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"Steve Maobs": Unused Fortune Magazine Cover

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  • "Steve Maobs": Unused Fortune Magazine Cover
    To illustrate a potential cover story on the intriguing impact of Apple's products on the Chinese economy, I was asked by Fortune to design what felt like a propaganda poster based around a central figure that subtly combined Chairman Mao with Steve Jobs (whom I gleefully took to calling "Steve Maobs"). Unfortunately, the idea was pulled at the last minute and the piece remains unused.
  •  Alternate gold cover concept.
  • The real effort went into the central visual of Mao himself. To make matters worse, I decided up front that tracing wasn't an option (as practical as it would have been). So, with numerous photographic references and as much patience as I could muster, I set about rendering my own stylized but accurate Mao from scratch. Finally, to complete the Steve Jobs allusion, I gave him the trademark turtleneck and glasses, as well as the same general pose and expression Jobs so often struck when presenting the latest iPhone to the audience at WWDC.
  • The last step was fleshing out the scene with some 3D elements. I love the mixed-media look of vector, 3D, texture and lighting effects, and I think this piece captures that. Socialist Realism was my model for the general tone and layout, but I wanted the "finish" to feel both technologically agnostic, drawing on multiple types of imagery to create a final arrangement, and undeniably modern.
  •  Alternate layout.