Some time after completing my Moby-Dick illustrations, I was contacted by someone named J.C. Gabel. He mentioned that he and a small group were going to be relaunching the magazine The Chicagoan and he was interested in having me contribute an illustration of some kind. This was back when I was rather foolish and willing to do just about anything for free, figuring that it would always be a good idea to "get my name out there." Ah, youth.
That probably reads as rather harsh since the truth of the matter is that I don't regret any of the work that I did for free, other than to occasionally wish I had some of the time back to pursue projects that were more important to me personally. Anyway, J.C. wanted me to contribute a piece for a specific story, an excerpt from Enrique Vila-Matas' 2011 novel París no se acaba nunca or Never Any End to Paris. This was extremely difficult for me as Vila-Matas is a writer I am not familiar with and I didn't have much time to research the work before starting on the piece. Additionally, the experiences and worldview of the novel are far outside my own, and the novel deals heavily with irony which is one of my least favorite things. Still, I was able to find an entry point for the work and in the end I created an illustration of a man entering an Ernest Hemingway lookalike contest, which is a focal point for the early portion of the novel.
I think I was promised a hard copy of the magazine, which I can see was indeed printed and is available but I never got it, which makes me sad. It would have been rather cool to see my illustration in a professionally printed magazine. At least I did get credited. Here's the piece. I quite like how it turned out.
8 inches by 11 inches
ink on Bristol board
August 7, 2011