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Edel Rodriguez
February 2009
Work Selected for Society of Illustrators Advertising Exhibition
posted:
"As You Like It", Soulpepper Theatre, acrylic and ink on paper (Silver medal)

These are five of my images from the past year that were selected for the Society of Illustrators Advertising Show.   The opening is next Friday, March 6th.  Hope to see you there.

 Friday, MARCH 6TH, 2009
REFRESHMENTS 6:00PM, AWARDS PRESENTATION 7:00PM, Cash bar open 'til midnight
THE SOCIETY OF ILLUSTRATORS, 128 EAST 63RD STREET, NEW YORK CITY
Tickets $30 MEMBERS $35 NON-MEMBERS, rsvp BY FEBRUARY 27TH
KEVIN@societyilustrators.org or call 212 838 2560
Show runs from MARCH 4th through MARCH 28th
Tues 10 - 8 Wed - Fri 10 - 5 Sat 12 - 4

ICON 5 Poster, Mixed media
"Ring Around the Moon", Soulpepper Theatre, Acrylic and in on paper
Ad for MTV, Pastel and ink on colored paper
"Raisin in the Sun", Soulpepper Theatre, Acrylic and ink on paper
Nice surprise in the mail
posted:
Just got these in the mail today.  The first bound copies of my next kids' book, Sergio Saves the Game!   Tied in a bow and everythin', my editors are neat.   This is the final step in the process, I look at the bound copies and let them know if there are any issues with the printing.  The book will be publshed on May 1st, but I saw it already up at Amazon on pre-order.  I finished the book last Summer.  It was fun to work on this one because our daughter is older and I got to run some of the jokes and drawings by her.
Cover for "The House on Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros
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This is a  cover I did for the 25th anniversary edition of “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros, published by Random House.   The book has sold over two million  copies since it’s first publication in 1984.  It has been translated in various languages and has become required reading in schools across the country. Here is a synopsis from wikipedia: “The House on Mango Street is a coming-of-age novella.  It deals with a young Latina girl, Esperanza Cordero, growing up in the Chicago Chicano ghetto. Esperanza is determined to "say goodbye" to her impoverished Latino neighborhood. Not all readers may be able to identify with Esperanza's world in which everyone in the large family sleeps in one room, men prey on young girls, and husbands and fathers mistreat their children.   Major themes include her quest for a better life and the importance of her promise to come back for "the ones I left behind."

