Friday, January 27, 2006

Magazine Spot Illustration Assignment

For those newcomers to the field of commercial illustration, the following account illustrates a typical illustration assignment that began and ended in a positive note. It is my experience that unless you have a good working relationship with an art director, most jobs are a big pain in the ass and most art directors suck moose dick (pardon my french).

This is an example of a great art director who understands what you do, realizes that time is of the essence and has a well-defined idea of what she wants to get done.

The following transpired over a weekend. First actual email after a brief phone introduction on Thursday afternoon:

It was a pleasure talking with you.
So here is what I need:

Two illo spots, for 'The Week' section of the magazine.
'The Week' is the review section consisting
of different departments for the city's art and culture.

For the 'Movies' section, I need an illo of Orson Welles. His films will be
playing at the Film Forum for 8 weeks so there is no particular character
you have to adhere to. Please see attached images of Orson both old and
young. I think he is most recognizable in his older years, bearded and
overweight, but it's your call which works best for you.

For the kids section, it's Family Day at Morris-Jumel Mansion where kids get
a tour of gallery artwork, colonial dance lessons, quill pen writing,
butter-churning, a behind the scenes look at George Washington's
bedchambers, study, and other rooms by General Washington himself as he
recounts his memories of the Fall of 1776. I advise you to go to to get a better feel of the time period. I like to see
an illo of two kids (in modern clothes), one churning butter, the other
holding a quill pen and in between them is a portrait of George Washington
in museum type setting.
I need sketches for Friday and finals for Monday."

Based on the email I googled images of people churning butter and the George Washington portrait, in less than two minutes I gathered just what I needed to prepare the roughs. God bless Google!

I finished both sketches in less than an hour and emailed them to get her approval.

Orson Welles Sketch

Churn Sketch

"Everything is good to color. I sincerely hope to be working with you
again very soon."

Orson Welles


Ah!, nice! Don't you wish every assignment went that smooth?



Sylvia Menéndez said...

a pesar de estar hecha polvo con un gripazo, quiero aunque sea comentarte algo de estos dibujazos, realmente te pasaste, pibe! Tanto a linea como en colores, me encantan!

thec said...

Ah dmn. I'm impressed.


FrogDaddy said...

shit!you ARE the process junkie!
that was better than one of those
step-by-step graphic magazines!
loving the cigar smoke morph into
film strip...nice touch! there's this great scene in this Peter Jackson film "heavenly creatures" where the two heroines (one a young & yummy kate winslet) are running from this crazy
claymation dream version of Orson Welles...great post professor...
great direction = great execution

St John Street said...

this style is so fresh can't wait to see the finished work for the mag!!

John Beatty said...

Very nice...thanks for the look into the "process!"

And thank god for the "few good" AD's out there!!!

Anonymous said...

great work (as always!)

mantaux said...

siempre kise hacer un retrato de orson welles. siempre me ha atraido con barba, capa, sombrero y puro. te has adelantado en mi tiempo. guapa interpretacion.

Mike Feeney said...

Awesome job, The speed at which you can complete such great art is truely mind boggling. You are a fantastic talent. Way to go!! :)

Frank M Hansen said...

Thank you for the compliment on my blog. I love your work. The main reason I by "Draw" magazine is to read your Illustrator tips. This step by step on your last blog post is really helpful, and the work kicks as as always. Your creative line work is amazing.

insanitay said...

Still got the goods....but what do you expect? HAhaha....Looks great and lets me know what is possible if I keep working at it (which is hands right now!) Also, just letting you know that I've put up the Freyre drawings! So if you can point people in that direction Thanx! Boa Noite!!!

Jesse said...

Monk, these are pretty cool and I think I bought the issues where they appeared...can't remember. I didn't know the whole process you went through and how quickly you came up with these. They're very different and angular which I love. Keep doing great work, monk!

martin wittig said...


Jess said...

Hey Alberto do you know of any good tutorials for Adobe Illustrator?? Good work man!!

Process Junkie said...

Sylvia: Get well soon, my friend, the world needs you. Que te mejores pronto!

thec: That's what all the girls say after I show them my hairy chihuahua.
Mars The Dog (yes, that's his real name)

Frogdaddy: Orson Welles rules! speaking of art directors, remember that little scumbag and his smelly bitch sidekick at DKNY who made me (and you) jump through hoops only to pull the plug at the end and whom I had to threaten to get my money for the ton of work I gave them? heh, heh! (I'll never work in this town again, LOL!!) Well, a friend wanted to recommend me to an art director friend of a friend of his and it turned out to be lil' Scumby himself, what a small world ain't it? :)) I heard they kicked him out of that place.

Mantaux Me encantaría ver tu interpretación, Orson tiene mucha clase, aún mucho después de habernos dejado. What a character!

Mike Feeney man, that shit was done the minute I finished reading her email! LOL! See, Mikey, any working illustrator can tell you, the execution is the least of our problems, the issue and the delay is always trying to get the concept and roughs approved, that's where we waste precious time, AD's will sit and knitpick the fuck out of any project for petty reasons, had it been a different art director I'd still be making changes to those illos, I swear! I have worked with some great art directors as well and they are great because they know how to communicate their vision clearly and they hate wasting valuable time in irelevant bullshit, the illustrator in turn gives 100% and makes every effort possible to make him/her happy.

Frank M Hansen: Thanks for the support, Frank.

Insanitay: I did better, I placed a link to your blog, great stuff, scott!!

Jesse: Yeah, I think you have them, they appeared in New York Magazine some time ago, they printed them smaller than I thought they would but that was out of my control.

Thank you, Martin, Jason, St. john, BigGuy and anyone I'm forgetting. Jess, I don't know of any but I'm sure if you do a google search you'll find plenty.

I hardly use Adobe Illustrator these days.


Kevin said...

As always some fantastic designs from you, the company I have been freelancing for gives me an idea of what they want say...poster on Electricity Safety, says do what you want with the idea and then spends the next few weeks revising it to what the need but couldn't explain in the 1st place.

Jess said...

Did you use photoshop in this??

Process Junkie said...

Kevin: These days I say to people who are interested in hiring me to illustrate something: "let me do what I want and I'll do it for free" and they get scared, even some of my own friends do it, " I like you to do a drawing for my book or cover" "do what you want" and then they proceed to tell me precisely what they want me to do, in precisely what paper, what style, etc, etc.. I really don't miss the business of freelance Illustration or graphic design for that matter.

Jess: No, I used Illustrator, but like I said, that was done a long time ago, I draw a lot using pencils and brushes these days. I've been messing around with illustrator pretty much ever since it came out in the late eighties, since Illustrator 88 if memory serves me well, you were 3 or 4 years old then, in those days there were no web tutorials, heck, there was no web! My friend Barry and I learned the old fashion way: at the job, reading the fuckin' manual with our boss breathing down our necks, you'll be surprised how fast you learn that way :).


Kyle Marshall said...

Holy shit, that is one crazy welles. Love the style

Joan said...

The Orson Welles sketch is superb. You really captured the personality of the subject. I like both the sketch and the colour version.

Jorge Noujaim said...

Thanks for sharing your experience.
Great illustrations!!

Process Junkie said...

Kyle, Joan & Jorge: Thank you so much for stopping by, I appreciate the comments.