Andy Ward
My Life's Rich Tapestry
This is a piece I really enjoyed, worked up in a cross stich/tapestry style for today's WEEKEND magazine cover for the UK's Daily Mail. I work regularly with A.D's Chris and Andy at the Mail having two regular weekly slots in the paper and they often call with extra jobs outside of the slots. This was a nice one, not a style i've worked in before and a lot of fun working out the technique.
The feature is on Jean Baggott and her cross stitch work focussing on a beautiful, intricate tapestry she has worked up of her life to date. I didn't have the copy to work from and sadly as i live in Italy i don't have the magazine either yet but having seen some low-res images of  the tapestry it looks pretty amazing and i was able to understand that this really is an incredible piece of work. I had one day from briefing to delivery so tried to absorb as much as i could of the  cross stitch working process in order to produce something as faithful as i could by adapting my digial style. I approached the style as simply as i could and after building a series of cross stich brushes in photoshop i literally cross stitched the whole ilustration stitch by stitch.This drawing process has it's limitations as the freedom of both line and rendering are determined by the grid format of the calico/mesh upon which the stitches are applied. A kind of analogue pixel art if you will.
The technique was not as restrictive a style as i initially thought it might be. Working within the grid and learing to allow the grid to act as guide and lead the way was strangely comforting and there was a slight sense of security knowing that wherever i go with the subject matter the style will remain constant. I love being lead in different directions by those left of filed commissions, really enjoyed this one. I doubt whether this working style will be commisioned again but it was fun while it lasted.
full bleed artwork without cover copy
the main image
cross stitch detail
closer cross stitch detail
published cover
The cover of Jean's book showing elements of her tapestry
close up element of Jean's tapestry. (Love the Han Solo reference).

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