A Designed tribute: Gord Downie
I have been a massive Tragically Hip fan for YEARS. So, like many in Canada, hearing of the awful news that the Canadian icon was diagnose with glioblastoma (an aggressive and incurable form of brain cancer).. I was absolutely devastated.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to the even attend the last final tour. The downside to living in PEI: we were broke and couldn’t afford a plane ticket, hotel and concert ticket. I am still kicking myself for not trying to make it work. But watching the concert in Victoria Park, PEI was still wonderful for my heart. But I digress…
I have been wanting to do this project even before his diagnosis. Yet I am glad I put it off. This process was almost cathartic. I blasted all my favourite tragically hip songs, had some wine and remembered all the memories I have attached to each song.
I am a big baby, so of course there was some tears.
SOOO many pictures to choose from on Google. Originally I had wanted to use the photos taken with him wearing the infamous JAWS t-shirt from the Ontario show. But I wanted to keep it simple.
Before scanning into the computer!
I got to sketching and figuring out where all the shapes needed to be formed. I knew I wanted more of a abstract approach- yet still at first glance you could tell it was Gord.
From Paper to Computer
With the scanned image in my Adobe Illustrator all ready to go, I started to prep my colors. I do this every time before a art project (unless I am directly color picking from the image). Staying on brand- I selected my brand colors mixed with other pastels.
I also got together a few of my favourite songs with the tragically hips most popular songs. It was important to me to include this, I think everyone has a story attached to his songs.
The complete vector tracing took about an hour and a half. Here is a time lapse of this process:
The Final Result
I am pretty happy with this piece! I plan on printing and framing this for my stairway (she is looking a little plain).
I was also considering selling a print or download to print at home for this piece. With a large chunk of the proceeds going to Gords’ fund for support and reconciliation for the indigenous peoples of Canada (The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund).
(Side note: If you haven’t listened to Secret Path, you need to.. NOW)
Do you want a copy – should I put this up for sale? Let me know 🙂
“ No dress rehearsal, this is our life”