Utne Reader Illustrated: Brett Affrunti

| 7/1/2011 10:45:39 AM

Jelly Roll Final

In this continuing series, Utne Reader Art Director Stephanie Glaros explains the process behind an Utne Reader illustration.  

One of the fun things about being an art director is all the awesome mail I receive. My inbox is overflowing with postcards from artists vying for my attention. Note to illustrators: a handwritten message works wonders. I tack my favorites to a bulletin board that serves as visual stimuli when I contemplate what to do for art. When I was thinking about how to illustrate the story “Jelly Roll’s Storyville,” I perused my wall of postcards, and came across one from Brett Affrunti that had exactly the vintage feel I was looking for. I referred to this image (below, left) when I contacted Brett, and asked him to create something “narrative/realistic” in his vintage style that portrays “Lomax as sort of a music geek, and Morton as the flashy-dressing musician” being interviewed. Brett did a lot of research for this piece, not only about the two men, but also the Coolidge Auditorium, and the disc recorders Lomax actually used for the interview. His sketches reflect his research, and the final piece turned out even better than I imagined. 

 Affrunti Sketches 

Since its inception in 1984, Utne Reader has relied on talented artists to create original images for stories that express powerful emotions, brilliant new ideas, and humorous storytelling. Browsing through back issues of Utne Reader is like a tour of “Who’s Who” in the illustration world. Artists like Gary Baseman, Brad Holland, Anita Kunz, Bill Plympton, and Seymour Chwast have graced our pages over the years, to name just a few. 

Ben Austin
7/6/2011 11:31:24 PM

In the 18s in Europe as well as in our fledgling country a man skilled at mami vegetabking or a barrelinortant person. Many goods were shipped and stored in barrels in barrels (also called c'Sauers would be pac' think in termstained in a as a of wine or whiskey when we think of the things all sorts of foods w'length of time wouldel. But,tkrkegs or aught was fermented and stored in them. Fish, mealikely to be con eggs and someransported in tere stored a hem. Moasks, t'any item that could be stored fortunes, hogsheads deep be stored in a barrel to keep out verles werein tis was an impked in them among layers of straw to keep them cooler as well as to keebarrending on the area of the world and the size of the container). Dried and salted then stored a Wee oft'n. Fragile items such "p" them from breaking, act as a large mixing bowl he containers could more easily be made waterproof. Modifie Barrels were great -- they could be rolled down ship gangplanks; have wheels and handles at'ae worked. Oak was the preferred watched to them s'for any number of reasons. They were made of any tree that casks as the grain is fine and to a man could cart them about; be strapped onto a pack animal; be strapped together to float behind a raft down a river. One could bood for wine and whiskey could bury them in a stream or cool earth as refrigerating units. They have been cut in half to feed or water stock, make a cradle for a child, ord, they become butter churns, buckets and wash tubs.

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