Thursday, March 19, 2009

The idea funnel

Here is a sequence of ideas I sent to USAA Magazine for an article about where to find money when you're broke. The art director had suggested that the concept be more direct (actual places you would find money), but before I went that direction I sent two other more metaphorical ideas.

The art director loved them, but asked for a more literal approach for a backup. As you may guess, this is the idea they ultimately chose. But I knew going into the sketch that this was likely. So, the way I challenged myself was to make this sketch a pure formal exploration of pattern and color. No perspective, just squares and patterns.

I wasn't sure how this would work in the final, but went with the multicolored lines with a minimal palate. Using the white of the page as the top of the color heirarchy. The background and texture were added digitally.

I think I'm going to write a kids book about that broke genie from the first sketch. I love that idea!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

John Brown Interview

My John Brown art director, Chad Beckerman, has posted an interview with me on his blog. We discuss my recent visual history and the development of this book idea in its many different stages.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A break from illustration for photography

What would I do without this kid?

SPD Awards

It has been a walk down memory lane this week, with several awards bringing old favorites up to the top of the blog.

This week I heard that both my segway lobster spread for SKI Magazine and the contractor disaster piece for This Old House won Society of Publication Design Awards of Merit.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

SND Award of Excellence

Remember this fun page from the NYT Oped back in July?

It just won a Society of News Design Award of Excellence!

Always great to win an award, but even better to win in a competition you didn't enter! Many thanks to Art Director Brian Rea, Assitant Art Director Kim Bost and NYT Design Yoda Tom Bodkin. I take great pride in having a bit of tangible hardware to show from my days at the Grey Lady.

On the Frontpage

The letters piece I did from yesterday is on the home page of The New York Times today. Check out the full story here.

(Bottom right corner, btw)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Twitter Malaise

I got my first chance to work with the new Op-Ed page art director Leanne Shapton on a piece for my old stomping grounds, The New York Times Letters to the Editors page. This was for a package on how twitter may simultaneously connect and isolate us. My rough ideas:

For this, I decided not to do a final sketch- I drew the figures directly into my sketchbook, hoping for something that felt a bit more gestural. After doodling for an hour I picked the best ones and configured them in photoshop.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Basketball Candyland

ESPN The Magazine called for a fun project last week. They are creating a board game that folds out of the magazine that you can play during March Madness. As with many sports related deadlines, you have to crash the whole thing over a weekend! The themes they gave me for each area were in a kind of D&D fantasy throwback. Wizard's Lair, for coaches. Forest of Theives, for ball stealers. Rainbow Falls, for three point shooters. Land of Giants, for the big men. Below you can see the final art with a boardgame comp in place on top. The final art will have some ball players photos as game pieces and a more detailed game play on the path. I haven't seen what it will look like all together, but this is a great example of illustrator/art director collaboration. We went back and forth with placement and ideas for content. The path of the game changed as well during the process, as editors tinker with their copy. The type and photo cut outs will be the art directors job, as well as tweaking the final color palate of the flat graphic areas.