Monday, February 12, 2007

Master Slave

JAMES - Mike Sniper, an incredible illustrator (myspace and gigposter links), is publishing a magazine/program for the power-pop festival he's running in Brooklyn in March. he offered me an ad for Electric Frog, which was real cool of him. so i wanted to do something striking and simple, and now that i think about it, i could totally use this as a sticker of flyer, too.
no real reference this time, but my imagination was sparked by an image in a great book i just got called The Poster In History by Max Gallo. after a quick marker sketch in the ol' sketchbook, i put pencil to paper. working in a 8.5" x 11" space with about a 3/8" boarder - the image will be printed at 50% (4.25"x5.5"). once again, no lightbox - i didn't really need it, plus i didn't want to dwell on this too much. today i hit it with some ink - 'black star' ink; #3 brush for the hands, teeth, hair and eyes; #6 brush to fill in the big spots; #.03 & #1 micron pens for the letterwork and mixing board detail; and a little bit of white FW ink to tighten up the white letters on the mixer. my only concern is the amount of text below the image and how it will transfer when it's reduced. i really couldn't have made it any less wordy, but maybe could've cropped the image more to make space for the words.


thomas pitilli said...

Very bold and graphic, i like! I've noticed a weird thing, but alot of the artists that i admire (Alex Toth, Paul Pope) all have very recognizable handwritting, it's almost lke you know it's them without having to see their work next to it. I think you fall into this category. It's like you created yr own font. it's cool. I only notice these things out of pure jealousy, 'cause my handwritting hasn't changed since i was 7. I also think you should make these into flyers or stickers.

james flames said...

i really found my rhythm and technique with the lettering in this one (finally!), and i'm glad you noticed it. basically, i held the paper on it's side (clockwise) and wrote that way. it really helped me stay even, straight and slow. maybe it's just a mind trick, but it worked.

my whole life, people have always mentioned my handwriting - i ditched the cursive thing pretty early on, much to the dismay of my teachers, and the all-caps print just stuck. the funny thing is, that if i had to write something in lower-case print or cursive, it's no problem - i don't even have to consciously think about it. but up until now, i've never been happy with the way my handwriting has translated onto illos or posters. go figure.

by the way, never categorize me along with alex toth. that's a slap in the face to that man! ha!

H. Stewart said...

I really like the concept, but there's something about this one that I'm not crazy about that I'm having a hard time putting it into words. Something about the face & tie together, and how they're mostly lost in a black I said I understand the idea, but it's aesthetically disagreeable to me, if that makes any sense. I'm sorry.
(Maybe if more of the face/background were visible, even if it were only very lightly/slightly? I think it's too "bold", to quote Tom.)

I do like the lettering. I've always liked your handwriting, from the very first love letter you ever sent me. I also like the mixing board, especially the Is as knobs.

H. Stewart said... looks a little better to me blown up (I clicked on it); I guess I think there's just too much black in the top half that it comes off as kind of awkward to my eyes.

james flames said...

well, i appreciate the honesty, tho i can't offer much in the way of a solution without more of a sense of what it is that's disagreeable. it was my intention to only show the eyes, teeth and tie - the hair was a last minute touch, and the tie is there basically to offer an edge for the mixing board, so that it comes forward more.

generally, darks gravitate more to the bottom of artworks in history, just a way of nature and balance and such. i have been studying artists such as Zeshin, who would bring all the blacks to the very top and balance that with wide open spaces on the bottom with just his signature to even it out. it's very effective, and does initially seem 'off' - but he's a master and does it well. i've been working with that idea (and other compositional ideas of his) - not that this piece is a great example of such, nor am i anywhere close to perfecting the technique.

you should look him up tho - amazing stuff.