I have an illustration in Tuesday’s Science section of The New York Times (2/13/06). The story was written by a Parkinson’s patient, who suffers from “audio illusions” as a side effect of his medication (or perhaps just because of the Parkinson’s). A woman laughing too loud in a restaurant is transformed into a neighing horse, and a man with a booming voice becomes a circus ringleader with a megaphone.
This was strange, fascinating story to draw. I chose not to feature the primary ‘illusion’ of the story, Marilyn Monroe singing “Happy Birthday Mr. President”, though it probably would have gone with the headline more. The author experiences illusions that his brain creates after hearing real sounds, which I felt was best represented by the more surreal laughing horse-lady and ringleader in the restaurant. I’m most satisfied with the composition, as I really wanted the shape of the room to appear as ‘sound waves’ focusing in on his ear…
Also, my palette for this was fully inspired by the electric gouache paintings of the master Lou Romano.