Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Make your own Usain Bolt!

So here's another illo for this week's Nuts, I should probably point out at this stage there a few magazines on the stands at the moment sporting my artwork, so if you've seen one of my illos in one of these mags and wonder why there's nothing posted, suffice to say i'll get around to them all (well the best ones) in good time.

Anyway back to this Nuts illo, I got the email pretty early on Monday to see whether I fancied drawing "The World's Fastest Man" Mr Usain Bolt for a feature in the mag, now at the time I was still awaiting feedback on a set of drawings i'd sent to another client, and to be fair I didn't know what the outcome on that job was going to be, so I was left with a dilemma; do I take the job and hope I can squeeze it in, or do I pass on it.

These decisions generally speaking need to be made quickly, certainly did in this case; things that swayed me was I loved the idea of drawing Bolt in kit form, secondly Barney who commissioned me on this had mocked up the exact kind of thing he wanted... I just had to draw it!

So as you can see from the above I took on this job, starting from the Monday lunchtime I had until Wednesday to complete the illo, not only that but also provide the illustrated type/headline.

The original plan was to start the drawing on the Tuesday, as it happens though the other client I was working with weren't in any hurry to get back to me, so rather than twiddle my thumbs I worked up a rough and sent to Barney in the afternoon.

I was maybe expecting an email back saying "Wow, that was quick.. that looks great colour it" the actual email went more like this "Wow, that was quick.. but it's kind of wrong" in order to save time instead of making each piece of Usain very much 'kit like' with a plastic front and separate plastic back, what I actually did is make each arm and leg more fully-formed and rounded, more like a deconstructed action figure.... Barney was right, this didn't look correct.

Back to the drawing board, next morning (Tuesday) I redrew the image with fronts and backs very much as above and sent for approval, it got the thumbs up and I coloured in for that afternoon, and sent away... right just the type to go... at about 4:30 I got an email asking whether I could change the keyline it was a bit too thick, now I draw my final work in Photoshop, not Illustrator so I had to go back through and redraw all the black linework... again Barney was right, it became a much tidier drawing with a smaller keyline.

Wednesday, just the type to do.... I'm going to say it now, I try and steer clear of typographic stuff, it's simply something i'm not confident with, I kind of have a working knowledge, which has certainly got better over the years, but I try and avoid where possible, this one was relatively easy though, Barney supplied the headline as a .ai file, I was asked to create a plastic frame and a Jamaican flag paint job.. even though this was one of the easier type things i've done, it still didn't stop it from having it's tricky moments, like I say it's not one of my strong suits, unfortunately I seem to get more and more along these lines.

Final artwork and type was with Nuts for Wednesday, having seen the artwork in print I think it looks great, it has a nice clean look about it, and in this case I can see why I was brought on board to do the type as it brings the design together (I'm just glad I didn't ruin it!) this is one of those images that I can only take partial credit for, certainly this is 50% Barney's illustration too, he laid out what he wanted, how he wanted it... so the success of this image is certainly credited as much to the Art Director as to anything I did.

Oh with regards to the other job I was working on at the same time, I didn't hear back from that until Thursday, you learn from being around as long as I have, that in this game, you have windows of opportunity, I guessed the other client would be slower in getting back to me, so that allowed me the necessary few days to tackle this commission... these things you learn as an illustrator with experience, Ha, occasionally though I still get it wrong, that's what keeps us on our toes!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

McConkey Week at Nuts!

Wow, have I been busy... I know I always say that, but this time it's been monumental, in reality I can't show you the majority of what i've been up to as it hasn't seen print yet, but i'll share those with you at a later date.. there's lots to make their way here in the upcoming few weeks/months.

So got an email from Barney at Nuts, asking me if I fancied doing a biggie, now i've been turning down the last few gigs due to my hectic schedule or jobs not being right for me, a lot of typography stuff for lots of clients has been put my way, most of it i've been turning down, as it's simply is not something I feel that strong at.

But when Barney suggested the image above, with a deadline of less than a week.. and me with very little on my schedule, well things fell into place and I started the mini epic above.

Now as anyone that reads this blog will know, the Sgt Pepper homage is something i've done before, my original foray is an Apple themed one I drew for Mac Format over a year ago, and it's one of those in my portfolio that always gets a good reaction, generally speaking i'm not one for repeating myself, but on this occasion I didn't feel this was a job I could turn down, also who else could draw fifty portraits in such a short space of time... I decided I couldn't let the guys at Nuts down and just went for it.

With the Olympics just around the corner, this was a feature about the 50 Great British Sportsmen as voted for by Nuts readers, brief was simple, draw all the sports stars in their peak of fame in the above homage, now believe it or not I drew this thing in about 4 days, with the 5th day left to make alterations to the type and significantly resizing the drum for the purpose of type legibility.

This image proved a tiring affair as you can imagine, i've saved it extra big here, so you can see in greater detail the work that went into it.... however I wasn't finished there.. I still had more drawings for Nuts to complete.

This drawing was completed probably within an hour flat, I had to be extra quick on this, as my time was being taken up finishing the Greatest Sportsmen illo, this is a drawing of Gaz from hit MTV UK show Geordie Shore for the regular section Celebrity Kama Sutra.

Having completed the top two images, I thought I was done for the week..great, time to put my feet up and have a cup of tea I thought..er.. I was wrong, Simon at the mag got in touch and asked if I could do the above instructional illo about Richard Hammond setting himself on fire, I think this was a last minute addition to the mag, so they held back on printing an extra day, again super quick turnaround on this as I got the brief about 4-ish on Thursday, and I emailed in on the Friday at lunchtime, probably 12 on the dot.

All these can be found in this week's mag on shelves now, it was a hectic week, but a great one work wise... expect more images here soon, including some new stuff for some very big names in the magazine world!