Words & Music magazine is put out by SOCAN, a Canadian organization that handles the licenses of music for more than 100,000 members. The article I was illustrating was a primer on Grand Rights, which are the rights associated to performing music live onstage (musicals, operas, ballet, etc.)
Fresh Art & Design Inc. is a design firm based in Toronto, and they handle the art direction and design of Words & Music. They've also done design work for the University of Toronto, Rogers, and Opera Canada. It's really nice to get to work for a firm that is right in the mix of Canadian arts and culture!
We've got a happy Wagner totting up his receipts backstage after another successful night at the opera -- Because Grand Rights exist to make sure that the creators are adequately compensated for their works. I was originally going to just draw a jumble of musical notes on the paper in the bottom left corner, but I remembered that musicians and composers and other music industry people would be reading the magazine! So I found a page of sheet music that actually had a bit of Wagner on it and used that. I don't know if anyone will notice... But it was fun to do!
Super rough sketch:
A more refined version: