Wednesday, January 23, 2008
A few weeks ago I was asked by Baltimore Magazine to do a full page about the HBO TV series the Wire.
The editorial suggested that the series creator, David Simon, was doing a sort of disservice to the city by choosing to focus on its gritty underbelly rather than on the prosperous, beautiful high-rises and really good things that have happened for it in recent years.
The tough part in an assignment like this is communicating the writer's message briefly without making his or her opinions my own. For example, I don't know David Simon of the Wire personally and I don't have any grudge against him, so I wouldn't want to make something that I would be uncomfortable with him seeing. I have enough enemies in Hollywood.
I think my solution was pretty good and that the editors chose the stronger of the two sketches.
Below are two additional images from the process, both my final line drawing and the inked version. I was asked a while ago if I have a step between sketch and ink, and I replied that sometimes I do and sometimes I don't, depending on the complexity of the illustration. You can see from the tight pencil drawing that I was careful to map our my proportions and “perspective” (I use the term loosely) so that when I did the ink drawing I would have room to play without worrying about it getting away from me. For the likeness I drew directly in pencil and inked on the board.
In other Baltimore-related news, I'm going to be listed as a contributor in this same issue of the magazine, complete with a photo and a biography-blurb.
Thanks for reading,