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