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A labor of love - my "interpretive graphic biography' of one of the great musical unsung heroes-jazz musician Eric Dolphy.
A labor of love - my "interpretive graphic biography' of one of the great musical unsung heroes-jazz musician Eric Dolphy.
173 backers pledged $8,285 to help bring this project to life.

An Eric Dolphy Summer

Good morning, Dolphyites!

Thought maybe you’d like a brief update on how I’m spending my summer. While you’re outside getting a tan or catching a wave, I’m at home having a ball working on my labor of love, “Eric Dolphy: His Life and Art”.

Research has been a big part of the process and is ongoing. There are only a few useful books on Dolphy available, so I have had to rely on various magazine pieces, internet articles, personal anecdotes, and academic writing as well. But the challenge is to have Eric emerge as a person, not historical figure (I’ll leave that to others) – a living, breathing artist and human being on a compelling personal journey.  At a proposed 74 pages, I won’t be able to touch on every significant musical event in his life (and there were many), but I hope to create a personal interpretation that is entertaining and emotional.

I’m well into the drawing stage, sketching out layouts. I work from a partial script, updating as I go along. After laying or loosely sketching out each page, I draw them in tightly in pencil, ink them with a pen or brush, and scan them in the computer, where I add color in Photoshop. It is a long, slow moving process, which requires plenty of visual reference and research as well.

But the important thing is I’m having fun and enjoying the work, angling hard to meet my deadline!

Best to you this sunny season,


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    1. dean westerfield on

      I love seeing the pictures above. can you share more? We would love to see more of the process.

    2. Missing avatar

      Lewis N. Nelson on

      Hello Keith Brown,

      Let your heart be your guide in developing, expanding and sharing your art, and your unique talents. Time will keep on ticking, so there's no need to rush creativity.

      Although I am trained in architecture and law, having played a little piano and alto saxophone, Eric Dolphy has been my favorite jazz musician since my early 20's and I have been a jazz lover since the age of 17 (50 years ago) starting while in high school in Los Angeles. I still have most of the original Dolphy albums on wax (in mint condition) which only myself and one other person has ever been allowed to handle since my college years in the early 60's.

      Thanks for sharing the project update (love the bio-snap shot as a little personal history always adds life to the message).

      I look forward to your next update and your final product which I expect in the end will be a very successful work of art.

      Lewis N Nelson
      Oakland, California