Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fortitude (updated)

I've recently been working on some personal projects revolving around short stories by one of my favorite authors, Kurt Vonnegut. This is self-initiated, not commissioned, or being published anywhere, I was really just working on it for fun. At the same time, I must admit, I've been trying to break into the publishing industry, with regards to my illustration. One of my wildest fantasies would be to illustrate a Vonnegut book. Sadly, since he's passed, it would have to be a reprint of one of his old titles, not that I would mind that. But, that would mean it would most likely be something that the amazingly talented Carin Goldberg has already had a hand in. Not only that, but the also amazingly talented Gene Greif, who has also sadly passed, contributed spot illustrations to those same titles that Goldberg designed. How do you follow these two giants? I doubt I could... so I decided to play around with his short stories. I own a collection that includes a few of his novels, as well as some shorts, such as "Fortitude."

 I'll try not to spoil anything for anyone interested in reading the story, but here's an explanation to give the image some context:

"Fortitude" is about a woman that is nothing more than a head, connected to all kinds of machinery to perform her bodily functions for her. Everything, down to her emotions, is controlled by the machine. I wanted to flip it around and show the controls on the machine being affected by her emotions. Her hair is the only thing connecting her to her original humanity, as it is not influenced by the machinery, but by her friend and hair stylist, Gloria.
Some background on "Fortitude"- it was originally commissioned by CBS as a comedy special in 1968, but was never made (it even includes stage direction, and instructions on camera shots). It was eventually published in Playboy, however.  

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