Cook County Social Club: WPA-inspired print

Posted on December 01, 2015 by Phillip Thompson | 0 comments

I was honored to create a print commemorating the 10th Anniversary Shows for the legendary improv group and long-time Chicago fixture, Cook County Social Club. Here are the steps behind the creation:

1. Concept. Greg Hess, CCSC and former classmate of mine at Stuarts Draft Middle School in VA, suggested doing something WPA inspired. That led me to a bunch of great WPA artwork around Chicago, including a very cool mural at the local Old Town School of Folk Music.

2. Here it is more fleshed out. I wanted it to look a little more like a homecoming, since that's what these shows were, CCSC returning to Chicago. And of course, like in WPA art, I needed to show the implements of work. There's also a combination of a few other common Depression-era themes: A fascination with train travel, highrises, and good old farming of the land.

3. Then, since I wanted to make this a screenprint, I used 5 colors: Yellow, dark blue, light blue, green, and brown. It was refreshing to be limited this way.

4. Then I turned to Emily Fundis to put my vision into a workable, screenprintable design. She does great work of her own and has the screenprinting experience to know what would work. This is how it turned out:  

And this is the actual CCSC improv team:


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