Wednesday, April 9, 2014

David Stone Martin, Artist

By far one of The Leopard's biggest influences is the remarkable illustrator David Stone Martin. Even if you don't know his name, you've probably seen his work on hundreds of album covers, most notably Billie Holiday's early LPs and and many other beautiful drawings and paintings created for jazz impresario Norman Granz's various record labels.

Martin's medium of choice was crowquill pen and ink, where he cultivated a rough, distinctive line, not wholly unlike his primary influence, the brilliant political artist Ben Shahn.

Martin's also created art for children's books and advertisements, but it was his jazz art that made te biggest impression on me. When I was given the opportunity to create covers for jazz bassist Christian McBride's LP covers, my mind went directly to Martin's wonderful work. 
Although I didn't want to directly emulate him, I tried to create a feeling similar to his.
I don't know if I ever got close to achieving it, but I'm was happy to even be able to try.

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