Stars and stripes: This illustration by artist Steve Moors evokes a folk art theme and a naturally patriotic palette. To see more of the artist’s work or to contact him, visit www.stevemoors.com.
E pluribus unum:
Raise your hand if you love the USA! Images with an understated patriotic theme can stand out from
the crowd. PictureQuest Image 22336253.
Although red, white, and blue instinctively
conjure American patriotism,
this color palette is used in many
applications. The contrasts between
the colors are striking and bold and
can lend strength to any design.
We chose to spotlight Steve Moors and his
“Washing the Flag” illustration (right) for its understated
patriotic palette. “After 9/11, I felt my family
[was] threatened in a very direct way,” Moors says.
“The perspective of family seemed the right direction.
I didn’t want an angry image—I wanted something
gentle, yet resolute in the face of adversity.”
There are many origins to Moors’ creative inspiration,
“but the source by which I’m being constantly
surprised is folk art,” he notes. “For the most part
it’s brutally individual and uniquely expressive. Folk
artists sidestep association with any genre. They’re a
wonderfully liberated landscape of raw talent, uninhibited
by convention or expectation. It’s inspiring to
see the honest application of creativity.”
When choosing color, Moors uses his instincts:
“I trust that whatever transpires colorwise naturally
will be what is necessary.” His flag image evokes the
folk art touch he finds inspiring, as well as a natural
evolution of colors. Using Photoshop with a Wacom
tablet, Moors creates the line work in one layer, then
plays with color, using many layers to keep each
color apart for separate manipulation.
“I believe in personal responsibility rather than
the term patriotism,” Moors concludes. “There are
many things people can be proud of collectively as a
nation. This image is a reaction to the human consequences
of aggression, which can speak to citizens of