Jeremy Smith’s New ‘Civil War’ Blue Jackets Mask
For his new Columbus Blue Jackets mask, goaltender Jeremy Smith wanted to include some elements of a Civil War theme, fitting given the NHL team’s name was inspired by Ohio’s ties to the Civil War.
Starting with an idea first discussed when Manning painted Smith’s first mask for this season, they added other related elements of Americana, including stars and stripes, eagles, the U.S. Constitution, and Abraham Lincoln.
“When I draw out designs I always create two, one in one direction and one in another. This way the goalie can approach their ideas from multiple perspectives,” Manning told InGoal. “With Smitty’s first CBJ mask, the Civil War theme was the other idea we had. So when it came time for his new mask, we evolved and refined that theme for his new playoff bucket.”
Manning said Smith liked the idea of “a bold CBJ logo creating a anchor for the whole design.” They balanced it out with inverted stars and stripes taken from the flags of the Civil War era, all capped on the chin by the team’s cannon logo.
“Smitty wanted a clean design that could be made out from afar but when you got closer more elements would pop out at you,” said Manning, who spent four hours painting the Lincoln image on the left side. “Abe was really fun to paint. Going down to super fine details like individual chin hairs. The lighter areas however are where the details come in to play. On the right side of the mask is the iconic eagle, powerful and deadly. Ghosted above is the American seal. On the other side the details keep going with the American Constitution painted above the logo.”
The mask really pops, whether from a distance or up close.
“It’s all wrapped up with super pearls, vintage ghosted effects and a nice water sand and polish,” Manning said, praising Smith for the active role he played in the design process. “I say this all the time but its true, its really nice working with the goalies one-on-one.”
You can check out more of Manning’s work, including the brilliant “Eye’s In The Back Of His Head” design for Red Wings prospect Petr Mrazek, at Air Trix Studios, on their Facebook page, on Twitter, or at the Air Trix Instagram account, which includes behind-the-scenes shots of masks in progress.
In the meantime, enjoy these close ups of Smith’s stunning new mask: