This was just finished for a magazine that needed a feature illo about authentication fraud, and wanted the ol' conceptual chestnut of the police line up, except somehow show them all being the same person. This is the initial sketch.
The art director was happy with it, but he told me he was gay and felt perhaps insecure about the mohawk dude, who reminded him of the Village People. He wanted to ask the editor first if he felt the same before approval. He called me back with (surprise) more changes based on the editor's discussion. Rasta dude had to be nixed, and replaced with another woman. Also, the kid had to be more of a teenager, and the Village People guy had to look more like an office worker. Over all, they also wanted more tech worker vibe. So, please send a revise...
The a.d. called back and said now it would also be the cover art, and the woman in the middle looked like a transvestite! So, put on a skirt and rearrange the figures so that they could crop in on the center section (using three or four figures) and use that part for the cover. One last revise, please...
The approved final sketch.
I had fun. I like the art director a lot. I learned that drawing women with mustaches can turn them into transvestites unless I put them in a skirt and emphasize their curves.
I just returned from an amazing camping trip with friends in the Sierras to some great news from the publisher about an apparent flurry of reviews for the latest picture book project that's out, "Mom and Dad are Palindromes", by Mark Shulman. An "A" from Entertainment Weekly, great reviews from NY Times Book Review, Publisher's Weekly. Hardly any of the picture books I've done have gotten many mainstream reviews, so it's really exciting.
At this point, I've sort of gotten used to my picture books dissappearing into the void, so it's really encouraging that maybe this one will grow some legs. It was an incredibly tough job in that there was barely a story line, no character development, and the subject matter was words (101 palindromes had to be built into the artwork).
That said, the writing was great, and of course palindromes are a blast. Me and my fiance, Cynthia Wigginton (who designed it), had to work together with the publisher to make sure it all flowed properly. It was fun, but man it was hard.