Last week, I had the choice opportunity to do something I love to do... customize an existing illustration for a specific need.
It started with an email from Norien of the Trenton Chapter of The Girl Friends Inc. She had found my "Play it again" design (above) online and wondered if I would consider doing a version with a woman of color for invitations to an upcoming event that the design was perfect for other than the fact that the singer (Constance is her name) is a redhead with a very fair skin tone.
My answer was, "You bet!"
It was such a privilege to be creating something for one of the 45 chapters of The Girl Friends, Inc.--the oldest social/civil organization of African-American women in the United States founded during the Harlem Renaissance in 1927 by eleven young women based on friendship and community.
Norien told me what the event's theme colors would be, and based on that a new version of "Play it again" was born showcasing a new singer I named Lena (below) after one of my personal icons, Lena Horne.
I then modified Lena's layout to create a custom suite of party accoutrements including everything from a design to be printed on CD's that would be handed out to those in attendance to a version of Lena on cupcake box tags.
Unbeknownst to Norien, I had been looking for excuse to set aside some time to do various versions of Constance. After I completed Lena, I took advantage of the head of steam I had and created girlfriends for Constance and Lena.
Astrud (below) is inspired by one of my all-time favorite singers, Astrud Gilberto. Known for her amazing Brazilian samba and bossa nova her most famous recording is "The Girl From Ipanema" from 1964.
And Doris (below) is inspired by a young Doris Day when she was a big band singer for Les Brown before she ever appeared on the big screen. Did you know that Doris was destined to become a dancer until, while a young teen, a car she was riding in was hit by a train? The accident severely crushed her right leg. During recuperation she taught herself to sing while listening to Ella Fitzgerald on the radio.