I've been incredibly busy with life and work. Many thanks to the fine people who have visited the blog in my absence and a special note of gratitude to those who took the time to leave comments, I'll make sure to reply before I leave to catch my plane.
I'm heading to San Francisco to attend Wondercon at the Moscone Convention Center downtown, if you are in the area please do drop by and say hello, as usual, a good time awaits us this Friday Feb 10th, Saturday & Sunday, this is my first convention of the year (first of many I hope) so it's pretty special. I'll be sharing a table in the 'Artist Alley' area with my friend Howard Shum, if you're not sure of our location, check the show's program we're listed under Howard Shum & Alberto Ruiz. Hope to se you there.
Back To Business
This was another great project for me because the art director granted me complete freedom to do my thing. I'm only showing you the jobs which gave me the most satisfaction and the ones in which I was allowed the liberty to create, most jobs are not like this, be prepared to struggle :) I stopped doing work for these guys only because it was hell getting paid, other than that they were the nicest people to work with.
First actual email:
"What's up Alberto? Hope all is well.
Here is a draft of the story that was supposed to run in the last issue. We
were not able to run it then because it was not submited on time. Please
call me if your interested in doing this.
So & So (not actual name)
DOWN BUT NOT OUT: Terrorisms Triple-Border Sanctuary.
"A dangerous greenhouse where poisonous roots are developing."
Miguel Angel Toma, SIDE
Since the demise of two of the world‚s more supportive regimes, that of the
Taliban in Afghanistan and the dictatorship of Saddaam Hussein, which
finally drew to its inevitable close with his recent capture, Islamic
terrorism‚s traditional sources of income and harbour are dissipating.
Islamic terrorism is being forced to adapt and adopt new channels of revenue
and new havens within which to scheme. A recent example of this, which is
rapidly attracting attention away from the long-established hotspots of
Central Asia, the Sudan etc., is the infiltration of known terrorist cells
into the region known as the triple border in South America. This area
provides such groups with both the desired seclusion, due to the wild
inhospitality of the Patagonian desert, and the means to fund their
organisations, due to the rampant smuggling and increasing narcotic
trafficking which pass over the three borders. . . . ."
Just like in the previous assignment, I googled images of the Al Queda flag, some M-16 rifles or similar weapons, terrorists/militant pics and some inspirational images as well to get me in the mood.
As soon as I read the article I knew what I wanted to do, to understand better the assignment and not insult a whole race of people, I investigated the various terrorist organizations, how they came about, how they differ from one another, etc. it was truly fascinating I must say, I think I spent way more time researching than drawing the damn thing
From: Brandstudio Inc.
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2004 14:08:13 -0500
Subject: Re: Three borders illustration
Here's a low res composite of the illustration, instead of the dark
terror inspired stuff I opted for a cheerful "wish you were here" art
deco vacation postcard to convey the message of the area being a
virtual paradise for the terrorists, the arabic writing is actually the symbol
for Al Queda, everything's being re-drawn in Adobe Illustrator so it will look cleaner, sharper and a bit more angular. I'm scanning a page from an actual map of the area to give it
Unless you have major objections I'm moving forward with the concept and
I'll have it in your hands on the 26th.
I manipulated some pics to create this quick composite in photoshop. It's a mystery how an atrocious comp such as this gets the green light, but who's complaining? :)
This rough helped a great deal in figuring out the color palette and placement of the elements to be drawn from scratch in Adobe Illustrator.
"AWESOME!!!! I love it!
Go with it.
I started by drawing the somewhat sinister figure with the pen tool. I used one of Adobe Illustrator's default brushes for the pattern for his headpiece.
I drew the leaves individually and masked a bitmap pattern into each one.
The typeface was changed to 'Eclat", a font created by the great Doyald Young.
The 'depth' of the background was achieved by overlapping shapes filled with gradients using different transparency blends for each shape, set at arbitrary percentages, mostly trial and error.
After I finished the Illustration it ocurred to me to kill some of the brightness of the figure's head dress, and give the whole thing a 'time-worn' look.
I scanned a page from an old book, place it in its own layer, right above the finished illustration and set the transparency to "darken"
I liked the results but I wanted it a bit dirtier so I duplicated the 'yellow page' layer and set the transparency blend to burn.
I'll see you in San Francisco.