Tim OBrien
May 2010
The Pope for Time
In 1989 I did my first cover of Time.  That cover was with Rudy Hogland as the Art Director and I could only hope I'd get to do another.  In the years that followed I did many covers for Arthur Hochstein and some for Joe Zeff.  When Arthur left Time this fall I wondered if my run had ended, if Time would move on?  My last cover was Sonia Sotomayor last year.  A couple of days ago D.W. Pine, the now head Art Director at Time asked if I could do a cover.  
It was pretty straight forward; paint the Pope from the back.

I had a pretty good reference shot that lacked some focus and my job was to make an image that could run.  I asked if I could go right to finish and D.W. said yes.  I worked non-stop for many hours and finished around mid-day on Tuesday.
(I had until Wednesday but I had another job due…you know the drill).

I think the cover is powerful and am so thankful to Time and D.W. for continuing my relationship with Time and their covers.  It's a relationship I cherish.

Since I started doing covers for Time, I've seen the magazine redesigned several times, always well done.  For this lasted redesign I did the first cover last year, however I had yet to do a cover with the birth of the iPad.
At midnight I checked it out and there it was, my first iPad cover.

As for the Catholic church, sorry always worked for me.

By the way, I knew how to paint the sequins on the Pope's garment via a lesson painting several pieces for the USPS with my Judy Garland stamp.
They're easy and it is funny that both Judy Garland and The Pope find sequins the go-to look.

Gold Award for Neda Poster

On a whim I entered a poster I made of the Neda "Eyes" illustration from last summer into the Graphis Poster Annual.  The poster was originally included in a collection on the blog, 'Socialdesignzine'.  Eventually, the Iranian government censored the blog.  A year later, little is said in the press about the stifling of the opposition movement in Iran.
This illustration was created about a year ago and I wrote about it on Drawger and it quickly went viral and hundreds of Iranians offered their comments.
Yesterday I found out that the poster won a gold award from Graphis. 
It was one of the quicker pieces I've ever done; a drawing imported into photoshop and completed there.  Not many refinements just a focus on the eyes.  
Bicycling Magazine
Recently in a conversation with fellow illustrators I commented that I never painted a bike.  After 23 years I've painted everything and everyone.  A common thing such as a bike has never been assigned.  A day later I received a call from Bicycle Magazine to do an illustration of a cyclist who is traveling down a road and entering a beautiful scene or vista.  
I pieced together a quick digital sketch to show what I would go for and then started gathering reference.  The main shot could not be used as is, so I had to alter many elements and if I could show you the original you would see the drastic difference between my art and the reference provided.

What I did not want to do was to paint every gear and detail of the bike so I tried to deal with it as an object or sculpture.  This made the eye stay low on the bike and see the road and vista rather than WHO was riding the bike.

There are many Drawgers that love their bikes and are serious cyclists.  Dale Stephanos being the main devotee but other are Leo Espinosa, Dave Flaherty, Roberto Parada and Harry Campbell.  

As I continue to run and work through injuries everyone tells me that riding is the way to go.  It certainly allows you to see more miles and do that quickly.
This what what I thought of as I painted the landscape.
Gears are a pain to paint.  That and concentric circles.  Occasionally I have to paint some sort of tire or dinner plate.  It's always a challenge.  The rims wobble a tiny bit.

The grass was fun to paint and will be featured in a future post here.
Here is the rough approved sketch.  Things that had to change were all the things I don't know about.  Wheels, pedals, gear in general had to be the right kind of stuff.

This Friday, May 7th, The Society of Publication Designers will have it's 45th annual awards presentation, this year at Cipriani Wall Street.
In the category of Illustration: Cover, there are 5 finalists.  One is for my Rolling Stone cover, "Bush Apologizes", art director, Joseph Hutchinson.

Part of the Jury process is already complete and my cover for Discover Magazine was a merit winner, art director Mike Diioia (yes, that's 5 vowels in a row!).
Looking over the list of art directors involved with award winning work I see several repeated names: Arem Duplessis for the New York Times Magazine, Scott Dadich of Wired,  David Curcurito of Esquire and a newcomer, Fred Woodward of GQ. Others include John Korpics of Fortune, Janet Froelich of Real Simple and Arthur Hochstein of Time.

Looking forward to watch our industries talented Art Directors celebrate their craft.  They certainly do that in style.
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