Peter Lloyd, Bob Hickson, and Ed Scarisbrick were helping me learn the tricks of illustration (I never went to art school), and by this time I had my own airbrush and compressor and all the paraphernalia that goes with it. I couldn't illustrate, but what the hell. This was my first illustration on illustration board, but I stuck with acrylics rather than use inks. Inks are much easier to handle (acrylics through an airbrush are a pain in the ass), but inks are fugitive, and don't last.
I still didn't know what I was doing with this illustration, and didn't completely understand how to render shiny metal, or brushed metal, but I had a go with this one, anyway. As with Robin's other album titles, this one suggested New York: park benches, and 30's skyscrapers. I fooled around with the park bench slat shapes and realized that two bench "backs" facing each other would make a butterfly's wings...a nice contrast to the city thing. They also reminded me of freeway offramps and flyovers. I've always loved the majestic redwoods and wanted to put Mt. Fuji into one of my illustrations, so this one got 'em both!
Ed and Bob had just taught me how to render chrome spheres, and I was hot to get those in there as well...they seemed to work, so in they went. Was there anything else? Yes, there was: I wanted some of my dimensional trickery in there, so I layered the outer border, which helps draw you into the center of the image and makes it look dimensional.
Robin and his wife Andrea were staying at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego and Robin called up and said, "Paul, how's the artwork, coming? I want to see it!" Robin said he would arrange a pickup. The next morning there was a knock on my door, and a guy in uniform said, "Mr. Olsen?" I nodded. "Come this way, please...oh! and bring the artwork."
I grabbed the artwork and stepped out into my little courtyard which was filled with a stretch limo. This would be a nice, a long cruise to SD in this baby...but instead we ended up at LAX and I was put on a plane, picked up by limo driver #2 in SD and whisked to Robin's suite. He answered the door laughing and said, "Have a nice trip?"
I answered, "I'm gonna have to walk home, huh?"
Robin quipped, "Paul! You ruined my surprise!"
When I got back, Donna, my lovely girlfriend at the time, said, "Paul, you really put sex into your work, don't you?"
She looked at me like I was a total idiot and said, "Just LOOK AT IT!!"
Aren't women wonderful??