think I would be able to make it, maybe (thinking).

Any howdy, great piece here that you have created. I’m in love with her expression, just says that good things in life does happen and you need to enjoy it. When I’m creating my art I always try to shoot for the “glow” I call it. Basically the atmosphere of your creation, what is going to just set that piece off and you tend to do it with texture, color or with your subject matter, love it. Even if this piece was done a couple of years ago, you always want to go back and take another peek.


Flydesign said...

Oh, you have me going on the New York conference, I do think I’m over due for a road trip thou. I have some big projects in that time frame, but my birthday lands on 7/05. Maybe I can pull it off by “honey I know what I want for my birthday…”

That’s funny “hook,” I guess each artist has a term for it. Speaking of “hook” I don’t think the Obama piece that I did does it for me. The piece was rendered from a result of one of our blog conversations and just a huge 180 on my part because I’ve never had done a political piece. Many people have asked “what does it say?” Absolutely nothing, more for me to render a likeness of a person then putting in any thought of what I’m saying politically, kind of shallow. The piece started out as just as ‘Obama” and in the last minute I threw in the Hillary poster due to popular demand and because it was not in the scope of my idea for the piece, I think the piece ended up suffering. I see a lot of problems with it conflicting with the main subject and background issues. The Obama character was another issue, I really fought with myself over color. The Hillary poster suffers the likeness of Hillary, which brings me down. I posted the image on my blog as trying to feel complete over the painting, but it still has not settled with me yet. Things like this are great because when I’m not doing art, I’m thinking about it and this has given me plenty to think about. What you are seeing is an artist really trying to challenge himself, that’s the only way I know how to learn and then it all makes sense after awhile. Sometimes I rather be going uphill then downhill, some weird way I feel more comfortable.