Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Midnight Symphony

This is one of my illustration ideas that got stuck in my big file folder of sketches for a long time. I took my inspiration from old Disney "Silly Symphony" cartoons... I love them, the creativity and artistry in them is amazing. A lot of those old cartoons, like one called "Flowers and Trees" (which was the first color cartoon ever, if you want a little trivia!) takes inanimate objects and gives them life and personality. I'd done a sketch previous to this with trees and flowers playing more "rock and roll" type instruments in a daytime setting, and I have enjoyed Sioux City's "Saturday in the Park" concert that takes place every summer and thought about approaching them with my drawing to see if it could be used somehow. I never did, but a year later it was their committee that approached me, asking if I could possibly do some kind of large mural for the event. I already had my idea! That ended up being a five foot by eight foot painting on canvas and I was so satisfied with the results that I began to imagine the same concept, only at night. Instead of an Elvis type tree jamming out, I decided to make the characters in this new scene a little more classical... big boufant hairstyles and white wigs, that sort of thing. A little more elegant.

I listened to a LOT of Strauss and Tchaikovsky during the two weeks I spent working on this piece... something that has always worked to get me into the "mood" of the illustration is to listen to the right kind of music. While listening to compostions like "Tales from the Vienna Woods" I colored my trees playing their instruments and pictured elegant ladies and gentleman waltzing nearby. I really believe that having that music on helped me to achieve the "mood" of the piece.