Must be the season as I'm seeing another Oklahoma poster. I worked on one as well back in March. It was for the Arena Stage in Washington, DC advertising this fall's production of Oklahoma. The assignment was with SpotCo in New York. I know another Drawger who has done quite a bit of great work for the Arena Stage is Jody Hewgill, plus Paul Rogers has also done great looking work with SpotCo. It was interesting for me because, Nicky Lindeman, the art director chose my more traditional/older approach of working. That is my older work using a more traditional painting approach in oils. My first assignments when starting out in my career were all oils(oils with an alkyd based drier) on strathmore. It's not very often these days I illustrate entirely in oils. Most assignments for me are digital based, or with brush work scanned in for development. Nicky asked for a regionalist flavour, and a lot of area for type. The emphasis for the art was the land, and a somewhat grittier tone from the traditional Oklahoma imagery. The Arena Stage production of Oklahoma opens October 22nd, through to December 26th in DC.
Over the last few years the symbolism of a hand has stood in for that of a figure in my work. In quite a few of my recent assignments the need to indicate an individual can be fraught with questions of nationality, race, and others. For many years I developed a figure with a generic structure purposefully. There was, and have been questions when I worked of making sure that the figure was not too "scary". Use of shadows, and usually requested powerful figures made some clients uncomfortable even though it was that very quality that had them calling on me. After working through many sketches, the simplicity of the hand as a representation of a group with the fingers, or just a lone individual, and many of the nagging questions went away. I do enjoy working with the figure still, but … well in many cases it's ended up being a hand. This last week it was a hand for the Wall Street Journal. An article on investing in power & utilities, and the editors wanted POWER. It was the art director, Orlie Kraus who called. Hell we even talked on the phone! Not just email, and text. Well Orlie & I worked hard to offer the editors(word people) solid choices. The first round of my sketches were sent, and well so it went. The Hand was the editor's pick. Next was the request for "Show Me The Money", dollar sign, and dollars added. With the second round, Orlie tried to offer our favourite of the utility towers for reconsideration. Nope, it was POWER that was wanted, and the hand was waved through. I went at the hand to make it as powerful as requested!
First round sketches.
Second round sketches.
Another recently published hand based illustration done for the National Federation of Labor. Subject; Organize The Unorganized!