Monday, March 26, 2012

Clarence Darrow

Clarence Darrow is my hero.

I guess I should clarify--the Clarence Darrow portrayed by Spencer Tracy in the 1960 film classic Inherit The Wind is my hero. I saw that film for the first time when I was a teenager, and it struck a real chord with me. All my life, I've always been the kind of person that has valued reason over superstition, science over religion. The real life Darrow (called Henry Drummond in the film) was very much that kind of guy, though he took his beliefs to an extreme edge, refusing to compromise what he believed in even though it would, frequently, enrage a lot of people who would have normally been on his "side."

Aside from the film version, I never actually knew that much about the real man, but I knew enough to know that there was no way he could have been as heroic and perfect as the Spencer Tracy version (who could?). So a few weeks ago I started reading John A. Farrell's Clarence Darrow: Attorney For The Damned to learn more about the actual Darrow, and I've been enjoying the book immensely.

So I whipped up this little portrait, trying to convey some of the dark forces that Darrow did battle with, both in society and inside himself. I liked how it came out, all hard edges and extreme lights and darks.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Spy Next Door

I'm in the middle of a huge illustration project that features multiple illustrations, all being worked on in varying stages, and for the past few weeks that's been eating up all of my time--and it will continue to do so for at least the next few weeks. So I haven't had a lot of time to work on anything else.

But while taking a pause in between stages of the project, I decided to dabble on this, another
faux-paperback book cover. Nothing at all ambitious going on here, but still fun to work on. Be careful if she asks to borrow a cup of sugar!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Margaret Cho on Melissa Harris-Perry

They, this was a nice surprise! On yesterday's episode of Melissa Harris-Perry (which airs weekend mornings on MSNBC), they had on Margaret Cho to discuss women's self-image. During the segment they ran the above graphic, featuring my portrait of her from the "Revolution" tour! Ginchy!

You can watch the whole interview below, "my" part comes in at the 10:15 mark:

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Taylor Swift

I hadn't done a straightforward portrait in a while, so I thought why not go with someone contemporary (as opposed to some ancient horror movie actor, who tend to be my muses), and you really can't get anymore more "now" than superstar Taylor Swift.

An astonishingly beautiful young woman, I modeled this idea on the poster for Preston Sturges' Sullivan's Travels, which consisted of a simple caricature of star Veronica Lake on a field of yellow. My version's not so cartoony of course, but it comes from the same super-minimalist idea.