Process: LSD-Induced Artistry (illustration for Plaid Zebra Magazine)

The Plaid Zebra approached me to do an illustration about the CIA's use of LSD in the 1960's as truth serum, code-named Project Midnight Climax. Below you'll see my process from the very beginning stages, to the final illustration.

1. Brainstorming and Conceptualizing: brainstorming, for me, is the most important part of the whole process. It's the part I hated the most in school, and still gives me anxiety to this day.. but it's absolutely vital that I trust my system. I follow the same process (the amazing illustrator) Roman Muradov uses, which is essentially controlled brain-dumping. I'll jot down all the main ideas from the article (nouns, verbs that pop out), branch off from those ideas to sub-ideas, and try to make interesting connections.

The concept I ended up using was basically an afterthought. After brainstorming for a good while and coming up with all the above concepts, I decided to take a walk to clear my head. On my trek back home, inspiration struck. Thank Allah I brought a mini sketchbook with me.

The concept I ended up using was basically an afterthought. After brainstorming for a good while and coming up with all the above concepts, I decided to take a walk to clear my head. On my trek back home, inspiration struck. Thank Allah I brought a mini sketchbook with me.

2. Fully forming ideas and putting your best foot forward

3. Concept Selection and Followthrough

This image shows both the pencil (foreground), and ink (mirror background) layers, overlayed over each other.

This image shows both the pencil (foreground), and ink (mirror background) layers, overlayed over each other.

4. The Final Piece