What we got HERE!

This little thing came from a short piece highlighting Forbes list of "The Most Miserable Cities in America". As the editor told me, "Philadelphia is # 20, but we beat New York!". So that's what is going on here: a drunk, slovenly, miserable William Penn, is taking a piss on Manhattan. Now, I like New York, but I also like this illustration. So you go ahead and throw your thought into the cockfighting ring and see what wins.

On a more technical note, I miss the sketching process. These weekly illustrations are fairly direct, meaning, noone signs off on them. I receive the assignment, I come up with a few ideas in the meeting, and one of them is given the go-ahead. Rarely is there a preliminary sketch. Frankly, I miss the sketch, its fun to pass the hours, not doing ads (the daunting part of the job) and draw. Its what I got into this business for: the concepts. Take the below illustration:

Before this weeks cover was photographed, It was supposed to be an illustration. The powers-that-be decided there were too many recent illustrated covers, and so the photograph was taken. However, I had sketched a little something, outlining my idea. It probably took all of ten minutes, but the simplicity of the lines, the very solid, direct coloring made it something I really liked. Thats not to say the photograph was something I DIDNT like. The photographer is a talented artist, and someone i have worked with before. I just like a sketch. I guess I just need to draw at home more. I wonder if my request for a 36 -hour day has been given any thought by the cosmic bosses?

Here is another of this weeks illustrations. The story centers around a group protesting the banks that funded the recent Philadelphia flower show. So, we have a banker running from a group of torch-carrying villagers. Perhaps Im being too literal. Actually, thats probably true.

I have been going through concepts for an upcoming cover illustration, and one of the concerns in the art department is "are we becoming too literal?". It's an interesting thought, are we? Its tough to really figure out whether a concept should just look nice, or should it have a deeper idea that also really looks nice. I always WANT to provide work that hits on multiple levels, but most times the assignment, or really, "haggling" with the client, takes the life out of an idea that almost always would be better if I could just have my way. You become almost lazy from it all, so you just spit out ideas that may suit the client vs. suit the product. Frankly, the product should win, because the client is rarely right. More so, the artist and the client should realize that the product should win, and work from there. Time to get more interesting.