Friday Night Art #4

Steve MerrymanArtLeave a Comment

I’ve always wanted to do illustrations like those of Brad Holland. Look him up, I’ll wait…


(Checks watch)…

Pretty amazing stuff, huh? He never failed to astonish me with his fantastical images and bizarre combinations that were at times hilarious, disturbing and often a compelling mix of both.

He’s still around, but the illustration business is not what it was back in the 70’s - 80’s, and I suspect he’s doing more fine art, having made his fortune illustrating for all the big publications so now he gets to do whatever the hell he wants. [CORRECTION: he's still doing his awesome thing for publications, as I took a closer look at his web site and discovered many illustrations from as recent as last year]

In my mind, he is one of the greatest illustrators of my lifetime. His work inspired me to always keep an eye out for the opportunity to be an illustrator, and even more, to look for chances to create strange worlds, aka GO HOLLAND.

It’s rare that I find a client willing to let me go off and create a whole new world in an image. When it happens, I seize on the opportunity like Trump grabbing a Hoo-Ha (I know, he never said he DID it, just that he COULD if he wanted to, but that is no fun as a visual).

So when I joined a writers forum a couple years ago and they eventually figured out I was an artist and designer, they asked me if I would be willing to help them produce their monthly newsletter. I agreed, but only if I had complete creative freedom. They agreed immediately, realizing long before I that Complete Creative Freedom was also… free.

“It’s just a little internet forum afterall,” I told myself. “No one will notice, or even care what I do. Looks like a perfect opportunity to GO HOLLAND.”

So I got to put together the whole publication, which was a big chore, to be honest. But each issue, I was able to do a striking illustration unlike anything they had ever seen before, and as long as it had something to do with writing, or the monthly theme (if they had one), all was good.

So here’s one of the first illustrations I did for the WritersForum newsletter back in 2016. It’s a Hollandesque tribute called “Writer Falls” (a pale and juvenile attempt and completely unworthy of Holland’s talent and greatness, but that’s fan art for you, though it did win me a Silver award at the local Advertising Federation).

Writer Falls digital illustration

This is Bob. He left the water running in the library restroom. Don't be like Bob.


Steve Merryman is a cranky old fart. He writes about things that make him tick, and things that tick him off. You may object to his views; you may think he's a moron; and you might wish to tell him so. In return he would remind you that his lack of concern for your feelings is only exceeded by his indifference to your opinions. Good day, Sir!

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