serving brain food since 1998

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Holiday Greetings 2007

Happy Holidays 2007 - Banjo Santa

I’m not exactly sure why, but more people than usual have been asking me about my Christmas card this year.

This one started with some direction from my wife, which she stated plainly enough to me one evening, “You’ve never done a Santa before. You should do an old-fashioned one with rosey cheeks.”

I suspect that I’m actually way off the mark of what she was thinking, but somewhere in-between what she said and what I was feeling at the time, the image of a man playing a banjo kept appearing in my head. I don’t know why, but it made perfect sense to me. And when that happens, I just follow through.

I used this photograph as a referential base, which I found simply by searching for “banjo player” via Google images. It’s actually the first image in the results, but the best one I found after scanning several pages.

The racial ambiguity of the “Santa” like figure was intentional. Also somewhat key to the delivery was my recollection of work by Jack Levine. Other than that, the actual rendering was done rather quickly with ink wash on painted wood (the same board I use every year for texture). The result was then scanned in and colorized via Photoshop. Some embellishments, such as the patterns on the suspenders were layered in, but no filters (nor any harm to small kittens) were used in the making of this card.

As always, the most pain-staking process in making my cards is the hand-deckled edges I compulsively tear from the edge of each and every card, which then get glued on the front of card stock.

It’s a labor of love, and one I couldn’t stop myself from doing even if I tried.


29 December 2007 @ 11pm

It’s a great illustration and will live on my fridge long after Christmas day.

30 December 2007 @ 10pm

That’s nice. Thank you.