Out of the BLUE, several months ago I was approached by a basketball player to work on a special project with him. He had seen my sports art online and wanted to collaborate on something unique (though not the first time working with a pro athlete or team, it was the first time a player sought me out to start a major project). Needless to say, this was an absolute blessing. It was stop and go for a few months with communication (given the travel schedule of NBA teams), but we made due and made it work.
The project was full of twists and turns and different incarnations of the character as well as add-ons of additional characters. But it was all love and all came together better than planned, in spite working at a massive scale, with new and some experimental materials.
The final piece would stand over 5′ tall and be painted on a solid panel of Maple. The black Step Floater frame would add to it’s standing height even more. The bulk of the painting was mostly in acrylics, and trying out new inks, pens, and gold leafing proved challenging, but well worth the gamble. As well as sneaking in as many “easter eggs” or hidden references to the player, team, and his family as possible (I always love taking things to the next level and spending the time on details that make the piece that much more interesting and personal for the client).
Shipping presented it’s own shopping lists of problems from crating vs boxing, UPS vs Fedex, and insurance and freight charges which made it all very… well, interesting. But it got where it needed to go (Texas), and got alllllllllllllllllll the way there safely. Thank God!
And God was nowhere near done; in the middle of this project another player’s manager reach out to me (out of the blue again) about doing a special project with him. This time a star player for a little local team that rhymes with “The Breakers”… but more on that some other time.
Now that this “IRON MAN” piece is in the care of the illustrious client, I could now, finally, share with all of you what’s been going on behind the scenes for the past few months now.
Here is a “Making Of” video I put together documenting some of the highlights of working with Wes Matthews and bringing his Iron Man to life! I hope you enjoy it (side note: for all of you 80’s geeks I wonder if you’ll be able to spot the different scores and tracks I mixed and remixed to give it this 80’s-retro-digital vibe.)