This illustration for Westword goes along with a series of articles meant to remind everyone in Colorado why they love it here, despite all the recent bad news.
On a personal note, being a Colorado kid I’ve always loved reading the Westword and admired their bold covers. So, to get the chance to do a cover for the Westword, for of all subjects, why Colorado is awesome, was pretty exciting for me personally. When I first graduated from art school dead set on being an illustrator, I was fixated on getting to do work for the Westword. I hassled Jay Vollmar, their art director, relentlessly – with often ill-advised promos – so it was also nice to see that Jay didn’t hold any grudges for those early, crummy promos, and hired me. Thanks Jay.
I started off with a few simple sketches, playing around with a few the art directors ideas and adding a few of my own. In the end we both agreed that the heart inside of the Colorado flag’s “C” was the simplest read and I quickly took this idea to a finished illustration, only to later find out that there is a clothing company with the same logo – Oops. So after a quick break for dinner, I spent the rest of the evening bringing a second cover to life.
I played around a bit with the initial sketch, eventually coming up with two compositions based around the original idea. We ended up going with the first option, the mountains that form a heart instead of the more landscape oriented version.
After one final tweak (that I can’t say I agreed with) I switched up the mouth and eyes of the sun and bam! We’re done.