Friday, February 12, 2010

Torii Hunter

Torii Hunter of the Los Angeles Angels:

The image shows a strong and stable Hunter rising from a bad neighborhood with boarded up houses. Angel Stadium is seen flanking both sides of Hunter as if forming wings. Symbolically, the wings represent his ability to rise above the challenge of his childhood dealing with drugs, guns, and gangs. He is seen holding the ball and taking control of the situation by focusing on baseball and leading a good life. The baseball field diagram is seen as an additional layer of information weaving the image and color together. Home plate is located in the house from which Hunter springs. Second base is located on his nose and the baseball represents the pitcher's mound. First and Third base can be found on the facing of the stands where advertisements and info is displayed during the games.

Carl Crawford

Carl Crawford of the Tampa Bay Rays:

The image depicts Crawford rounding the bases through the streets of Houston (his hometown). Symbolically, he is headed home. Part of the Houston skyline is visible in the background and the city features begin to blend into the Tropicana Field architecture. The domed stadium's catwalks are represented with the telephone/utility wires and the bridge delineates some features seen in the stands. Alluding to a common childhood activity, he is seen splashing through a puddle. Making these portraits fun for children is a goal of this project, so this part hopefully accomplishes that a little bit. It also creates activity and sparkle in the lower half of the image.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

This will be an ongoing documentation of the development process for my master's thesis.

Baseball has seen a dramatic decline in the number of African American players over the past few decades. Once numbering nearly 30% of the baseball population, the current black population in Major League Baseball is down to 10.4% as of April 2009. Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) is a program that works to keep inner city youth off the streets and introduce them to the excitement and virtues of baseball. What began as a program to develop a neglected resource of talent also sought to teach the children the value of an education. The appeal must be made to this next generation of players to make baseball relevant once again. I will be producing 8 portrait illustrations that strive to highlight the heroic and active qualities of baseball. These images will have the goal of fashioning stronger icons from current MLB stars like Torii Hunter, CC Sabathia, Jimmy Rollins, and Ryan Howard etc. The illustrations will be used as posters to promote baseball, little league, RBI, and the positive impact baseball can have on a child's everyday life. Rather than using a stock player photo that captures a split second of the action, these paintings can offer more dynamic attention to the sights, sounds and emotions of the game or conceptual ties to the player's life. These posters should excite, inspire awe and stir an emotion within the viewer. While not expecting these images to change the world, I hope for the youth audience to connect with them in some way. Whether or not they would want to hang the posters up in their room, I would consider it a success if they realized that there are other avenues to pursue and people like them who have blazed the trail. Baseball can become a cultural touchstone as it was in the past, but the marketing needs to make it relevant to today's easily distracted youth.