The Lonely Gorilla

January 17, 2011

The Fire in the Jungle fantasy RPG supplement is nearing completion!  It will be a short compilation of tools to facilitate adventures in my jungle setting.  More info about the supplement in a later post, but I want to put the spotlight on the cover art at this time.

The Lonely Gorilla

Rommel Joson is the artist.  I commissioned him to create the piece and the result went beyond my expectations.  Rommel was easy to work with and a great communicator.  Best of all was that our visions for it were very much in sync.  I provided him only with a short paragraph description of what I had in mind, and Rommel artistically brought it to life without any additional art direction or reference images.

The gorilla and flames are important parts of the image, but perhaps my favorite part is the detailed jungle foliage in the foreground.  This was the artist’s idea and it really completes the scene and makes it scream “JUNGLE!”.  Salamat Rommel!  As you may have noticed, this is the part I’ve chosen as this blog’s header image.

Now, I only hope the contents of my book live up to the cover art!

The original inspiration for the description I provided Rommel was an Apocalypse Now poster.  As I mentioned before, I didn’t send him this or any other reference images because I wanted to see his own vision.  This is probably the first time Rommel has seen the poster:

Rommel didn’t name his art, as far as I know, so I am calling it “The Lonely Gorilla”.  The gorilla’s expression and solitude reminded me of the lyrics to Mona Lisa (made famous by Nat King Cole, but I’m a fan of the Willie Nelson version).

Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa, men have named you
You’re so like the lady with the mystic smile
Is it only ’cause you’re lonely they have blamed you?
For that Mona Lisa strangeness in your smile?

Do you smile to tempt a lover, Mona Lisa?
Or is this your way to hide a broken heart?
Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
They just lie there and they die there
Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa?
Or just a cold and lonely lovely work of art?

For other examples of Rommel’s work, visit his deviantart gallery or his blog.  He also has a collection of Moleskine drawings on Tumblr.

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One Response to “The Lonely Gorilla”

  1. […] Dustin Brandt commissioned me to do an artwork for his RPG book. I had fun doing it and Dustin was absolutely great to work with. Check out his site here. […]

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