This is an image for New Mobility Magazine. The publication focuses on the active wheelchair user, and the cover story in which this illustration accompanies is about about facing our fears.
The main character in the story has lost the use of his legs, and is coming to terms with his newfound disability. Overcome by fear, he falls out of bed, striving to escape the hospital in which he is "imprisoned," as well as the situation that has, in his mind, imprisoned him.
Plagued with despair, he attempts to escape. But over time, he learns to confront his fears and deal with his challenges.
This image depicts the moment he sees the light of a realistic exit to his paralyzing fear; reaching for, and in some way, now embracing the wheelchair he earlier shunned.
I posed for the fellow in the image, atrophying my legs to replicate the reality of such a situation.
This was one of a 2-illustration series, with the other being the cover. I took lots of photo reference in an attempt to capture poses that were both interesting and realistic to the situation, ie. -- a man without use of his legs reaching for something. How would the weight be distributed, and how would one be able to propel one's self without using his or her trunk? How would your legs fall if you couldn't control their position. And, how can I make it work within the composition?
The client agreed this solution fit the bill.
On another note, I've started an e-newsletter. If you enjoy the blog, and would like to keep up-to-date on things in the world of Allan Burch Illustration, I encourage you to sign up. I'm preparing my second installment, and am seeing this as an interesting challenge. The newsletter is a different medium with a different purpose than a website or blog. So, my humble goal is to make it nothing short of an e-newsletter for which people achingly pine. It will be a bi-weekly, and bursting with content, including, but not limited to: a few words from me, some highlights from the blog, and news and links to cool, enlightening, and critically important things in our industry. I also plan to create content specifically for it -- imagery and narrative, and maybe bury a few "Easter eggs" that may just be for my own entertainment, but certainly rewarding for anyone who might find them. I figure, if I can make it interesting for myself, there's a better chance others will find it equally pine-worthy.
Feel free to sign up here.