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Even more gouache!

I’ve been quite busy lately with a mix of magazine work and various oddball commissions. (Hooray!) Consequently, however, I haven’t been blogging as much as I’d like to. What’s frustrating is that I have all this fun new work to show but can’t until it’s published. (Aaargh!) Anyhow, I was going through the files recently and found more gouache experiments from years past. The piece above was for my friend Eng Lau at the now defunct Elm Street magazine. The story looked at the state of women in the workplace. Depressingly, the writer found that many women were still experiencing the same old sexism and unenlightened behaviour of pre-feminist times. My approach to illustration is usually very straightforward but in this case a HIGH CONCEPT seemed in order! I saw a parallel in the piece with J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan”. The juvenile attitude of men in the story reminded me of the way the lost boys in the famous play both love and resent the Wendy character. 

Here office-Wendy has been left out with the rising tide to reflect the glass ceiling that still exists in some places. At the time of this job I was obsessed with a pair of illustrators called Alice and Martin Provensen. I have a bunch of their books that I’ve collected over the years. I love so many things about this fascinating husband and wife team, particularly how they seemed to invent an entirely new look for each project.  A stylistic quirk I borrowed from them for this piece was using touches of  black outline only within shapes. I tried to imitate this look for these rather “Little Golden Book”-ish illustrations. Another style I’d love to develop more… 

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