If you visit my illustration web site, on view are samples of work I have done in the past for advertising, product packaging, children's picture books, etc... all in a light, whimsical visual manner that many art directors have come to rely on for their particular projects. And I still do indeed create such illustration images in this same whimsical manner, particularly for on-going children's picture book projects.
But this year, I have begun to also show a category of "new" illustrated images of mine, created in a darker, more realistic visual mode.... in other words, kind of the polar opposite of the expected "whimsical" imagery I have become known for. You can see many of these "new" images in the NEW STUFF portfolio section on stevensalerno.com.
Some people have made comments to me about these new images, exclaiming it is so interesting that I have suddenly come up with a totally new style for myself... but in fact, I have always drawn and made images like these all my life as an artist. Though over the past 20 years I consciously decided to never show them to art directors because as an illustrator during this time period I was purposely only offering my "lighter/whimsical" illustration style, as it allowed me to work for a much broader range of clients, particularly in advertising, and earn far more income. (compared to if I had offered only an illustration style of a darker psychological nature) In fact, these new images of mine are actually along the same stylistic manner as the illustrations I created very early in my career....say from 1980 through about 1986. But dark, intense images only got me editorial projects during that time period. So in about 1990 I purposely lightened the visual approach to my illustration style... and began getting advertising projects, packaging projects, etc.... as well as an even greater range of editorial projects.
Now here it is 2012, and I have been in the illustration biz for 30+ years.... and I am now also offering this "new style" which is not really new to me at all of course, but art directors are indeed seeing it as new. The stylized, light "whimsical" illustrations I create are certainly still fun to do (particularly for picture books), but are actually more of a conscious calculated endeavor in the creation process. The images you see posted in the NEW STUFF section of stevensalerno.com is actually the raw natural way that I draw and think. So I just figured it is time again to show these 'darker" images to art directors and see what happens... to see what kind of projects I get. And thus far I have done some cool images in this darker style for the likes of The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and Harper's magazine...
Posted above is a recent drawing I created of a woman covered with tatoos... and some of the body markings are spilling out into the space surrounding her. This image started out as a mere doodle of just a woman's face in my sketchbook, but it kept expanding... I completed her body and then began to add the markings and purposely made them become a part of the scribbling and doodles orbiting around her. I then layered the line art onto a painted gouache background and manipulated the colors.
Visit stevensalerno.com to view all my portfolios... and be sure to take a look at the NEW STUFF section.