I’m a New (Mad) Man.


When I noticed a lot of my fellow Twitterers sporting stylish, 1960s-style customized avatars, I asked how they were doing this.

I was quickly turned on to MadMen Yourself. It’s a promotional site for MadMen, AMC’s hit series about randy ad execs in JFK’s America. (Season 3 of the award-winning drama starts August 16.)

selfThe MadMen Yourself software enables users to create quasi-lookalike stand-ins. (That’s mine, above, compared to my photo in the lower left-hand corner.) Utilizing the app, one can select everything from gender, build, and skin color to nose shape, eyebrow type, and tie pattern. The illustrated elements are all done in the art style of Dyna Moe, right, the New York City-based illustrator whose classic, fan art desktops for the show have slaked the thirst of self-described “Maddicts” across the web.

As a non-MadMen watcher, however, it was Moe’s work, itself, that’d captivated my attention, as already stated. Her graphics said martinis, space shots, and bossa nova without ever actually naming them. It seemingly evoked a cluster of references; everything from Saul Bass’s iconic cutouts to the retro, much-heralded opening credits for 2003’s Ewan McGregor-Renee Zellwegger vehicle, Down With Love.

I couldn’t exactly place from what she was pulling, though. So, I was glad when Moe briefly spoke directly and specifically to her influences:

I’m inspired by and emulating illustrators Aurelius Battaglia, Alice & Martin Provensen, Art Seiden and J. P. Miller (among others) who did illustration and commercial art during the era the show is set. (Check out Flickr groups Mid-Century Illustrated and Retro Kid to see the originals that blow my stuff out of the water).

If you’ve never seen Dyna Moe’s work, check it out, and definitely take a run through MadMen Yourself. It’s better than steak with a side order of steak.



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