Sophie Blackall Illustration

Drawings and Snippets and Breaking News, (but more snippets than breaking news).

Friday, January 20, 2012

Poster on the New York Subway







 
I was thrilled recently to be invited to create a poster for the New York MTA Arts for Transit program. Thrilled is something of an understatement. Every year, two different artists create subway related posters which hang in all the new trains in the city. My friend, the wonderful R. Gregory Christie has designed the other one, so I am in excellent company. Thousands of our posters will be in circulation, so if you are traveling under or over Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx any time in 2012, you can't miss them. The first one has been spotted on the M train just this morning, other trains to follow.
Needless to say I love the subway. I glean all my characters from my fellow passengers. The same sorts of things which attracted me to Missed Connections, I find on the train: subtle interactions, eccentricity, beauty, sorrow, secrets, kindness, generosity, excellent hairdos. Every sort of person imaginable and unimaginable. For this poster, I measured my allotted space very carefully and figured out I had enough space to draw 34 people. I had to whittle and whittle my list of favorite characters. The surfer standing with his board in a puddle of water didn't make it. Neither did the gorgeous elderly drag queen, the man with the enormous orange velour armchair or the disheveled mermaids. I'm sorry. I still love you.
I believe the poster will soon be puchase-able online at the MTA store for about $25. Proceeds from the sales go to support the not-for-profit New York Transit Museum’s exhibitions and education programs.

91 comments:

Roxana said...

Love this! Just proved that the metro is the same everywhere around the globe! Wonderful, makes you look at every detail. Your work is amazing!

Michelle said...

I adore your poster! What are the dimensions? I don't see that info on the MTA site.

atlanticmo said...

That is fantastic!

Jennifer said...

I hope I'll come across this on one of my subway rides... it's destined to put a smile on the face of whoever sees it! I think soon I'll be stopping by the Transit Museum shop at Grand Central to pick one up for myself.

Kelley Anne said...

This is wonderful. It makes me wish that I live in New York just to see it up on the subway.

Anais Lee said...

your work is amazing and beautiful. i can't wait to jump on a MTA train now :)

Sunny said...

I loved your book "missed connections." as soon as I found it at MOMA store, I bought it last christmas! :) and I was really glad to see your poster on the subway!! so so so NY subway. :) very well depicted and it was so your work. lucky to have your poster every ride in 2012! :)

Hannah Hall said...

Fabbo Sophie - great work.Purchased the poster from the MTA shop and will hang it in Camille's room.

Katrina Kopeloff said...

just saw it tonight!!! yippeee!!

Agustina Angeles said...

Es hermoso :)

Elizabeth Rose Stanton said...

It's AWESOME!

Shirley said...

Fabulous!! I wish I was near to view this in person..how awesome it must be to be in NY and witness people in the subway as you describe. I spy some of the wonderful people I've just seen in Missed Connections...what a fantastic book. I was SO drawn to page 90. Oh my..what a well written and beautifully illustrated book of hope. All good things to you, Sophie!

spialelo said...

I saw this poster last night while riding the E train and became mesmerized by it. I had to take a closer look and find out the artist. I especially loved the repeating poster within in the poster, right behind the person holding the whimsical balloons.

Fran T said...

congratulations, its just wonderful!

Haidee German said...

Sophie, you should be very proud of yourself... I just saw the poster in the M train today when coming home from school and so delightful was the drawing that I took a picture of it with my phone and took down your name to look you up and see more of your art. Well done, the characters in the poster seem all so unique and then again so familiar from the people we see everyday in the train. This will be one of the few posters that I hang in my wall :) Thank you!

- Haidee

Sashiko said...

Love the posters. Thrilled to identify some of your favourite characters. Wish we could have them all here in Australia.
Your loving and proud Mama

Anna Alter said...

I can't wait to see it in person!

David Aaron Hahn said...

Just saw this morning, and loved it immediately. I'll be sharing it with others. Are you selling prints of it?

KingdomKards said...

Love your poster! So interesting! You are right in that it really does give someone something to do on the subway...so many lives portrayed in such a cute way! My daughter lives in Brooklyn. I'll have to ask her if she has seen it.

Michelle said...

I saw this poster on my way to work this morning on the L... I don't think I blinked. It sucked me in. Thanks for making my morning commute a little bit brighter.

killerbee0925 said...

