Rob Dunlavey
October 2008
The award was accompanied with excerpts from the judges' comments (no, my mother wasn't on the panel!)
A couple of nice things flew in through the transom this week:
1. a Gold Medal from the International Regional Magazine Association for an illustration I did for Adirondack Life last year.  Congrats to the magazine on its gold medal too! I'm big in Cape Breton at least!
2. A book: "100 Habits of Successful Publication Designers" by Laurel Saville and published by Rockport. This well-written and designed  inspiring book features the promised "100 habits"  from contributers such as Aram Duplessis, Luke Hayman, Steven Heller, Arthur Hochstein, Ina Saltz and Jason Treat. There is a section on working with illustrators that features Anita Kunz, Martha Rich, Edel Rodriguez and me.
Habit #71: "Leave Some Thing Out" Good advice from Edel Rodriguez. On the right: illos by Anita Kunz and Rob Dunlavey
A nice spread devoted to Edel's work and thoughts.
The page for Anita Kunz that showcases her range of conceptual approaches and emotion.
Integrated Building Systems
"Integrated Building Systems" for NFPA Journal | digital | AD: Dave Yount
pen, charcoal, Photoshop
The process of making an illustration 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.
sketches: watercolor, collage, pen, digital color
Dave's reaction to the first round of sketches was lukewarm and I decided to suggest an intricate puzzle rather than an abstract solution that clearly couldn't fit together. I created a 3-d wooden puzzle and started to disassemble it and create an interesting composition.
Flashbacks anyone? This is Adobe Dimensions 3.0 running in Classic. I render the shapes in postscript and copy them into Freehand where I do the bulk of my work.
left: hybrid sketch with abstract shapes and 3-d puzzle. right: Hmmm… second thoughts: maybe the article is really about miscommunication between different engineering disciplines.
The job started out as a single page illustration. Below are some details:
echoes of Doug Fraser!
I've never been an undecided voter. My first presidential election was back in 1974 (Muskie ran against Ford who gained office after Nixon's resignation in 1973). I wonder what an undecided voter looks like…
It must be exhausting jumping from ice floe to ice floe. Good luck Mr. Undecided Voter!
Credit Default Swaps
The art ran as a spread that bled off the right and bottom.
Newsweek Magazine Senior Art Director Dan Revitte asked me to draw him a picture of these financial "weapons of mass destruction".  I gladly obliged. Here's the illo and a few outtakes.
The CDS monster was inspired by an illustration I did for the BC Law Magazine that Dan saw in my illoz portfolio.
Dan wanted texture so I piled it on and got some nifty effects going.
My sketches were done in pen, washes and charcoal. The wash helped me stay focused on the mass of the monster figure and qualities of lighting that we had discussed. The final illustration was a hybrid of a few of sketches.
early and unused sketches
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