Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Body & Brain

My first gig as an illustrator came in the form of a Dahn Yoga magazine titled "Body & Brain Magazine". It was also the first time I used this style of shading on my drawings, prior to this I used a softer, more airbrushed means of doing so.

At the time I was still attending UMass Lowell and getting by with a stock boy job at Macy's... which was basically just an excuse to take naps in a storage room behind a pile of toaster oven boxes... I probably shouldn't reveal this information if the economy continues the way it has... I may need that job back. My friend Jen was working for a design agency called "Cros Media" and heard they needed someone to illustrate an artical about discovering your Inner Hero. Being a good friend, she didn't hesitate to bring my name up and within a week I was sitting in a room with one of the most tallented designers I'd ever know (Josephine Badger, may she rest in piece). I guess they liked somethig in my very limited portfolio because they had me signed up and ready to go for the illustrations

The goal was to design an unnamed hero in training who would battle an assortment of inner demons. These demons being Self-Doubt, Pride, Ego, and Anger. Ego and Anger were my pride (not the demon) and joy of this article. I tried to make each character resemble their respective title; Pride carried a staff with a mirror on the end, Self-Doubt was blue and sad looking, Anger was a ferocious, serpent-like beast... and my personal favorite, Ego, which was the most twisted looking of each demon, whose spine was almost detached from his body. He went through a number of revisions, they felt he was coming across as a little too twisted in earlier sketches. They had a pretty good point. Actually, here's an exerpt from one of the emails which were written to me in regards to an earlier drawing of him:

Everything looks good, except one thing the fight scene with the ego monster
the tail still looks like he is getting his vertebrae ripped out of his
body. Maybe you can make him being thrown by his arm instead of the tail I
am not sure, or you can make the top half of the tail solid and the bottom
half spiny. What do you think? Let me know.

I went with the half-spiny solution.

The next panel of images would involve the main hero battling these inner foes with the tools he'd been given (through Dahn Yoga, of course), along with the courage and the training. Upon defeating these inner demons, our hero is told by his master (we're just going to call her Master Yoga, an obvious Star Wars reference for all the fanboys out there) that there is an even greater foe of equal strength... canst thou guess which foe this might be?

Bingo! It's his own self. Despite the other characters receiving more thought and more love on my part, the hero's alter ego was given the majority of my attention to create. This was mainly because I decided to draw a much scalier version of our hero... and I chose to draw and shade each scale. As you can imagine, I went with a simpler rout for drawing the other two illustrations involving this enemy and merely drew less detailed scales which were faded over the already shaded skin. To end the article, I concluded with a drawing of the hero with the seven points of Dahn Yoga... I'm not quite clear on the name of this concept anymore, it's been quite a while since i did this... I believe it was 2005.

All in all, this gig gave me my first real taste of freelance... it wasn't very long after this that my employment at Macy's came to an end and my paychecks were coming from Fidelity Investments... so basically I upgraded from sleeping in a storage room, to sleeping in a finely kept executive bathroom... no they didn't know i was using their bathrooms.


Yes, I was ultimately laid off...


Maybe they knew afterall.
~ Mark

No comments:

Post a Comment