Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mike McKenna 2012-13 Mask

Mike McKenna of the Peoria Rivermen/St. Louis Blues (born April 11, 1983 in St. Louis, MO.)

Artist: David Gunnarsson

Mike wrote about his mask at InGoal Magazine.

I requested the Bluenote as large as possible on one side of the mask, with the famous Gateway Arch and St. Louis skyline sketched within...

Obviously the Bluenote is the most iconic image of the team, and Dave’s original idea had it on both sides of the mask. And while I liked the idea as well, I also knew that Jake Allen’s 2012 mask was going to prominently feature the Bluenote on both sides. Several others had done it in the past, too. So I decided to go in a different direction, requesting the Blues script logo on the opposite side.

My other request was to include the Fleur-de-lis on the chin of the mask: this symbol is the focal point of the St. Louis flag, which also includes several converging stripes representing the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Dave did a fantastic job of artistically transferring the spirit of the St. Louis flag onto the chin of the mask in Blues colors.

As usual, Dave included many little details in the design of the mask, but my favorite is the inclusion of a Clydesdale on the side of the mask. For those who may not know, Budweiser is based in St. Louis and utilizes this breed of horse in many of its promotional endeavors. Seeing the Budweiser Clydesdales hitched to the wagon in full regalia is an image near and dear to every St. Louisan's heart, one that I felt deserved to be included in the mask. Initially I feared the Clydesdales might make the design too busy, but Dave found a cool, subtle way to include them and I couldn’t be happier!

The rest of the mask is simply an extension of previous designs. Initially inspired by former IRL driver Jeff Ward’s racing helmet, this basic design helps convey my passion for racing and is transferable to any team: all I have to do is shift the colors around.

...the backplate is the part of the mask I feel most comfortable with having a few personal tributes.

People often ask about the “smiley halo guy”: he doesn’t have a name, but he is my little mascot. As you can see from his raised left hand, he’s a happy metalhead just like me. He also has a Saint’s halo, which is a tribute to my school, St. Lawrence University, where I was a Skating Saint. While creating him in high school, I blatantly ripped off a skateboard company called World Industries, whose mascot at the time was a smiley-faced cartoon nicknamed Devil Man.

Other features on the backplate include an American and checkered flag, as well as two M’s joined together; another little design I came up with in high school. The reasoning behind the flags should be obvious: I’m an American and I love racing.

New to this year’s mask is the inclusion of my amateur team’s logo: the Kirkwood Stars.

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