Monday, 4 March 2013

Bill McConkey: The Man from Another Place!

Thought i'd do a quick round up of some of the jobs that have been published recently, above are some illustrations that have just been published by Empire magazine, they were actually drawn last year, but they got moved along to another date.

Originally these were going to be just a small inset of illustrations for a feature on the new Jack the Giant Slayer film, as you can see the idea was to draw film's most famous giants and put them in order of scale.

I've drawn a couple of these scale things before, and they've been relatively straightforward, however the problem with this one was that the differences in scale weren't gradual, they were huge, with Fezzik and Hagrid just being slightly bigger than a regular man and the very biggest giant being the one from Time Bandits measuring 200ft (so over 20 times bigger than the smallest giant!).. so we really did have an issue with scale on this!

It meant that the smaller giants would look absolutely tiny in comparison, just dots, if they'd have been printed in the tiny space they were going to be originally published. In the end it was decided to run the feature full page and crop the Time Bandits Giant, above you can see the original drawings and how they were printed.
Empire were doing a special feature on David Lynch a couple of magazines back and asked if i'd like to draw a black and white version of the backwards dance steps of the little fella from Twin Peaks, so I went from drawing Giants to little people!

Usually when i'm credited in a magazine, it reads; illustration by Bill McConkey, on this feature this is how I was credited as; "The Man from Another Place: Bill McConkey" I would imagine this is a reference to the little man (I don't know the films of Lynch too well) but I think it's also a good summation of myself too... probably also the name of my future autobiography.

Above is a cover I completed for Insurance Age, the AD there asked if I fancied doing something akin to a Where's Wally picture, perhaps I took him too literally as when I sent them a rough from an isometric viewpoint with about 100 figures on it, er.. I think they were a bit surprised to say the least.

But as soon as Where's Wally was mentioned, Rod Hunt's Where's Stig and the recent Where's Meercat books also came to mind, and they generally work from an isometric view.

It proved a little tricky convincing the AD and Editor that this was the way to go... proved even harder work trying to draw in this way... i'll think i'll leave this stuff to Rod Hunt and Martin Handford in the future!

Still I think the drawing is quite nice, I suggest a click on it to see some of the detail.

This was a rare old school Photoshop job for a Financial Director cover. I happened to drop into conversation to the Deputy Ed that I was twiddling my thumbs that day and didn't have any work on for the rest of the week, he promptly offered me a cover. Result!

Richard who commissions me for the title asked if I could draw this fella Byron Grote and various other influential FD's on Bank notes, originally we talked about making this a line drawing like my usual stuff, but well there was a time when I used to do all this photoshop tomfoolery with photographs and I thought if we wanted a realistic result we should make it look like real money, rather than a drawing of money, luckily Richard agreed.

I thought this job would be easy, a case of getting a snap of Byron, running a few filters and pasting him on to a £20 note... er, I was wrong... you se it turns out later copies of Photoshop and scanners know when money is being scanned in.. and they don't like it!

Anyway to cut a long story short I ended up making the note completely digitally, every line and cross hatch has been made by my hand, along with the hologram strip and watermark.. you can see the results of my efforts at the top, and below is the cover artwork, the bottom and top where all that blue gradiant are where the magazine title and main headline would be sitting.

Okay, that's another batch of jobs.. keep an eye out for my next post, some big ol' drawings are coming.. some real epics in the making!