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stefanparis's avatar

Twentieth Century

Such is the evocative power of some words, some names, some brands that they belong so much to a specific time; that merely to mention them is enough to instantly relive the entire flavor of an era. The diesel era is no exception to the rule. Philip Marlow, Lucky Strike, Streamline, noir... to each his own icons. The list is endless. Sometimes, it is just about the way things are named. Has the word “modern” actually been used before the early twentieth century? Not so much, anyway, as during those roaring decades when (almost) everything and everyone was “modern.”
Undoubtedly with its signs of stainless enthusiasm, self-confidence and faith in the future, the first half of the last century repeatedly celebrated its most emblematic, prestigious things. The first thing that comes to mind, of course, is “Twentieth Century Fox,” but there is also the 1934 Howard Hawks film Twentieth Century and the magnificent “Twentieth Century Limited” express train. I am sure that there are many more.
The above picture is an attempt to relive the spirit of a time in which everything looked better; when things were “thought big” but without ever neglecting the aesthetism and style of them. Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the Twentieth Century Airlines, the most glorious airlines company to have ever graced the skies of the Metropole!
Anyone into writing or graphic work knows that some chapters and some pictures sort of “come to life” all by themselves. You just “channel” them, you are the medium, not them. This one simply refused my usual use of vivid, saturated colors, as though it wanted to stick to the nostagic, muted tones reminiscent of an era during which black-and-white was the standard.
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© 2010 - 2021 stefanparis
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The art deco ferry that you used for the airship's gondola, the Kalakala, serviced the Seattle area during the late 1930s. It ended its career as a land-locked fish processing plant in Alaska. It was rescued several years ago to be refurbished for addition to a maritime museum but that plan failed to materialize. The once-beuatiful old ferry - that last I read - was sinking at its mooring in Tacoma. Here's a link to a recent newspaper story: [link]

I also wanted to say that the artwork is truly excellent. Please keep it up!
stefanparis's avatar
I have used this ferry silhouette, too, for my "Eurocentric Liner" picture, I'm sure you have noticed !
stefanparis's avatar
Thanks for your note with the kind words and the link. I knew part of this beautiful ferry story and that there were some ongoing efforts to save her, but it is so sad to see such a thing of beauty just going to waste this way. Somehow, isn't it nice to give her some "second life" even just a little, through fantasy pictures ? This is, anyway, the point of my whole graphic work, I can say.
mlmustang's avatar
The "vintage" effect is astonishing. Also the thought and other world, yet real world qualities makes me look long and hard at what you have done here. One of the best I have seen on Deviant. Congratulations...
stefanparis's avatar
Thanks a lot for your intelligent, sensitive interest in what I do ! I really appreciate this and it means lot to me. Sorry for the late reply, but I was away from my computer and any Internet connection for the whole Summer season.
Totenkopf88's avatar
I see, interesting.
Totenkopf88's avatar
how do you make these? do you somehow draw it? or do you use many pictures and shop them into one? I would love to know what objects do you use as reference.
stefanparis's avatar
Except in the case of the latest vintage travel posters, for example, most of my pictures are made of photographic elements and a lot of digital graphism applied to them. In the case of this airship, the inspiration was some sort of old ferry or ship, don't even know exactly what it was !
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