We all know the best way to guarantee new work is to plan a vacation. Sure enough the day before leaving I get a call from Lisa Schreiber at the Washington Post with a new assignment. The beauty about technology these days is that saying ‘Yes’ is much easier than it used to be. Along with my sketchbooks and favorite pens and pencils, I loaded my portable Epson CX84OO printer/scanner and laptop computer loaded with Photoshop andwireless access. A couple of rounds of sketches later I produced this cover for the Weekend magazine: an article about DVD movie rentals. Gotta love vacations!
I received more info about the article that it was more house and home based movie viewing than summer viewing.
Joannah Ralston of Insight Design commissioned me for a full pager and two spots for Milken Review. The job was in glorious black and white. I love the challenge of a limited palette assignment; it focuses my design chops.
The article is about the state of upward mobility in the USA. The myth is that if you work hard and are the best you will raise your economic status. The reality is that social class, education, and current economic realities are causing fewer and fewer opportunities for the underclass to improve their status.
Mary Beth Cadwell from Strorage Magazine is a new client for me. She sent me her layout in a PDF and I found this very useful for developing sketches relating to the article. In addition to the text, I had a graphic environment in mind that contributed to the ultimate solution for the illustration.
I received my first assignment from Governing Magazine through the Illoz website. The assignment dealt with judicial restraints in the sub-prime mortgage business. Concurrently, I was playing around with a new drawing approach in my sketchbook. After I got approval for the idea, I completed two finals and left it up to the AD to choose
Communication concepts are a common subject in our illustration profession. The trick is to try to discover yet another way to design a visual solution that is unique, or at least unique enough to call it one's own.
One of our jobs as illustrators is to keep everyday concepts fresh and interesting. Nowhere is this skill needed more than in business publications. How many ways can you conceptualize and draw Profit and Loss; Buy Low Sell High; Financial Goals? Fortunately for us, infinitely many. This drawing is for 'The Hazards of Sales Mismanagement' for Profit Magazine.
One of the joys of this business is the variety and range of gigs that come to you out of nowhere. The other month I get a call from a guy in Chicago who said he googled ‘illustrator’ and my name came up (no thanks to my web placement efforts).He owned a trucking company and told me an idea he had while driving to work. He wanted a logo to show a truck smashing through walls, demonstrating speed of delivery to his customers. My first reaction was to be leery of a cold contact who may no nothing of illustration or how we work. However, he sounded cool over the phone and gave me a web address to check out his company. I come to find out he is also a professional sports photographer and this relieved me since I felt he knew something about our business. I told him my price and a request for 50% at the end of the sketch phase which he readily agreed to and I was off to the sketch house. He chose one which I refined and I received my check in two days (love this guy!). I refined the refined sketch into the final, delivered it via the illoz ‘workspace’, and have a piece that is not my usual fare but had a great experience producing. I love this business.
The 'refined' sketch (I never like to do tight sketches)
A job I just completed is an excellent example of what well managed collaboration can produce. The ultimate client is Out of the Classroom (OOTC), a company that creates programs to deal with alcohol related problems for colleges and universities. The designer who got me involved is a principal at Essinger Sullivan. At the start of this project, the illustrator, the designer, and the marketing director from OOTC got together face to face and discussed the goals of the project and the technical requirements. At the end of that brainstorming session, we had a solid direction (from initial sketches by me) that everybody bought into. The end result was a campaign that succeeded on multiple levels and is producing solid results. For me it is a big win for illustration once again demonstrating its flexibility and strength in portraying compelling ideas and messages.
In response to Leo's battle to show more skin, I thought I would post a drawing I did for a Dirty Joke book. When I started this project, I feared that I would be censored but was pleased to find that I was allowed to show whatever the text dictated. Thanks Heather at Peter Pauper!
David Yount is the woderful AD at this mag (NFPA Journal) and the challenge on each assignment is to take technical fire prevention subject matter into the realm of an interesting image. This image was for pleacement of smoke detectors.