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i HATE the wild west

27 Jan

So, for Fashion Illustration class (which by the way is yet another course with a misleading title from SVA, as the class is actually not about designing clothes but is just another general Illustration class — so far not a bad class, but seriously, fuck you SVA coursebook with your abundance of false advertising), we had to pick two words from a hat (an adjective and a “character”) to do an illustration on. First I picked “punk” and I was like “YESSS THIS WILL BE SO EASY” but then I picked “cowhand” and was like “UGHHHHHH.” Because there are few things I despise more than the wild west / cowboys / John Wayne / fringed jackets / Country Music / etc. So this was immediately a major bummer for me and I tried thinking about how to get around drawing the “cowboy” part.

We actually had to start out with ten sketches which I can’t be arsed to scan because my sketching style is messy and boring. So, after critique these were the two ideas everyone seemed to like:

The first was just a general sketch of a cowgirl but with various body modifications (piercings, tattoos of Wild West iconography) against a general desert background. Originally she was not giving the middle finger (and tbh I don’t really like her giving the middle finger because I think it’s corny) but it was suggested that if I do go with this one I need to make her body language more “punk” somehow.

I spent well over an hour redoing this sketch (for inexplicable reasons I couldn’t seem to draw the middle finger right — which is strange because it is definitely not my first time drawing one), and went to click “Save As.” When I clicked it, a dialogue box popped up asking if I wanted to save over cowgirlpinup.jpg or whatever, and I was like, “Ohh, no, I want to save as a layered file, I must have clicked regular ‘Save’ instead of ‘Save As.'” So, assuming I had clicked “Save”, I clicked “No” in the dialogue box…only to have the file close and LOSE EVERYTHING. I had clicked “Close”, not “Save” (when I was really trying to click “Save As” in the first place.) UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Anyway I spent the next twenty minutes throwing a temper tantrum and punching my $700 tablet (bright of me) and throwing the pen and generally being immature. Traditional Art: 1, Digital Art: 0.

So anyway, I had to redo THE WHOLE FUCKIN’ THING and it did not come out quite as well as the first one although it did go a bit faster.

The more highbrow idea that was popular with the class went something like this:

(Re-enactment of thought process)

  1. Okay, so, let’s think more carefully about the definition of a “cowhand.” A cowhand herds cows, right?
  2. So if a regular cowhand herds cows, how would a “punk cowhand” do things differently? Well, a punk generally goes against conformity and the mainstream, so perhaps the punk cowhand would lead cows astray.
  3. If we set the punk cowhand in an urban setting, perhaps he is “herding” conformists away from the mainstream?

From there kinda came the idea of punk kid + herd of businessmen, and then that progressed into the businessmen having cow heads. Initially I just set the punk kid standing amidst the crowd of cow-headed businessmen, but everybody had a problem with that so in this version he has been transported to standing atop Wall Street Bull (“Charging Bull”, as I learned is its proper name), pegging the cowsuits with a slingshot. The two most “punk” weapons I could think of were either spray paint (not really a weapon) or  a slingshot.

I drew this from the Google Maps street-view of the Bull, which had a weird warped curve to it (I think because of how they use those 360° cameras or whatever) but that was what I was going for anyway. Obviously this is the more intellectual and technically challenging illustration to pull off, but secretly I want to do the first one, because I am shallow. :/

Moral: Save as you go and don’t trust the SVA coursebook, it lies.