Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sketchbook: Entry 2

This art deco inspired cityscape was originally imagined for my calendar illustration of Buck Rogers for The Adler Planetarium and Space Museum in Chicago. I used art deco elements and incorporated them into buildings from old 1930’s – 1940’s photographs and the film, Just Imagine. After working on the study I soon realized that it wasn’t going to work in the futuristic video monitor. The shape wasn’t fitting into the video screen as I had intended (partly because I decided to change the monitor’s shape into a much more “retro-futuristic” design). But, the buildings just weren’t foreboding enough either. So, I filed it away and resurrected it later on into a personal and experimental painting of Batman and named it Gotham City.

The illustration of Buck Rogers was imagined for the Adler’s 2001 calendar. When the project was presented to me, my subject for the given month was “Haley’s Comet”. I soon developed a sketch that represented my thoughts of the museum that I remembered from visiting many times as a young boy. The memories of my visits always filled my super charged imagination with epic space travel, planetary tales, stars and sci-fi heroes. This is what I wanted to illustrate and now I had my concept in mind. I placed my space hero from yesteryear in front of a video monitor (from the film Things To Come), alarmed by the foreboding meteor and ready for adventure with his dome helmet and raygun in his holster. I incorporated my admiration of pulp art and vintage sci-fi into the Haley’s Comet theme. And even more suiting was the tie-in with the Buck Rogers character frozen and awaken some 500 years later into the future world of New Chicago. I thought it was a very well rounded piece for a Chicago institution. The finished illustration was later accepted into the pages of Spectrum 8: The Best In Contemporary Fantastic Art and then re-used as a promotional poster and advertising for CF3: The Chicago Fantastic Film Festival.

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