December 02, 2008

167: Balloons Save Lives

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I go through doldrums like any creatuve type, and they tend to hit my psyche hard. I get down on myself. So Kerry and I first tried the concept of "Creative Night" – her as writer, me as illustrator – last January, resulting in this drawing of a painted bunting for Illustration Friday's theme of "stitch". For one reason or another, Creative Night didn't take – but we resurrected it a few weeks ago after I went a pallid stretch of about three months without drawing a single thing (except for this doodle), and since then I've reeled off submissions for Illustration Friday's past three themes of "pretend", "opinion" and now balloon. My entry was inspired by a sequence of photos in an old National Geographic I read, in which a leopard seal literally whip-lashed the skin right off a penguin for a meal. And I thought, well, a balloon might have helped that penguin.

Critters drawn separately using calligraphic and brush pens; image seamed together in Photoshop. Click here for access to a more detailed view.

16 comments:

Alina Chau said...

Love your take on the theme! cool style too!

Kim said...

I absolutely love this :)

Carmen SaldaƱa said...

Great illustration!
The textures of the background are amazing. I really like it
:-)

Majeak Ann said...

EXCELLENT take. Love the message. Interesting textures. Congrats!
-Marjorie Ann

lew! said...

thanks for bringing that leopard seal image back to mind! Man, that was a brutal shot.

I hope that's a biodegradable balloon, or some other bird may eat it after Mr. Penguin lands.

Valaine said...

Beautiful lines on the seal!

Jeope said...

Thanks, everyone!

That seal gave me nightmares as a kid.

Edrian Thomidis said...

Great textures and colors. Lovely concept too!

INDIGENE said...

Great graphic quality and colors!

nina seven said...

i like this very much!

Kim and Jane said...

hate to hear that you were in the doldrums... you are such a talent... look at this piece! it is soooo excellent! i love the narrative, the stiffness and angle of the penguin, the color palette, EVERYTHING... it's my favorite IF of the week! i'd love to have this in my life to look at every day! please make more art today :)
~ kim

Juan said...

Very nice work. cool!

Michael O'Connell said...

wonderful work… the style is amazing…

Jeope said...

Kim (and Jane): Wow. Thank you.

Melissa said...

It looks like that seal just wants to play. Why is the penguin being so anti-social?

lew! said...

Hey Mel, it does want to play! Just not in a good way for the penguin. Here is a caption from the 11/06 Nat. Geo. magazine. (Go the Nat. Geo. website if you want to see some gruesome photos)

"A young leopard seal plays with its food, a gentoo penguin. The 1,000-pound (450 kilograms) creatures "are not empathetic," says photographer Paul Nicklen, who spent three weeks swimming with the seals. "Killing seems as much about fun and games as it does about eating." Nicklen observed leopard seals prolonging their prey's death for over an hour by shaking the animal, dropping it, and snapping it back up again. Sometimes the penguin would die not from its wounds, but rather from the shock or stress of the chase."