Ella, Enchanting

In honor of Ella Fitzgerald, the extraordinary artist whose birth is commemorated by today’s particularly charming Google Doodle, here’s a little bit o’ Ella and Mack:
YouTube Preview ImageAnd Ella and Louis:
YouTube Preview ImageActually, just go here. And listen. And be entranced.

Something about that particular doodle struck me when I saw it this morning. It’s unusual; almost 3D-ish. Which is why this Romanian website article (with the help of Google Translate) was so interesting: “…the image that hundreds of millions of people see this morning with Ella Fitzgerald is a photo, not a drawing.”

At first, I couldn’t find an English confirmation, and was preparing to roll with the Romanians, myth or no. (When you have potentially conflicting myths and facts, you know which one to print, right?) But then, I found this:

Ms. Fitzgerald’s songs are soulful, jazzy, and create a very particular mood when played.  I wanted to make sure that my doodle captured that essence.  I chose to create the doodle out of cut paper because I knew that I could use this technique to imitate real stage-lighting and theatricality.

I did a few test photo shoots, but it still felt like it was missing something! The colors weren’t nearly as vibrant and blues-y as the photographs I had found of Ms. Fitzgerald singing. I could have altered them in Photoshop, but I felt like that would have defeated the purpose of using traditional media. It wasn’t until I started to experiment with colored LED lights that I felt like the piece came together. This really helped the illustration feel like it was a lit stage! – Betsy Bauer

About Joseph Susanka

Joseph has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since graduating from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. A grateful resident of Wyoming, he spends his free time exploring the beautiful Wind River Mountains, keeping track of his (currently) seven sons, being amazed by his (currently) lone daughter, and thanking his lucky stars for Netflix.