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Paperback Rider

I have been collecting and fiddling with playing cards for a few years, so naturally, I brought a deck to Idaho, where I am staying before the in-person semester begins. Before settling on using a playing card in my sketch, though, I fiddled with the idea of using a Banana to parody the famous The Velvet Underground & Nico album cover designed by Andy Warhol. However, I eventually decided that that idea was too derivative, and I would struggle to incorporate aspects of my own design.

My vision for the playing card was self-explanatory. Playing cards are meant to be held, so naturally, I drew a hand and placed the bicycle deck’s iconic Joker design appropriately according to the fingers’ grasp. I derived my hand from a handful of stock images, though I did not directly trace it. Frankly, to my own surprise, my hand turned out far better than I expected. I also wanted to incorporate an element of playfulness and dimension in my sketch so I included a rainbow bracelet naturally placed over the hand’s wrist. Initially, I wanted to use a gambling reference to name the sketch but could not settle on one that felt fitting or creative enough. I settled on a Beatle’s pun; Paperback Rider is a reference to the song Paperback Writer. I replaced the word writer with rider in reference to the joker’s iconic bicycle, and of course, the medium for my sketch was paper, thus paperback.

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