Today I was hanging out at the lynda.com studios (working on my Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery course, if you must know). When I ran into that one artist who isn’t afraid to make his own reality, even if it requires hand-drawing individual drops of bird poop and sacrificing three years of his life. By which I mean, Bert Monroy. Colleen was there, too—these days, she works for lynda.com. And, before anyone knew it, Bert was showing us the most recent version of his gigatron-by-teratron piece of bazillion-pixel imagery, “Times Square.”
It’s radically dazzling. Not to mention, huge. In a way that few things beyond a stretch-Ford F750 hauling 100+ freight cars might be deemed huge. (Seriously, it contains more pixels than there are galaxies in your head.) And it made me realize how very ashamed I am for not having shared the following info until now: By some random quirk of fate—perhaps because Bert is out of his mind!—this excellent man decided to include Colleen and I in his masterwork. Here’s a miniature (not to mention, old) version of Bert’s composition. With Colleen and I rendered in bright green. We’re on the left. You can’t miss us, because there’s a giant Zapf Dingbats finger pointing in our direction.
I know many of you live in awe-and-wonder over the likes of Bert. (As well you should, I say.) Which is why I thought I’d post these charming sketches:
It starts like this: Bert wakes up some random morning, puts on his socks—rightside out, just like you and me—and draws this cartoon:
Which is to say: I (right) have the forehead of Frankenstein’s monster. Colleen (left) has a strange sort of grappling hook for a right hand. And our feet are hideously misshapen. But wait, what the? Is that my hand in Colleen’s pocket? Am I a pickpocket looking for extra change? Or is the only thing about my hand worth defining a stubby 4-point thumb?
If I kid, I do so not just because I love, but also to point out that a master like Bert defines his sketches in the broadest of terms. Later, he—in a radical step forward—refined our headshots to look like this:
A bit plastic, you say? Look more closely. Bert hadn’t yet quite nailed Colleen’s eyes, but just take a gander at that hair. (Rendered on a strand-by-strand basis, I might add.) And, yes, I appear to have an aircraft carrier for a forehead. But wait, I really do have an aircraft carrier for a forehead! Plus, Bert paints my teeth so white, they’d take the enamel off a Crest commercial. And I dare you to look at my fragile strands of chest hair. Painted painstakingly but lovingly against my uranium-enriched florescent skin. Oh yeah, baby, that’s me all right!
Bert promises to send me more soon. In which case, I’ll keep you posted.