Another full-color cover piece for the Anchorage Press + a few interior spot illustrations to suppliment the article, which was spotlighting a preview of the Anchorage International Film Festival. Matter of fact I drew this back on Thanksgiving day - as mentioned earlier, no "days off" for the creative class - in-between cooking up a huge pot of stuffing (Lemon-pepper sausage + hard-cider cornbread w/apple & pear). And copious cups of eggnog + bourbon for creative juices.
Did the initial sketches over some coffee at a local cafe while waiting for another client: sometimes with moments like that it almost feels like a real job what with all the juggling of gigs.
These are the thumbs submitted: as opposed to most other times (like with the "Empty Nest" and "Cook Inlet" covers) I shot straight from the hip here and didn't work up a batch of other concepts. The gamble was that it was a straightforward enough illustration that the initial concept given from the editor and article's author (a bunch of animals in a theater watching movies) that all I had to do on my end was the drawing - and as usual, keep in mind compositional considerations as far as layout goes (ex: leaving enough open real estate so as to accommodate added text like headlines etc.).
|B&W spot illustrations for the article's body|
Time was of the essence here, not so much deadline on the publication's end, but taking a week off amidst the usual, hectic schedule is risky business. Seems like the requisite discipline for any job and/or creative endeavor is facing up to the reality that just because you don't feel like working doesn't mean the rest of the world grinds to a halt. That said, I was overworked, stressed and in the middle of some grieving, so I could be the judge of how close to burn the candle. Sometimes art can be a buffer zone, an escape, and other times it's one of the very demands on time, and mental energy too, one must overcome before taking at least a break. In that way lies the distinguishing characteristic between so-called "fine" arts and commercial, or "applied" arts: there's no waiting for any damned muse, you do it because it's your job. This in itself is what robs the joy for some folks who view making art as an idyllic retreat from reality. that pressure to produce, particularly coming from an exterior force in the form of a deadline. In no small way is this a unique factor I always introduce into the classroom/studio setting, as it's a crucial component in learning how to be a successful artist - whether for economic reasons or otherwise. Again, it's the "work" in "artwork."
|Penciled page + inked line art|
When all was said and done though, it was perversely refreshing and got me fired up enough to wade right back in and start chipping away at the other projects waiting in the wings. Self-inspiration is a pure pleasure to experience, and when it happens I tend to ride that wave right on up to the rocks For me there's simply no better feeling as an artist to interrupt a work-in-process because another idea bubbles up from the constant stew. So one sketches a bit off to the side, a couplefew doodles to bookmark another concept for later exploration, and that in turn fires up a drive to finish what's on the paper in front of you.
|Digital color version|