Monday, March 01, 2010

The Reuben Melt 2010

Here we go, friends, it's MELT Posters: YEAR TWO. This month marks the first anniversary of the posters I've been doing for the monthly specials at Melt. Last year, I drew the poster for The Reuben Melt as part of the Month of Flyers, where I did a poster for something every day of March. This launched the series and has now been going strong, and I think escalating to new levels, every month. As the sandwiches get crazier, I think I've been able to keep the posters right there with them. After the gut busting Hungry Hungarian, and the madness that was The Big Sandwich in Little China, we return to the tried and true traditional March masterpiece...

The Reuben Melt:
Fresh Lean Corned Beef
Barrel Aged Sour Kraut
Zippy Russian Dressing
Swiss Cheese

It's simple, it's iconic, it's March. So, for the poster this month, I decided it was time to do something slightly different. I wanted to use a traditional source for the design. I thought a lot about doing a Saint Patrick piece, and how to push that to the limit, and make it somehow Cleveland-centric. Some really dumb ideas occurred to me. You almost got a baller St. Pat slam dunking over King James.

I always liked stain glass windows; the way they look and feel. Once I realized I was going to use that as the jumping off point of this poster- everything just kind of fell into place.

I made this insane mock up where I took the actual Saint Patrick stain glass window image, an old drawing of the Terminal Tower, the Reuben Melt drawing from last year, and then laid down the text I wanted for the name. It's a total mess, but it doesn't need to be pretty. It just needs to be well thought out.

With that plan under me, I got to drawing the pencil version. I knew I would draw this piece on a 14 x 17 board. I also decided to draw the whole thing in one go, incorporating the text into the art. This was probably a big mistake. This is a photocopy of penciled image. However, I did enjoy the process of putting it all together as one image.

Inking this took a little longer than I expected. It's one thing to throw down inks, splattering, brush strokes, making a mess then cleaning it up. It's another to try and stay clean, make lines bold and deliberate. Disciplined. True. It was a challenge. I really really wanted to splatter this thing with ink. It felt like I was cutting some corner not to.

When it came time to color, I knew I wanted to keep it simple, to make it bold and smart. I think it worked. It's different, a departure from my usual jam. The signature style I've developed over the past few years. I love it and continue to take it on it's logical path. Still, there's room to expand in other directions. I think that's where MELT Posters: YEAR TWO needs to be taken. Bold, different directions.

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