After collaborating with my client for several sessions over a period of months, this image was finally approved, and I got to work. The original is 24"x36" and created entirely of hand cut paper. Like many of my other pieces with musicians, I feel that the music can be a huge inspiration to the creative process. Listening to Maroon 5 during this creation helped me design the background paper, choose text that went with the mood of the song, and gave me overall inspiration for paper placement. Each piece in the background was curated specifically for that location. I listened to the music, chose songs that were appropriate for the location and then let the music guide me to my font choice.
This piece was such a new challenge for me with a few learning curves. Ears, tattoos, and a 5 o’clock shadow were all new hurtles for me to create out of paper. It was a tall order, but I was happy to oblige. Ears are so complicated and have so many little shadows, it was important to find just the right shades to give it dimension and balance. With the tattoos I worked the paper to use as few pieces as possible to create a seamless coverage of his arm without any seams taking away from the beauty of the ink. I love how his right arm just pops! I used different shades of paper to create the shadows of skin underneath the tattoo. The paper for the tattoo isn’t just crisp black. I used a patterned paper and on top of that designed the text so it would have depth and texture to it achieving a dimension that would not be possible with a flat black paper. Another little challenge was this 5 o’clock shadow. I found a barbed wire fence and a Laotian river helped me fit the bill nicely to create that illusion of the famous Adam 5 o’clock shadow. I love how the rocks and waves of the river meet perfectly to create that border between his crisp jaw and cheek.
I had a great time making this piece and really enjoyed listening to the music of Maroon 5 while creating it. My favorite song is ‘Wait’. I don’t mind when it gets stuck in my head after a long day of work. It was such a pleasure to create this piece and I am grateful it will be in the hands of someone who will treasure it!
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