Monday, June 13, 2011

Portraits & Likenesses

Hey guys,

Here are a few jobs I've done recently that focused on portraiture & likeness.

Foo Fighters for Rolling Stone:
This came out a couple of months ago. I was asked by Steven Charny of The Rolling Stone to make an image to coincide with the review of the Foo Fighters' new album, "Wasting Light." The best part of the process was getting to listen to the album a week or so before it's official release date.

The album is a pretty solid, straightforward rock album, so I could pretty much do what I wanted. This is good, because lately I've been interested in coming up with solutions that aren't quite as topical as many of those I've come up with in the past. For example, I am trying to make more work that says more by saying less.

So, I've been playing around a little with my ideas. You can see in these initial sketches some weird ideas that didn't make the cut. In the end, a more straightforward version of sketch B was tooled to fit the story. Emphasis for the final was on aesthetic, experimentation, and mood, instead of on illustrating the concept "Wasting Light." Thanks to Steven Charny for letting me play around with this one.

David Sleyster for AI 5000:
This piece was for SooJin Buzzelli for AI 5000 magazine. The description of Sleyster was fairly vague: he's a good business leader. Considering that this would be in a magazine with a whole bunch of portraits of people who are also good business leaders, I wanted to try and do my best to do a more "open" portrait -- again, one that isn't so topical that it can only be used in conjunction with the article.

Fortunately, I was able to talk SooJin into letting me attempt this kind of a less-whimsical approach to the piece. I wanted the concept to be the the drawing, and the over-all aesthetic. I'm happy with how it came out, and hopefully it served its purpose and communicates successfully what I was going for.

Way Back for the New Yorker:
I did this several months ago for Jordan Awan of the New Yorker Magazine. The New Yorker tends to expect direct solutions for the Movie Review section. The reason I think they like to give me the call is because I can usually do a pretty good job at placing a likeness into a narrative situation.

From a storytelling perspective, however, putting a recognizable likeness into a narrative image is an very difficult thing to do -- things like the proper angle, facial expression, etc. that make a story read well quickly become a liability, because once the actor starts to change much more than his or her typical magazine-cover look, you usually lose the likeness.

The Actors pictured are Colin Farrell and Ed Harris.

Thanks for reading,