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Explaining the Explanation

FEBRUARY 10, 2007
a draft of the final illustration. I created it in Freehand and added 1-bit textures I developed in Painter and Photoshop.
PLANSPONSOR Magazine art director SooJin Buzelli contacted me through illoz.com a week or two ago to do a 1/3 page illustration for the April issue. The subject was interesting and SooJin's direction was compelling:

"Explaining the New Statement Explainations". Basically the "How to guide" for another "How to guide". I hope you can come up with some fun solution for this. What I DON'T want to see is any hint in the illustration that the article is about finance. So, no business man, briefcase, $ signs, etc.! Please create something you'd want in your portfolio. I'm attaching some of my favorites from you sites."

Within an hour or two, I had posted a few rough sketches in a newly created illoz Workspace and emailed her that the process was underway.
a first rejected rough concept. I started out with this complicated abstract background and added a book and this figurative element poking through the thicket.
My second sketch in ballpoint pen and colored digitally
I knew the second sketch would work the best but later, I further explored the  concept she had given me: "Explaining the Explanation" to see if I could come up with something better or different. Sometimes the solution just happens and other times it's a frustrating fishing expedition. This additional research was just for fun mostly: what other fish were in the pond?
Nope, not this one although I'd like to render it someday. It reminds me of Mark Fisher; he does stuff kind of like this.
Maybe this one. It was closest to the original sketch I liked.
Nahhh… maybe?
Try a Dalí or Saul Steinberg approach?
PLANSPONSOR was  a new client after all and I figured I would try to offer them a variety of approaches. Luckily, SooJIn was certain of her original instinct and we agreed on the sketch we both new could succeed.
the final flipped art.
After I sent the final (above), she wondered if it could be flipped because of the page it was appearing on. That was an easy one. From Freehand I exported the EPS file. I then rasterized it in Photoshop (350 dpi TIFF, CMYK) and uploaded the hi-res files to the Workspace at illoz. End of story!
Topical: work