I boarded my subway train last night – can’t remember if it was the downtown #6 at 86th St. or a downtown N or R at 59th St. – I was exhausted from a grueling amateur chorus recording session – as I glanced wearily up at the side of the train your beautiful MTA Arts For Transit poster caught my eye, mentally refreshed me, and made my evening.

You’re probably too young to have seen the famous “On The Subway” music video from Sesame Street featuring a kaleidoscope of diverse puppets, but your poster reminded me of that wonderful video, and reminded me why my wife and I raised our 3 girls in this city – every kind of person is here, sharing the streets and the subway.

Thanks for an unexpected gift of art and beauty on the subway.

Sincerely,
Gary Ekman

mina said...

Love this! I just emailed you. Clearly I didn't explore all of your page. :) And yes, that could possibly have been the M train this morning. Hope to see it again on my way home tonight!

Eric said...

Just got back to Canada from a great long weekend in New York - saw your poster and fell in love immediately - it strikes the perfect note. You are an wonderfully talented artist. Congratulations!

Employment Posters said...

Fantastic poster i really appreciate and if you see it there is a kissing scene at the end of the poster.

Margie said...

I adore these!!! Headed to NY on March 1st. Will be looking for your posters every time I get on the train!

Cristy said...

I saw this poster on the subway the other day and found it adorable, Googled your name, and found your Blogger. I hadn't realized that you're the same person who does Missed Connections! You're a wonderful artist with lovely work.

Ellobie said...

I got to see this in action two weeks ago when I was in NYC for work. Love it! Hoping it goes for sale on the mta site soon. :)

husband and me said...

Sophie -- do you create works based off of photographs? I would really love something done with a photo of my husband and myself. :)

Tereza said...

bellissimo

nadu said...

The poster is awesome!

Joselito said...

") Captivated by the poster's composition and characters. And I have not tired of looking at it on my G or F train ride, getting the opportunity to take in the multi-faceted nuances. I notice that the poster is also on the wall of the subway car shown in the poster and, if I can get in any closer to look at the small poster within the poster I'm trying to figure out how many more smaller and smaller posters-within-posters there might be! Bravo!

De Joe said...

Hi Sophie,

I just saw this poster today, and you have done an amazing job!

That is exactly what I see in the subway. You dint miss any part of it! It is a very accurate representation of our culture.

And the figures are awesome! Cant wait to buy this!

Joe.

Anonymous said...

Congratulentions! I like your works so much. I konwed behind "factoria plástica blog" from Spain.

Anonymous said...

JUST SAW IT THIS AFTERNOON IN THE 4 TRAIN , YOU DID A GREAT JOB, LIKE IT

Minamo said...

I saw this poster on the 6 train this morning. It was only one stop but, I felt like it lasted a lifetime. This poster is so New York City and it captures the slightest nuances in a very detailed way. One of my favorites is the young couple kissign and the boy has is hand in her jean pocket. Turthfully, it's one of my pet peeves but, in the psoter it made my heart melt. Thank you for making my dreary, rainy commute a delight this morning!

Kevin said...

I've enjoyed seeing your poster on the subway. It's on a bunch of the N trains that I'm riding over and over this month while I take repeated trips to move my stuff from one apartment to another...

Yesterday I just picked up one at the MTA Transit Museum gift shop in Grand Central Terminal and now have it hanging on my wall...

Anonymous said...

I'm on the J headIng to visit my folks. I'm looking at your poster and it's really great. You captured the daily commute -- the sleepy woman, sharing music via ear phones and the shopping bag lady. I match the characters with something that I've seen. I haven't seen a bear costume yet but hopefully I'll see one this Halloween. Although I remember seeing a rabbit costume once.

Zeynep said...

Love love this poster.. it really reflects the inside of the subways :)) every kind of person is there:D I just have not seen the bear guy :p

Mangomo said...

I saw your poster on the train this week and was immediately enamored by all the lovely characters, especially the two young girls in hijab with headphones and converses. As a muslim woman, nuanced and playful depictions of Muslims are sorely missing from mainstream media and I was thrilled to see you capture the quirky charm of these two young girls. I immediately wrote down your name and I'm so happy to see that I can purchase this poster. Buying it right now! It's so very lovely and your drawings make me want to continue drawing (I like to draw but have no where near the talent and wonder in your work)
Thank you!
Maryam

NRIGirl said...

Just saw one on the R train and couldn't take my eyes off it! As soon as I got off looked you up and here we are.

