Ode to Billie Joe

an illustration by alleanna harris of the song Ode to Billie Joe by Bobbie Gentry

“And me, I spend a lot of time pickin’ flowers up on Choctaw Ridge… And drop them in the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge.”

My mom and I were in the drive thru at Chick-fil-A and we randomly got into this conversation about the movie Ode to Billy Joe, based on the 60s blues song Ode to Billie Joe by Bobbie Gentry. We both love the song. It’s kinda sultury because of the singer’s voice, and it has a groove to it because of the guitar’s rhythm, but if you listen to the lyrics and the violins, it’s slightly eerie. You have to listen to it to understand, lol.

Fast forward two weeks later and my mom and I were in the EXACT SAME PLACE in the drive thru line at the EXACT SAME Chick-fil-A, and we had 60s on 6 on SiriusXM playing in the car. Guess what started playing?

Ode to Billie Joe. Shooketh.

Took that as a sign to draw it. I never really used a color palette like this, but I had to go for it. It matched how the song looks in my head. It’s the synesthesia.

Office Space

an illustration by alleanna harris of the outside of an office building and the people inside

Kind of a flashback Friday: During my last two years of college at UArts, I commuted back and forth to school. I’d always get to class really early and would sit and look out the window while I waited for my friends and for class to start. The 14th floor window at the end of the hallway was my favorite spot. I’d always look at the windows of the office building next to our building and I could always see the people inside working.

Side note: I looked at my drawing after I finished it and I could see the influence from Pascal Campion and Tadahiro Uesugi! Look them up, their work is amazing.

The Purple One

an illustration by alleanna harris of the legendary singer Prince in concert

Hey everyone! I’m back! I spent May revising illustrations for a book (that I can’t wait to share). Just small revisions left. Now I have some free time… to do even more art.

Did you know that this month is Black Music Month? It was started in 1979 by Kenny Gamble and Dyana Williams. The month focuses on Black music artists that are from the US. President Carter signed the first proclamation on June 7, 1979 and President Obama renamed it African American Music Appreciation Month in 2009.

I figured I should start with Prince because it would’ve been his 60th birthday on June 7th. After this, I might rewind and go back to the early 20th century. We’ll play it by ear.