Wil Wheaton, Anne Wheaton and Bonnie Burton were making a bunch of puns and came up with “A Flock of Seagals”. Wil then commissioned Joshua Ellingson (previously) to create wonderful artwork to turn it into a t-shirt that is currently being sold as a one-off design on Cotton Bureau.
This is one of those visual pun jokes that not everyone will get, but the people who get it will *totally* get it, you know?
Josh shared how this project came about as well as the sketches he created for it.
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A couple weeks ago, I got an email from actor/writer Wil Wheaton. He apparently wanted to hire me to make a drawing of Steven Seagal but with a Flock Of Seagulls hairstyle because "Flock Of Seagals". I was on the mend from some sort of bodily infection and was waiting for my ramen soup to arrive as I read and re-read that request on my phone. "Has the infection reached my brain?", I thought. Is Wil Wheaton from the TV asking me to draw Steven Seagal with crazy hair, for real? Yes, it was real and yes, of course I wanted to draw that. All of my work follows a similar process, regardless of the media or client. Swipe through to see some of the steps involved in taking a concept through to a final stage. A) Sketches. This is actually Step 2 because step one is an agreed upon verbal brief. In this case it was "Steven Seagal with a Flock Of Seagulls hair style." The sketches then help solidify that brief. There are questions to address such as: Is it modern heavy-Seagal with his strange hair/glasses/goatee or young, intense, but clean-shaven Seagal? Style is also determined early on. Should it be very cartoony, action-comics naturalism or MAD Magazine style caricature? We agreed that it should be "Under Siege" era mid-90s Seagal in a sort of action-comics style and simplified to help land the visual pun. B) Vector line art. Most of work is inked and colored digitally with Adobe Illustrator. I like working in all kinds of mediums, but Illustrator for client work is great because it's so flexible. It helps to move lines around to better achieve a simplified likeness. This took a while to get right because Steven Seagal is weird looking and it wasn't easy to make it look like Seagal with that particular hair cut. What you see in this image are all the little nodes that make up the black lines in Illustrator. All of those points are moveable, so you can bend and reposition the lines as needed. Which I did, a lot.