Wednesday, April 29, 2015


As stated last week, in the hopes of sparking my getting into more gallery shows, and just sparking my creativity in general, I intend to create something for an upcoming show in a comic store, of all places. So it shouldn't be surprising that the theme is "superheroines." Also as a challenge, I didn't choose an obvious character, I pondered using Battle Angel Alita or Zatanna (Death from Sandman would've been way too obvious), but decided to go with Tank Girl.

Definitely not typical of my usual subject matter - shaven head, surly mood and expressions, cigarettes - but we'll see what I can do with it. Also part of the challenge is to not ape the original artist but bring something of my own to it. My first few sketches, I certainly didn't make her surly enough. I even re-watched the movie version, which I felt got a rougher reception than it deserved. I thought they did a pretty good job, considering, but since the comic is often so random and anarchic, Hollywood felt the need to force a plot, timeline, and characters that often threatened to make it more serious than it should be. Casting Ice-T as a mutant kangaroo was movie gold, though.

I also feel I need to not make it overly complicated, as one idea was (maybe still is) to have some sort of wreckage behind or near her, probably aircraft. And the process of research for this brought to light again the blessing and curse of our information age, so many choices, maybe too many. I definitely fell down the Google image search whirlpool for a good hour there, looking at plane crash photos. And with safe search off, the most unlikely images still sneak in (there's not even a plane in that photo!).

I'm sure I'll show my age since I recall having to do research for assignments in illustration class. In libraries, trying to find reference photos, without the aid of an internet search, often running on hunches that it'd be in this book or that, or my sometimes frightening visual memory (I recall somebody needing an image of a poodle skirt for something, and I vaguely recalled finding it somewhere amongst the photos on the "Grease" soundtrack album). But at some point I have to stop researching and work more from my imagination.