I consider this vector art a mixed media piece as it is based off a smartphone photo. I used to ride bus #788, the Valley to Westside express bus to and from work. The bus would pick me up on the busy intersection of Wilshire Blvd. and Veteran Ave in Westwood Village, Los Angeles.
I always admired the tall buildings along Wilshire as I rode by. Or should I say crawled by; Wilshire Blvd. boasts of some of the nation’s worst traffic on weekdays. The traffic will drive you insane if you’re not careful, so I dreaded the evening trek home over the hill.
One day while waiting for the bus, I gazed up at the building across from me and saw the whole traffic scene in a new way. I looked at the drivers’ faces as they waited for the light to change. Where were they going, where had they been?, I wondered. Suddenly the typical LA commuter stress seemed beautiful, a kind of collective experience of anticipation.
I framed the original photo to include the architecture as well as the dense sea of traffic. When I posted the pic online, my friend graphic designer Rick Clark felt inspired to create a digital art version of the image using an app. The app post processing gave me the idea to vectorize the image with Adobe Illustrator by hand. I hope the poster art above remains true to the organic shapes in the photo along with the sense of wonderment. At the same time, I chose to exclude most of the traffic from the digital version so as to emphasize the architecture. I believe the traffic portion of the scene adds unnecessary visual complexity for the digital art format and subtracting it produces a cleaner image.
This Wilshire and Veteran mixed media vector art poster will be the first in a series highlighting Los Angeles street photography and architecture.