It is a great work of art. I am going to find that book to read about the characters.

Thank you for the inspiration!

Augusto Palmeira said...

TWO BIG THUMBS UP...Awesome, Fantastic, it really represents the NYC subway people, outstanding job!!! Congratulations.
Augusto Palmeira - NYC Subway passenger.

Anonymous said...

I spotted the poster on the F-train tonight -- such beautiful art. Had to find out who created it, and it led me to you. Now I have to get this poster.

Di Jazz said...

Amazing job Sophie. I just LOVE IT!!
It is amazing to see how detailed oriented you are. Everybody, every New Yorkers is portrayed in this poster. Well done. I see myself as the brunette reading, squeezed between the fisher man and the guy with his dog (in his sweater)... I just realized that it was a dog!!! lol

Pixiewinkle said...

OMG. Haven't been to your blog for awhile and so I didn't know about your poster until I saw it today on the 6 train. I about near swooned. It is so fabulous:) kudos.

oliver said...

A master piece of a poster on the NYC MTA. That poster lacks sufficient adjectives to describe the luster and alluring art work.

Anonymous said...

My mom told me about your art;we love the man in a red cap with the little girl; they look just like my dad and my daughter going on a trip around the city: my dad wears eyeglasses, red caps and I heart NY t-shirts and he always takes a backpack; and my daughter has short hair and last summer she wore similar dress. Your lovely poster really melts my heart.

tatiana said...

its amazing !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Grace | labor posters said...

I was smiling upon seeing you’re subway poster. I can relate to what the passengers are doing!

Maleeka said...

I love love love seeing this while on the train. Gosh, you're talented. I definitely want a copy of this for my room in the military to remind of home. NYC baby!

Anonymous said...

this is utterly amazing! i love the plaid pattern that crosses directly over the two suits.

my only question- where is the ball coming from? i think from the child on the right?

mommyisshopping said...

I was in awe when I saw the poster on my way in to work this morning. Fabulous. It so sums up all the reasons why I love living here and always why I return no matter where I may roam.

I was even more pleased to see it was your work after I googled it. My daughter has just started reading Ivy+Bean.

jwinglee said...

Love your picture and saw I it in the F train. Have tried to buy just the picture without the frame how do I do it?

Bellezza Caotica said...

Your picture brightens my commute to work and home... I stare at it, and smile at every detail. Talented you are. Insightful. A visionary. A creative genius, who shares her beautiful colors, patterns, faces, and expressions with the world. Kudos!

Anonymous said...

Yay! A perfect gift for a friend who used to live in the city.

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Anonymous said...

My family and I were in New York for my son's graduation from NYU. We of course road the subway and were very impressed with your artwork in the cars. We purchased "missed connections" and are very happy with it. You are truly gifted and your work will live forever.

Anonymous said...

I work for the mta and I have to say that I'm obsessed with it. I'll also be buying it and I want it in the same frame that it's in on the train. Keep up the good work.

Sean said...

A few weeks ago I took my 8th grade students from Columbus, Ohio on their class trip to New York. We spent a lot of time on the subway and we saw your poster everywhere. I loved it. It captured the beauty in the diversity of our fellow passengers, and really illustrated the best parts of traveling on the subway.
I'm working on a series of blogs about our trip, and ideally I would have posted a picture or two of my kids on the subway--somehow I didn't take any photos though when we were on the subway, and so I would love to use one of the panels from your poster, if you'd be willing to give me permission to post the picture on my blog.

Thanks again for your wonderful piece of art that you've shared with your fellow travelers

Alvaro Naddeo said...

Wonderful art, congratulations!!!

Anonymous said...

After getting on the 4 train at Yankee Stadium after a loss in 99 degree heat I saw your poster on the wall. When some people eventually got off I managed to get a quick look and see your name. When I saw it on line I fell in love with it!
It IS so New York...and I love New York! It brightened my day!

LAUGHING (atChemo) THERAPY said...

Love the poster!!! But just curious of what all those wires on the floor about?

Susie McCalla said...

I just spent two weeks in NYC babysitting our grand-dog while our son and his new bride went on their honeymoon. We took the subway everywhere and there was your poster. I love it so much and just ordered one from the MTA store. Thank you for giving so much pleasure.

Susie McCalla said...

We just spent two weeks in NYC babysitting our grand-dog while our son and his new bride went on their honeymoon. We took the subway everywhere and there was your poster. I love it and have just ordered one from the MTA Store. Thank you for giving so much pleasure.

