Scott Bakal
May 2007
Memorial Day
I posted up a version of this a few hours ago but decided to repost it with more information.  Apologies to Randy (and all who e-mailed me) for deleting the post and your comment.
As I was working on my original post a very low flying military helicopter scared the hell out of me as I looked out my top story window to see it buzz my roof top.  (I wish I had my camera in hand.)  I didn't know what that was all about but as it turned out, it signified the beginning of the local Bay Shore Memorial Day Parade.  I heard High School bands fire up and the pounding of the drums.  I grabbed my camera and went down to see neighbors and loads of children lining the street.  I have to say, I was moved by the experience.  I only took a few shots as I was more involved with watching the parade and all the smiling families.
Last night I was working on some sketches for this.  It's a work in progress or may never be 'done'.  I've already done 4 versions.  Original sketches indicated crosses lining across the bottom of the piece.  Maybe too much I thought.  The version posted seemed to work the best for me because I wanted to make it as pure as possible.  The 'bird of peace' remembering our soldiers.  A symbol wearing a symbol.  I wanted to remove violence or 'hard imagery' if possible.
Originally called Decoration Day, is a day of rememberance of soldiers who have died in the service of our country.  In 2000 a resolution was passed in which Americans are asked at 3PM their local time, to pause in their day routine to voluntarily observe a moment of rememberance and respect for those who have fallen.
Memorial Day
My father fought in the Vietnam War.  I am glad that he is still here unlike so many unfortunate others.  Regardless of politics, they deserve our respect for what they do.
Photos from this morning's parade follow.
Tree of Choices
Tree of Choices
Amidst the 12 paintings I've done in the last 5 weeks for various projects, I did this personal piece.  This is one of those personal pieces that I really didn't know what I was doing or where I was going with it until I got about half way through it and the concept started to reveal itself based upon what I have been thinking and going through lately.  I did it out of the sheer need to escape for a couple of just start something with no sketches and let my brain go because things have been nuts around here.
This painting is about choices.  All the choices one makes throughout their life, some good, some bad.  This is that moment of contemplation when you look back at all these choices and analyze whether or not each choice, or branch you took was the right one, the wrong one...or the lucky one.
No matter which choice a person makes in life whether good or bad, that person is probably learning something.
Dealing with Death of Dad and Dog
Full Page
I landed this job fairly recently for a small little magazine called Women of Spirit and as it turned out, it was a great article and assignment.  The Art Director is Bryan Gray; the kind of art director we can all hope for:  He gets out of the way.  His opinions were short and insightful, not that there were many at all and did not once step on any toes creatively.
The nutshell version is that a young boy loses his father but he never speaks of it.  Later, when a 'family' dog dies, he is able to begin speaking and writing about his father's death by first using the dog's passing as a catalyst...with a little help from a therapist.
It was a touching story and everyone is happy in the end just like a story should be...too bad I like illustrating the miserable parts of the articles!
Thumbnails: One out of MANY pages.
Final Sketch
Society of Illustrators
Anyone in the New York area: Tonight Friday, May 4th at 5:30PM the Student Scholarship Show will have its opening and awards ceremony at the Society of Illustrators.  We intend on giving out over $50,000 in scholarship money to well deserving students.
This year, many-a-Drawger found its way onto the jury including: Randy Enos, Zina Saunders, Steve Wacksman, Dave Bamundo, Joe Ciardello and Peter Cusack to name a few of the great people that helped jury the show.
It's free and has got some amazing illustration like the one pictured above by School of Visual Arts student Christopher Fisher who won a $5,000 scholarship.
There is also a special exhibit starting this year called the '30 years of the Student Show.'  Each year from now until 2009 we will show 10 years worth of student artists that 'made it big'!  This year is from 1980-1990.  Guess who is in this collection?  If you said, Tim O'Brien you'd be right!  I wonder what his student work looked like?  Others include Peter DeSeve, Robert Hunt, Kam Mak and James Ransome.
I hope to see you there!
Scott Bakal
Chair, Education Committee
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Bakal is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!