Surly Eleven

Having wrapped the art for Darkness and Surlyfest, Surly’s anniversary beer, Eleven, was the last project on my plate.

I was introduced to lead brewers Jerrod and Ben months ago at Dangerous Man, and they shared some thoughts on what they were working on for the anniversary beer. As they spoke, I tried to take useful notes (below).Notes

Eleven-headed peacocks and dragons crossed my mind, but Janus was right away my favorite idea. A god that looked to both the past and the future seemed appropriate for the transition that Surly was in the middle of. Also, having a two-headed creature representing the new two lead brewers seemed a logical choice.


Step 1: Sketches.

Above we have a loose thumbnail of composition. Dinosaurs representing the past, and space exploration for the future. These are not revolutionary design choices perhaps, but they did allow me to draw dinosaurs.


Step 2: Press the Art Button

The sketch was taken into Illustrator where I traced things, tightened up some strange bits, and picked colors. After that, the art was emailed to Surly and I was done. They got the image onto bottles and posters, and I am pretty pleased with the results.

Bottle1 Bottle2

Tomorrow, I get to work signing posters.


It’s been great working with all of the good folks at Surly. Everyone was very professional, and I got a fantastic amount of creative freedom on each project.

Also, I got a bunch of fantastic beer.

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