Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Stressful Times! Another Set of Recent Illos

So i've just come off another exhausting busy spell, which is why it's been quiet on this blog for a while, and hence this bumper posting of recent-ish illos.

I don't want to start on a negative, but this past couple of months i've been in the wars a bit with various clients and publishers. The worst job of which will not get an airing on this blog, as I was stitched up like a kipper with a client trying to do a complete u-turn on the brief once final artwork had been started... this is to say nothing of near non-existent deadlines, endless changes, i'll be honest at times even my cool composure has been tested.

Okay on with more positive stuff above is a job that I completed the other month for PC Pro magazine, the brief was for a full-page lead image of a slacker Microsoft Engineer and two small spot illustrations to go with (I haven't bothered posting these, they are pretty cool though) for an article about what if Apple and Steve Jobs hadn't been around to push Microsoft onwards.

This is the first time i'd worked for the magazine, the gig came about from the lovely Camille Neilson who you may remember from a previous post interviewed me for MacUser who phoned me up to see whether i'd be interested.

Now here's the thing I actually originally turned down this job, because I was in a particularly hectic period and had deadlines coming out of my ears with all manner of jobs, somehow and I haven't worked it out quite yet (Jedi mind trick maybe?!) but by the time i'd got off the phone Camille had me signed for these drawings.

Ha, like I say I'm not sure how she did it, as a flat "no" usually remains a "no" regardless of what title.

Still it was good to work with Camille who has a justifiably great reputation amongst illustrators, my only concern with the job was deadline, which was certainly long enough, however because of my roster of other jobs it meant that I only had 2 days to actually complete these illustrations... if i'd of had a day or two longer free, then the top image would have been super detailed with clutter.

Hopefully i'll get to make amends on future articles for the title!

Ahh, a tricky one! I got the brief to draw Steve Carrell as a magician sawing model Lucy Pinder in half for Nuts magazine, they sent me reference and I had a day and a half to draw it... As anyone who's read this blog will know, I've drawn a lot of things for the magazine over the past couple of years, and even though it's a weekly theses deadlines don't phase me.... this one however was a real tough one!

The reality is I kind of got this one wrong, they wanted something incredibly specific, a near black and white image, with deep shadows and light.. they'd sent me a photo of pretty much exactly what they wanted, but I believed this was purely reference and a jumping off point for my image.

What I originally sent them was the image above, but far, far more colourful and fanciful... now bearing in mind as previously stated i'd had scrape after scrape with designers and art directors just prior to this job all of them asking for ridiculous things in impossible timeframes, the reality was going into this job I wasn't in the best of moods or places.

So when I heard that the image i'd done would have to be completely stripped back to the image above, it's fair to say I wasn't in the best of moods.. in fact I all but exploded... I made the alterations, but admittedly had a rant, and spoke out of turn.

I was in the wrong to a certain extent in this case, i'd probably dragged over the baggage of other jobs into this one, the reality is the guys at Nuts have consistently given me great jobs and opportunities at the magazine, to say nothing of great art direction... these fellas 'cos they work on a weekly where the deadlines are the most hectic are as good as it comes in this field.

Okay some sex and fitness stuff for the recent issue of Women's Health magazine, Ha, I think i've got myself a reputation for this kind of stuff 'cos of the kama sutra stuff I do for Nuts.

This is another job that had it's ups and downs (so to to speak) there were two areas that caused problems; if you do info based work I think the AD or Editor then expects you to be an expert in whatever you are drawing... er.. No is the answer to that. One image that caused issue here was showing a step by step drawing of how to tie a person up.. i'll be honest with you not my field of expertise.

Another issue with this gig, was that they use a regular illustrator for the majority of their stuff, so have a defined look, it meant that I had to adjust my linework to essentially imitate another artist, something I would never usually do (and would never recommend doing!) but the other illustrator was away on maternity and I stepped up to help out.

I saw the illos in print yesterday and they came out great, and Emily who I worked with at the magazine despite being a real tough cookie when she needed to be was really nice to work with... a lesson can be learned by AD's from this young lady, if you are going to crack the whip with me, at least do it while being pleasant... given the stuff I drew for the magazine, pun was intended.

Finally one that was smooth sailing, a recent cover for Insurance Age, Iain at the magazine "gets" my work, and tries to give me enough time to operate within... can't ask for more than that!

This was an insurance sellers assault course, really fun job and a great client. 'Nuff said.

That's it for now, more coming soon!

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