The following was written about two or three weeks ago.
Another cover for The Week with D. Trump. Ugh. What is his appeal? I hear people say he "speaks his mind". Or "He's exposing everyone to be the phonies we knew they were". He's weirdly prudish. He'll insight people towards violence at a rally and then act like he's shocked that there was violence when he appears on Good Morning America. And there is the problem. It's a profit motive... I forget which movie had that line in it. Anyway, the news is for profit. Smart intelligent conversation and debate isn't as exciting as two "men" running for public office prudishly talking about their dick sizes on national television. Cock talk gets better ratings ie., bigger profits. The press coverage of the village idiot for entertainment has given the idiot a big forum to vomit his idiot rhetoric to people who are sick of uninspired politicians.
Bernie Sanders is the scary person to the Democrats because he has inspired a lot of people. Just not enough. The press ignores him because he talks about issues, and he is a gentleman to the people he is running against, and he is the only one (similar to Trump) that isn't owned by large corporations. Although I suspect Trump has some people he owes. Sanders also speaks his mind. Sanders has also exposed the establishment in the Democratic party. And a big media bias as well.
I'm not going to post any more Trumps here unless it's about his failure to get elected. Feel the Bern!
Original color sketch. Everything was OK until...
They suggested a dark blue back ground. I feel that the red back ground was more emotional and was a little more raw. The Week isn't that kind of magazine. I think this goes with their character.
Usually silence means I'm busy meeting deadlines etc. I had a bunch this past month. My job for National Geographic for Kids became more demanding in Feb. I didn't do my News Letter that you can sign up for if you want to get things I don't post here. The covers for The Week Magazine have been more challenging since they don't want the exaggeration they originally hired me to do. It was a slow transformation over a number of years. I'm starting to treat them more like a comic book illustration. They still like something dynamic but more based in natural proportions etc.
College. Art school. I'm immersed in student behavior. Homework, coffee, Mountain Dew (this was before Red Bull), Zingers, Ramen noodles, and a lot of no sleeping. I was very focused on art. After design class I'd have to psyche myself up before going outside so my brain wouldn't melt at all the disorganization in the real world. I had the wonderful timing of graduating art school the year before my school opened a new wing full of the latest computers for design etc. Computers were not in-bedded in my way of life. Along with that, writing, and promotion, were never an emphasis.
Here I am 25 years after I graduated college and I'm on the computer tweaking art in Photo Shop, writing a blog entry and ravenously checking all my social media for feedback and messages and cat pictures. I think I do OK. I just mailed a little over 200 postcards to art directors all over the US. Physical cards! Of course they contained my e mail address, and my website so you can get a hold of me electronically. Just for you, I personalized all of them in case you ran in to a colleague and compared messages and you'd see yours was unique.
Postcards are fun to walk around the city with even after the mailing. You meet someone cool and then you can give them this small piece of paper with what you do and how to get in touch. Then watch and cringe a little on the inside as they fold it up several times and stuff it in their back pocket as they walk away. Soul is sufficiently "dinged" and you move on with full knowledge that they will never call you and that card is going to end up in a homeless person's hands as he rummages through a landfill. Fortunately he won't call either.
Just a rule of thumb. The last few presidents in the US have had light to almost no eyebrows. President Obama was the first to go hard against this trend. Front runners in the field right now based on eyebrows, and what more valid way to pick a president? are: Gov. Jindel, Bernie Sanders, and now Trump. Jeb Bush seems to have fair to light eyebrows but he hides them behind his glasses. Smart move, and glasses have a tendency to make you look smart. Notice Gov. Perry has been wearing them more. Hillary has distinct eyebrows so she'd lose for sure. You might also notice that President Obama's eyebrows got thinner throughout his presidency. Also the big growth he had on his nose has almost completely disappeared.
Donald Trump has been losing eyebrow prowess for years. My initial caricatures of him from 15 years ago always involved the crazy free radical randomly rebellious depiction of his eyebrows. I thought he could do a comb-over with his eyebrows alone! They are still a little unruly but they got lighter and you really need to look harder for the really extra long hairs. Let's just call them eye-whiskers. He needs them that long so he doesn't bump in to things like a cat.
So here is the process of this past cover for The Week Magazine.
Under drawing. I started the first pose in the office. They asked for the fellow biting Trump's leg and the first try made it look like a compromising situation was in progress so I tried to make it clear that he was not in between Trump's legs.
Using Photo Shop, I through a little color over the pencil drawing for the editors to see where it was going. I had a lot of dead areas in the composition because the boiler plate cover design is a weird place to squeeze a composition in to. Saving room for type, and other spots. I figured I'd use some artistic license and inject the papers flying around. I'm sure they don't use paper on television anymore and just use teleprompters so there would never be this much paper on set.
Raw scan color corrected. My first thought on how to handle the woman was blow out her face with light so she seems as flat as I could get away with. I didn't think editorial would go with it. All three faces have so many signs of plastic surgery and false hair. I really don't like doing their portraits because who knows what they'll look like in a year and then everyone will look at your art and say "that doesn't look like them now".
Laying in one layer on the computer.
Posting about what I make is still a novelty to me. Here is where I show my age. Sit back and cringe. I developed as an artist in the 80's and 90's. Way before the internet and just before the idea that digital art could stand on it's own as a legitimately accepted technique. Fast forward a decade and I'm a bonafide freelance illustrator! I seemed to be getting calls left and right from magazines everywhere. Time mag. New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, and many others that unfortunately do not exist anymore.
All I had to do is work and meet my deadlines. I'd send out the occasional promo card or take an ad out in a book. Simple. The newer or as I like to call them "successful" artists are good at more than just drawing and painting. They can write, demonstrate, and connect with so many people on the web that they just seem to blow up!
Putting every line and thought you have on your website or blog is effortless to them, but not to me. So I labor over what I have and what it looks like and even more about what to say about it. I read too much Ginsburg, Kerouac, Dylan, and Morrison, to know how to write like a sane person! And THIS is why updating my blog here once or twice a week is still special to me.
This for the Houston Press last week. The story was about families arguing over who gets what from the dying relative. They sent me some reference from the Family Feud game show as a way to set up the look they were after. I was fascinated with the samples from the 70's and 80's. I had to give it that look!
Alas they didn't really want the 70's, and they wanted a less exaggerated look. So I sent them a second sketch that they liked better but said I could get a little less formal with the clothing and gestures. Maybe make the arguing siblings a little younger.
I was channeling my comic book days from the early 90's but with a little more of the wisdom I've accumulated over the years. This is about %90 paint and %10 digital. I would have liked to have thought about the painting in the back ground more, but I guess a tidal wave gets the point across?
As an aside. I just checked out the Sargent show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC this past Sunday and it was amazing! Highly recommend! He still got it!