It can be argued that some of our fondest childhood memories leave a lasting impression for the rest of our lives. Such is the case with "Do You Hear What I Hear?", one of my all time favorite Christmas songs.
Back in the 1960s, variety shows were very popular on TV. Carol Burnett, Dean Martin, Flip Wilson and Glen Campbell hosted some of the most popular versions of this now non existent TV show format. The favorite variety show in my parents house, though, was The Andy Williams Show, and it was on this show that I first heard Do You Hear What I Hear. 30 seconds into Andy's version is all it took to make me fall in love with his version. Andy Williams iconic ,calm, soothing tone, dramatically rises, combined with the choir acting as the sound of wind, and heralds the rise of the bright night star that signals the birth of Christ in Bethlehem.
Written by Noël Regney and Gloria Shayne Baker in 1962, "Do You Hear What I Hear" was a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis. According to a 2008 Los Angeles Times article about the death of Gloria Shayne Baker, who composed the music, Noel Regney wrote the lyrics "Said the night wind to the little lamb, Do you see what I see ?" and "Pray for peace people everywhere" after watching infants being rolled in strollers by their parents, on the streets of New York. Baker is quoted as saying "Noel wrote a beautiful song," Baker told an interviewer years later, "and I wrote the music. We couldn't sing it, though. . . . Our little song broke us up. You must realize there was a threat of nuclear war at the time."
Released shortly after Thanksgiving in time for the Christmas season in 1962, the song was originally recorded by the Harry Simeone Chorale, but it was Bing Crosby's version in 1963 that catapulted the song into popular Christmas radio rotation. Since then, the song has been covered by legendary recording artists, both old and new, as Perry Como, Jim Nabors, Ann Murray, The Carpenters, Patti LaBelle, Martina McBride, and even Bob Dylan on his 2009 Christmas album, and as a duet between Rosie O'Donnell and Sesame Street's Elmo.
I created this in ProCreate on my iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil. I took the opportunity to play with some new brushes and techniques. I learned a little of what to do and what not to do. I tried to capture the essence of the song's lyrics, which in my opinion are very descriptive. I'm reminded alot of the animated Christmas classic, The Little Drummer Boy by this song. http://christmas-specials.wikia.com/wiki/The_Little_Drummer_Boy
With that said, I hope you've enjoyed this latest edition of my blog. I also hope this Christmas season finds you and your's healthy and happy. Merry Christmas everyone.
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.