I haven’t posted vector stuff here before (so I might as well start way back in the archives). This was drawn the loooong way (for a slow guy like me, anyway)… with Illustrator’s pen, pencil and shape tools… no filters or live trace. So… there’s that.

These tracks were located behind a renovated depot that housed an architectural firm I once worked for (they designed the building on the left). I could just glance out the window and see trains rolling by… not too shabby, eh?

Milton Waddams: “…and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were merry, but then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn’t bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it’s not okay…”

– Stephen Root – Office Space

About this image: digital media – vector art created with Adobe Illustrator


74 thoughts on “Freight

  1. Cool! It’s like reality but… more colorful. It reminds me of being on LSD and watching trains. They seemed like moving walls at the time. Like maybe TRON light cycle leavenings. The classic TRON of course.

    Now I think I’m having a backflash. Is the monitor breathing?

    • Thank you very much, sir!
      Hahaha… I’m not sure what your monitor is up to, but mine is yelling at me to clean it already! I think it’s about ready to declare it just can’t work under these smudgy conditions!

  2. This one has always impressed me! The detail is insane… especially for a vector drawing!

    P.S. I miss living right by the train tracks. I liked the sounds of the trains… except for the occasional horn blast at 2 am directly outside the window. Those could be a bit startling.

    P.P.S. Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler…

    • That’s just because I spent an insane amount of time working on it… but it was fun, so that’s something, right?! Thank you very much, Annabelle!
      HA! Yeah, we really had to strain ourselves to hear those whistles, didn’t we?!
      I was told I could use it when I was collating…

      • I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I’m, I’m quitting, I’m going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they’ve moved my desk four times already this year…

    • To be completely honest I did use a computer to draw this – it’s done in Adobe Illustrator. It did take me many, many hours, though, because I used Illustrator’s drawing tools to create this rather than a filter or live-trace. It’s kind of fun to make something like this every now and then!
      Thank you very much, S.D.D.!

  3. I agree w/ Annabelle. The sound of the train is soothing, save for the horn blasts. And it IS hard to believe this isn’t a photograph. Inky, you have so much talent!! So glad you share it via this blog. But I seriously think you need to put out a book.

    • That is very true, Dishy… I enjoy the sound of distant train horns, but when you are right next to them… wowza!
      You are always so kind, Dishy, thank you very much! I really do hope to be able to make a book some day… I figure if I keep working one it I’ll come up with enough… random stuff! πŸ™‚

  4. “These tracks were located behind a renovated depot that housed an architectural firm I once worked for” Notice past tense. Probably fired you for staring out the window all day.

    • Hahaha… I did stretch the truth about that part, a bit. My desk was located in a cluster of cubicles in the middle of the room (someone must have known better than to give me a view) and I was usually too busy to want to walk over to the window, anyway. I could hear the trains, too, though… they would literally shake the entire building… it was pretty cool. Now give me back my stapler! πŸ™‚

    • I really like playing around with Illustrator, FS… it’s kind of relaxing in a way (of course it takes me FOREVER… but that’s just more time to relax, right?)!
      Thank you very much, sir!

    • I did draw it, Mel… but on a computer (using Adobe Illustrator). It’s kind of fun to mess around with sometimes.
      I’m not a tagger (I’d feel bad doing that without permission), although many things I’ve seen are ridiculously impressive. The ability to control spray paint like that (in an uncontrolled environment) is really amazing! πŸ™‚

  5. Great work ! Today a stapler showed up in the classroom desk drawer and it is not leaving the room. There, a stapler reference and a drawing pun, not bad.

  6. Yes! I love it. When i enlarged to get a better look I realized that the sun (?) is vaguely apparent in the upper right hand corner area. The colors are really great. Didn’t quite understand that last paragraph but that’s neihter here nor there. πŸ™‚

    • I’m happy you noticed that, Lynn!
      I’m going to say it’s the moon, though (just because the main light source appears to be coming from the opposite direction – I suspect people would totally bust me up over that).
      Hahaha… yeah, the last paragraph is a quote from ‘Office Space’. The vague connection to what I’d written has to do with looking out windows. I only put those quotes in for back-up because my writing is usually awful and it gives readers a chance to comment on something else (if they don’t know what to say about my image(s).

      • πŸ™‚ Main light source, only an artist would say that. That’s something I didn’t even consider. Saw Office Space twice and both happened to be the same episode. I hate it when that happens, funny show though- just can’t relate.. Your writing is great but that’s coming from somone who’s writing is mediocre at best. πŸ™‚ (not fishing for a compliment- just a fact.

        • Eh, I don’t always notice that sort of thing either… I’ve just spent a lot of time staring at this one!
          I’d say you’ve got that last part switched around though, Lynn – I always enjoy reading your pieces… writing (and reading) mine are such a chore… ugh!

  7. I noticed the graffiti on the trains right away. It looks very detailed and I’m amazed that you drew it…or whatever that vectoring stuff is πŸ˜€ I’ll look it up! πŸ™‚

    • That’s very kind of you, Mr. H… but I’m not sure I believe that second part at all! Even though a guy with your skill shouldn’t be allowed to put down his camera for long enough to mess around with this stuff, anyway! πŸ™‚

  8. Very strong colors – quite overpowering in their intensity. I think that’s good work.

    The moment someone says freight, I start wondering where it’s going. I just love railroads. ‘The L & N Don’t Stop Here Anymore’ is a track that captures the death of the railroads so poignantly – (I prefer the Michelle Shocked version but Johnny Cash is great). This is a shot that makes me wonder if the railroad is still there and serving its community. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you so much, sir! I’m happy to hear you liked this one!
      So true… it seems like many railroads are dying out. I believe this one is still in operation, though. I think these tracks are primarily used by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (and I think they haul a lot of grain and coal, etc.) but please don’t hold me to that!

    • This is basically a computer generated drawing I made from a reference photo. Or… something along those lines.
      Maybe some day… it might be quite a while though.
      Thank you so much, Tony… you are always very kind!

  9. I’m with Nigel on this – it’s so good it looks like a photo (except that the colours are better). I don’t have enough patience with a pen/stylus digitally, so I use a mouse – which I find better for me – and in fact I use smudge, burn and dodge more than draw or paint. I’d never have the patience for something like this, though. It’s great! πŸ™‚

    • That is terribly kind of you, Val, thank you!
      I’ve never used a pen/stylus, either (although I’ve always wanted to give it a try)…
      I tend to do a lot of burning and dodging, too, I guess… especially in Photoshop.
      Thanks again, Val!

  10. It was a long trip down here to make a comment on this one, but luckily I used the lift so no problemo… This piece of artistry that you have crafted is very good my friend, the colouring is vibrant and the end result is a worthy offering also…

    Have a wicked rest of weekend now my friend…


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