Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Drawing on Popular Music

The following gallery of pop star illustrations is taken from a period spanning 1981 to 1983, when I was briefly an art student, then, with more longevity, an unemployed artist.
They are not necessarily of musicians I liked at the time, more they are those I thought made the better subjects for drawing. As usual, they run the gamut of styles, my visual schizophrenia having been well-established early in my “career”.
The final two pieces were for the very last art class I attended – Advanced Cartooning. I’m proud to say I received a C- for this utterly pointless Elvis Costello exercise, one of my better grades, as I ultimately failed the class. And I’m proud of that too.

John Lennon, all hairy and angry.

REM, all hairy and “college-radio-ey”.

West End Central, a British metal band, drawn live.

Dee Snyder, lead singer of Twisted Sister.

The Who, splash page to an aborted comic book.

The Who, title panel to above-mentioned comic.

Stevie Wonder, one of my actual favorites.

Bob Dylan, another of those favorites.

Ric Ocasek, one of the more visually-arresting pop figures.

Huey Lewis, looking as pleasantly goofy as ever.

Lords of the New Church, ex-Dead Boy Stiv Bator’s early 80’s band.

Madonna, a fine example of my “spaghetti” period. There was something about only drawing one eye too.

David Bowie, in his Let’s Dance guise.

Big Country, the Scots who made guitars sound like bagpipes for one summer of popularity.

Elvis Costello, model sheet for the aforementioned cartoon class debacle. For some reason, we were taught to create model sheets for a drawn cartoon, as if it were a movie and we were animators, which about sums up the grasp our teacher had on the art of cartooning. Do I still sound bitter, after all these years?

Elvis Costello, again, in all his “fuck you” glory. That was my fuck you glory, mind you, not his, though he was certainly an inspiration to any overly-confident, angry, rebellious eighteen year-old, such as I was.