Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Super Flu": Undead Illustration #2

Last week i was contacted by The New York Times Magazine to do some illustrated type for a piece on fighting the super flu, a strain of the seasonal menace that's adaptable and resistant to conventional antibiotics. Over a few days i came up with 3 treatments, all of which i was pretty excited about and ultimately the client as well. Unfortunately, just as the art was approved the story ended up being cut altogether, so no ultra gross microscope type to ruin your Sunday brunch next week i'm afraid...
That said, it's always super fun to both flex the Ed Ruscha-worshiping part of my brain and work for the Sunday Magazine, as they're pretty much responsible for a large chunk of my career. Werd. Type treatments below, the bottom version is what would've appeared in the magazine. 


Friday, April 8, 2011

Panda Bear's "Tom Boy" for NYLON

Last month i got a call from NYLON magazine to do a full page illustration of Panda Bear from Animal Collective to accompany the review of his forthcoming solo album "Tom Boy." Not terribly accustomed to being called for portraits, i was thrilled that the direction was pretty open ended, the only real stipulation being that the piece feel "painterly." It having been a while since i sunk my teeth into some gouache, this was exciting. 

I was very familiar with Mr. Bear's "Person Pitch" album from 2007 and was given a one-time use preview stream of "Tom Boy" to listen to while working on the illustration. From what i could assess from that one listen, the new record dialed up the melancholy undertones and slowed the tempos a little from the previous release. More than ever, the music reminded me of a bizarro world post-Pet Sounds Beach Boys, which in turn set me scrambling through my record collection for the Beach Boys comp "Endless Summer," one of my favorite illustrated LP covers ever. I've attached a jpg below - how cool/creepy are the weathered Wilsons hiding in a psychedelic surf jungle?
Using this as inspiration/homage i concocted the following sketch. The other conceit of this design was that it would grant maximum leeway in terms of nailing the portrait by obscuring a lot of the face with psychedelic flowers. 
This was then translated to the final below:

Coming off the Fashion Week process and some design related work i've been up to, it felt really great to do something of the "hands dirty" painted approach again. Thanks for reading!