“Hot town, summer in the city,
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty.
Been down, isn’t it a pity,
Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city.
All around, people looking half-dead,
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head…”
-The Lovin’ Spoonful
So… I got carried away with effects again! But this time I’m really happy about it because it got my wheels spinning.
This image started out as a photograph that my son took some time ago. He borrowed my camera when he went hiking because he was trying to learn a little about photography.
He is now out of state, but I found the images he shot when I reclaimed my camera from his storage space. It was so funny to look at them because the things that he photographed were the same exact things that I would’ve shot if I had been there. Maybe the things that our eyes favor runs in our genes or something.
Anyway, the bench in the photo is an actual bench that you would come upon if you hiked to the top of a particular trail around Burbank or L.A. here. Don’t ask me where because I don’t think I’ve been there and if I have I’ve certainly never made it to the top. Ha-ha! Here’s a copy of the original just for kicks…
I did a little blurring to the background of the photograph and then created the sun worshipper in Illustrator. It was still pretty boring, so I ran it through a Photoshop app on my iPhone and found an urban-like overlay.
What’s funny is that once it was finished it reminded me of how it used to feel when my friends and I would lounge in the sun in our backyards (or sometimes front yards or even a back alley or two when we were desperate).
When you grow up in the city (even if it was a little more like suburbia back in the day), you never really know what you’re missing until you experience raw nature. And once you do that – come to understand what the “natural” world is really like – it’s pretty damn hard to go back to things like backyard sun bathing.
So this artwork actually takes me back. Put a cocktail in her hand, and a Cosmopolitan magazine on her lap, and that woman is me in the 70s or 80s. Ha! Worshipping the sun gods in my luxurious lounge chair with a spectacular view that overlooks… well… more concrete.
Anyway, it was fun to be reminded of those days… a little nostalgia, you know? It wasn’t really that bad, and – at the time – it was all I really knew. I like that the bench looks the same because hikers who are familiar with the spot could actually recognize it.
I appreciate that the girl was actually illustrated too, because it gives her that “fake” look… like she’s had a few too many plastic surgeries. It’s “summer in the city” for sure. Maybe even Hollywood.
So… that’s about all for now. I’m going to work on something dreamy next… something a little more natural. Maybe another beach scene.
In the meantime… thanks for reading / viewing. I hope you enjoyed!