Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Gambling in the Locker Room
Just finished a drawing for ESPN The Magazine about the astonishingly pervasive practice of gambling in professional athletic locker rooms. A recent gambling altercation that lead to Washington Wizards superstar Gilbert Arenas bringing multiple guns into the locker room to frighten a third-stringer indicate the extreme stakes of these wagers. Superstars have been known to lose hundreds and even tens of thousands of dollars on a single game of dominos, pool and the bet-inducing card games like "Hit the Post." In this insidious betting game, when you lose, you don't just pay in your share but match the whole pot on the table.
Perhaps this visual idea seems obvious (or inevitable), but using the look and palate of Vegas was an exciting solution to explore in my sketches. I barely had 5 days for this, so I didn't have much time to look around for other ideas. The scope of the drawing would take a majority of the time. So I was eager to get started on something.
I sent a super rough idea for a quick "you're on the right track" approval. I wouldn't want to spend 6 hours solving this drawing if they hated the idea of a vegas locker-room.
Once they signed off on the concept, I had to add some new player likenesses and adjust the layout accordingly. And they took out my favorite part, that the devil was dealing the cards. All the players are specific likenesses, though none anyone would really recognize.
The final art was executed in about 36 hours (not ideal)- which did allow time for a rough color study, above (which I ended up mostly ignoring). I rarely get a chance to use a garish high-saturation palate- so I went all out. Perhaps too far out. The drawing will run across the top of a magazine spread, and their format is a big larger than most magazine- a full 10 inches wide. The full drawing will be seen at about 20 inches long. A few details below.