This is a photo illustration I just did for the New York Times Magazine. It is part of their "key" series where they ask designers to interpret what "key" means to them. From the initial brief: "Many artists and designers have found it useful to come at this project from a personal vantage point using their own personal keys or places they’ve lived or buildings that have meaning to them as a starting point."
I had two directions that I felt were strong but were still lacking the personal hook. The first showed the impression of my house key in my wallet. The second was a collection of key chains.
I decided to create a three dimensional key with parts of my home that had meaning for me and defined where I live. Among the objects there is a Quebec license plate, an old fishing thermos that belonged to my grandfather, a kilt with the Drummond tartan, a glass door knob, an old milk bottle (I live in a dairy farming part of Quebec) and the actual key for the front door to my house. The whole thing is held together by baler twine which is the duct tape of working farms. The final photo was taken by the amazing Tom Schierlitz.
A selection of other keys in the series
This is for a cover I am working on now. The book deals with junk DNA. From the brief: "...that most of culture and nature, including humans, are primarily composed of useless material." If we go with this direction I will have to photograph a collection of boxes but this sketch gives the general idea.
After 10 years I figured it was time to buy a new camera. The old one certainly paid for itself. I picked up these bugs in a store and just know there is a book cover waiting for them. Just have to bide my time.
Sometimes you totally luck out with a Royalty Free image. When I downloaded the low res image for the sketch I didn't realize that there was this cool dot pattern running throughout it.