I Wish I Was a Fisherman, Tumbling on the Sea [Illustration]

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

3 thoughts on “I Wish I Was a Fisherman, Tumbling on the Sea [Illustration]

  1. This was really cool! Really cool! Just gotten into Illustrator myself, and this was very impressive. Have to get some more Illustrator-skills now

    1. Thanks! I’m a few months into Illustrator now, starting to get the hang of it. Online tutorials have been helpful, but I’ve found the best way to learn is to pick the brains of (and get feedback from) actual graphic designers who have been doing this stuff for years.

      Thanks again for the comment!

      1. Yeah. The way I “learned” Photoshop was by following a bunch if tutorials – eventually you know quite a lot. But I hate spending hours on making something really cool but then realizing that I’m actually just following someone else (maybe a bit different) and haven’t really created something myself – or at least, it doesn’t feel as good as when you’ve made something completely on your own.

        Might have to find some graphic designers I can bother, then.
        Thanks for the tip!

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