Monday, June 1, 2009

Hot Summer Nights on "Honey Avenue"

So after a few weeks with my family (which was , surprisingly, mostly free of the usual dramatics for once), I am back on campus for the upcoming summer session.  While I've been preparing for class (which starts tomorrow) , I have also been hard at work sending out resume's, researching jobs, typing cover letters and (as always)  illustrating for my little life! :)

After fussing over it for  a little over a week, I am happy to finally unleash "Honey Avenue" out onto the world. (click image for larger version)

After spending months working on a series with less than happy subject matter (mostly due to the fact that I was in a less than happy emotional place when I conceived it) , I decided to switch things up entirely with this one.  After a much needed break, I am personally in a much better place and am, therefore, ready to explore some subject matter that reflects a little bit of that newfound warm n' fuzzy vibe.  It is, after all, closing in on summer vacation season, so I decided to warm up my color pallet a great deal and create something a little sexier , a little urban and a little more grounded in the real.

It's really funny -- a lot of times, the things that inform my art are sometimes a little unexpected.  The inspiration for "Honey Avenue" is no exception.  I actually got my inspiration for this one after watching a Mcdonalds commercial.

I'm serious -- this all started because of a Mcdonald's commercial.  It was one of the new adverts that recently came out for "McCafe" (which, by the way, I first experienced in Australia 2 years ago. The States are quite a bit behind with the whole 'McCafe' thing ;). 

In any case, the commercial (see below) featured neo soul recording artist Dwele hawking "McCafe" coffee within this really yummy/warm color palette.  I'm not sure why, but the ad made a big impression on me. I have always been a huge fan of neo soul music anyway and had originally wanted to spin "Honey Avenue" into more a neo soul-themed playground that centered more around the music (which may still happen at a later date).

I belive that "Honey Avenue" wound up being more of a comment on sensuality, bi-racial lovin'  and (depending on how you read it) prostitution. However, I think that the general color pallet and chill vibe from the McDonald's ad still carries trough to "Honey Avenue".  Additionally, I was also thinking about the old Ernie Barnes painting, "Sugar Shack" when I was creating "Honey Avenue" (Check out an old episode of "Good Times" sometime. That painting is featured during the opening credits ;)

Here for your viewing pleasure is the aforementioned McDonald's commercial as well as "Sugar Shack" by the late great Ernie Barnes. :)

"Sugar Shack" by Ernie Barnes

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