Steve Wacksman
January 2010
Fashion Forecast, Summer 2010
When the mercury rises this Summer those in the know will be letting their freak flags fly. Behold:The Sour Jazz limited edition tee shirt availiable soon in any color you choose so long as it's black.

Steve Earle
Feed, Seed and Tires. A sign I remember from visiting my grandparents in mid-Ohio back in the early seventies.
While I'm not NOT a fan of Steve Earle, it wouldn't be truthful to call myself a fan. You know what i mean. I'd always found him pretty easy to ignore, to be honest, until I caught him in his turn acting on HBO's excellent drama "The Wire". Earle's music was featured in several episodes as well, and maybe by virtue of his association with the show I found myself intrigued and wanting to better familiarize myself with his recordings.
I have a passing familiarity with country/folk music, mostly where it intersects with rock music. Mostly I like my country music (and I do like my country music) unadulterated by pop/rock and of the pre-Nashville variety. I'm well aware of Graham Parsons and Townes VanZandt and the impact their material had on many contemporary rock musicians. Mr Earle's story became infinitely more interesting when I learned that Townes VanZandt was indeed his mentor and they had a professional relationship and friendship that lasted for 25 years until Mr VanZandt's death at the age of 52. Earle honed his craft under the tutelage of Mr VanZandt; unfortunately it would seem that VanZandt also showed his protege to a life in shadows.

VanZandt's struggles with alcohol and heroin are well known and it it widely believed that his excesses brought him to his early grave. Mr Earle managed to kick his heroin addiction in the middle nineties while in jail on drug and firearm posession charges. His character on 'The Wire' was that of an ex-addict and a wise, empathic NA sponsor. He was charismatic in the role and most convincing. His unique presence and appearance inspired this portrait which was used as a self-promotional piece.
Townes VanZant's "Waiting Around To Die" is a masterpiece of high lonesome. And nobody should roam this earth without having heard "Quicksilver Dreams Of Maria" at least once.

"The Devil's Right Hand" By Mr Earle is a catchy yet scathing indictment of gun violence although Earle insists it's 'just a folk song'. The barrelhouse piano and raucous atmosphere of "Snake Oil" belies the song's underlying condemnation of 'politics as usual'; it suceeds admirably on both levels.

Fate Favors The Fearless
If you are an Illustrator or a regular reader of this blog, you are undoubtedly aware of SooJin Buzelli and the high regard in which she's held by those of us in the picture-drawing industry. If, in fact, you can comfortably call it an 'industry'. Whatever- the point is that Mrs Buzelli is a joy to work with; she uses illustration to great effect and seems to place a great deal of trust in the artists that she hires. As a result the artwork showcased within the pages of the magazines she art directs is generally head and shoulders above that seen in similar titles.

SooJin recently hired me to illustrate and article entitled "Investors Not Afraid". Her brief went something like this: 'Investors are not afraid; bullish".

No, it's not a razor-toothed pig. As Dr Freud said, Sometimes sketches are just that: sketches.
I honed in on that simple phrase-'not afraid'. Soojin in her wisdom eschews traditional 'biz mag' images of men in suits, dollar signs, and computers; one is encouraged to interpret the article's focus and produce a novel image..

I thought the sketches that depicted sharks were the likely choices, but SooJin chose the bullrider with the caveat that I change his clothing to less resemble a prisoner. Fair enough; I really hadn't even considered why I drew the rider in striped PJ's in the first place, just one of those things that...happen, i guess.

I enjoyed making this image and think it suits the article, but I was still surprised that this solution was given preference to the shark concept which I thought quite clever. Surprised, that is, until I saw this.

Great minds think alike, but in this case the great mind of Shout thought of it long before I did.

I'm Never Gonna Die Again
The last decade, as heartless and hungry as it was, couldn't see fit to exit quietly and without one last swipe at humanity. And so we lose another true original. As we are granted so few in our lifetimes the loss is keenly felt.

Rowland S Howard , 24 October 1959 – 30 December 2009
Recent Articles

Li'l Art Hut (14)

Pictures For The People (19)

Painting With Paint (12)

Big Pimpin' (13)

Sketchbook (13)

Our House In THe Middle Of Our Street (37)
Me At Illoz
My Website
Links to Articles