Empty Churches & Homeless Priests

Weeks ago I got a request for sketches from Ioana Veleanu at the Philadelphia Weekly. The topic dealt with empty churches in Philadelphia and the hole they leave in the communities. Ioana generally comes to me with a very specific idea in hand and this time around she was adamant that the illustration feature a priest with his hand out, begging. I gave her what she asked for with some elements that I hoped would make the piece more interesting to me personally. Side note, that first sketch has a wireframe idea that I’ve pitched time and again hoping to get someone to bite but it never seems to work – I’ll use you someday wireframe device! –and this time was no different.

Ioana liked the begging stained glass Jesus figure, but thought it was too “controversial” and might offend people so she wanted all of the color to be extremely bright and colorful. To me this seemed counter to the message of not only the illustration but the article itself, but I obliged. It was killed at the color sketch phase, and so it goes. I hate having it happen, especially when it’s a color sketch. There’s definitely a part of my ego that  loves walking around Philadelphia and seeing my illustration on the cover of the PW for a week.


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