This was originally an editorial commission to create a cover illustration based on the classic Grant Wood painting, 'American Gothic', for a story on hemp farming in the US. I wanted to avoid the cartoony, stoner clichés usually seen with cannabis associated imagery.
Grant's original painting shows a 19th century American farmer standing beside his spinster daughter, it is said to epitomise the Puritan ethic and virtues that Grant believed dignified the Midwestern character. My job was to change these 19th century mid-west purists into 21st century hemp farmers.
I obviously needed to keep a certain amount of the original to make it recognisable parody but the major change was to make them a modern (maybe a little eccentric) couple. I added a subtle hint at their 'for personal use' pastime, but the major change was replacing the 3 prong fork with a 7 prong version,representing the cannabis leaf. I then cut it out, adding a dotted line to symbolise the DEA’s stance on preventing American farmers growing this durable crop.
“The United States is the only industrialised nation that does not allow industrial hemp production.”
Wood modelled the original painting on his sister, Nan and his dentist, Dr. Byron McKeeby.
They look less than impressed by my parody:)