McNeese professor creates art for Steven Tyler's Skittles commercial

McNeese professor creates art for Steven Tyler's Skittles commercial

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Did you happen to see the Skittles "The Portrait" commercial during Super Bowl 50? If you didn't, watch the video below. Mobile users, click HERE.

In the commercial, Steven Tyler is staring at a self-portrait made entirely of Skittles, which comes to life while he sings "Dream On," the 1973 hit performed by Tyler and his band Aerosmith. The self-portrait finally explodes into million pieces after Tyler tells it to go "higher" and "higher."

What you might not know is Martin Bee, an art professor at McNeese State University, had a hand in creating the artwork for the commercial.

"I call it my 15 seconds of fame and it took me 65 years to get here," said Bee.

Nobody knew about Bee's involvement until Super Bowl night.

"I had signed a non-disclosure agreement, so that's why I couldn't say anything," said Bee.

What you may not notice about Bee while watching him draw, is he has Parkinson's Disease.

"When I draw, all the symptoms go away," said Bee.

He says the disease hasn't stopped him from making meaningful contributions to the world. The disease doesn't define him and he is still able to share his gift.

Bee got this prestigious job after being contacted by an ad agency a week before Christmas. A representative saw some of his work in the Directory of Illustration, a showcase for illustrators that is outsourced to major media outlets across America.

"After looking at my stuff they said, 'you have probably the right sense of humor to do this,'" said Bee.

Bee worked closely with the art directors at the ad agency, along with Tyler, to come up with the artwork for the commercial. It took Bee three days to complete it using a drawing program on his iPad.

Bee submitted several illustrations until the ad agency and Tyler agreed upon the sketch used in the commercial. His illustration of Tyler was then altered to incorporate the Skittles candies and turned into a live animation clip used in the commercial titled "The Portrait."

"They "skittlized" it and animated it. It came out to be a really fun commercial," said Bee.

Bee said he worked on other national campaigns but not along the lines of "this magnitude."

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