|The finish line for T.I.v12 featured the banner made from my original artwork.|
My daughter, Izabel, is into anime and the Japanese art that goes along with that. There are a fair amount of dragons associated with this genre' and so she likes dragons quite a bit. When she found out that I used to draw dragons back in my high school days, she begged and pleaded with me to draw her one. I resisted until one day I decided that I could maybe do a dragon for the 12th Trans Iowa.
The connection to Trans Iowa came along because ever since the race has existed, I have heard stories about how riders had to "wrestle their demons", or sometimes one or two folks would put it as "slaying your dragon". A sort of medieval reference to knights and their quests, I suppose. Well, at any rate, that all is kind of a mystical, spiritual sort of imagery, and that also fit in with my personal take on Trans Iowa, or any endurance event I do. In the end, drawing a dragon not only satisfied my daughter, who absolutely loved it, by the way, but it fit perfectly in with what I think several folks think of when they come to do Trans Iowa. That is, they come to "overcome" and what better way to represent that than with the idea of a dragon to slay?
|Mike Johnson, (L) shares a laugh with MG. The dragon was made into a hat for the T.I.v12 volunteers.|
That design was placed on a light blue background to represent a water color sort of backdrop, something often seen in Eastern art. Then I used a Chinese themed font for the lettering, and there ya go. T.I.v12's art work. Meanwhile, a benefactor to Trans Iowa was asking if I wanted a banner made using the original artwork, and hats using it for the volunteers. I agreed to allow this, and then the artwork was digitized, which is what you see on the banner up above. I, of course, was thrilled to have such a contribution to Trans Iowa, and I still am. The benefactor has asked to remain anonymous, or I'd be writing the name all over this post. Thanks again, and you know who you are!
|It's kinda hard not to get a little verklempt as an artist when you see your work getting this sort of attention.|
So, why was the dragon drawn like it was? Well, that is a "style" I have employed in drawings for years where I want to convey some sort of spiritual element. Thus the "fire"/"smoke" sort of look to the thing. Everyone's "dragon" is going to look different to them, and I wanted a somewhat ethereal appearance to the dragon to allow for personal interpretation. Hopefully that happened to some degree, but I don't know.
So, there you have it. The story behind the logo/artwork for Trans Iowa v12.