Saturday, December 4, 2010

Jay Z and the Illuminati

I got an email from Ioana Veleanu at the Philadelphia Weekly to do this week's cover image. The blurb for their main article was about how some hip hop fans believe that the success of artists like Jay Z and Kanye West is linked to their memberships in the Illuminati- a cabal of the wealthiest people in the world who, according to some, uses the force of their shadowy hand to steer the course of world events. This is actually a thing people believe? This was news to me so naturally I went to the internet for some info. My favorite refute to the theory is that, obviously, Kanye West has too big a mouth for the Illuminati and that if he was a member, the Illuminati-Freemasons-Satanists would have had him killed like Tupac and Michael Jackson. Seriously. Read it here, 9th comment.

I worked up the following sketches, trying to incorporate Masonic imagery and Renaissance mysticism.
Sketches done digitally from pencil thumbnails
We went with Sketch 3, but the article had grown to incorporate black politicians and celebrities, so the art director asked me to remove Kanye West and insert Barack Obama and Oprah.

I've mentioned before that I don't have much experience with celebrity likenesses, so this was kind of a struggle to get the faces to the magazine's approval. It's now available in Philadelphia until next Wednesday. Enjoy!

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