To promote the talent they had available, the Merrilake agency commissioned a calendar to promote the range of art styles their illustrators could achieve. The headline for the publication would be: "Merrilake Illustrators are not just bums on seats!". Each of Merrilake's twelve freelance illustrators, one for each month, would create an image in the style of their favourite artist that expressed this heading visually. Salvador Dali was Stephen's artist of choice. He based his illustration on Dali's classic painting “Sleep”, matching the tone and feel of the painting as closely as possible, while at the same time subverting it with a “bum” propped up on crutches instead of a bodiless head. Stephen was also Merrilake's only digital artist at that point in time, and so to highlight this fact he placed the dream like ghost of his artist tools in the background. It was a tongue and cheek response to a light-hearted creative brief.

Source Reference: Salvador Dali
Illustration: Stephen Franklin
Surreal landscape with Daliesque bottom propped up on crutches, and a ghostly computer outline in the background.
Stephen’s take on Salvador Dali’s original – “Sleep”.
Animated build-up of the illustration.

Starting with a base sketch, Franklin built up the illustration gradually.

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