Captain Fantastic blew my nascent teenage mind. I was already in love with Elton’s music, loved his voice, loved his costumes, and I knew many of the lyrics to the songs by heart. When I saw the fantastical themed album art by Alan Aldridge, I knew then and there: this was exactly what I wanted to do, become an illustrator.
When Rolling Stone art director Matthew Cooley inquired whether I would be interested in creating a portrait of Elton for a review of his album "Wonderful Crazy Night", my teenage dream had come full circle. What a crazy wonderful dream.
As proof of my devotion: this is a drawing I did when I was 15; Captain Fantastic inspired by the title song. To my recollection this figure was not intended to look like Elton, after all he’s depicted here without his signature glasses. I wanted to tap into this youthful fan art, and somehow incorporate those funky 70’s starburst rays into the current painting.
The Rocketman revisits his early seventies music on this uptempo album. My idea was to synthesize past and present: a reference to the glitter and feathers from his earlier costumes with his current wardrobe.
I was asked to use a bright colorful palette that would reflect the tone of the album. I infused the imagery with 70's starburst aesthetic, this was so much fun to paint I could have kept adding on more detail. Thank you Matthew, Mark Maltais and Joe Hutchinson for a super fun assignment.
- Jan 5, 2017 Hyakki Yagyo: Night Parade of 100 Demons