It occured to me this morning that my absence from Drawger although due to schedule, life, other distractions, is kind of irresponsible in a way, I mean I signed on to be a part of this group, was invited to this group, and there is really no other place like it out there where illustrators can freely talk about what they do aside from being featured in a design mag or website.
So for the past few weeks I've been fairly busy, a variety of jobs, but I can fall into a rut of uninspired just get it done sort of complacency, it's no fun, and not sure why it happens, because I love what I do. Sometimes I blame age, getting older, maybe I'm tired, can't hustle like I used to, can't mentally handle having more than a few jobs going at once. But honestly I do still love the work and have to ocassionally try to do something to break the day to day monotony. The idea of taking every job abd doing your best possible work, it's just not possible-for me at least-takes a lot of mental energy and focus.
I got this call from Aviva Michaelov to do the cover of the Sunday Review-"Yes! of course I'd be happy to do it" no matter the subject. The story was on how it's getting harder to get into the ivy league schools-for a variety of reasons-most of us can't relate.
I came up with a few ideas, out of reach, something hard to obtain. The ivy thing just seemed obvious, and I really enjoy drawing interwoven wires, vines, rope, so I was glad when Aviva said it was just what she was hoping for.
The NYTimes jobs are always a tight turnaround, I'd realized that my idea would be very very time consuming and the final was due next day, mid day. I quickly realized I was going to be up all night because there simply weren't enough hours to finish this. I was never good at all nighters, at some point I just become dead and nothing meaningful is happening, so I stayed up until 1:30 where I felt I was at a place where I could finish it up next morning, climbed into my sleeping loft-set my alarm for 5:30 and resumed working then. I was okay with this because one of the recurring thoughts I have these days is that I just don't spend enough time per piece and to reach a place in my work that I want to be will simply require long hours-and focus.
I had another NYT cover job come in a few days later which will run this Sunday, and I had one a few weeks back. It's funny because I had sort of a long dry spell with the Times, used to do lots with Brian Rea for the Op Ed page and prior to that with Steven Guarnaccia. I like having my work there, especially covers, but you are exposed, and lots of people are seeing the work. I like that pressure.
As I said, I had another cover a few weeks back, assigned by Paul Jean. Paul is another art idrector at the Times who lets me pretty much do what I want. The article was on the new HBO series Silicon Valley, a show about programmers. My approach is kind of like this big complicated TV set to focus on a guy programming-obviously. This piece is more narrative, people doing things, it's kind of rare for me and something I wrestle with, doing people in my vector way of working is a challenge, but I'm working on it since there's a whole direction I want to go in with that. Paul called me this week as well for another cover, Summer Movies cover for tomorrow. Small snippet from that below.