Jerry Nelson was a huge influence on my life, most likely yours too. I had a lot of people request that I do a tribute piece for Jerry, and while I agreed, figuring out just what to do was tough until it was suggested he be meeting up in Heaven with a few other Muppeteers who've left this planet too. I admit, it's a bit schmaltzy, but I really do like the imagery of Jerry Nelson meeting back up with Muppet writer Jerry Juhl, his long time partner Richard Hunt, and of course the legendary Jim Henson.
I wanted to use a limited and soft color palette, and while I wanted the setting to feel slightly surreal, I tried not to overdo the clouds and golden streets approach. Richard was the hardest to create, and this is actually his first attempt that I settled on after finalizing two others. Richard is the only one waving back to Jerry as they were so often partnered. Richard and Jerry performed the Two Headed Monster on Sesame Street together, Richard using his right hand to manipulate the monster's one head, and Jerry used his left to puppeteer the other. Hence why they are waving to each other with those hands.
The lyrics surrounding the piece are from "When The River Meets The Sea", a song from Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas. Jerry performed Emmet Otter and sang this song.
Line art and coloring was done in Illustrator using mostly the pen tool, and special effects were applied in Photoshop.
Jerry Nelson, July 10, 1934 – August 23, 2012