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Erykah Badu Process


A few weeks ago I was lucky enough get a call from Vibe Magazine to work on a portrait of Erykah Badu. Now, I’ve done a fairly large amount of portraiture over my career (don’t get me wrong, I’m no Philipe Burke or Steve Brodner) — but this one was a surprise — seldom do I get the chance to illustrate someone … well……… pretty (perhaps for obvious reasons).

Putting my penchant for wrinkles and sly-looking eyes aside, which is what happens when you draw too many politicians — I dove into this collaboration all excited like! As you can see, the roughs went a bit all over the map, but I was happy to give a solid collection of options, ranging from ‘classic portrait’ (chosen for the final) to semi-cubist to imagery inside her silhouetted body.

Plenty to see below, or check out the final Erykah Badu illustration


This first one is likely my favourite option… that said, the final was totally fun.



Above is the version taken to final.



This last idea was adapted from earlier process work for The Oxford American on the essay “Harpy”


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