Roy said...

Hi Sophie! I'm a New Yorker who sees your artwork daily. I'm dying to use your subway art as my Facebook cover photo at the top of my fb.

First, I want to get your permission before using it of course, but second, it's too long to show everyone it's full awesomeness on my fb page! So, since you are releasing pictures of the art on your blog, would you consider creating Facebook cover size versions, cropped in a manner that best fits your artistic eye? I could of course crop it myself, but I figured mentioning it to you may give you some ideas (artistically or simply marketing).

I'm a big fan of your work and I would love to share it will all of my friends!

rOy

BurningTongues said...

I like this peice, but I have to say that I am having trouble understanding why you would put a rat tail on the little Latino kid playing with a ball knowing how NYers despise rats as filthy pests. Was that a little under the radar social critique?

Jennifer said...

I was just searching for info on the tail. I've stared at this poster for months, but only noticed the tail yesterday. I didn't see the kid as Spanish, just as a kid with his mother (of any race). Was the tail added to see if anyone would notice, or was there a reason? A little rat throwing a ball on a moving train perhaps and causing trouble?

SusyQ said...

Came across your poster on the downtown E train while back in NYC (hometown!) for a visit. Loved it and am ordering it from the MTA shop.

Six Months said...

I love this poster so much, I took a photo of it the other day. A few weeks later a woman did the same thing and we chatted about it. Thanks!!!

signs California said...

Wow, this is just amazing! Thank you for sharing this post because I will certainly never see this in person. The details are just incredible. I so love your very cool idea of having a mini poster at the background. Indeed, the subway is a whole lot different world where you get to see the beautiful eccentricity of people.

Unknown said...

Just got my poster in the mail after our trip to visit our son in New York. He pointed out your poster on the subway. I was so glad to find it and can't wait until I have it on the wall.It will hang in my sewing room and remind me just why my son loves New York everytime I see it. Thanks for a wonderful reminder.

Anonymous said...

Came across your poster before the hurricane shut the subway down. Really love the poster especially the brouncing ball and the balloon girl. So many stories in there.

cheap prom dresses said...

Thank you for sharing this with us... a privilege to see the piece in development. Really wonderful characters with stories to tell, and enough visuals to keep a traveller imagining on even the dullest of journeys.

Steve A said...

I've been checking out your poster on the subway for almost a year now. I love finding new details every time i see it. It's awesome ... artistic, humorous, colorful, and just fun.

I have to know ... who actually dropped the ball?

lrk397 said...

Hi Sophie,
I love your work! I am a 2nd grade teacher in a NYC public school. My class is studying subways and other modes of transportation. We have one group of students who is particularly interested about the art in the subways. Would you have any interest in talking to them about your work? We could skype or in person. Or maybe you could even write up something for me to share with them? let me know!! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'd looked at the poster dozens of times. Fantasizing the stories of the characters. I've only recently noticed the poster of the poster in the poster; and, of course, the tiny poster of the poster in the poster of the poster. Brilliant! Easily my favorite subway art so far

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Toño said...

Maybe I'll never see it on the NY subway, but at least I've ordered 3 of them to Spain :).
One for a future gift to a-yet-unkown-person, other for my school of arts, and the last one for me.

FeedTheSnake said...

I'm from California and visited New York for the first time back in May. I loved seeing this poster on the subway!

Anonymous said...

I'm from Venezuela and I'm visiting New York. I love your poster! Great job!

Dot Stewart said...

I live in Jersey. Visited NY just to ride the subway, saw the picture and absolutely loved it!!!

Toño said...

I'm from Spain and I purchased the poster from the MTA.
When I received it, I gave it to my arts teacher as a present.
He put it on the children classroom's wall. Now, children are enjoying drawing the characters very much.

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David DeMar said...

Ms. Blackall-
God bless you! This poster is as iconic and more beautiful than the best of New Yorker magazine covers and supasses any non-commercial contemporary art I've seen in a long time.I look forward to seeing more of your work at MOMA if it's not there already :-) Thank you creating it for the Lexington Express trains and the No.6!

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Zohreh said...

Hi,
Is there any way to buy this poster or a quality file. I like to print it on canvas if possible of course,

Thanks for great work and unique style!

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NYC Busker said...

I always saw these posters in the subway when I visited NYC. It was marvelous.

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