Oh boy, what a ride!
In the cold and bleak German winter last year, David Cummings, the showrunner of the NoSleep podcast, brightened my day by commissioning me to draw the illustration for the upcoming NoSleep Live Tour: "SleepLess Live 2018 — Escape the Black Farm".
How can a podcast go on tour, you might ask? Quite well, actually! David and his team, consisting of the vastly talented voice actors and the composer of the music, Brandon Boone, tour the states and do a live reading of the script, accompanied by live music.
Let me show you what I came up with for the design:
Welcome to purgatory
The title of this year's tour is Escape the Black Farm. The story takes place in the Black Farm (duh), invented and concocted by the amazing Elias Witherow.
The first story in this fictional universe, Feed the Pig, became infamous for NoSleep because it is...well...quite gross, gruesome, and mind-numbingly awesome! (seriously, go listen!)
The titular Pig — with a capital P — also stars in the current tour script, so, naturally, I had to do it justice by drawing my interpretation!
Because I knew that the design would feature on merchandise like posters, banners and t-shirts, I had to work with flat colors. Which means I couldn't blend my brush strokes or create gradients, but had to create the illusion of gradients by painting distinct brush strokes over each other.
This is something I didn't do often yet, but I really like the illustrative look it gave the design! Peeps on Twitter even said it looked like a tattoo, which made me do a little, quite unmasculine squeal of joy.
The first order of business was making the Pig look METAL AS ████. It's a demon, after all. The blind eyes and the gross holes in its jaws should do that just fine.
Next, I thought about what the pig might wear as regalia. After all, it's pretty high up in the hierarchy of the farm, so some adornments are in order. I added the big, ugly nail through its skin to indicate a former rite of passage it might have gone through.
The nose piercing, on the other hand...well. It's called a Spiked Nose Ring and it is a cruel practice used in dairy farming in order to prevent the calves nursing on their mother's milk. If you want to know more about it, and can stomach seeing the gruesome conditions of factory farming, here is an article about it.
I thought that the Pig would be just the kind of demon to wear a symbol of animal cruelty as a piece of body jewelry.
After a lot of work doing the illustration (seriously, I poured a lot of hours into this), David sent me the photos of the finished merchandise a few weeks ago, and my heart almost exploded with joy.
Seeing my illustrations out in the real world always makes me incredibly happy.
Sadly, I won't be able to attend this year's tour. It's going to the United States only, and getting there would necessitate a transatlantic flight.
I really hope I can attend the next tour and meet all the delightful people involved in making this project possible!
A big thank you to David Cummings and the whole NoSleep team. I love all you guys!
Until next time, my lovelies,