Tony Rodriguez illustrated the Paleo-Indian Migration for Smithsonian Magazine's special edition, "100 Most Epic American Adventures."
Art Director : Erik Washam
My full page illustration for Smithsonian Magazine was extremely challenging. The idea here was to portray the Clovis culture as they crossed from Siberia through the Bering Strait into the Americas. There was hardly any photographic reference of this culture, so the majority of this image was composed based on the archaeological research and excavation of this particular culture. I read that the first evidence of such a culture revolved around the excavated remains of a young boy. I thought it would be interesting to see this “boy” leading the Clovis people into the Americas, hence the foreground focus of the composition. Other challenges included the clothing and facial features. The Art Director was aiming for an obscure scene where no one depicted was readily identifiable. This project was about essence and in a lot of ways, fashion. In order for this to work historically, I had to eliminate any possibility of the elderly, since their life expectancy was 30 years old, and stay away from any fashion that was too advanced. This was the first project where I had several weeks to complete, and the time frame allowed me to really explore. - Tony Rodriguez