I was recently inspired by a great song I used to listen to many moons ago, back when I was a (singing) busboy at an Irish pub in Montreal. The song: “Fisherman’s Blues” by the Waterboys.

Go have yourself a listen (I’ll wait here).

Here’s the old-man-fisherman-dude I drew from the song. He started out as a simple pen sketch.

fisherman's blues pen


Then, I brought him into Illustrator and had some fun with colors, gradients, textures, etc.

fisherman's blues


Here’s the side-by-side:

fisherman's blues side by side


And here are the lyrics to Fisherman’s Blues, just cause:

I wish I was a fisherman
tumbling on the sea
far away from dry land
and its bitter memories
casting out my sweet line
with abandonment and love
no ceiling bearing down on me
save the starry sky above
with Light in my head
and you in my arms

I wish I was the brakeman
on a hurtling, fevered train
crashing headlong into the heartland
like a cannon in the rain
with the beating of the sleepers
and the burning of the coal
counting the towns flashing by
in a night that’s full of soul
with Light in my head
and you in my arms

I know I will be loosened
from the bonds that hold me fast
that the chains all hung around me
will fall away at last
and on that fine and fateful day
I will take me in my hands
I will ride on the train
I will be the fisherman
with Light in my head
and you in my arms