Honda Hoot
posted: February 22, 2008
Was away for a couple weeks. An assignment I did back in December is now coming out in some magazines. Over the holidays I was busy on an assignment for Honda motorcycles. Motorcycles have been an interest for me for many years. I got on my first motorcycle at thirteen. It's was a Honda CB100. So when I get a chance to do some illustration work with a motorcycle it's a pretty good deal. I've done work for motorcycle magazines over the years, but the advertising work usually is photo based these days. The last advertising work I did was back in 1993 for Suzuki. This assignment was to be "friendly" as Honda wanted an inclusive message, not just one tribal group as in outlaw biker, or racer bad boys. Attached are the development sketches. Earlier on the direction was to include a dragon theme which came from the venue in Tennessee. The area in Tennessee has twisty roads that are fun to ride on a motorcycle, named the Dragon's Tail. I've added the old Suzuki illustrations for comparison. The Suzuki pieces are fifteen years old now. I was really inspired by the work of Stuart Davis then. I wanted the Honda image to have more of an americana regionalist feel. So here's what follows;
Direction picked by the client....
Dragon dropped by client...
Finished illustration...
Old work for Suzuki, 1 of 4...
Motocross - Old work for Suzuki, 2 of 4...
AMA Division Racer - Old work for Suzuki, 3 of 4...
Product - Old work for Suzuki, 4 of 4...
laura t. February 22, 2008
nice sketches doug! i love the feel of the road beneath them and all that. i'm gonna go ahead and assume that the client made you put the girl in the bitch seat in the revise/final. if not we may have a problem with me, you, and a round of motorcycle chicken.
Linzie Hunter February 22, 2008
Doug Fraser February 22, 2008
Laura, thanks for the quick response. Damn! you're on it. Even the dragon was bumped!
laura t. February 22, 2008
whoops, must have caught you mid-post. good to hear about the girl, although now me and honda have an issue. love the suzuki ads!!! my brother used to have a couple of those gsxrs. very intimidating to a little sister- i was certain they were gonna fall on me, shiny and pretty though they were. do you sell prints of any of these? what bike are you on now by the way? inquiring minds want to know.
Paul Rogers February 22, 2008
You are such a badass. Stuart Davis couldn't draw a motorcycle to save his life.
Doug Fraser February 23, 2008
Laura, I was out, just got back in. What bike am I riding now? Well first off the Suzuki Gixxers have become the quintessential sport bike. They just keep winning AMA titles. Awesome bikes! I've had the good fortune to have ridden a couple of them. I've owned Yamahas, Ducatis, Beemers(old school & new), Kawasakis, Triumph, Buells, Harley, Can-Am, and yes Hondas. I've loved everyone of em'. Now I'm riding a Dyna Super Glide, but wait! I know it's a Haarrrlleeyy. I've kept the stock pipes on it, so I don't piss off the neighborhood. I wanted a plain simple classic, no leather fringes, and I do not wear chaps. It's my second Harley after a seventeen years. I've taken a lot of crap from my sport bike friends for owning one. The tribalism in the motorcycle world can be very frustrating. My problem is I enjoy all kinds of motorcycles, vintage, and new. So if I seem overly defensive, its because I've reason to be. As for a Suzuki print, yeah we can discuss via email. Thanks again!
Doug Fraser February 23, 2008
Paul, I bet Stuart Davis could of done a great motorcycle painting. He'd done a jazzy take that I could have only dreamt of. Mr.Zimm, you are the "fountain head". David, that's why I'm ridin' a plain wrapper Dyna. The proletarian version big twin. The simple clean look and finish on the exile bikes are great.
Bob Staake February 23, 2008
doug, these are just beautiful! i LOVE seeing your process and the sketches are truly inspiring!
Cathleen Toelke February 24, 2008
That's odd, I guess Honda doesn't sell their bikes to the ladies. Wonderful sketches and finish! It's fun to see how the final version evolved, and the contrast with the previous bike work.
Doug Fraser February 24, 2008
Cathleen, when the secondary motorcycle was changed from a cruiser to a goldwing(touring rig) it was an attempt at broadening the range of the bikes. The insult is unintentional. As the illustrator I do apologize. Also I just finished reading Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez with your cover illustration. The cover does the job with grace.
Tim O\'Brien February 24, 2008
Great post Doug. Love seeing the sketches.
Alex Murawski February 25, 2008
Man it is so cool to see your older work. Great stuff.... as is the current work.
Leo Espinosa February 25, 2008
Doug, you got my heartbeat going above speed limit! Your drawings seem more powerful than the actual bikes, man. Motorcycles have been very important for me too and I've been drawing them since forever. My first bike was a teal color Honda CB350 from 1971 and I sold it a couple of years ago due to Laura's fear of Boston drivers :+( She's right, though; People here are insane. I keep dreaming with a Ducati Monster and a house in a different city ;+)
All images copyright Douglas Fraser