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Savannah Music Festval Poster In Society Of Illustrators Show

NOVEMBER 19, 2012
Along with 5 other pieces accepted into the Editorial Exibit, this poster for the Savannah Music Festival was accepted into the Society of Illustrators Advertising Show. 
A few months back I was contacted by art director and designer Ty Cumbie about doing a poster for the festival. And although I've done several theater and opera posters, was excited to have the opportunity work on the subject of a music festival.
It's an amazing venue with a staggering array of musical types and performers.  I was so honored to be selected given the humbling list of artists who have been tapped for the assignment in the past, Dugald Stermer and Brian Cronin to name just a few.
The client and I spoke at length about the lush mood and feel of Savannah and how it's history is more lifestyle than artifacts. My past use of flowers and lush environments was a big part of choosing me for the project.
With that in mind I started sketching.  I have to admit that this kind of project is quite scary for me.  I mean, with this subject matter, no one was being abducted, abused, commiting suicide or genocide, getting mad cow's disease, or being beaten by the police.  What's an artist to do when it's about the natural beauty of a venue and the leisure of lounging under an umbrella drinking wine? I was assured that there wouldn't even be any mosh pits or rioting. This was going to be tough.
Below are a select few of the sketches as well as some variations created as part of the process.
The idea of tapping into the southern bell with a victrola speaker doubling as an umbrella struck me interesting. I liked the idea of the figure interacting with and being comforted by the music. The client felt that it was too much about "recorded" music rather than live.
Flowing hair as harp and flower stems as harp.

Flowers as stand-up bass

I really wanted to get away from the standard stage performance imagery which led me to this sketch which was selected.

The final image with a type treatment.