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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Silence of Eggs

A while back I was contacted by Sagoma Editore to do the cover and back cover for their upcoming book "The Silence of Eggs" or "Il Silenzio Dell'uovo" for those of you in Italy.  I received a brief, in awesome broken English, describing a fictional biography of a 19th century poet obsessed with the silence of things. They wanted to push the bizarrely humorous nature of a person stubbornly preoccupied with an egg's silence... as if the egg was holding out on the poet and the poet wasn't buying it. Oh, and another goal was to have the feel of high class literature. But,  you know... with an quiet egg.

I sent a couple ideas to see if I was in the ballpark of what they were looking for and quickly found out they really had no clue what they were looking for. Through a series of some of the most baffling art direction I've ever received, I produced a number of very loose sketches. 
The interrogation chair and the duct tape make me stupidly happy.
Of course they picked the only one I was sure they would not.
So... I was to paint an egg for the front cover, with a monochromatic background. Before I could moan about the mind-numbing boredom of such a choice, the client sent a request for the back cover. He wanted the same egg, but now crushed by a frustrated poet's fist. Somehow, without knowing it, they asked me to create a rollover like I'd done many times before.
Of course, just the right flavor of angry/desperate/insane took a couple tries to nail down.
And despite all the struggle I'm pretty satisfied with the final. Maybe it's my narcissism since that poet is basically me with a mustache.



pw! said...

eggs are deceivingly hard to draw! when my grandfather was losing his eyesight in the hospital, they were bringing him a hard boiled egg for lunch. i have them framed in our kitchen, but they are the most perfect eggs you've ever seen from a man going blind rapidly.

great art as always Scott, and great post to read

Scott Brundage said...

Thanks, dude! It's silly that something so common would be as notoriously difficult to draw. It's probably that familiarity that makes errors jump out.

Thanks for the kind words.

Val said...

Weird! And now of course, I'm curious to read about silent eggs...

Love the back cover..!

Renzo Butazzi said...

I have been happily flattered by the interest your post is spreading on "Il silenzio dell'uovo", while its main character, the poet Torquato Gazzilloro, is very proud to learn that you feel
he is basically you with a mustache.
Thanks again for your work.
The Author