A few months back I gave you a look into my process for designing the poster for Portland Center Stage's production of Sunset Boulevard. For every poster I have designed that is a tough cookie - the universe seems to balance things out by handing me posters that come quickly and effortlessly with a lot of laughs in between. The poster for Portland Center Stage's A Christmas Story (opening this weekend) was exactly that.
My art director and I started with a brainstorm about what shouldn't be included (no leg lamp) and joked again about our desire to actually silk screen fuzzy pink flocking on the bunny suit depicted in the poster (one day, Mr. Buchino - one day). And then I got started on Ralphie.
He literally jumped out of my pencil, right onto the page. Ka-bam! There he was. PCS loved him and I went right to the computer and shortly after out came this, complete with a Red Ryder hidden in the woodgrain background.
And it was over. Easy. Done.
Then a few months ago I was sorting through some of my grandmother's old photos and found the reason why Ralphie had leaped onto the page so effortlessly. I knew him.
That's my dad on the left and his life long BFF (who I'll just call J to in case he wishes to remain anonymous). In bunny suits, circa 1957. I hadn't seen this photo in years but remembered looking at it a lot as a kid (and cracking up). My dad looks all too comfortable in his bunny suit - my whole family (myself included) loves any and every excuse to dress up. But J on the other hand looks less than amused - the perfect Ralphie, burned into my memory bank!
PS. J grew up to become a tough, gun totin' county sheriff (with a big, kind heart). And he never shot his eye out.