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Dale Stephanos
Breaking Bad
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I was wasting time on Facebook last week and saw that Entertainment Weekly art director Kory Kennedy was looking for illustrators who were Breaking Bad fans to drop him a line. So I did, and this foot on the gas job came from it. In his Facebook post Kory mentioned a Monday night sketch with a Tuesday afternoon final. Gulp. Much to my relief, the way things worked out I could get him a sketch on Friday and have until Tuesday to finish. In the not too distant past ending up with this assignment would have entailed several postcard mailings, a couple of multi-thousand dollar sourcebook ads and maybe an artist’s rep. Thank you, Winkelvi.
 
It was fun to work on this in the midst of all the Breaking Bad series finale hype. It was little like being safe in the middle of a raging storm, being exposed to the elements but somehow benefitting from the energy it all brought.
 
I’m a big fan of the show and Bryan Cranston’s performance and transformation as an actor and his character in particular. If you’re a fan of the show you know how things got away from Walter White, how a well defined goal became an obsession that ate everything in it’s path. I’m familiar with that impulse. In fact it’s something I do rather well as long as I’m pointed in the right direction.

I usually only do a few thumbnails, but the series finalehadn't aired yet and we didn't know what was going to happen in the story so I tried to keep to general themes in the series.
After settling on an idea I did a (little) tighter sketch, got the thumbs up and spent a good part of the weekend finishing this piece while watching the Breaking Bad marathon out of the corner of my eye.
 

I tried to touch on some of the familiar themes in the show while keeping the image simple. The blue background refers to the huge Southwestern sky, which along with the landscape is a major character in the show. The cracks and textures in the blue refer to the Heisenberg meth that Walt created. The skull is a tip of the hat to Gus as well as the many peole who died because of Walt. Wow, that is some serious fanboy thinking right there.
 
Thanks again to Kory Kennedy at Entertainment Weekly for the fun assignment.


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