Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The One that Got Away

Friday at 5pm, I got the biggest call of my editorial career- the cover of Sports Illustrated. Illustrators certainly think of the cover of Time and the New Yorker as the crowning jewels of our industry- but Sport Illustrated hasn't had an illustrated cover in a long long time- according to their Design Director. Of course, with Sports Illustrated, a weekly magazine, you don't have much time. Final art due by Monday, they close the issue at 2pm. For the high honor of an SI cover I'd have to chain myself to my desk for the next three days- but it would be worth it if I could pose the following question to my friends at parties for years to come, "What do I have in common with LeBron James, Derek Jeter, Jacque Vaughn and Brooklyn Decker?"

With Colorado leaving the Big 12 conference for the PAC-10, and Nebraska leaving for the BIG TEN- the fate of the athletic college landscape rested with the University of Texas. They dramatically announced last week that they were leaving for the PAC-10 and taking four other with them. Goodbye Big 12. The concept for the cover was to illustrate the PAC-10 as a golden paradise- drawing all the great teams into the beautiful Rose Bowl.

I sent the first sketch on Saturday and we were revising the mascot placement every few hours as news broke about which teams were going where. I should have seen where this was going...

Sunday was quiet and I spent most of the 24 hours drawing and painting on the final art- just hoping that Texas didn't get cold feet before the closing of the magazine on Monday.

I sent in the final art, exhausted, right on time.

Just as the email leaves, I see this story on ESPN. Texas is going to stay. Story over. The PAC-10 isn't the promise land, it is just another conference. The cover is dead.

This is the point in the post where I write with great eloquence about the nature of our industry. Perhaps I will even evoke terms of poetry to describe how the tight deadlines and pressure-cooker editorial changes creates the very fiber of our business, which at the core, is thrilling to be a part of on a daily basis.

This is the point in the post when I can say that pouring three days into something like this to have it flushed by a 3pm press-release just stinks. Now, if you'll, excuse me, I need to get back to the drawing board.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Drawing in Church- 6/6

I started this one on Pentecost a few weeks back and just finished it on Sunday.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Sarah Edmonds- Sneak Peak!

I've been hiding in the art-cave for the last few weeks, laboring over the final images for my next book for children. Nearly there, but I have heard from many of you asking for a bit of a peek at the final images. One of the strange things about a doing such a large project, as opposed to the instant world of periodical illustration, is the year long delayed-gratification buzz of seeing your work in print and getting feedback on it. Hoping, like a sad junkie, to get a sufficient enough fix to propel me over the finish line.

For those of you who are not aware of the story of Sarah Edmonds- she was a passionate woman who wanted to fight for the Union in the Civil War. But in order to enlist, dressed up as a man, Frank Thompson. In this book, we tell the tale of her enlistment, her exceptional abilities in the battle field and her adventures as a spy behind the Confederate lines. She went on many clandestine missions, but in this book we depict one where she dressed as a slave.

These are just a small collection of the images I've got done- so I'll try to post some more images in a few weeks.