Illustration Roundup: October 2015
I've been noticing a funny thing about the seasons effect on my illustration. (This could be totally imaginary, or only a coincidence, but I'll observe it anyway.) During the Spring and Summer, I think I'm more interested in color. During the Fall and Winter, choosing color becomes a little less intuitive, and I start to focus more on value and drawing fundamentals. This year, I've made a little breakthrough in the way that I use color. (To be specific, I try to start my drawing with a pallette already in place, instead of drawing in neutrals and coloring as a final step.) In the last couple of weeks, however, I've found myself getting almost to the end of a drawing without really thinking about what the pallette will be. During that same period, a lot of the color has dropped out of my surroundings. Even sunsets (with the rare exception) have been narrowed down to a thinner range of pinks/oranges, and for most of the day there is hardly any color to the light at all. Like a lot of these little seasonal changes, I'm not sure whether to resist it or lean into it all the way. It might be interesting to go for a month doing only black and white work and see what happens.
This was a really fun one to work on. The story is an autobiographical essay about the writer's memories of the small town he grew up in. I've been trying to make gathering photo reference a bigger part of my process, and I found some great pictures of 1970's bike culture. That informed a bit of the drawing, but mainly came out in the pallette. Left to my own devises I can be very literal (Sky blue, grass green.) But this time I tried to a give it the look of an old photo. Thanks to Jane Martin for the great assignment!
I had to brush up on my national monuments for this one. I really love creating imaginary landscapes. This was reminding me of playhing Civilization or Sim City. I might try taking another crack at this kind of illustation in my free time to experiment with adding a bigger variety of ecosystems and environments. Thanks to Susana Soares for the assignment!
Working for business stories I always learn something I never would otherwise. This was for a story about figuring out how to deal with the changes sustainable energy will bring to the energy economy. Of course, it's good news from an ecological standpoint, but there is a challenge to figure out how to manage an energy market that fluctuates with the weather. A team at Stanford tried to solve the problem "Enders Game" style. A computer model of California's energy economy was built, then students were given the job of out foxing eachother, and essentially trying to game the system the way savvy business types might. Thanks to Shigeto Akiyama for the great assignment!
In a way, this is my favorite sort of assignment (although I probably shouldn't admit it!) The client already has an idea in mind and just wants me to add a little razzle dazzle. I had some fun creating different computers and scanners for the metaphorical factory floor, and since the idea was pre approved, I could just worry about design. Thanks to Lou Vega for the assignment!
Last but not least, a little cyber-puppy for Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The story is about a team that is designing a robotic "dog" (that they promise will not try to kill us all.) The art director wanted to put the robot in some sort of funny dog situation, to put us all at ease no doubt, and hasten the coming robo-dog apocalypse. Thanks to Doreen Manning for the fun assignment!
Allright fellow picture people! That's it for this month. Back to the studio.