Yeah! It's Illustration Friday! It always makes me smile. As always the IF Blogs are brief, but I do need to discuss a little about this week's illustration and it's inspiration.
This week's topic is WORN. I had a bit of time thinking about what in the world I would illustrate that could relate to the theme. I began to brainstorm, as usual earlier in the week. I began to thing of worn in the since of wearing something like clothing and maybe that clothing could be worn in the sense it is old and weathered. SO I thought of an old hat or an old coat. Old coat led me to think of another interpretation of Worn: to be tired and exhausted.
I then began to think about maybe doing an old man or old woman in a coat, then I really became attracted to illustrating a hobo. I didn't want the character to be human. I have ALWAYS found animal allegories and fables appealing.
One of my absolute favorite being Disney's Robin Hood.
Ever since childhood, I found that film hypnotic. Doesn't matter how old I get, I will always be sucked into the TV when that film comes on. So it was decided, an animal. I decided on a bird because I like punny things and I like the phrase "old bird." SO I was thinking maybe an old pigeon in a granny coat and house slippers, and then to some other bird in another costume and on and on...
My mind, then finally rested on the idea of a crow. I came around back to the idea of illustrating a hobo and at that time, it seemed like the most perfect concept for the week's challenge.
I think it is somewhat poetic, in a way, the idea of a hobo and by hobo, I mean 1930s-40s American Depression style hobo. They seemed more like an iconic image to me.
Even though they are homeless and that is truly a very sad state to exist and live in, I always thought that there had to be some amazing and happy stories they could tell you, if you asked.
I was also inspired by the images of Emmet Kelly and Charlie Chaplin. I also referenced Disney's Robin Hood. You may remember the part of the film where he dresses as a bird to enter the archery competition.
I let that image also influence this illustration.
His "long" life is visually represented by the band on the scarf. Like the bands/rings from the cross section of a tree, these bands can be counted to know how old he truly is. This was a reference to Nature and the natural journey from life to death. They are multi colored because life is so.
Also, I added a nod to Rembrandt with the Crow Hobos hat. You may recognize it from his painting, Old Man in a Gorget and Black Cap. I never will be a Rembrandt, but I LOVE his paintings. They have a charm and life to them.
After listening to nothing but mountain music, I created my Hobo Crow. I wanted him to represent the ultimate result and finale to a long and happy life well lived. A weary and worn traveler of this world, untethered to it's structures and rules. He is living out the final days of his life. In this romantic sense, I find the iconic hobo poetic and touching. One final note. You may have noticed he is carrying a copy of Candid. This is a reference to a life that was the best of all possible worlds. He is worn down, but still hopeful and optimistic about what the future might hold. :0)
I hope of you find some adventure this week. You definitely should wear yourself worn in some fashion.
Enjoy the illustration and as always...
Keep sketching, keep thinking, keep laughing and most important of all, keep making art.