The majority of my editorial work traditionally has been out of the maelstrom of New York. Then occasionally that laid back giant out on the fault line between reality, and narcissism, Los Angeles, notices my work. I've worked with Darrick Rainey at LA Weekly before, but this time it was with Jason Jones. Jason's personality, and approach are supportive, and pragmatic. The subject for the cover art is a timely one, as I've seen it in some of the current sports coverage. It's about the accumulative brain damage from playing football over many years. The story is about an individual who's life is utterly devastated by his years of playing football with great intensity, and ferocity. Jason had looked at my work online, and felt that my graphic brush work was his choice. The bold rough direct brush marks with ink on vellum added to a what is a simple graphic. I've usually felt that the elements of cover art should be large in scale, but I guess I feel that way about a lot of my work. Minutia has not be apart of my favourite covers, but there's always exceptions to any rule. A special thank you to Paul Rogers for entering out on to the harsh streets of Pasadena for a gritty street photo.
About a week passed, when Wes Bausmith an art director emailed from The Los Angeles Times. He'd seen the LA Weekly cover, and was offering an assignment for Sunday Op-ed page. I was happy that he enjoyed the cover, and we got going on a new assignment. The subject was from two accompanying articles about the Los Angeles county probationary system, and youth. One article was from that of a man, who as youth had gone through the system. The other was that of an a civil rights attorney in Los Angeles who outlines the ineffectual nature of the probation system. After reading both articles I felt the failure of the probation system lay in the indifference of the System/Guards. The second article also pointed out the recogonition that there was a connection of the dysfunctional guards to the youths who are charged to them. The youth offender/prisoner is shackled to an indifferent system.
Well, as the gaze from the smog filled eyes of the City of Angels shifts, hope springs eternal.
David FlahertyOctober 20, 2010
Strong in many ways!
Leo EspinosaOctober 20, 2010
Brian StaufferOctober 20, 2010
Great work. Newsprint is my favorite!
Harry CampbellOctober 20, 2010
Man I love seeing the page like that with a big left hook of an illustration. Powerful stuff my man.
Always is of course. Come to think of it, that's what I think of when I think of your work, a big strong fist of illustration.
Pete RyanOctober 20, 2010
Great pieces! Wes is the best!
Mark FisherOctober 20, 2010
Paul RogersOctober 20, 2010
Yeah, its rough out there, the sidewalks haven't been steam-cleaned in two weeks.
Nice work as always.
Jim PaillotOctober 20, 2010
Terrific stuff, Doug. I especially like the "On Probation" piece.
Doug FraserOctober 20, 2010
Thanks for for the comments, and popping in for a look.
Paul be careful out there, some gum might still be soft on the sidewalk. Once that stuff sticks, it's a lot of work.
Steve WacksmanOctober 20, 2010
Great work, Doug. The 'fist of illustration' indeed!
Gary TaxaliOctober 21, 2010
Classic Fraser. Powerful and sophisticated. Gorgeous work, pal!
Mark McBrideOctober 21, 2010
Strong on the youth piece you did. As for football, I recall watching this series on HBO about these group of college kids hoping to make the team for the Cincinnati Bengals. Some of them did and some of them didn't and this one coach said in gritty mean tone, and I paraphrase "This is not a nice game, this is a very dirty mean game." Yet people live for the hits but what they don't think about is the hurting the other guy gets later on in life for few seconds showboat experience of hurting someone.
Alan WitschonkeOctober 21, 2010
Bold and lean. Like all your great stuff.
A.Richard AllenOctober 22, 2010
Super pieces both. Your new (?) banner's great too.
joseph daniel fiedlerOctober 22, 2010
Dana MackenzieOctober 28, 2010
The line quality on both is my favorite part. Taking a digital medium such as vector and making it feel tactile and human, is amazing. Such a great blend between your traditional painted work and 0's and 1's ;-)
Quick process question: are you scanning in and auto-tracing any of your linework to get that looser feel, or purely creating the jagginess and roughness using Illustrator brushes? Just curious. I've experimented with both techniques, with varied success/failure. Your results are spot on.
Douglas FraserOctober 29, 2010
Dana, using an old school low tech approach. Brush & ink on vellum for each colour. Then scan that layer as black & white tiff. Not a grayscale. Then place that layer, and assign a colour in Adobe Illustrator. The final file in Adobe Illustrator is a pile of layered scans. Save as an EPS, and open in Photoshop. Then save as a compressed LZW .tiff file. The resulting file is very small in size. I've never been satisfied with any "Brushes" in the digital world.
Dana MacKenzieNovember 4, 2010
Ah yes --- I recall reading about that same method for 'Mort Grim'. LOVE IT! In this age of technology I think it's fantastic that you're maintaining the purity of your work with this method. As you say, there aren't any brushes out there that can match the tactile quality of a hand-drawn piece.
So the final .tiff is even smaller than a vector file? For print resolution quality work I always assumed that an .ai file would be smaller than any raster-based file. Is that the case? Cheers, --Dana