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Friday, January 7, 2011


This was a full page illustration for XXL Magazine.  It was for an article that talked about the history of the Illuminati in American culture and Hip-Hop.  Where it originates from?  How does it allegedly play a role in American society?  When did it become a factor in hip hop.  In 1996, Tupac released his album Killuminati dispelling the many rumors of the Illuminati that existed in Hip Hop.

This illustration went through quite a few revisions.  Below are the first three sketches I submitted.
Kanye West is known for gesturing the Illuminati symbol with his hands so I wanted to show him spying on Tupac. 

I was shooting for a comic book cover look in my second sketch. The white owl is usually associated with the Illuminati cult and the Cyclops is representing the seeing eye generally found on the pyramid.

The third sketch was supposed to be an alternate cover of Tupac's Killuminati album.

The first sketch was the direction the editors wanted to go but I was asked to do further tweaking based on that approach.

I tried to toss out a few ideas I had floating in my head, but the fourth idea was definitely my favorite. I really wanted to do a more painterly approach for this illustration and a completely different composition. 

I also did a value study of the last sketch to push this idea. Luckily the art director felt the same about this drawing and I was asked to do more tweaking of the image. The editors felt I should make the main figure Tupac since there's mention of him in the article, especially the release of Killuminati.

I initially added some plants around the figure to suggest fear and isolation but was asked to change it to flames as they appear in most illuminati images above and around the pyramid. 

Thanks again to Paul for this great assignment and HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all!

Thanks for reading guys, 

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