Thu
May 2 2013 3:30pm

All Jacked Up: Creating the Art for “Jack of Coins”

Creating the Art for Jack of Coins Red Nose Studio Christopher Rowe

This winter I was asked by Irene Gallo of Tor Books to illustrate a gritty short story by Christopher Rowe called “Jack of Coins.”

When Irene described the story like this, I was hooked:

The story has a great atmosphere. (The writing is just odd enough to feel unfamiliar but not so much to be distracting or overly self conscious.) A urban dystopian setting. A group of young men without enough to do…And then an oddly dressed stranger comes in to give them some direction.

You can read the story here: “Jack of Coins.”

After reading the story I was obviously drawn to the stranger and his uniform. Part band uniform, part military with a bit of face card thrown in. Here are the sketches I narrowed it down to:

Creating the Art for Jack of Coins Red Nose Studio Christopher Rowe

Creating the Art for Jack of Coins Red Nose Studio Christopher Rowe

Creating the Art for Jack of Coins Red Nose Studio Christopher Rowe

Creating the Art for Jack of Coins Red Nose Studio Christopher Rowe

Creating the Art for Jack of Coins Red Nose Studio Christopher Rowe

Once Irene and I tossed the sketches around and talked about what we felt worked best, the building began.

Here are shots of how the buttons for his jacket were created:

 Creating the Art for Jack of Coins Red Nose Studio Christopher Rowe

Creating the Art for Jack of Coins Red Nose Studio Christopher Rowe

a collection of references for the uniform:

Creating the Art for Jack of Coins Red Nose Studio Christopher Rowe

Creating the Art for Jack of Coins Red Nose Studio Christopher Rowe

Creating the Art for Jack of Coins Red Nose Studio Christopher Rowe

 

Creating the Art for Jack of Coins Red Nose Studio Christopher Rowe

The ArtCraft Theater in Franklin, IN was my inspiration for the theater that needed to be constructed:

Creating the Art for Jack of Coins Red Nose Studio Christopher Rowe

Creating the Art for Jack of Coins Red Nose Studio Christopher Rowe

Creating the Art for Jack of Coins Red Nose Studio Christopher Rowe

Here is the group of “kids” that hang out under the marquee in the story: topping out at about 1″.

Creating the Art for Jack of Coins Red Nose Studio Christopher Rowe

The final:

Creating the Art for Jack of Coins Red Nose Studio Christopher Rowe

Thanks to Irene Gallo for thinking of my work for this project and to Christopher Rowe for the story.


Chris Sickels, the creative force behind award-winning Red Nose Studio, creates an eccentric world we’d all like to visit.

7 comments
ScottEubanks
1. ScottEubanks
The amount of detail is amazing.
ScottEubanks
2. StefanS
Love it. So very clever.
Noneo Yourbusiness
3. Longtimefan
I absolutely love every art based article that Tor presents. I may not comment on them all but I read every one.

From the book cover illustrations to the billboard painting to this wonderful piece on crafting.

These are very wonderful and I really appreciate the effort.

Please post as many more as you like. :)
Irene Gallo
4. Irene
What a great way to end the day! Thanks, Longtimefan.

Scott and Stefan,
Red Nose is amazing. So unique and charming...and just a tad spooky and weird. I love it.
Joseph James
5. wjames1204
When I saw the short story come out yesterday, I thought "Wow, that artwork looks really familiar... Then I realized why. You do the artwork for the Angie's List publication! I'm an employee of Angie's List and work in downtown Indy, so every day I see your artwork as I work (in addition to my membership pub every month).

What's even crazier: when I clicked this article and read through it, I couldn't believe that a photo of the Artcraft Theatre was there. I interned there while going to Franklin College and also wrote my History Seminar thesis about Restoring Historic Theatres in Indiana, including the Artcraft as the central example of how theatre restoration (rather than demolition or negligence) can lead to local, downtown prosperity and revival in a world of such commercialism. I love the Artcraft, not only for the old movies they show (on 35mm film of course) or for the beautiful architecture but also for the mission of Franklin Heritage in restoring it and reviving it.

Great choice of a model theatre, and great work here, Rednose Studio.

And great find, Tor, for selecting Rednose for "Jack of Coins".

Joseph
ScottEubanks
6. RedNose aka Chris
thanks for the high notes. i hesitated to click on the comments, but this time i am glad i did.
Irene, as always its a pleasure to work with you and TOR.
Joseph, glad you picked up on the theater reference, i still have yet to make it to a show at Artcraft, but it is on my list.
cheers
chris
ScottEubanks
7. Spiegel
This is really cool. Thank you for sharing the process.

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