Bisquick - Pancake it till you make it.

Breakfast. For some people, it's the first meal of the day. And yet, for millions of Americans, they run out the door without taking the time to have a healthy, well-rounded - oh fuck that. Look at this groovy picture of pancakes from The Seventies.

By the early The Eighties the airbrush would sweep across the advertising world as the unheralded messiah of lazy, cheesy commercial art. People would love the hell out of  airbrush art, and it would later come to typify The Eighties so much, that by The Nineties, it would be (thankfully) played out, and regarded as lame as a pair of parachute pants.

In 1984, if you carried this Trapper Keeper, you were the coolest kid in homeroom. By 1990, you were a big lame, and maybe still sitting in homeroom.
An airbrush, in the hands of a really skilled airbrusher, is an amazing wondertool. Like any other media (you know: oils, pencil, etc. Not "media" as in "television" or "newspapers"), a master will make it hard to tell what they used to create the artwork. You'll hear people say things like "That's colored pencil? You're kidding me!".

So, yeah, an airbrush is not inherently stupid. It's just a tool. However, like any other annoying fad, like autotune, lens flare, or sampling, if it makes things easier to do, you can rest assured it will be wildly overused by way too many people people who use it as their shortcut to being "a artist". If they couldn't be an artist without their favorite gimmick, they're not an artist. They're a lazy fraud and a hack. There will always be a market for work like this. So, yay for lazy hackfrauds.

What's the airbrush of today? Hmm. Pick one. Computers have made it pretty easy to do nearly anything by clicking a few keys. Photoshop, for example. What's that other thing where you can replace people's faces in video and create fake revenge porn? Something like that, probably.

Okay, rant complete.

What's with the airbrush talk, anyway? This 1976 breakfast illustration looks kind of like it started with some airbrush to get started, and then maybe some watercolor or guache over that. You can see some brush strokes in the details at the edge of the plate, for example. Then there's the texture of the pancakes, which looks a lot like colored pencil. See? A good artist can work with a number of different tools and make it hard to tell how they did it.

Look at that breakfast, all shiny and glistening, like it's covered in rich, delicious vinyl. I don't know what this style would be called, but it's very Seventies. Someone should probably harvest it, pop it over an alpha channel background and save it away for a rainy day. Maybe someone will have a The Seventies-themed pancake party (god help us all)?

Hey! Look what a randomly chosen P.A.G. Graphic Blandishment and Photoshoppery Brigade staffer has done! Popped this groovy breakfast out of the ad and onto a nice transparent layer and saved it off as a PNG! Neat! Thanks, P.A.G.G.B.P.B. staffer! As for the rest of the ultranet... you're welcome! Graphic Gift incoming!!!

Click for 1600px.


[lrf] said...

I guess the sweet airbrushing was supposed to make you feel good about eating pancakes for supper because of stagflation or whatever?

Truth is Bisquick pancakes are way better than many of the things people actually ate in the 70s, though that "Tuna Oriental" thing sounds like a war crime.

Jim D. said...

From the era of "Spam Creole." Yum.
The art immediately reminded me of the cover art for "Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano" - - - remember that? (I peeked, it came out in 1975)

Steve Miller said...

Get off my lawn, kid.

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