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Steve Wacksman
April 2012
Hybrid: When Too Much Freedom Leads One To Steer Directly Into A Wall
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Soojin Buzelli is, as anyone who reads Drawger even occasionally knows, the absolute bee's pajamas and an illustrator's dream ally. She knows exactly what to say and more importantly what not to say when commissioning an illustration. Her rules are simple- don't be overly literal and whatever you do, no people in business attire. Ever.
In almost every case this inspires the picture-maker to greater heights as imagination is let to soar. I'll come clean and admit that I've browsed an issue or two of Plansponsor and I can't make heads nor tails of a single article so 'interpretive' is about the best I can give.
In this case Soojin was as clear and succinct as ever - Hybrid, two animals that are dissimilar coming together. I was feeling pretty good about the arboreal leopard-snake scenario but Soojin came back with a decisive 'Number 3, please' and so the Liongator it was.
As so often happens I'm not entirely clear when or why the passenger jet, snack-food packaging and 55-gallon oil drum worked their way into the composition, but there they were. I was satisfied that they added to the image and thought nothing of sending it off. Soojin, upon receiving the image was understandably confused and contacted me with a request that they be removed. I was happy to do so and revised the image in no time to better reflect the sketch. I was so in thrall to the freedom that comes with working with Soojin that I lost sight of the goal.
In any case, the liongator was placed in a more natural and decidedly less polluted environment and that version went to print.
Just out of the frame, however, there's the remnants of a  White Castle 'Crave Case', the dented grill of a 1995 Nissan Altima, and the mildewed carcass of a 'Tickle Me Elmo'.
...and butterflies are free to fly. Fly away, high away, bye bye...

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