The process of making an illustration
pen, charcoal, Photoshop
is often like the subject of this spread I recently completed for NFPA Journal. NFPA is an excellent editorial client and I always look forward to working with the talented and sympathetic art director Dave Yount
The article was about the evolving state of building design that anticipates the integration of various mechanical, climate control and fire safety systems. My immediate thought was to show cranes assembling mismatched modules that represent different systems.
Like the real-world issues
described in the article, this illustration for me, resulted in a hard-to-reconcile combination of abstract concepts and realistic rendering that ultimately undermined my original artistic concept. The illustration is pretty and was fun to paint but I think that once I went down the 3-d road and incorporated the letterforms (I, B and S), we lost the streamlined communicative and graphic power that was in the sketches. I'm not going to lose any sleep over this but I'll be more attentive as I sketch in the future. Also, mind your step as you exit the concept phase of an assignment and enter the rendering phase. In the best jobs, they are somehow magically integrated.