NOTE: To read about the Sudan Scholarship Foundation illustration, please scroll down to the post immediately below this one.
I'm taking an unusual approach with my blog over the next couple of weeks. As I write, I'm in NYC for the Illustration Conference -- a big event for illustrators and the illustration industry. It happens every 2-3 years and it's a rare opportunity to bring a widespread group of creative folks together, talk about solutions to pressing issues facing the industry (like copyright and the proposed Orphan Works legislation), provide ideas on how to better run one's business, and generally provide a re-energizing and a creative shot in the arm. Things get going on Wednesday July 2, so today's post is my reacquaintance with the big city and a look at one of the 100 photographs I shot today. It's also a behind-the-scenes look at my thought processes before paint hits canvas.
This ballet dancer was posing at Columbus Circle among the hip hop dancers and Statue-of-Liberty-adorned performance artists. The air hinted of horse, from the carriage rides parked by the curb, and she seemed flush with artistic potential -- great form, lines, lighting, and gestural flow. Her legs were always positioned with toes pointed out. Her posture just ached "ballet dancer." She also had a small entourage of people with her -- one was carrying some bags and one was shooting photographs. She gave a couple of poses for her photographer and then relaxed as they decided what to do next. This down-time is when I like to engage. The candid moments, to me, are often times more interesting than the staged poses. Her guard is let down, she breaks character, and we witness the convergence of the act of being a dancer and the reality of being a human.
With my camera, I walked up and down Broadway and spent a moment at my Mecca -- the Ed Sullivan Theater, where the Letterman show is held and will unfortunately be in repeats the whole time I'm here. I strolled down to Times Square, spent a moment in Central Park, caught a peek at the Empire State Building, and grabbed a couple sidewalk hot dogs.
Coming from a town about the size of the hotel I'm staying in, I always relish returning to the city. I love the pace, the energy, the color, the culture, the diversity...I even love the driving. These people are pros.
It all feeds into my creativity and makes me a better artist.