Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Why They Made It Blue, I'll Never Know
I thought I'd post a little more artwork today after my "eh" Stephen King post yesterday.
To the right is the cover of my high-school's Student-Parent Handbook. Really nothing more than an overblown calendar of events for the 94-95 school year. But anyway, they asked me to do a cover for it and so here it is. As you can see, I swiped the Raiders of the Lost Ark font for the text here. The font (which is probably in turn swiped from some old poster for some serial or another), makes even the word "Sanderson" jump off the page and promises a rip-roarin' adventure. Of course, there's not a shred of adventure in this handbook. Just let's you know when the days off are and when the PTA meetings are, etc. Once you get past the cover, it's a real downer.
To draw this I went to my suburban Atlanta high school yearbook and found images that exemplified certain quintessential high-school activities. So, in this collage of all that is high school; you got your football, you got your prom, you got your music, and a few shots of people just hanging out, being friends. So I bookmarked the pages that had the photos on them, and drew them up. It took a while. When I was done, I brought the completed drawing to the Vice-Principal. After she told me how much she liked it, she told me that she didn't like that the girl in the very bottomest-rightest corner was sticking out her tongue . That, apparently, was beyond the pale; far too tawdry for this upstanding publication (and she made me feel a little like a pornographer for trying to get it past her). So I had to make a change. I don't know if it was because the drawing was already inked, or if I didn't have enough time, or if I just wasn't good enough to make a believable alteration to a photograph, but the change doesn't look so good -- true, she isn't sticking her tongue out anymore, but the bottom half of her face does look rather chimpish. Also, please pay no attention to the black gentleman on the right's left hand. Just because his hand wasn't in the photograph and I had to draw it without reference, doesn't mean his hand isn't really as horribly deformed as I drew it.
One last thing: when this came out at Sanderson High School in Raleigh, a few people came up to me to ask if that was them I'd drawn on the cover. They'd have it in hand and be pointing at one of the people and say "Is this me?" and "That's me, isn't it?" I always told them, no, they're all people who went to my old high-school and they seemed disappointed. [Writer's aside: This seemed to me like an admission that most white people really do look just like other white people, even to themselves. Haven't you experienced that? You go from one school to another and you find the faces of all the people you used to go to school with, except now they have blonde hair, or now they're a little shorter. It's almost like there aren't any more than a dozen or so "face-types" and most people fit into one of the 12. Anyway. Random thoughts; maybe stuff for another entry.] I think, though, there was one girl who didn't quite believe me. After I told her no she looked at me with that guarded half-smile that says she "gets" that I'm telling a joke but still isn't sure if I'm letting her in on it. I think she went away pretty certain I was trying to put one over on her.
Anyway, I'll keep posting this art stuff up until I run out.