A friend of mine, Al came to me one day. He said to me he said, “Jason, I dig your work, particularly your Sesame Street quad-tych series. I’d like for you to paint me a Zelda-inspired piece.” That’s right, Zelda. As in Nintendo, Link, Princess Zelda, oh my! I said that that would be awesome, brochacho. Well, one day, he actually showed up with a blank canvas, literally. To that I said that indeed, it was on. Al said I could do whatever I wanted, as long as it had to do with the world of Zelda, or Hyrule, if you like, the world with which The Legend of Zelda takes place.
Tis’ true, I wasn’t given a direction with which to go, but after much soul-searching, I knew what I had to do. Drew Struzan is a favorite illustrator of mine, you see. The Michelangelo you might say, perhaps the Michael Jordan, or dare I say, Davey Crockett of movie poster-lore-dom… Okay, not sure that makes sense there… Struzan’s poster art is the stuff of legend: Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Back To The Future, Harry Potter, freaking Goonies! If I were to compose this painting not unlike a Struzan poster, I could have characters that were re-sized & out of context next to each other as long as it fit my design! What awesome creative, artist license!
With that as a foundation, I placed Link in a dark forest, back-lit by rays of light (doubling as the iconic Triforce winged figure) peaking through the thicket, which helps unify the piece.
I was also inspired by Los Angeles-based artist El Mac, whose art can be seen on the streets of LA. El Mac art is known to depict large-scale faces, whose skin amazingly & realistically seem to reflect vibrant blue and red lights coming presumably from some place nearby. I realized that the artistic skills & technique of these painters are most excellent, & that modeling the Zelda painting after their work is a very ambitious & lofty goal indeed. But I felt that the concept could work, with what I had in mind.
I tried to jam-pack this painting with Zelda iconography, without making the composition too busy. You got Navi, Link’s fairy companion, Princess Zelda of course, wracked with emotion, your Fire Keese, Deku Flying Scrub, about to shoot his Deku nut, formerly hidden in a patch of Deku flowers, a hungry Deku Baba plant, all within the Deku, or perhaps Kokiri Forest. Link sports his lesser known, Deku Shield, and Kokiri Sword.
Finally, I strategically placed iridescent glitter in areas where I wanted to give off more shine. But after I poured the epoxy resin, that all went to crap as the glitter readjusted.
Now I am ready to present Al with this finished piece. And with that, that fool owes me some money! 😉