Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Evolution of a Drawing

I just finished the above drawing for Maximumrocknroll's upcoming Comics and Art Issue. This one is a real hand still hurts!

The inclusion of the photos in this post illustrates how the drawn image came to be. In the summer, I took about a dozen photos after an industrial fire in the North End of Hamilton where I live. The photos turned out really well-- the contrast between the vivid blue sky, the iconic red Hamilton brick and the extremely orange rust was really striking. And the way the remains of the fire were reduced to rubble was also really something.

As amazing as the colour was in the photo, I decided to translate the photo into a black and white drawing. The idea for the drawing comes from global cities and global culture and the continuous allure of the cities named in the illustration (the text is lifted from the American Apparel bag) in contrast to my own feelings of immobility, and the obvious immobility of a lot of people who live in my city, and more specifically, my neighbourhood.

When I moved to Hamilton, I was more or less unemployed for over a year. In one of the coldest winters on record, Ben and I would walk for a half hour to his shop one block north of the site of this fire late at night to plan the business he was about to start. Even though we were on the cusp of "starting something new," it was one of the most depressing, lonely, fraught winters of both of our lives. Occasionally, I would go back to Toronto to visit friends and a favourite topic of conversation among many of my friends and acquaintances was the trips they were about to go on, had been on, or just went on as part of school or for pleasure. The contrast between the topic of travel and the way I felt at the time felt really cruel. 

This is what this drawing is about.

No comments: