Song

Originally published in Popshot Magazine
Issue 16 2015

This was the initial concept for Song submitted shortly after receiving the poem. 

After the first read through the concept came to me almost immediately. I have found that instinct and inspiration often produce the strongest results. 

At one point in the drawing I had a snake skin nailed to the post, but the skin did not make the final. After talking with the art director we decided to take out the skin and replace it with bones pictured in the distance. The snakeskin may have been a more personal interpretation of the poems "skin of old love". The piece was already pushing at the edges of being too busy, so I had no problem letting go of the element.  

Flats and color added in Photoshop  

Flats and color added in Photoshop  

 

 

Final ink drawing  

Final ink drawing  

The final

The final

 

Song

Now is the time for mending,

the season I shed the dead

skin of old love,

so the heart can once again 

become a living thing.

I have been made small in the wake

of winter; I feel feverish & weather-worn

by a particularly soggy spring.

But there is a wren that flutters

inside my chest, trilling

louder than the murmurs of love

that doesn’t stay.

I feel the click of its beak

as it chips away at my sternum,

waiting

for the moment it breaks

through the bone

and hits the nerve that will send me

diving into the summer

with speed and delicacy

in search of new modes of destruction,

singing I have found a trajectory

that is my own.

 -Jon Lemay

Ahab

For what seems like years now I've been grappling with the idea of illustrating Ahab from Herman Melville's Moby Dick. Illustrating such an iconic character can be a daunting task to undertake. The existing pool of known Ahab imagery is rich in both art and film. I always start the illustration with a bit of research (half the fun) selecting the perfect description of Ahab from the book to use as reference to revisit. I think I'm on my way at this point...

"He looked like a man cut away from the stake, when the fire has overrunningly wasted all the limbs without consuming them, or taking away one particle from their compacted aged robustness... Threading its way out from among his grey hairs, and continuing right down one side of his tawny scorched face and neck, till it disappeared in his clothing, you saw a slender rod-like mark, lividly whitish. It resembled that perpendicular seam sometimes made in the straight, lofty trunk of a great tree, when the upper lightning tearingly darts down it, and without wrenching a single twig, peels and grooves out the bark from top to bottom ere running off into the soil, leaving the tree still greenly alive, but branded."

—Moby-Dick, Ch. 28

Pencils 

Pencils 


Early inking shot 

Early inking shot 


Ahab, 11"x 14" Brush and ink

Ahab, 11"x 14" Brush and ink