Friday, December 29, 2006
Illustration Friday: Phoenix
My submission for Illustration Friday's "Phoenix" is from a series of illustrations that I created for Celine Dion. In July 2002 I received a call from a fellow that acted as my agent asking me if I was interested in doing some spec work for a possible merchandising deal involving Celine Dion and her upcoming commitment to have an exclusive show at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Celine would have her own gift store at Caesars and I could be on the ground floor of creating art that would go on all of the merchandise, ie calendars, cards, stationary, tees etc. This was not my ultimate dream job but Joe already had an appointment for me to show her lawyer Paul, rough illustrations in 2 days. I was worried because I paint buildings but I pulled an all-nighter and came up with some stuff that I thought she might be attracted to. I tried to think of what I knew of her and I know she likes fashion so I did 4 that were reminiscent of vintage fashion illustrations with her name at the top in the style she used on her album covers. One was with her new little boy and they are outside in a beautiful cove playing together, one was her in an evening gown reclining outside looking up at fireworks and this one. Like a beautiful bird that is starting a new life in this exotic paradise. I did it in white and also in black but I never finished the black version because I ran out of time. I met with the lawyer/agent and he loved my ideas and the work and would present them to Ms. Dion. I don't know how I drove home that day on P.C.H. my eyes kept closing as I wound my way back up the canyon. So all these guys went back and forth, emails flying around and finally I received a simple email that said: "She likes it". That made me soar! Much time passed and I got another call aking me to do a lot more work but it still was not a go and I sensed this could go on and on. I pulled out because I had real paying gigs. Celine Dion opened at Caesars in March 2003 and I have no idea what happened with the merchandise in her gift shop but I still have the email from her lawyer saying she liked it. She rose from a big star to an even bigger star in Vegas and I learned a lot about myself, still able to pull an all-nighter, to not let down the agent and myself and to know when to throw in the towel.