Thursday, October 13, 2011

Joe Strummer, Ugly Babies, & Why You're The Tops

Click to enlarge. ©Amy Hood
Can it be? Am I really finished with this Joe Strummer illustration? I'm not sure of anything right now. It's 12:17 at night and I've been sitting at this desk for way too long with celery and a wineglass full of Newcastle Brown Ale as my only sustenance. As far as I can tell in my current state, I'm pretty stoked on it! But I could be like one of those annoying parents who think their kid is cuter than a basket full of puppies when they're really more like a basket full of monkeys (the ugly kind, not the cute fuzzy monkeys). So I look to you - my friends, fellow designers and whoever happens upon this blog - to give it to me. If something looks weird, tell me now. Give me the good, the bad, and the ugly. All recommendation for change will be taken into consideration. I'll use some criticism, and let's face it, I'm going to ignore some. Not necessarily because the idea sucks (although that's a reason too), but because it may just be too much more work. I got a lot of great feedback on my other illustration after I had already ran the prints, so I thought I'd not push the cart before the horse again this time. You guys are the tops!

I've been asked a lot what the hawk is about on his shoulder. I just distinctly remember hearing The Clash for the first time. It was "London Calling" and I was drawn in by this wild banchee/hawk like sound Joe Strummer was making in between verses and choruses. It was so wild. When I set out to do this illustration, I was remembering that and I realized just how similar Joe is to a hawk. Cool, calm and collected, but wild, fierce and free all at once. It's almost like his spirit animal.

Now for a riveting episode of X-Files before I go to bed. Moulder's dead panned wit cracks me up. Does he have a TMJ Disorder where his mouth can only open halfway? Is the mumbling a layer of the character? Is Duchovny even smart enough to think that up? It intrigues me.

- Amy
Listening to: "The Rescue Blues" by Ryan Adams


  1. You are extremely talented.
    The hawk looks really good.
    Joe Strummer looks really good.
    The hawk and Joe Strummer together?
    Not so much.
    You owe me nothing but, if you're in the mood, can you please explain/defend why the two are together?
    Yes, I'm a major Strummer fan - he's a true hero in my book, so I feel like I have an idea about his life, his philosophies, etc. Perhaps you know more. Perhaps the hawk means nothing. Perhaps its not even a hawk.

  2. Chris, the thing I've always loved about Joe Strummer's voice/style is the wild yell he does. It sounds like a mix between a banchee and a hawk call. So I thought it would be interesting to add a hawk into the illustration with that wild look in it's eye that kind of matches Joe's intense stare. It's mostly aesthetic though. Thanks for the feedback and I hope this clarifies the purpose!

  3. Amy! It turned out AWESOME! and i love that celery and ale were your fuel of choice. That would make a funny still life. With a halo around the beer. ;)

    love yous

  4. YES! haha. Halos around everything.

  5. Greg the prints are going to be ready tomorrow! Yehaw!


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