Monday, August 8, 2011

Poetry in the Raw

I just finished up a poster for Not You Grandma's Poetry for their upcoming Poetry in the Raw 5: The Best of Poetry in the Raw.

Poetry in the Raw is an annual night of spoken word where poets preform, as they said in the Garden of Eden, "sans fig leaf."

Thumbnail concepts. Blue pencil and ink on bond. Various sizes.

The client wanted a clean, simple poster that enticed with intelligence rather then sexiness. We both agreed that the gist of the poster was literary rather then simply burlesque.

We settled on the second to last thumb, the concept of the female form emerging from a husk.

Rough sketch. Col-erase pencil on bond. Approx. 2 x3.6"

Refined sketch. Col-erase pencil on bond. 8.5 x 11"

While working the thumbnail up into a rough sketch I felt the husk idea created a cluttered composition and moved away from the simplicity the client had specified in our initial meeting.

I took the pose from the thumbnail and positioned the figure emerging from a pool fading into the negative space of the background. The challenge then became how to visually represent the spoken word with out resorting to the written word. I went with a "word" balloon filled with an organic filigree.

Blue pencil on Rives BFK, 22" x 30"

I drew the final drawing at a large scale and un-cropped in case I wanted to play around with the composition.

Photoshop CS5, 22"x30," 400dpi.

I wanted the contents of the balloon to represent the emotion contained in performed poetry rather then simply the written word. I also liked how the filigree had a visceral, internal organ or fleshy tongue feel. Like she's really "spilling her guts." I like finding a balance between the compelling and the repelling in my work.

Final poster composition. Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator CS5. 11 x 17"

Check here for Poetry in the Raw dates.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome.

    I already loved the design, but after reading the process I think I love it more.

    Nice work.