This was one of my favorite things I've done all year. It started from a small drawing in my Moleskine.
For years immediately following college, I worked in several different positions for a medical relief organization called Carelift International. I started as a warehouse worker, then transferred to the Development Department where I assisted in fundraising and also acted as a one-man art department (handling all photo, website, and graphic design work). After I started teaching at North Catholic, I went back to the warehouse part-time when the teaching day was done. Carelift is gone now, but that job was an amazing learning experience. I got to travel to Ukraine (more about that trip HERE), and I met some awesome people from all over who gave me a whole new outlook on the world. One of these people was Damon Rosenzweig.
Damon was in Ukraine with me, a great dude. He'd done work with other medical relief organizations prior to Carelift. He's from New Orleans, one of my favorite places in the whole wide world. I visited New Orleans a few years back and really love that city, almost as much as I love Philly. I recently looked Damon up, wondering what he's up to these days. Turns out he's back home working with the New Orleans FRINGE Festival doing all kinds of great stuff. We have a similar festival here in Philly, also called the FRINGE. After an e-mail or two, Damon asked if I'd be part of the festival's "YAT Yard Art Tour," an exhibition of outdoor art all over the city. I was psyched. I recently finished and got approval for the 3' x 5' design (shown above) that will be printed on a vinyl banner and hung outside in New Orleans for the FRINGE. I sent the file to the printer today. Damon said he really liked the design, so I'm happy.
I started with a brush & ink drawing, then had to scan and change the line work to vector, given the size of the final printed banner. All of the color was done digitally. I just wanted to capture something lighthearted and laid back that celebrates the yards of the city and sends my love to New Orleans. I put a bunch of Pops, Kermit Ruffins, Professor Longhair, Meters, Clarence Frogman Henry, and Preservation Hall Jazz Band on my Ipod, had a few beers, and went town sketching a dragon at the BBQ (I am a BBQ maniac myself). Given that dragons are fire-breathing, we can assume this is a charcoal BBQ, even though we can't see the grill. No propane in my yard.
Here is a link to the Google Maps of YAT 1. When I get the photos on the banner being hung and my work being put on the Google tour map, I will post some updates.