Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Rolling Stone — Pink/Green Day

When I first made the decision to pursue illustration as a past-time, one of the clients I dreamt of (in a somewhat incredulous manner) was Rolling Stone, in particular, illustrating the artist for the feature review spot. I'd first discovered the spot back in 2002, with Tomer Hanuka's ridiculously awesome take on Sleater-Kinney's One Beat. Since then, I've watched the spot evolve and change over the following 10 years to play host to multitude of talented artists and illustrators, each providing their take on seemingly seminal monthly releases.
So, back in August, I was called up by my agency to let me know that Rolling Stone Australia were interested in commissioning me to illustrate the feature review, my jaw dropped. Sure, it wasn't the US version of the magazine, but nonetheless, after regaining my breath and developing a train of thought, I accepted the commission with delight.
The spot in my folio that won it for them was the Pink Illustration I'd done for Music Australia Guide back in 2009. They liked my take on her then, and were keen for me to see what I could do on her latest album, the Truth about Love.

My initial selection of ideas tried to play on a variety of love iconography. Cupid's arrow, heart tattoos, swearing on a bible and heart candy. The idea that stood out the most to their art director, was Pink standing on front of a mechanical heart. "Let's go with that".

Deadline looming, I took to it quickly and tightly, first roughing it out and then recreating a set of pretty tight pencils.

After updating the art director on my progress on the piece, I received a call from the agency to let me know that they'd shelved the job. The writer who was reviewing the album wasn't going to get his copy in on time, so they'd have to find a replacement piece. My heart sunk, disappointed with the wasted opportunity, however I received a subsequent call several hours later to let me know that they were still very keen to work with me and that the replacement subject would be none other than Green Day.

I laughed to myself, thinking of Frank Stockton's take on the very same artist back in 2009 for Rolling stone, paranoid that my work wouldn't have a scratch on his, and also being very wary not to create something to remnant of his work. 

I turned around a rough set of ideas to them that afternoon, the stand out being a weathered band in the corner of the boxing ring. With an even tighter deadline looming, and a trip to Sydney on the horizon, I quickly turnaround a refined draft, which fortunately they loved.

While the outcome felt slightly rushed and a little bit tainted with disappointment, it's still an immense sense of pride for me to have worked with a magazine that played an integral part in my youth.


Apostropher said...

Really great, as always. Although I prefer the tighter crop of the rough pencil. More up and in your face. I think I prefer the rough pencil of Your Pink illo, too. Look at me being a jerk over here. I just feel like her pose is stronger. Although maybe that wrench is a tad too phallic and best avoided? ;) Just went back and had a look at your MAG one again. Crackers. So good.

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