Written in 1957 by Jack Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’ is the quintessential beatnik story and is considered one of the most iconic american novels. It tells the tale of Sal Paradise as he makes his way the length and breadth of America, enjoying good times and ‘kicks’. It was recently re-adapted into a feature film staring Kristen Stewart.
Create the advertisement posters and DVD sleeves that would accompany the film adaption, which pay tribute to the original text and it’s beat-generation routes.
After absorbing the novel, I considered what approach would be most appropriate considering the style of the original beatniks.
Staying true to Kerouac’s style of writing and his 120-foot first draft, I decided that illustration would be the most appropriate medium as I also felt this would be the way Sal himself would have documented his time (if he’d used more than words). I then made a long-list of the key locations and artifacts throughout the book which I could illustrate for the final piece.
My illustrations we’re sketched out quickly in a notebook and I did a first round of filtering before inking some in more detail onto fabric. All the inked works I then digitised through illustrator, filtering them down again, as I only wanted to hint at key points of the journey not give away the plot, also many had to be disregarded as they just didn’t fit into the layout. To add visual depth to the work I took scans of damaged paper in a nod the state of Kerouac’s orginal manuscript, then overlaid a redrawn section of an America route map that Sal would actually have travelled down. To finish the project I used my own hand-draw font (in outline and line formats) to continue the feel of the work.