The latest contribution to Variety by Phoenix-based freelance illustrator Kelsey Dake is arguably her best work yet for the publication.
The sight of Shane Smith without a shirt is a familiar one. But here, Dake cleverly imagines the tattoos as inked emblems of his marquee, mainstream media partners. Previously for the re-energized Hollywood trade, Dake has created illustrations of Donald Trump, Lena Dunham and more.
In the accompanying cover story by Variety senior TV editor Brian Steinberg (written with some additional help from Todd Spangler), various folks weigh in on the imminent arrival of Vice’s cable channel Viceland:
“They are going after millennial men — it’s what everyone is trying to do to get them to embrace television channels like they did MTV back in the 1980s,” says Ira Berger, director of national broadcast buying at the Richards Group, a large independent ad agency based in Dallas. “I just think you have to win the lottery to make that one work.”
Perhaps. But given that Smith is a power baller, Berger should not discount the Vice disruptor’s chances at cashing in his latest ticket.
Dake tells FishbowlNY it took her around 15 hours, across a period of three days, to complete the Smith illustration. “I watched the Super Bowl and inked it at the same time!” she says.
And what does Smith think of the cover? Read his hot, shirtless take for yourself, via Dake’s Instagram account.