Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Obama's College Days

This was done for a book that will be coming out either this fall or next spring. I can't really say too much about it at this point other than the book isn't entirely about Obama. My understanding is there will only be one chapter that focuses on him. Oddly enough they had me do 2 illustrations for the chapter. One that deals with him as a child and this one that depicts him during his college years. What the client was after was a rather literal depiction of Obama living a rather austere, ascetic lifestyle, focusing intently on his studies.

                                               Sketch 1

In speaking with the writer he wanted to include as many of the books and historical figures as possible that contributed to forming Obama's views. He also wanted to have Obama's father somehow represented, a neglected distressed basketball hoop out of his window to represent him leaving behind his childhood and something to represent his Grandparents. The list was a bit unrealistic in it's length and had to be shortened considerably. As a consequence I wasn't very hopeful for a successful outcome for this piece. With everything that I had to shoe horn into this, it seemed to me there was no way this was going to be anything other than a clunky, awkward illustration.

                                               Sketch 2

Surprisingly enough we didn't have to go through too many revisions and compositionaly things worked out better than I expected.

                                     Finished inks

                                         Completed illustration