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Jeffrey Smith
Fiction
Five Fiction Assignments
posted:
A King of Infinite Space by Tyler Dilts for the L.A.Times, 2010. A.D. Judith Pryor

Big Zelig for PaknTreger Magazine, The Yiddish Book Center, 2012. A.D. Alex Isley

What it Was by George Pelecanos for Playboy magazine, 2012. A.D. Rob Wilson.

Live by Night by Dennis Lehane for Playboy magazine, 2012. A.D. Rob Wilson.

Under the Mistletoe Last Night by Mark Billingham, for Reader's Digest, London, 2011. A.D. Martin Coyler.

Playboy Fiction 2011
posted:
I painted a couple of Fiction assignments earlier this year for Rob Wilson at Playboy magazine.
 
The first assignment was a story written by the amazing Joyce Carol Oates. The name of the piece is "Loose Daddy." It is the story of a demented father who takes his unwitting son for a walk in the woods. When they arrive at the ruins of an abandoned amphitheater, the father begins to taunt the son. As his son cowers beneath him, the demented father beckons his son to the stage while reciting passages from Abraham and Isaac, and Macbeth, ”O hell-kite all!”
For my reference, I photographed Cameron McHarg (as the father) in my studio. I shot Cameron from a low angle of view while encouraging a bird like shape. Then, inspired by the idea of a hell-kite, and deciding it was something like a fiendish bird of prey, I attempted to transform his eyes and nose into severe and menacing bird like features.
As I was contemplating the background, I remembered an outdoor, arbor covered amphitheater in Brookside Park California and decided it a suitable nest for my hell-kite. Again, I used an up angle to frame the main character with creeping vines and leaves and wire.
Alas, the story never made it to print.
A few weeks later, Rob called with another amazing story entitled, "Passenger" by Jennifer Dubois.
It is the story of a woman who thinks she sees a stranger and a neighbor’s child boarding a plane that she is on. The trouble is… she's a married woman on her way to meet her lover. She can't say a thing. And by the time she does, it's too late.
This turned out to be another transformation piece for me, inspired by the following line, "In their worst nightmares, the ones that woke them up and brought them weeping into our beds, there were bears in the backyard, snakes in the living room."


Nobody Move
posted:
I created four fiction illustrations for one story in Playboy magazine this year.  The story was titled, “Nobody Move” by Dennis Johnson.  The art director was Rob Wilson, and all four pieces ran as double page spreads in four consecutive issues of the magazine.
I love to illustrate fiction stories. I’ve had the good fortune to illustrate stories by Elmore Leonard, Raymond Carver, Joyce Carol Oates, Rick Bass, John Sayles, E.L.Doctorow, Ernest Hemingway, Michael Chabon, Howard Norman, Louis Auchincloss, Jim Black, and Dennis Johnson, to name a few.
I wish there was more of this kind of work. It’s a good outlet for someone who is too depressed and anxious to do entertainment work.  
 
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