"The Banjo Player"

by Alona Millgram

At the time this image began to take shape in my mind, I was in a pretty stressful time and craved a moment of peace, some “me time”. This illustration turned to be my getaway – what I wished to have in my life at the moment and what relaxed me during the time creating it.
I carried this idea in my mind for several weeks – a blurry image of the player’s pose and the atmosphere, and I waited for some free time to be able to create it and figure it out.

When the player’s image I had in my mind took the form of a sketch, I realized it was very much inspired from Pablo Picasso’s painting “The Old Guitarist”. I participated in an exhibition inspired by Picasso’s Blue Period a few months ago, and since working on my piece for the exhibition and constantly viewing his work for inspiration, this image stayed with me. The sharp shapes and the pose are ones I adore and were intuitive while creating this artwork.

During the work on the illustration, I added details and strengthen the atmosphere – A lot of the details and color mixtures were inspired by Japanese paintings and patterns. The surrounding was figured out during the work – items to add more character to the room and to the player herself, and hints about her story – such as the lover picture in the background, the tea tray with the scented herbs, the pattern on the floor and the bamboo carpet in order to have more earthy tones and natural materials to the space, which I find relaxing.
I didn’t want to be too direct with the details about the character since I love to have the viewers imagine it by themselves, and have their own feelings and personal stories mix with the feelings they get from the piece.

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