Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sketchbook Sunday - dispatches from Sin City

This week the Fabulous Illustrator visited las Vegas for the first time. It was a business trip and yes, I did sleep and no, I did not incure any mob gambling debts. I'd heard it described as a "Disneyland for adults" and I'd have to agree, not only for the anything goes mentality but also for the sheer volume of manufactured reality. I walked through miles of hotel and casino with false sunrises, airbrushed clouds, and engineered rivers. The last night was the best night I had to draw and I wandered through two casinos pausing to sketch and watch. For a place that is basically not a city, there was quite a bit of restless energy. Everywhere, people had somewhere else to be; either a show to get to, dinner, a better section of slots, and most of them were on their cell phones.

I was trying to capture the true ostentatiousness of the place with sketch of a child and her father in a hallway of boutiques.

While the adults had other places to be, the few children I saw were dwarfed by the size of the architecture and didn't seem to understand why they couldn't stop and look at everything. This little girl is actually a composite of all the kids I watched trying to climb in one of the fountains in Caesar's Palace. The giant stone figures, pouring a waterfall over her head, cast disapproving looks at the children below but this didn't stop every parent I saw from pausing by the fountain to take a picture and then holler when the subject attempted to climb the sides.

I drew this poster sketch on the plane ride home. Maybe I'll do it in the same style as the 1930's WPA posters I mentioned in this post.

Finally back home over the weekend, I got to relax again and do a little planting. Also on the plane ride, I'd read an article about the continuing demise of the printed word in favor of iPads and whatnot. I couldn't help but think that if I were teaching the Sprout and Fry how to do a garden, I'd much rather drag a $15.99 book out into the dirt than a $500 iPad.

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