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Brian Stauffer
October 2010
Something to Cheer You Up! PART 1
posted:
To brighten the mood around here I thought I'd bust out a few cheery projects from the last month or so.  Nothing brightens-up the day like dog fighting, pet hoarding, vehicular manslaughter, slavery, corruption, and of course, suicide.
I think there's something really wrong with me because I do really enjoy these dark topics.
 

The above was for Greg Klee at the Boston globe for a piece about New England's hidden history of slavery. 
 
(Detail) For everything but the flesh elements in this image, the rest, including the background, are made of a single modified texture field that appears in much of my work.



This was really tough topic for me.  I love dogs.  I hate the bloodsport of dogfighting.  But what do you do when it's decided by law officials that the only way to infiltrate the largest dogfighting ring in the US is to literally take the fight to them? 
In this case, state police bred and fought pitbulls to gain entry to this secret society.  Unlike the brutal trainers they faced in the fighting pit, these cops raised the dogs without viscious taunts, in good conditions.  Typically when a dog loses, they are electrocuted on-site and disposed-of.  The officers instead would tell these thugs that they preferred killing them themselves back at their own kennels, then would instead put them into rescue homes provided with a partnership with the SPCA. 
In the end, they broke-up the biggest fighting ring in the US. Some think it was worth the sacrifice, some don't.  For sure, the dogs employed in the sting had nothing to say about it.
 
Thanks to AD Tom Carlson at the River Front Times
Detail shows the same textures used here that you see used in the "Slave" piece above.



According to the fine folks at Vancouver Magazine, the US is not alone in the recent rise of bully and open bashing of homosexuals. It might be an oportune moment for someone to mentions to the fine folks cmapaigning for office, on both sides of the isle, that intollerance in their messages has real consequences for others.  But then, I kind of think that they do know that.
Thanks to AD Randy Watson.
There's that damn texture again, combined with my eyebrow that captured by placing my face right on the scanner.



And this cover for Peter Storch, AD at the New Times in Phoenix, was for a profile of a lawyer/con man who's self-destructive behavior resulted in his own undoing. 
I know using a shark for a lawyer story is hardly original but I like this twist on it.
There's that damn texture again, combined with a scan of an old tin can from a soup ad. The rest is line drawing, just to round out the schizophrenic combination of styles.


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Stauffer is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!