Bourbon and the Moon

I am thrilled to have been asked to create the cover photo illustration for the LEO Bourbon Issue! Not only am I connoisseur of the wonderful Kentucky made spirit (for a list of my favorites look lower in the post) but I got to have a lot of fun and creative freedom with this. 

Cover for Leo Weekly Bourbon Issue - March 13, 2013
Cover for Leo Weekly Bourbon Issue - March 13, 2013

As many of you know, I have always enjoyed the aesthetic movements of the late 18 and early 1900s and this illustration embodies everything that I love about that sense of history coupled with modern interpretations. My visual inspiration comes from the old pictures from the 20's women sitting on papier-mâché moon studio props. There are a lot of these images around so interpreting a classical image concept presented in a modern medium struck a cord with me. 

For a great post showcasing some of these historic moon images, visit: Moicani – L’Odeonie

Scroll down from some of the better historic photo examples.

Once I had conceptualized the image and thought about how I would do it I started to think about who my moon woman would be. I not only wanted a woman who would put up with my fussy photo shoots, but also one who embodied a 21st century sense of “modernism”. A woman who no holds barred represented strength, style, and push this beyond a cheesy holiday park souvenir to something that spoke to the strength and grace that I observe in the great women I know.

Woman in the Moon
Bourbon and the Moon - photo illustration sans text

Almost immediately I thought of Alysen Waterson-Davis who is a former member of the roller derby team DCRG, an army accountant, photographer, and mother. The reason I emphasize finding the right person is because I have always seen the model/photographer relationship to be one of collaboration. I have always felt that that was key to having a good photography session. If you can't get in sync with the model or he or she doesn't get the vibe of the narrative the photos are going to be crap. 

I'm very happy with the entire process. Every element of this fell in place and I have gotten great feedback on this cover so I wanted to share a tiny bit on my process and the art of collaboration. Its been a grand time from start to finish, so thanks to the LEO and Alysen for the inspiration.

That Bourbon List:

Truly there are a lot of Kentucky Bourbons, and there are a lot of varieties these days (small batch, single barrel, special age, etc. etc.) The ones listed below are just some of my favorites of what I've had recently. Give them a try if you get a chance.

  • Black Maple Hill - super delicious, peppery and rich - very small batch currently out of stock everywhere I've checked but if it comes back around Get Some! and then invite me over.
  • Bulleit 10-year - nice oak and slight spicy vanilla taste - this are smaller batch too but you can find them. Their regular verity, simply called Bulleit, is quite wonderful too - spicy rye ultra smooth
  • Elijah Craig 12-year - slightly more floral than the previous - easy to find and affordable!
  • Other delicious bourbons:  Blanton's Single Barrel, Four Roses Small Batch, Booker's, Knob Creek, and Pappy VanWinkle if you can find/afford it.