I was browsing our vast digital archives recently and marvelling at the array of eye candy that we've produced over the years. I never set out to be a 'humourous illustrator" ( indeed, there are those who would argue that I never suceeded), but for better or for worse, that appears to be my niche.
Bally's Casino - Late 2002
I mean, I'm a troubled guy. I'm out there thinking the blackest of thoughts. wringing my hands and furrowing my brow with the best of 'em. Why not? These are troubled and troubling times! But when it comes down to it, it seems that the lessons learned in my formative years as an illustrator have rooted themselves too deeply to be ignored. People, I was led to believe, want to feel good and have a few yuks. I happily delivered them; it was a lucrative enterprise. Nothing too "high concept" - just a splash of colorful mirth on the page to keep the reader engaged in yet another hollow sidebar on booking air travel online or critical analysis of "Survivor: The Australian Outback".
Perhaps it has something to do with the overwhelming abundance of "hard news" out there, but it seems to me that the humourous illustration has been unceremoniously sent to the back of the bus. I see a fair amount of whimsey out there, gobs of abstraction, metric tons of infographics. But the stupid, virtually meaningless humourous images that once made this studio a veritible dollar-printing factory? Not so very much. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to finish cutting the flowers off of my rosebushes then return to the utility closet in the basement and weep.
Sometimes- often, in fact - I'll have an idea that seems like a winner and I'll dash off to the art factory, fire up the furnaces and set to bringing the idea to life. It's not uncommon for me to step back from my creation around 3/4 of the way from completion, wipe the sweat from my brow and truly see for the fist time what my efforts have wrought. This is a crucial stage in the creative process, and more often than not the moment that I find that I have been toiling over something without any real merit or meaning. Thus deflated, I abandon the idea and banish it to the Isle Of Unwanted Artworks. Here is one such work. You may ascribe whatever meaning to this image as you wish, but in truth it remains a depiction of an ogre on a shopping trip with a young woman. Why such an image needs to exist remains a mystery even to it's author.