blogAstro Jetson

August 09, 2014
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A Sawyerfresh take on a classic cartoon character.

The second show at BlueLucy Ybor is just around the corner and I just wrapped up my piece. For the Toons show, 53 artists are creating works based on selected cartoons.

I chose The Jetsons to base my piece on. It was a tough choice, but there is something I just adore about that era of design and culture. I have always been drawn to Atomic/Space Age design of the mid-20th century. It is clean, from color combinations to lines. Now, there were a number of cartoons from the same era, but the futuristic storyline of The Jetsons would let me play around with the Space Age look, literally. I not only took into account the aesthetic of the time, I also considered the cultural climate that sort of fueled the design period. The composition itself is loosely based on Soviet cosmonaut propaganda posters from the 1950’s and 60’s. No matter how I personally feel about tactics used during the race for space, the posters are undeniably good. Controversy over Soviets sending dogs to space was also another reason why I chose Astro over any of the other characters.

This version of Astro is based on the 9th episode in the original series, which only lasted a single season, from 1962-1963. The 62 in the upper right corner is a reference to the original airing date of the episode. In the episode, Astro is the spacedog sidekick on Elroy’s TV show. The bubble space helmet is part of his TV sidekick costume. I chose to depict Astro as a more detailed, less cartoony version for two reasons…

1) Hanna-Barbara did a fabulous job. No need to reproduce what they already perfected.

2) Influenced by #1, I wanted to see what a Sawyerfresh version of one of my favorite cartoons would look like.

Toons opens 8.23.14, 7-11, at the BlueLucy Ybor gallery.

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