Soccer Fence, by Phil Bildner, illustrated by some punk I see in the mirror from time to time, is just about finished! All that remains is the cover art and then that baby can fly. A year ago I was having model shoots and working on rough sketches. It does not feel like time flew by, this time. It feels like a year. A very good year, but a long year, filled with hard work. It is too soon for me to be able to appreciate the art too much, being so close to it and all. But that will pass soon, once it is out of my daily life. And like other art projects, it will transform in my eyes as time passes. I found this out recently by looking at one piece, in particular, from I AND I, my book with Tony Medina about Bob Marley.
I found a statement embedded into the art that I never knew I was making until now. I do not recall intending this to happen, but years later, I was able to finally see what I had done in this piece. Fresh eyes.
When I was in Jamaica with my wifey, we were told about the Shame Plant, or Shame Old Lady plant (Mimosa pudica). In some cultures it is called a Shameful Plant, because it hides itself when touched. But according to one Jamaican man we spoke with, it is named this because when the slaves in days past would try to escape, they would pass by these plants which would then fold up, leaving a trail that was easy to follow. What a heartbreaking thought...nature itself turning traitor on you.
I decided to include the Shame Plant in this image of a young Bob Marley. The similarity of the plant and his young hand, open and not folding in, were decisions that I guess I made at the time but now I can appreciate the deeper concepts more than I ever did then.
Here is a peek one of the final spreads from Soccer Fence.