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Posts Tagged ‘Dave Cooper’

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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This is a sketch I did for the opener of Siempre Mujer’s Feb/Mar 14, Best Beauty Buys, written by Jess Torres. In this story we featured products that were “reader picked”. Thus, the concept of the prize crane picking the best beauty products out of the pile. Our creative director, Stacy Marchelos placed the sketch into the layout, which I then showed to our photographer, the ever talented, Jeff Harris and our prop stylist, Wendy Schelah.

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Here’s the prop she made based on my sketch.

And here’s the story. Much thanks to Jeff, who really breaths life into these idea’s, Stacy’s bold design and of course Wendy who translated my sketch into a real object. I’m in awe of you all.

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Thanks for looking.

D.

 

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A few months ago I walked into my creative director’s office at Siempre Mujer Magazine, where I work as the photo editor. She was in the middle of doing stock research for a story she was designing. If you don’t know, stock research is the process of finding pre-existing art to use for publication. Anyway, she wasn’t having much luck in finding a suitable image, so she asked if I’d be interested in doing an illustration for the article. Being that I’m the photo editor at the magazine, this really isn’t something I do too often for them, but I found the topic of the article interesting, which was why meditation and good eating is good for a healthy heart in women. I also thought it would be a good idea for me to add a womens’ focussed piece to my portfolio, since it lacks those kinds of works.  The illustration was slated to run as a FULL PAGE, which was also an added incentive to do the assignment. I immediately saw a few images in my head, so I sketched them out really quickly. (See the sketches below.) When I do sketches for assignments or personal projects, I always try to think up at least three different concepts, to help fully explore the topic. I try to keep the drawing very loose and rough. This helps me to not commit to any one idea too soon.  When presenting my sketches to clients, this technique also helps to move the discussion forward quickly because I’m giving them options. Clients LOVE options.  Here’s a little side note. I’m an illustrator and I’m a photo editor, so I have the unique opportunity to place myself in the shoes of the client/art buyer and the artist. Having a foot in both worlds really gives me valuable insight into each one. Anyway, I digress.

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SKETCH #1: For this idea I wanted to create a light atmospheric mood, by showing heart shaped balloons rising into the sky. The main character grasping the balloon affectionately is symbolic of her taking care and loving her heart.

SKETCH#2: For this idea I wanted to evoke a sense of power, which stems from a healthy heart. I was planning to make the heart look like an ornate tattoo design. I added flowers to the composition to represent life and the beauty of living.

SKETCH#3: For this idea I wanted to make the role of the woman be a super hero, her heart being her super power deflecting off danger.

The creative director and editor-in-chief approved SKETCH #1. They also requested that I do a RUN-OVER image to accompany the main FULL PAGE illustration. RUN-OVER illustrations usually appear much smaller than the main piece and they usually echo the idea of it.  So, I drew up this tighter sketch along with an idea for the RUN-OVER illustration, which was a bowl of salad floating on a heart shaped balloon.

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At this point I had to show the tighter sketches to my creative director to get approval to move to the final illustration. Once I got her blessing, it was time to get busy.  My illustration technique is made up of a combination of  traditional and digital techniques. I printed the sketch onto a clean sheet of water color paper and then I inked it using waterproof india ink and a brush.

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Then I scanned my drawing into the computer so I could start the coloring process in PHOTOSHOP.

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These are progress shots I took while working on the piece. Naturally there’s a lot of back and fourth during this process such as figuring out colors and in this case, I changed a few elements in the characters face, hair and the clouds in the bottom right corner. I also added a set of buddhist prayer beads to the main character’s wrist, which is a tiny detail that I thought would re-enforce the idea of meditation, which this piece is ultimately about.

Finally, the piece was finished and I delivered it to the client aka my boss.

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Here’s how the story turned out in the end.

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Thanks for looking!

D.

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Here’s a story board I created for Siempre Mujer’s Dec/Jan 2014 Fashion Feature. The back drops are cell phone shots I took while scouting with photographer Tom Corbett, who eventually shot the story. The inspiration for the feature was Cinderella, a concept that our then fashion editor, Haymme Marin dreamed up, right before moving on from Siempre Mujer. When Tom and I were scouting we instantly knew that we wanted to inject this story with as much drama as humanely possible to show off the dresses. So, we decided to create a dark and moody setting using a smoke machine and a cathedral lighting. As always, we needed to find the right model to fit the role of our “Cinderella”. While casting, I tried to find a model who looked somewhat innocent, but who could also evoke a level of edge and sophistication. Here’s who we decided on.

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Equally as important, we had to find a stylist who could pull the dramatic dresses that we needed for the story. We decided to go with Cannon from Judy Casey and he DID NOT disappoint. Hair was done by George Ortiz with Contact NYC and Make up was done by Javier Romero. Manicure by Titilayo Bankole with BA-Reps. With the team assembled, we got busy..

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Here are two behind the scene shots  documenting our production, taken by our Executive Editor Zuania Capo.

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Photo by Zuania Capo

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Photo by Zuania Capo

To learn a little more about our shoot check this link:

http://www.ba-reps.com/news/tom-corbett-s-cinderella-in-central-park

Creative Director: Stacy Marchelos

Photo Editor: David Cooper

Photography: Tom Corbett

Wardrobe: Cannon

Market Editor: Erin Mcsherry

Hair: George Ortiz

Make up: Javier Romero

Happy New Year and stay warm!

D.

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I did this piece back in April. The design was to appear on a t-shirt. The proceeds from the sale of the shirt were to be used to send underprivileged Dominican kids, born in the United States, to the Dominican Republic to give them a first hand experience of their culture, which they might not truly be aware of being born in the states. I was inspired by the Dominican Carnival which takes place on Dominican Independence Day. Unfortunately, the client has disappeared, so I’m not sure if the design will be used or not. If it ever surfaces, and you see it, let me know!

Thanks!

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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Yikes, this is a late post, but here I go.

Every year at Siempre Mujer we have the opportunity to honor some of the most extraordinary Hispanic hair stylist working in the industry today. Each year we focus on different aspects of hair styling. Last year we honored the best hair colorist, while this year we honored those hair stylist that specialize in hair cuts. The honorees were, Marcos Carrasquillo, Elba Rodriguez and Hasblady Guzman. Instead of having each stylist cut the hair of their own individual model, we gave them the challenge of cutting wigs. This way we could show case their cuts on the same model to really highlight their unique styles. Following this plan also gave us the added bonus of being able to donate these freshly cut wigs to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which was a very special honor for all of us here at Siempre Mujer Magazine and our honorees.

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The story was written and conceived by Jess Torres.

Photography: Keith Lathrop

Make up: Javier Romero

Jewelry: Ellen Silverstein

Model: Sarah Blessing

Creative Director: Stacy Marchelos

Photo Editor: David Cooper

Thanks for looking,

D.

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