Sunday, December 18, 2011
Beginnings and Endings: "Jack White" for a Circus Mind
My latest piece for "A Circus Mind" is complete! This one was for a poem called "Jack White". The poem mentions Meg and Jack jamming in an attic, so I came up with this idea that they'd be surrounded by imagery from their songs and albums. I thought it'd be fun to depict Jack as a devil figure, tempting Meg with the drumsticks. I put flames licking at his boots and gave him a Southern feel, a gambling-man look with a blood red guitar. Author-poet Ryan requested Jack have a pensive look. Hope I pulled it off! Here are some of the other images I created for the book.
Prints and more of this image available on my Society6 store!
I enjoyed stuffing this illustration full of White Stripes references. There's a poster with red and white blood cells on it (for their White Blood Cells album), an orchid (from their song "Blue Orchid"), the attic light was made to look like the one from the album cover for "Elephant", the painting resembles the artwork of their "De Stijl" album, the elephant statue is another reference to the album "Elephant", the legos from the music video for "Fell in Love with a Girl", buttons for "Hardest Button to Button", and the attic window, mint candies, and the ball on the elephant's trunk all refer to the band's famous red-and-white swirl graphic. I put the snake in to go along with the theme of temptation.
The White Stripes broke up this year. One of the first indications of this was a dead goldfish image that was posted on their official site. I put a dead goldfish (and the skull) in the illustration to acknowledge this -- in every beginning there is an ending and nothing lasts forever.
I'm a pretty big fan of the White Stripes. I love their minimalist, authentic approach to music. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE that they have such a strong visual identity. Red, white and black. The candy-swirly thing. It's like what I was saying about the Wizard of Oz, how Oz has certain colours strongly associated with it -- ruby slippers, yellow brick road, and emerald city. Colours really resonate with me.
When you scroll down and see the process work, you'll see how I just kept adding and adding stuff and refining the drawing. The initial sketch is pretty darn crude and somewhat embarrassing :P.