19 August 2009

crying wolf

It's become tradition in my family that when my son starts a new school, we paint a mural on the wall of said school, both to help him get acclimated to his new surroundings & to thank the school for the part it will play in his life & further education.
It began at his preschool wherein my lovely bride & I painted a huge underwater scene over winter beak despite the fact that we were both stricken with some horrible illness that I am sure mutated into what is now called the swine flu. Nonetheless we had a great deal of fun painting (my lawyer wife especially showing great heretofore unknown prowess with a paintbrush) & knowing that our son Jack would be that much more comfortable entering his new surroundings.
When he started kindergarten, he requested we do the same & we did, painting a huge piece in an archway of his new school with the happy approval of his new principal.
Now he is entering, for lack of a better term, an "upper elementary" school, & again we are starting the process of "beautifying" his new surroundings. This process has been a little different that the previous two in that I submitted a sketch for approval beforehand & received some constructive criticism on some changes they wanted to see implemented.
I thought you, my small but dear readership, might be interested in this process so I am including all three drawings for your perusal.
The first sketch was a collaboration between Jack & myself, incorporating his new school's mascot, the wolf, portrayed as members of a band, in homage to his favorite group, Gorillaz.
Here's my first sketch~
This drawing was met with great enthusiasm from his new school, but it was felt that the wolves were perhaps too human-looking & perhaps didn't read clearly enough as wolves. I agreed as when I was doing the sketch, I was unsure whether to go full-wolf as it were or perhaps more human. I erred on the side of anthropomorphism & was happy to makes the musicians more lupine~
That sketch was then deemed to have more of a "middle school" aesthetic & it was requested that the wolves be a little more cartoony. I at first was disappointed & thought about politely demurring (I think the 4th & 5th graders were being underestimated & would enjoy these wolves, with their somewhat fierce & rockin' demeanor), but quickly remembered for whom & for what reason I was doing this, & happily acquiesced to my patrons' wishes~

This sketch was approved wholeheartedly by all involved & we start painting this weekend.
(I will post pics of the painted mural upon its completion.)
I am not unhappy with the final drawing, I think I stayed away from too much of a Disney-esque vibe & still kept enough of my own artistic sensibilities (& I especially like the new afro!), but I am still partial to the second sketch & feel that is the most successful drawing of the three. But given the mural's location, I understand that perhaps the compromise was necessary &, in the end, will produce the best work for its intended audience.
But, in the end, whatever the artist in me may think, the father in me is pretty damn happy to be able to once again be there for my boy...
I'd truly love to hear (read) your thoughts on the three sketches & perhaps you'd like to share a similar instance when you made an artistic compromise & your feelings about finding such a medium, whether it was a happy one or perhaps not so much.


N1H1 thousand miles per hr said...

I think the critique worekd in the end. I love the last drawing.

mj said...

Yippee! New rob't artwork!

I actually like both. I can see where a principal would want the 3rd (and kudos for the afro!), but I can see, based on my limited experience of Jack, that the 2nd isn't too old for him.

I've had to make compromises for work stuff, knowing I'm going to have to redo it later. Luckily, not in the hc stuff.

ekko said...

I would happily have you pain either on the wall of my own home. You're a very good artist.

Would you like to trade blogroll links?

Anonymous said...

Hey mr.seda schreiber!
its me one of ur art students at Melvin H. Kreps! :D
u r the best! :)
have a good day
- The unknown art student from melvin h. kreps (home of the cougars)