John Gall was the art director for this project, he's always great to work with.  I've been a fan of his book covers for a while.   Although the book has been one of their popular titles, the editors at Random wanted to update the cover for the 25th anniversary edition.  I was first introduced to some of my favorite illustrations by the books I read in school, so I always feel some pressure when I work on book covers.   Hence, the endless sketching which you can see below.
We ended up going with the hand lettered cover approach.   I went ahead and lettered all of the type and tried a number of color variations, finally going with the blue sky and red building version.   At some point I also added the girl inside the window. 
A Spanish edition of the book was also printed so I hand lettered that one as well.  The English version is available here and the Spanish version is available here.
Detail
Poster for "Heaven on Earth", a new film by Deepa Mehta
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Poster, 27" x 38"
This is a poster I worked on for Heaven on Earth a new film by Academy Award Nominee Deepa Mehta.   The film was an official selection at the Toronto Film Festival where these posters were displayed.  The art will also be used in all the cotalleral material, DVD cover, ads, etc. This is the second film poster I’ve worked on, the previous one being for Celia the Queen.  The process for film posters is interesting, so I thought I’d go into it here. 
Final art, mixed media
The producer at Mongrel Media had seen my posters in Toronto for Soulpepper Theatre and wanted to work with me on artwork for the film. He wasn’t sure of the direction but wanted me to look at the film and go over my ideas. Step one was to get a copy of the film from the producers. Here is a clip of the film’s trailer which gives you a rough idea of the plot. The main theme of the movie is arranged marriage and domestic violence in an Indian immigrant household:
Sketches
After seeing the film, I started working on a series of rough sketches and ideas.  One of the pivotal scenes in the film shows a cobra wrapped around the neck of the main female character, the abused wife, played by the beautiful Indian actress Priety Zinta.  I thought that was a great symbolic image in the film that I could work with.  I tried a number of different options and sent them off to the producers and Deepa Mehta to get their feedback.  Some of those sketches are above and below:
Priety Zinta, the star of the film.
They liked the sketches a lot, but we hit a snag.  The problem was that Priety Zinta happens to be gorgeous.  She’s a huge star in Bollywood and this is the film that is introducing her to a Western audience.   So, Deepa and the rest of the team wanted to find a way to include a photo of her in the poster instead of a line drawing or a conceptual poster approach.  I decided to try something which I’ve been thinking about for a while, combining my drawings with photographs.   I received about 100 film stills from the film crew and started looking for some photos of Priety that could work well on the poster.  Some of the stills are below:
sketches with photos
I then put together some rough comps with the photos and my drawings.  We decided on the bottom right approach.   I did the title as hand lettering, but changed it to upper and lower case for the final design.  I also did all the hand tinting and coloring on the photograph of Priety.
Orange version
I did two color variations as finals, one with a red background, and one with an orange background.   Both were printed and shown together at the Toronto Film Festival.  It’s a lot of fun delving into the film poster genre and I hope to keep doing more of these over time.
Detail of red poster
Cover for The Washington Post Book World
posted:
This is a cover I did last week for The Washington Post Book World.   They were reviewing three books about Darwin on the occasion of his 200th birthday.  Darwin was an abolitionist and part of his theories of evolution were meant take apart the institution of slavery.  The article "Darwin the Liberator, How evolutionary thought undermined the rational for slavery" is here at The Washington Post.  This will be the last Book World cover at The Washington Post.  The paper is being redesigned and most of these articles will appear in other parts of the paper.   Since I've done so many covers for them, the AD, JoEllen Murphy, wanted me to do the last one.   I started there with Kelly Doe as AD back in the mid 90s. Kelly gave me a lot of great work when I was just trying to figure out what illustration was, and was always very encouraging.    I also worked with Francis Tanabe, Lisa Schreiber, Beth Broadwater, and Carole Porter over the years.  I added a few of those other cover images below.
Final art
"Golden Shackles" cover, 2006, Lisa Schreiber - AD
"Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource" cover, 2000, Kelly Doe - AD
Review of Paul Bremer's book on Iraq, 2006, Francis Tanabe - AD
Cover image from 2007, Carole Porter - AD
Cover for The New Republic Magazine
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This is a cover I did for the current edition of The New Republic.   The cover article is titled "Goodbye to the Age of Newspapers (Hello to a New Era of Corruption" by Paul Starr.  It's a good read if you're interested in what is happening to the newspaper industry.  The idea behind the art was to show a fragile dog (the media) guarding the public interest.  Newspaper journalists are the first to invest the time and money in going after complicated stories, magazines and television usually follow the lead of the newspapers when it comes to investigative stories.   So, the question is, what will happen if newspapers and their investigavive staff are gone one day?  I tried some other ideas about the death of the newspaper industry, those sketches are below,  but in the end we came back to this image.  I worked with Joe Heroun and Christine Carr on this assignment.
Detail
Other rough sketches
This image ran as the spot with the essay on the first page of the magazine
Series for Runner's World Magazine
posted:
Full page opener on the general theme of pain taking the runner by surprise
This is a series of images I worked on for Kory Kennedy over at Runner's World.  The story is about the pain that the writer experiences when running, and the various things he does to cope with that pain.  The writer is kind of addicted to the thrill of running but the occasional mysterious pain always seems to get in the way of his love for the sport.
Opener detail
He trains on the machines to sooth the pain.
He tries special shoes with large soles designed to alleviate the feet of pregnant women. But he feels like a clown.
Illustrating the theory that pain is caused when the brain cuts off oxygen to certain parts of the body.
Coping with the pain and healing.
Layout by Kory Kennedy at Runner's World
Work selected for Society of Illustrators Book and Editorial Exhibition
posted:
"Things Fall Apart" book cover for Random House, Helen Yentus-AD, (Silver Medal)
These are three images from the past year that were selected for the Society of Illustrators Book and Editorial Exhibition.  The show runs from January 28th through February 28th.  128 East 63 Street, NYC.  Tues 10-8, Wed-Fri 10-5 pm, Sat 12-4pm.  Free and open to the public More info here.
"Leaving Glorytown" book cover for Farrar Straus & Giroux, Irene Metaxatos - AD
"A Dog in a Hat", book cover for Velo Press, Renee Jardine - AD
Todays Op-Ed: Obama and Iran's nuclear aspirations
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Today's NY Times Op-Ed is about how Obama will handle the situation with Iran.  The full article is here.  There's no simple answer, and the story seems to be that the more time passes, the closer Iran comes to getting a nuke.  That's how the image came about.  Some of the other sketches are below and a gallery of some past Op-Ed work is here:
Phil Selway of Radiohead for 'Cut to the Drummer' show
posted:
Acrylic and pencil on masonite, 16" x 20"
I was invited by Sandra Dionisi of the Bepo + Mimi Project to participate in an exhibit titled 'Cut to the Drummer', an Art show and Drumming Event in support of F.U.M.S. for the MS Society of Canada Scholarship Program.  I got to pick who I wanted to do a painting of and chose Phil Selway of Radiohead.  There were a number of classic rock and jazz drummers on the list and thought Selway would bring something different to the mix.   I've been a fan of Radiohead from the beginning and Selway has been responsible for many of the unique moves in the band's career. 
A full list of all of the artists in the show and information about the drumming event can be seen here at cuttothedrummer.com
Phil Selway playing 'Jigsaw Falling Into Place', 'Paranoid Android', and 'Where I End and You Begin':
detail
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Rodriguez is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!
Sergio ad 2