One thing that I’ve been struggling with while creating portraits/paintings of well known characters from television and film is that I never know which people prefer. Do they prefer a portrait with no branding, logos, titles, or headings or do they prefer one that is truly a poster?
Take this recent portrait I did of Jon Hamm as the character Don Draper from the popular AMC Series, Mad Men. The two are very similar. I made some subtle changes to the poster version eliminating the cigarette and repositioning the subject to allow for the title. But other than that they are practically identical.
However the feeling of each is quite different (a psychological study would be good right about now). I couldn’t tell you why these two versions feel so emotionally different, but they do. The portrait feels more personal where as the poster feels more accessible. The accessibility might be due to the familiarity of the brand.
As a test, I posted both version to Society6 to see which garners more “likes” (and sales).
Let me know what you think in the comments below.