If you read my blahg post from last year called "Hamsterdam," you might recall that a friend of mine commissioned a drawing of a specific block in Amsterdam overrun by pigs. Well that brother recently commissioned me to do something for his friends and self. John-Erik ("Hamsterdam" recipient) emails me and says, "My group of friends elect one new member to 'The Best of Us All' each year and those who are elected 'B.O.U.A.' participate in the election process in future years. I'd like to do something special for the group."
We text. We talk. We spitball. Should we do a Mount Rushmore idea with the newest member's face being chiseled into the mountain?Not a bad idea. We sit on it for a while. In the interim, J-E sends me a VERY thorough email which includes names, photos, and personality traits/character stories about each of the friends to be included. In addition to the friends elected as "Best of Us All," there are also a number of other friends to be included but not necessarily featured.
Then weeks later I get an email from J-E that says, "The idea of a portrait gallery is almost too good. What do you think about that?" This coincided particularly well with the fact that the B.O.U.A. had just elected their first female member and she happened to be a staunch Hillary supporter. It was decided that we would steal elements of the "I'm With Her" campaign to celebrate Katie Ray's election into the B.O.U.A.
This resulted in a lot more ridiculous conversation about what that would look like and for about 10 minutes, two men in their 30's talked about monkeys hanging from chandeliers, dogs peeing on plants and ridiculous puns (see: I'm With Fur).
I kept J-E looped in throughout the process, making sure to get the details just right. It was a great combination of specific direction along with room for artistic license. J-E consistently said, "I defer to the artist."
Here's a little bit of the process, along with the finished product. This was an absolute blast to work on and I wish the Rest of Them All luck in future elections!
Lastly, thanks to John-Erik for having this idea and contributing so much to the vision while still also trusting in me and the process.
CLICK ANY IMAGE TO VIEW IN FULL SCREEN