Pioneer Square – Seattle Metropolitan

Pioneer Square

This was a fun one for Seattle Metropolitan magazine. It’s a full page illustration for the magazine’s Mudroom opener. The idea was to show Seattle’s Pioneer Square, one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods, moving from vacant storefronts and a lack of nightlife and energy to a more energetic and hip area of town (see how much fun they’re having!?).

I illustrated a couple buildings with Pioneer Square inspired architecture and played around with the placement of the characters moving towards the colorful and happenin’ side of the Square. I had bands playing, a lone guitarist in the shadows, people clapping, trumpets, and twice as many characters but we decided this composition worked best.

The wash of shadow on the left side was a bit tricky. It’s a pretty unnatural shadow and it took some experimentation during the sketch phase to make sure it looked right.

I learned a lot about Pioneer Square while working on this and it sounds like a really interesting part of Seattle. There are some great looking buildings and even an underground tour of old storefronts. They actually elevated the ground level to where it is now, 12 feet higher than where ground level was when the buildings were built.

Thanks to André for the great assignment.