When I saw this last December that OFF! was playing a show at the Fonda, I immediately tried to reach out to anyone I could think of to do the poster for the show. I'm a huge fan of this group and have seen them a few times in L.A. A few days after their record release show at the Whiskey last May I saw this photo taken by Cla$ick Clothing ( http://clasickclothing.com/ ).
So this was definitely a case of a fan trying to work with a band he liked and not just some dude trying to pad his portfolio.
I got the green light to go and started roughing out concepts. I decided to combine the members of OFF! with one of my favorite flicks, A Clockwork Orange. Seemed to be a good fit. Four band members, four droogs. With that creative direction, I created a pretty loose thumbnail sketch.
I knew I wanted to depict the guys in the Moloko Vellocet Bar, but I didn't want to just copy a scene from the movie and replace the actors heads with OFF!s heads. So I did some research of the Bar set along with the statues of the girls to get an angle not seen in the movie. After that, I did photo research along with taking my own photos for reference.
I used myself and a co-worker as models to get the poses I needed. I also did a ton of research on the costumes the droogs wore. The faces of the band members was most difficult because I did not have them at my disposal to pose for me. I did a lot of research on the group and basically Frankensteined their faces from a number of sources.
With reference collected, I started working on the figures first. I used to sketch everything in my sketchbook, but I now prefer to sketch stuff on a computer. It's easier to edit, in my opinion. When sketching, I usually start with a light grey or red color to lay down basic lines to get the proportions and form in place. After that, I go over the loose sketch with a blue color to tighten up my marks and to add some of the details.
This is how my final sketch looked for this piece.
At this point I would usually go on to do my final line work traditionally with Pen and Ink on bristol board, but for the sake of time and for the ease of editing, I did my final line work in Photoshop too. So this was a 24" X 18" piece at 300 dpi.
While working on the final line worked, I joked that the next piece would not have as many wrinkles or as much hair. Below are some detailed shots of the final line work.
With line work out of the way, the color pallet was next. Originally I was gonna have the OFF! members in grey tones to contrast with a blood red background, but I feel like this look has been kind of played out at this point, so I decided to add colors to the whole piece. The typeface used for the copy is the Moloko typeface used in the movie. Not a "hippie font" as thought by a few fans.
Final colors where added and the image was sent off to the band for the purpose of advertising the show. When the image debuted on the social networks, the positive reactions from the fans was pretty overwhelming. I was glad they responded to the image and was glad to have a few more people checking out my work.
When all was said and done, there was one last request by one of the band members. They were curious to know if the original art was up for grabs. I explained that I created all the work digitally, however, I would be glad to re-create the line work in a traditional manner. So I used sumi inks and microns on some nice Italian paper to recreate the final line work.
In the end, this was an extreme pleasure for me. To quote OFF!, "I had a blast!" As noted earlier, this 24" X 18" poster is available at the OFF! store; http://www.merchlackey.com/off/