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Brian Stauffer
Vancouver Opera Posters #1
posted:
Back in November I was contacted by the wonderful folks at the Vancouver Opera about doing a series of images for their 2011 season.  I'd like to send a humble thanks to both Doug Tuck and Annie MAck at the VC for giving me such rich material to work with and a creative environment that is truly rare.
 
The first of the series is for AIDA.  This opera takes place in Egypt when a queen is taken into captivity by Egyptian soldiers.  Doug and Annie asked only one thing - "We'd love to see you work a pyramid into there somehow." 
 
Below is the final poster, the sketches, and a bit about how we distilled the image down to the final image.  Annie and Doug also asked me to consider handling the title treatments as well.  I rarely get to work typography into my work but jumped at the chance.
 
Over the next couple of weeks I'll be posting these as they become available. 
 
The final art.

Sketches.

Initially the client was leaning toards the sketch of the woman with the pyramid hair and tears becuase of it's more obvoius emotional quality, but in the end the sketch of the quenn with the gown doubling as a pyramid was chosen for it's iconic strength.
I went ahead towards a final producing the version below with the soldiers and a black background but after reviewing it we all agreed that it might be more dramatic without the chariots and with a cobalt blue sky.
First version which was further distilled down to the final when we removed the chariots and changed the background color.

A big thanks, again to Doug Tuck and Annie Mack.  Working with both of you was such a comfortable and natural process.  I'm truly sorry to see the project end.
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Stauffer is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!