Recorded by the legendary Howlin' Wolf ( aka Chester Burnett) in 1956 on Chess Records, "Smokestack Lightning" is an early rock/blues classic. Howlin' Wolf said his inspiration to write the song came from watching trains in the night: "We used to sit out in the country and see the trains go by, watch the sparks come out of the smokestack. That was smokestack lightning."
The musicians joining Howlin' Wolf on Smokestack Lightning, included guitarists Willie Johnson, Hubert Sumlin, bassist Willie Dixon, and drummer Earl Phillips. While perhaps "unknown" at time of the recording, the revered status of these musicians, in todays musical circles, would certainly grant this lineup the status of Super Group.
Sparse on meaningful lyrics, Smokestack Lightning is more recognized for it's animalistic, primal tone and flavor. Whether it is mournful, passionate, aggressive or predatory is for each listener to decide. The song, along with several other blues standards, would become a performance staple in the early careers of English Blues bands, and would end up in the catalogs of a who's who of rock-n-roll, including The Animals, The Yardbirds, George Thorogood, and Aerosmith.
Smokestack Lightning's status as an iconic and influentional song is cemented by it's inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame list of the "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll" and in 2009, it was selected for permanent preservation in the National Recording Registry of the U.S.Library of Congress. - courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smokestack_Lightning
I'm continuing to flex and discover my Photoshop muscles. I'm still infatuated by the "watercolor" effect I see alot of my fellow artists use online. There's an excitement in "playing" and experimenting with Photoshop's various tools and settings, that I'm not familiar with. For now, it's fun for me to have a general direction I want to take a design, and try to find the tools that will help me get there. It's even more fun when I tool I'm using, helps me find a new direction that I enjoy even more.
The original sketch for this was created on my iPad using ArtRage. Once I had a good sense for what I wanted, I imported that into Adobe Illustrator, where I created just the black line art. That in turn, was imported into Photoshop, where all the color work was done.
I hope you like. Please feel free to comment, and if you have a music, art fan in your life, that you feel may enjoy this, please share.... even better, ask them to subscribe to the newsletter... who know, it'll give you something to talk about after you both get a chance to look it over.
Thanks again for stopping by. I really appreciate it.
The Martytoon Newsletter
The Thoughts, Designs & Process of Marty Qatani aka MartyToons.
Hi and welcome to the first blog post / newsletter of the all new revamped MartyToons website. Where to start ? I suppose a quick intro is in order for those of you who may be unfamiliar with me and what I do. I'm a cartoonist / character designer/ humorous illustrator. That sounds like a lengthy title, but none of those by themselves seems appropriate enough by themselves to describe what I do.
If I call myself a cartoonist, people tend to think I create a comic strip.... not true. If I call myself just a character designer, it seems a little limiting to me. I like to think I do a little bit more... make people think... wake people up, help someone remember a happy thought.... maybe even put a smile on people's faces.... hopefully. Calling myself just a humorous illustrator, just doesn't seem to have any "punch", "pizzazz", "sparkle"... you get the picture. I do like the sound of "Creator of Visual Enhancements for Artistically Challenged and Cartooning Impaired." It has a pretty cool ring to me, but it's a little hard to fit on a business card and still look cool.
What can you expect here ? How's a little doodle sound ? A little peek into what goes on in my working process and maybe even in my thought process ? That's my plan... I hope you enjoy. So let me dig into my archive, maybe shed a little light on happened and then invite you to comment. Sounds good ? Good... then lets get to it.
This is an early sketch of one of my favorite designs I'm working on. It's inspired by one of my favorite music artists, Cat Stevens, who know goes by the name of Yusuf Islam https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_Stevens . Check him out if you get the chance and are a fan of 70's "Soft" Rock, and especially if you're a fan of songs about being positive, hopefullness, and becoming a little wiser.
Music is playing more and more a part in my designs. I love many styles of music and I always have it playing in my studio while I'm creating. Alot of times I let the music direct what I'm going to sketch when I intentionally sit down to sketch, sometimes I'm not planning on sketching at all, but I hear a song and an image will just pop into my head, and I have to get it down on paper. I believe that's what happened here, but to be honest, I came up with this sketch several years ago, and I can't remember the exact circumstances that gave birth to this.
So there you have it. I hope you enjoy it. Got any questions ? Feel free to comment below.