Just finished my latest cover for The Week Magazine. It comes out Friday. Speaking of Friday I will be in Istanbul, Turkey. In my spare time I'm doodling ideas of some of the characters I'll be decorating around the school yard for a Syrian refugee school. I haven't been able to inspect the walls beforehand so I didn't plan anything too tightly. From the pictures they sent me I have a feeling I'll be reacting to the shapes of the mountain and architecture above the walls. They are only about 5 feet high.
My girlfriend Molly will be doing murals in the interior of the school. I have a feeling we will be going back and forth. Neither of us are going in with a tight plan. She did murals at a different place for Zeituona last year and I was available the dates she was doing it this year.
This cover had to get a few tweaks after I turned it in. I liked it very much when I turned it in given the reference available. I ended up using older reference of him before the bombing. It was clearer and the lighting was a little more dramatic. The current reference from his court appearance was unclear or a court room sketch artist. I will never use another artist's interpretation for reference to make an image but that is all that was put out there. The bomber apparently looks less boyish than the ref I used, so I had to age him a little more.
I'll be doing a mural at a Syrian refugee school in Turkey very soon. It's for Zeitouna, a charity focused on the Syrian humanitarian crisis. This doesn't make me an expert on all the dynamics involved in the Syrian situation but so far all the big headlines seem to focus on sensationalizing the destruction of cities and territory. Occasionally reports are about soldiers being killed on either side. Destruction of artifacts and historical monuments. The real story will be about what to do with all the displaced people. Turkey seems to have the most humane camps and seems to take care of them the best compared to the other countries. One third of Lebanon's population, for example, is Syrian refugees. They are contained in horrible living conditions. They are not allowed to vote, and not being incorporated into the general population. The intent seems to be to let them all die in misery slowly over the next ten years. There isn't a plan to deal with them. Wealthy countries accept very very few. Italy is getting practically invaded by refugees from Tunisia and Libya. So many people die trying to escape war than seem to be actively fighting in them. The long term seems to be most will eventually die after a long really miserable life. The thing that really gets to me on top of all this is that the wars are completely stupid and were preventable.
So for my part, I'm making some cats and mice dancing around walls for some kids who deserve so much better.
Iran conflict. Iran wants nuclear weapons. I think they could figure out how to make them aside from US efforts to hamper them with sanctions. Purely from a financial standpoint, I think they are a waste to create and develop. No country is ever willing to use them because a country that has the intellect to develop them will also realize why they should never be used in a war. For all the belly aching Israel and the US have done about how bad Iranian nukes would be, I think the basic problem is respect. A nuclear Iran would suddenly have a lot more respect. The US suddenly had a more diplomatic approach to North Korea once they seemed to have a bomb and they also seem way more unstable to have nukes than Iran. I wander if just giving Iran the respect we give other nations as a nation would cool everything off? We don't have to be buddies but I think that would be great as I would love to check out the historical sites in Iran.
Hassan Rouhani, Pres. of Iran. Cover for The Week Magazine.
Color rough in Photo Shop. Final adjustments are figured out with the art director at this stage.
First under drawing.
Monday morning quarterbacking. As I look at this, I think if I had another day to work on this, I would have made a fancier Genie lamp with more detail that drew from Iran's history. The peace sign on his shirt would have been a bunch of flowers making up the shape. I would have put more texture of feathers on the dove to make it really soft looking. I think the whisp of nuclear steam escaping the lamp might have given me an opportunity to make a reference to something important with the shape or within the curls of smoke?
The final absolutely works as a cover as it came out. Some of the symbols might not have read as quickly with the extra details I would have put in given the chance. For covers for The Week I like to make strong iconic-like images that you recognize quickly and get the point across immediately.
When I don't have a specific job, I draw different things that catch my eye. The local pub in my neighborhood has really cheap prices. So some nights I'll sit in there for a drink and draw. The people who work there are characters. The personalities are funny and quirky and really nice. I totally forgot this girl's name.
And sometimes I'm doing figure drawing to keep the observation skills.
Riding the subway