Friday, February 3, 2017


Some more Adrian Simon fan art, this one for my (most?) favorite song, off of The Ivy League's self titled album, for "Silhouettes & Heartache," and I absolutely autofill-spelled that and refuse to learn how to spell it myself. This one is a merger of his Homie Airport, oceanic aesthetic and The Ivy League's vibe (it looks like the cover is of an ocean or treetops? Probably ocean. So, HA-ish, but slightly less outré.

Honestly, though, how can you pick a "most" favorite song? Off of this album? One of the things I love about The Ivy League is that it improves on The North Star without obsoleting it. That's some I am the Movie / Commit This to Memory territory. They operate like a mega album, and it's so hard to repeat a track because you feel the pain of losing out on hearing the next and previous ones! And how about how they loop together! If you end with "BUAD," it drops right into "Leaving," and you're down for another lap.

I'm not one for autographs or staged photos, but thought this was looking kinda polaroidy, so I gave it a little mock-up treatment for kicks. I guess subconsciously, it comes from when I was a junior at Yale I had a chance to see the New York-based The Ivy League play live off-campus, and I totally blew it, being unfamiliar with non-Yale New Haven and (frankly) scared of wandering around the city at night. Turns out that was my one and only chance to see them live, so missing the show is one of my sorest regrets.

I believe The Ivy League was performing with my classmate Richard, who I made sure to see live every time I could, being absolutely blown away at every single performance of his. I remember his first show was like a freshman talent showcase or something on Old Campus (Yale-a-Palooza?) gosh, he just crushed it. Haha, I still remember the day I met him, I was shaking, I was so nervous! I normally do everything I can to leave people alone, but I dunno, I just had to tell him he's great. To this day, what, 10 years later, I still think back to those shows and the precious few tracks he'd release. I still have the demos he sent me, but agonize I'll someday forget his more obscure, sketch-like tracks that just echo in my memory.

I suppose the halfway point between AS and RM is my late classmate Ugonna. He'd release tracks online so I at least got to experience his music digitally, and I distinctly remember overhearing him perform at a Saybrook party or something while I was walking across campus one evening, but I will always regret never getting to see him at a proper show. I sat there stunned on the train to the "big" city in my old rural prefecture here in Japan when I found out we lost him. Just like that.

Anyway, for this piece, I wanted to have the background be able to stand somewhat alone, since I usually just brush off whatever's going to get covered by the main figure. But this piece was more about thoroughly practicing with my blend-free Steve Ahn's Ultimate Brush to combine referenced and mental drawing, so I insisted on painting everything. I did allow myself some color adjustment/tweakery and bg blur, but no brushes but the SAUB. It was also drawn on a minimal amount of layers.

I'd love to make an illustration for every track some day. That'd be pretty cool. I did do one for "You and I," but everything else has just sorta been only loosely inspired by the artist and the albums' aesthetics themselves. I have posted some abandoned sketches inspired by the Glitter & Bones era, too, come to think of it. Ok, maybe "Glitterbug" is my absolute favorite of the catalog. I just don't want to screw up that one when I give it the old college try for realz. Such a cool song.

Not normal,


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