Sunday, February 28, 2010

Interior Illustrations for Hex Games' "Waxmans Warriors"

As the babies due date gets closer, the weeks just seem to go faster... Whew, they're exhausting too, LOL! So, the week flew by and I managed to miss all three of my posts, but I got some other stuff done, and am ready to hit you all with some new stories this week... so I'm not going to apologize.

Last week, I talked a little bit about the cover art, and the general idea of the game. Like I said, it's satirizing the religious tracts of Jack Chick and offering a sort of commentary on that world view. While it can be tempting to dismiss much of this dialogue as juvenile, with some very generalized statements taking easy pot-shots at a... Let's dial this back a bit, before I get myself in trouble. I realize that this can be a sensitive subject, so I've been hesitant about even posting and talking about it. I am going to talk about some of the things that I thought about while I was working on them though, because I feel like that stuff is an important part of this process.

This first drawing is the kingdom of heaven. My brief described it as "...a large, clean city with streets paved of gold and an eclectic mix of breathtaking architecture and numerous public plazas and parks. A clear, pure river flows through the center of the kingdom from its source near a golden palace on a hill in the city’s center." Going on to describe some of the other landmarks in heaven. I chose to illustrate the Tree of life against a backdrop of the City and Golden palace.

Often while I'm drawing, I'll write notes to myself in the margins of my workspace. I had this idea that I would put a paved walkway circling the tree of life. In the margins I wrote "What kind of (insert explitif here) would put a sidewalk around the tree of life?!" For me, this is more of a comment on the culture I live in than on anything else. It seems like a terribly arrogant thing to do. I concede that this kind of thing makes nature easier to enjoy, and probably makes it possible for people who otherwise would not be able to. As I am writing this, I'm thinking of other examples of things I enjoy that should by rights be put into this category (the zoo, the botanical gardens... ) Wow. This is turning into another terrible post, where I look like an idiot that didn't think things trough very well! Ha-ha-ha!

This second drawing is of hell. Hell has always seemed like a disjointed set of ideas that are put together in discord. Maybe that's part of why we remember our bad dreams more than our good ones. Things that are off-kilter and discordant, seem to resonate more in our brains and are... scary. I think we tend to like and gravitate towards order. So, silly as I always thought Bosch was in art history, perhaps he was on the right track.

These two illustrations were basically conceived at the same time. I wanted the heaven drawing to be vertical and tall. Light and airy... tranquil, and framed by clouds. Hell was to be horizontal and heavy. Framed by flames and darkness. Jumbled and chaotic. The central elements of the hell illustration are the lake of fire and the heavenly monorail. This is the real impetus of the thoughts of arrogance and ego-centrism. The idea is that there is a monorail tour of hell for the residents of heaven. Like a tour of a third-world country where you see the highlights on the surface and get an idea of how horrible things may be, but then get to go home to a comfortable life.

It's all just thoughts, and the start of a line of questions about my values and beliefs. I hope I didn't come off too... something bad. Ha-ha-ha!

Until next time, take care and be good.
Your friend
Jeffrey

5 comments:

tim doeschot said...

great stuff boss

Joshua LH Burnett said...

Goodness, don't let our goofy little games lead you into spiritual confusion!

Great stuff here. I especially like the little silhouette of the mugging behind the tree. Nice easter egg.

Nance said...

I really like the commentary on your thoughts and values. Perhaps, as it is with acting, art demands that you temporarily assume a persona to express a world-view; the trick is to do so fully without getting stuck there permanently. Your commentary can serve to ground you in your own life.

kingcoyote said...

Tim: Thanks man!

Josh: No worries, I think I just got a little worked up about how I think people will react... and was getting preemptively defensive. I was hoping that everybody who looks at that drawing notices the mugging... but after they look at everything else. Thanks for the props.

Nance: Thanks for liking the commentary in spite of them being so poorly expressed sometimes. Ha-ha-ha!

Justin Hunter said...

I love this drawing. I see so many defiled trees with circling benches, walk-paths and nailed in 'Faces'. it would take nothing less than humanity to gaze upon the tree of life that symbolizes our fall from heavenly perfection and think "It could use a pave stone walkway".