Okay, to call I Can See Clearly Now a classic rock is a bit of a stretch, I'll admit, but it is a classic Pop
Rock song. Since this is the start of a new year, the song's message of hope and perseverance, makes it an appropriate selection for the first edition of 2017.
Released in 1972, Johnny Nash's I Can See Clearly Now reached number one on the billboard charts and stayed there for four weeks. The lyrics relate the singer's elation after overcoming "obstacles" that have hindered his path to happiness. It's never stated, but I like to imagine that, like a lot of us, the singer was seeking his purpose in life, some answers to why he's here and what he's supposed to be doing. The song isn't about the journey itself, it's about seeing the answer(s) on the not to distant horizon, within grasp.
The song is also credited by some as giving the US population it's first general exposure to reggae music. (http://www.allmusic.com/song/i-can-see-clearly-now-mt0034212200). I never noticed before researching this, but the song does have more than a touch of reggae influence. Numerous references on the internet report Johnny Nash spending an extensive period of time prior to recording I Can See Clearly Now, in Jamaica, where he recorded and wrote songs with a still yet to be famous Bob Marley. He had originally travelled to Jamaica to work in the movie, Take A Giant Step with Burt Lancaster.
Perhaps almost as famous, is the Jimmy Cliff cover version, released 1993 for the John Candy movie, Cool Running, about the Jamaican Olympic bobsled team. Others who covered the song include, Anne Murray, Bobby Goldsboro, Dobie Gray of Drift Away fame (who for some reason, I often confuse with Johnny Nash), Ray Charles, and Richie Havens. Various versions of the song also appear in such films as Grosse Pointe Blank, The Break-up, Thelma & Louise, Antz, and Deep Blue Sea.
So as this first month of the new year starts to disappear, I hope the answers you may be seeking are within your horizon. If they're not, I hope you're on the path to finding them soon. Until next time, I leave you with a link to Johnny Nash singing his hit song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSsqWHtg7Ig
Smooth sailing, and keep on rocking' - Marty
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.