Recorded almost 41 years ago to the day, (4th of July 1976), Tom Petty's "American Girl" was one of three singles off of Tom Petty and The Heartbreaker's first album, the other two being "Breakdown" and "I Need To Know." While it never charted during it's initial release, it has become a rock staple on FM stations in the time since.
Tom Petty's sound over the past few decades is usually likened to Bob Dylan's, but his early records bore a sound more similar to Roger McGuinn and the Byrds. Not only is this evident in the guitar work of American Girl, but you can also hear the band using a Bo Diddley beat as it's base. ("When Petty and the Heartbreakers recorded “American Girl,” Petty told his bandmates to go for a “Bo Diddley” sound, recalled Stan Lynch, the Heartbreakers drummer at the time." - http://www.gainesville.com/news/20080602/rock-pioneer-bo-diddley-dies)
American Girl holds a place in Rock and Roll Urban myth lore, as being about the suicide of a female co-ed who lept to her death from her dorm room balcony at the University of Florida. Local geography and similar song lyrics may have led creedence to that, but the myth has been quickly discounted by both Tom Petty, and the school on numerous occasions. "Urban legend. It's become a huge urban myth down in Florida. That's just not at all true. The song has nothing to do with that. But that story really gets around... They've really got the whole story. I've even seen magazine articles about that story. 'Is it true or isn't it true?' They could have just called me and found out it wasn't true." - Tom Petty. - (Zollo, Paul. Conversations with Tom Petty (2005) p.195-196) & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Girl_(Tom_Petty_song)
Switching gears, this was created entirely in Adobe Illustrator. I purposefully took a more thoughtful approach to the color palette then I usually do. I tried to use colors that by definition were more complimentary to each other instead what I instinctively felt would look good. The halftones were a set of vectors I purchased from Go Media (http://arsenal.gomedia.us/shop/vectors/abstract-halftones-vector-pack/). The font I used for the text is called Glamour Brush Regular, which can be found here (https://creativemarket.com/Cultivatedmind)
I hope you enjoyed this month's design and little history lesson. I'm always looking for new classic songs with descriptive lyrics to interpret in my style. I've gotten a few suggestions, such as T.Rex's Bang A Gong, and Dr. Hook songs in general... (Cover of the Rolling Stone would be real fun), but please keep them coming. Tell me what you'd like to see.
Thanks for being here. Until next time, "Take it easy baby, make it last all night".
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.