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Illustration Friday Night

Dead Smurf

iFriday Night: Dead Smurf

Art Speak

This was for my Massachusetts College of Art Spring semester sophomore illustration class. The assignment was to draw a cute animal. Our instructor, Mister Floyd Covert (MassArt), felt we were only drawing stuff we liked. His long-term plan was to have us show the cute stuff to potential clients in the summer, then have real-world stories to tell the next Fall.

I wasn't in a cute mood that semester. This probably had more to do with living in a Dostoevsky-like flophouse.

Part of the assignment was to use photo reference. This came from a then-current issue of Scientific Monthly, covering Rhino Rats. Naturally I chose the most disgusting photo in the story. The skin was pale and looked like intestines.

The drawing technique is mostly crosshatch pen-and-ink with technical pen, a very time-consuming way to cover a 20" x 30" illustration board. It must've looked like time-lapse photography to see a little bit more inking done to it every week. When the top third inked, I found out about the Smurfs Saturday morning cartoon. Trying to pass this off as a social statement, I quickly penciled the Smurf.

You'd think this was right up my teacher's alley, but he was surprisingly appalled. The exact word he used was "sophomoric". One of the biggest laughs I ever got was reminding him "this is a sophomore class. If I can't do this now, then when?" Eager to move the class along, he eventually relented (were any of his classes longer than 30 minutes?). He even suggested the Smurf blue and bloodstains.

The drawing earned an A-, and currently lives in Paris.

Tech Talk

Technical pen and graphite, colored pencil, gouache on illustration board

Freshness Dating

Repurposed. It was tough enough to get anything out this week.


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What's An Illustration Friday Night?

Like its older sister, Illustration Friday Night is a voluntary, client-free playground for illustrators. A topic is posted every Friday morning. Participants from around the world create, post and share their interpretations. Think of us as a younger, more mischievous sibling.

No Client? Why Bother?

At this stage of my career, I need a weekly public exercise to draw anything at all.

Freshness Dating

Unless otherwise stated, my iFriday Night work is all-new, created soley for that week's theme. Other Freshness categories include:

  • Repurposed
    Old art, lifted straight from the archives with no current modifications
  • Refurbished
    Previously-viewed art, modified and enhanced for current times
  • Alt Theme
    Past iFriday Night themes, presented when I have nothing for the current week's theme

Mission Statement

"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not."
-- Andre Gide

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