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Archive for the ‘Sketches’ Category

A few years ago my wife and I saw Philip Seymour Hoffman perform in,”Death of a Salesman”,on Broadway. The entire cast was unbelievable, but I particularly remember being affected by the final scene, which was a heated emotional exchange between Mr. Hoffman and Andrew Garfield. To say it was intense, would be an understatement. I was almost uncomfortable watching it unfold, but still I sat on the edge of my seat hanging on to every yelling word that was mingled in with tears of rage. I was beyond moved. After the performance, when the entire cast met on stage, held hands and bowed, Mr. Hoffman and Mr. Garfield were both still breathing heavy and in tears. At that moment I realized what an emotional toll a performance like this must take on the soul. I wondered what event in their lives did they bring up in their minds to draw such concentrated pain, anger and grief from. The experience stuck with me.

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First rough sketch and color study I did.

When I learned of Mr. Hoffman’s passing in early February, I have to admit, it came as a shock. The nature of how he died gave me a slight idea of where he drew his emotion from during his performances. He was obviously struggling with his own demons and I imagine that he brought personal issues to the forefront of his mind that ate him away slowly.

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This was the final drawing that I did followed by another color sketch. I wasn’t feeling confident about the likeness, so I did the color sketches just to make sure I was moving in the right path.

Anyway, I won’t even try to rationalize or pretend that I understand him as a person, because we never met. I can only say that he was an artist, and I’m sad that we lost one of our own. Watching him perform live was inspiring.

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I wanted the portrait to be understated. Nothing over the top. I just wanted to capture the emotion in his face.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN BY DAVID COOPER

Here’s to you Mr. Hoffman.

D.

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Distractions can come from all corners. They can easily absorb all of my focus and lead me down the wrong path, leaving me lost and bewildered. The trick is to distinguish the bad distractions from the good ones. Yes, I believe there are good distractions and like the bad ones they can also leave me lost and bewildered. However, this is when I remind myself that it’s fine to be confused and unsure every now and then, because being in this state of mind can often lead to unexpected idea’s. Unexpected ideas will eventually lead to new and untraveled paths, which in turn will lead to better development of the self.

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Development takes time. I’ve always known it, but I’m not sure if I really understood the premise behind it. In this specific case, I’m referring to the development of self in the creation of art. It really is a slow process that is never truly complete. At least it shouldn’t be. My interests are ever evolving, jumping to new techniques and back stepping to older ones with new eyes and continuing to move forward from there.

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I have to admit, I’ve had a interesting ride so far. I appreciate the place where I’m at in my career because its a place where I never expected to be. When I was in college, my one and only plan was to become a freelance illustrator, but somehow I found myself in the second career of a photo editor. Two very different paths, that I’m trying to mend together into one complete career. This is always a challenge, but it’s one that needs to be met because it’s mine. Of course, I didn’t always feel this way. When I was younger, my job as a photo editor was only a means to make money and I didn’t care for the practice at all. It was a “distraction” from what I really wanted to do, but slowly it turned into one of those good distractions. Amongst many things, it has taught me to collaborate with others and to not be so singular in my world. And for that, I’m thankful.

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D.

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Ramblings of the day.

D.

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Lately, I usually play games on my phone on the train ride to work, however I’m trying to break the habit by drawing instead. Here’s today’s free flow drawing.

D.

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WORK

 

Last night I refined this sketch a little more. I’m trying to form a abstract figure from the flowers, leaves, vines and branches. An alien creature seems to be emerging.

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I’ve been developing this image in my head all week. Today, I’m trying to get it out on paper and make sense of it. Good times. I’m drawing textures that I haven’t experimented with before. Very meditative and relaxing.

At first I thought this was going to be a purely decorative piece, but a deeper interpretation is coming to me slowly. I can’t wait to start inking this one.

Happy Saturday everyone.

D.

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I’m an Illustrator and I’m a Photo Editor. Rarely do the two worlds ever collide. In fact they’re very much separate. Only recently I’ve decided to start posting my work as a photo editor on my blog. I refrained from doing so in the past because I didn’t want to confuse what ever audience I had. However, now I believe showing this work rounds me out, and it’s a practice that not many illustrators can say they experience. With all that said, I actually got to work on a project  that believe it or not sent my two worlds crashing together. It all started with a call from my friend and wardrobe stylist Ise White, who I’ve collaborated  on many photo shoots with for Siempre Mujer Magazine. She asked me if I’d be interested in doing a project with a new magazine, where she worked as the Fashion Editor, titled “Relapse“.  She told me that I could do WHATEVER I wanted for a ten page fashion story for the books up coming art issue. Once we worked out a few details, I was on board. We both came up with the simple idea of shooting a model in her underwear with her hair pinned back. Then I’d draw in her hair and clothes. She paired me up with the Creative Director of the magazine, photographer Tyler Mitchell. After discussing a few ideas I sent him these rough story boards.

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The next thing I knew, we were on a set, bringing this idea to life.

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Tyler did an initial edit, getting rid of the shots that were totally unusable. Then he sent the rest to me and  I narrowed them down to the shots I thought would work best with the drawings I had planned. I decided the best way to get this done was to print the images out and draw my designs over them on tracing paper. Then I transferred those drawings on to watercolor paper, using my light box and inked them in. Finally, I colored them in photoshop.

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Here’s how the finals came together.

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Photography by Tyler Mitchell. Art by David Cooper. Make up by Suzana Hallili. Model: Mila At MC2.

Thanks for looking. I hope you enjoyed the process!

D.

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