COVER ROUNDUP! Three-peat?

Right as I was wondering when (if ever) I would be able to do another cover illustration, POW! I get three weeks covers in a row. So without further ado, here they are from first to third.

Often when relying on someone else, do you get let down. Thus was the case here. A cover photo shoot was planned, but one of the two musicians contacted, never returned his calls. He wasn't dead or hospitalized, he was just being difficult. So at the last minute (friday before deadline I believe) I was asked to come up with a sketch possibility on the spot. The sketch, simple as it was, was approved, and on monday I delivered this. To my delight, everyone really took to it, I was even mentioned as "saving..asses" in the editors letter. SUCCESS AGAIN!!!


This has an unfortunate past, as previously this was being done by another designer who was let go. In the confusion of the pace change, I was asked to come up with a spin on the idea for this gift guide issue: the idea being, a bird saying "cheap cheap" in a nest that was the bow atop a present. With the help of the much adored ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR, I cranked this out. Its simple, and colorful, and rushed due to time restraints. But its capable. I would have like a bit more time, or more direction. Oh well, moving on.

That all being the case, I needed to redeem myself. Wednesdays edit meeting came up, and I was surprised to be called in for ideas regarding the upcoming cover issue art. The needs were hazy: to show the different sides of Mayor Michael Nutter. Luckily, there were ideas about what the sides were to be (the oligarch, the same old, the adult, the incompetent, the unlucky, which all seemed to mirror the seven dwarves. Upon stating the obvious parallel, I came up with another quick sketch, which was, again, given the speedy go ahead.

That was the simple part. What followed was a near sleepless obsessive work session that nearly ate up my weekend. However, the following was produced.

All of the figures were painted separately, each taking about four hours. Its been a long time since I have been able to sit myself down and go on an epic-long creative session, and this was both extremely tiring and rewarding, as I believe this to be my finest work. However, not without aggravation, as almost all who see it, believe it to be photoshopped photographs. But no, its not, its a painting. Trust me. I wanted it to almost look like a presidential portrait, and I believe whole-heartedly I got what I wanted out of this. The only thing is, where do I go from here. I feel like I have raised the bar, and must deliver better all around. Am I prepared?