I thought I better put these up, while i've got a rare bit of spare time this afternoon, above are a selection of images I recently completed for Friends of the Earth.
This commission came about, as a result of the portrait I did of John Grant for Mojo magazine last year (see a previous post) the creative director of FOE, Glen Colegate got in touch as he'd spoken to John at a gig, and was made aware of my work from the glowing review this awesomely talented musician had given the portrait.
To cut a long story short Glen was able to pass on a signed print of the artwork to John Grant himself on my behalf (thanks Glen!) and suggested that he's like me to produce some work for FOE at some point in the future.
Fast forward a year on, and such a job came available, a series of images for a magazine published by Friends of the Earth.
The above images were borne out of I suppose a bit of struggle and hardship, not everything runs smoothly in this game as anyone will tell you. I accepted the commission with a little hesitation as initially there was an issue with the budget being below where I need it to be, but an agreement was made, and I was told that this job would be overseen by FOE art Director Glynn Perkins, who would be in touch when a brief was ready.
Nearly a month had passed without any contact and I assumed the job had been killed, not that I was too worried as in the interim I'd signed myself up for lots of other jobs, and then just as you'd expect I got an email telling me the briefs were being written up, at this point it then becomes a real issue in juggling jobs, especially as the deadline on these images proved to be particularly tight.
For a period there I was pulling my hair out, because if FOE had hit me earlier with the brief, say not long after the initial email to check my availability which is how this usually works, then it would have been fine, and i've had had longer to create the artwork, as it turned out I think I had maybe just over a week to hand in roughs and produce the final artwork, on top of the mountain of other work i'd taken on because I assumed this job was a no-go.
Still these things happen in this job, Glynn proved to be really good to work with and open to ideas, although it's fair to say I occasionally gave him a tough time on this job, mainly because I was so stressed out on this side, I expect great things from myself on every commission, whether that be a spot illustration or a cover, so if circumstances arise that threaten the production of great images, then it's fair to say i'm not a happy bunny, and i've been in this profession quite a while now, so i'm not afraid to voice my opinion.
In all there were 5 illustrations, one of which got killed (as I was at finishing stage) as it was deemed by the legal department to be potentially a bit iffy for them, I see their point, but in reality it didn't actually need to be killed, a case of legal airing on the side of caution, which lets face it, that's how they always works.. I quickly replaced it with another illustration, which I haven't put here, it's a perfectly fine image, but just treads a bit close to a previous image i've done, and I hate repeating myself.
The image that didn't see light of day, may very well get finished as a portfolio piece as it had all the hallmarks of a really great image, perhaps i'll post it here on another occasion.
As a whole though I was happy with the above images, particularly the top one, which I always felt was a great idea, and i'd love to work with Glen and Glynn at FOE again, preferably with a less limiting time frame and/or budget, that'll allow me to de-stress and just get on with making great images, which is what it's all about.