Whenever I listen to Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die” album, my mind is painted over with the retro imagery and tense mood evoked in her lyrics. The themes are sweet with a dark undertone and her life sounds like a constant struggle between romance and danger. This presented a fun artistic challenge as my work is usually bright and cheery, so I wanted to try a more melancholy emotion with this illustration. I captured her as a sad songstress in a world of heartbreak as reflected by the themes, motifs and lyrics from her album. And it doesn’t hurt that her style is pin-up / vintage, something we both agree with! | Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop
Above: close-up of the details.
Above: the pattern items are based on lyrics from her “Born to Die” album. Can you spot them all? “Summertime sadness”, “Bambi eyes”, “got my hair up real big beauty queen style”, “fall like dominoes”, “do you think you’ll buy me lots of diamonds?”, “open up a beer…play a video game”, “drinkin’ cherry schnapps”, “dark paradise”, “born to die”, “facing time again at Riker’s Island”, “put your red dress on, put your lipstick on”, “eating soft ice cream…liquor’s top shelf”, “on the radio”, “perfume”, “baby put on heart shaped sunglasses”, “put my favorite record on”, “kiss me hard before you go”.
Above: pencil rough of how I envisioned the illustration. Not all items made it into the final pattern. The pattern started as a geometric tile repeat but looked too rigid so I went with an organic and flowing mixture.
Above: pencil rough of Lana’s cry-face.
Above: I went through many compositional changes and this is a chronology of Lana vs heart position. Initially, I planned to have her centered but eventually decided she “sat” better with the heart on an angle and more to one side. | View more progress