On Friday I received a Facebook message from professional wrestler The Almighty Sheik informing me that he was a fan of my illustration of Billy Corgan and wished to speak with me concerning a project involving the one and only Billy Corgan. The project was a concert poster design / illustration for Billy Corgan’s upcoming solo acoustic concert at Ravinia. If you don’t already know, The Smashing Pumpkins is my favorite band. I listen to the Smashing Pumpkins every day. I’m also a HUGE fan of ZWAN and Billy Corgan’s solo album “The Future Embrace.” Working on an “OFFICIAL” poster illustration for a Billy Corgan concert is on the very top of my bucket list. The Almighty Sheik informed me that another artist was also in the running and that Billy would decide the victor. The poster needed to have an early 70’s singer songwriter vibe and appeal to an older crowd. More Neil Young / Bob Dylan rather than the angst and melancholy of 1995 Billy. I explored the darkest corners of Google in search for the perfect reference photos of Billy. During my search I noticed that Billy loves to wear scarfs and I thought it might be a fun visual element to play with. I also wanted to draw a happier more lighthearted portrait of Billy. I started working on the portrait Monday evening when I finished my shift at the 9 to 5. (or in my case the 10-7). Fueled by large quantities of black coffee and hundreds of Smashing Pumpkins songs I frantically worked until 5am. The poster illustration was 95% finished. By then I was delusional from sleep deprivation and caffeine overload, my drawing hand was killing me and my vision was getting blurry. I just didn’t have enough juice to conquer that last 5%. I need to catch some Z’s to regain some much needed illustration mojo. After a couple hours of sleep I had enough juice to cross the finish line. I was happy with the end result. I could have easily spent another 20 hours nit picking this and that but at some point you just have to stop and call it “finished.” 

Unfortunately, my poster illustration was not selected to be the official poster. I was disappointed but not defeated. It was a moment of validation. Receiving that message from The Almighty Sheik was a sign that I’m heading in the right direction. I have a little more confidence that my artistic choices are leading me down the right path. I’m not completely lost in the wilderness. I ALMOST designed an OFFICIAL poster for Billy Corgan. I can’t complain.

Here is my poster illustration with and without text.

Billy-Corgan-No-Type Billy-Corgan-Poster
Click HERE to see the official poster design for Billy Corgan’s Ravinia concert.


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