311 Day 2014

Music is a big deal to me. I love it. My favorite band for the past 20 years (yikes! that is crazy scary!) has been 311. I first saw them September 4, 1994 in New Albany, IN at a small music festival. I had never heard of them before but they made an impression right away. The sound and the energy they brought that day was amazing. I was an instant fan. 

This year's 311 Day was a special one due to the show being back in New Orleans and coinciding with an album release. It's not as easy to pick up and head to a show as it used to be (I have a wife and three kids now) but I wanted to do some art to commemorate the occasion to have the sense that I was a part of it even in my absence. I had the idea to do a character of each member of the band and post them leading up to the day. I began sketching out the characters starting with P-Nut. 

 

P-Nut rough pencil sketch with a stickman photo bomb.

P-Nut rough pencil sketch with a stickman photo bomb.

Rough pencil sketch of Chad, well, mostly Chad's drum kit. 

Rough pencil sketch of Chad, well, mostly Chad's drum kit. 

I hear voices say that's Doug Martinez. Rough pencils.

I hear voices say that's Doug Martinez. Rough pencils.

It sounds strange, but I could see the poses and some of the details in my mind before I started sketching, so the characters seemed to just leak out of the pencil. The most difficult one to picture in my mind and get onto paper was Nick. Should I show him with a guitar? If so, which one? The Les Paul? The flying V? The Gretsch? Mic stand. No mic stand? Ultimately I chose to have him in his trademark airborne pose. 

Nick, sketched in pencil and traced with a ball point ink pen. 

Nick, sketched in pencil and traced with a ball point ink pen. 

After all the sketches were roughed out, I cleaned them up by tracing them with a ball point pen to refine them. In some cases I used tracing paper to get a clean drawing ready for scanning in to the computer. 

Tim, clean drawing on tracing paper ready to scan. Things like details on the guitar and t-shirt would be done in the computer later. 

Tim, clean drawing on tracing paper ready to scan. Things like details on the guitar and t-shirt would be done in the computer later. 

Now it was time to crack open Adobe Illustrator and get to work. Many late nights later I had them complete.

Build out of Tim's vector shapes in Adobe Illustrator.

Build out of Tim's vector shapes in Adobe Illustrator.

Tim almost finished. Trying out expressions. 

Tim almost finished. Trying out expressions. 

P-Nut. Working out the colors.

P-Nut. Working out the colors.

SA variations and testing the characters side by side for scale. Chad would want to bring his giant drum set so he is left out here. Drummer's curse. 

SA variations and testing the characters side by side for scale. Chad would want to bring his giant drum set so he is left out here. Drummer's curse. 

The response by 311 fans was fantastic. I had not anticipated how much fans would dig the characters. Even P-Nut himself made his character his Twitter avatar leading up to 311 Day!

P-Nut made cartoon P-Nut his avatar on Twitter. 

P-Nut made cartoon P-Nut his avatar on Twitter. 

You can see the completed series here. And if you really dig them, you can order yourself a set of prints at the shop.

One More Thing...

I really wanted to do something for the band as well. So I created an "on stage" piece and had it matted and framed. I overnighted it to the arena to be there on 3/11. I got confirmation of the delivery, but I called the arena and spoke to a handful of employees there and none could confirm the whereabouts of the package. So I don't know if it ever made it to the band...maybe I will have an update in the future on the whereabouts of the art!

The M.I.A. framed "on stage" print sent to 311 on 3/11 Day.

The M.I.A. framed "on stage" print sent to 311 on 3/11 Day.

UPDATE: The band did indeed receive the framed print. Mystery solved! And I got word from P-Nut that it will be hung in the Hive! (311's studio). Very cool!