March 17, 2006

56: Illustrator For Hire

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I've done the occasional spot of freelance design work in my time, but I don't always actively pursue it. I've got a nice job that keeps me comfortably in my decidedly un-lavish lifestyle. On the indirect advice of my dad once to not bring my work home with me – and since I abhor stress – I made a decision some time ago to try and always have ample time to do fun things. Since Jeopopolis started, healthy portions of that ample time have gone towards creating all the stuff on display here.

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But on Tuesday – from out of the clear blue sky – I received an email from a fellow designer on the HOW forum in regards to a quick jobbie he needed by Thursday morning (the request was to create a 5" X 5" illustration for a fiction excerpt in a magazine). And I took the challenge for my first-ever freelance illustration assignment. On my Tuesday evening commute, I read over the excerpt (a taught newsroom showdown between a scrappy journalist, his editor and their bottom-line-worshipping publisher). I quickly envisioned two illustration scenarios and chose one.

Later that night I took reference photos to set up this composite (above right; that's me versus me there) to help scope it out better, and snapped other photos of various newspaper pages for the background. By midnight I had finished the sketchwork, then quickly pieced together this rough Photoshop file (below right) to show the idea on Wednesday morning. But because of the time constraints, I was nervous about approval; I wouldn't be able to incorporate any potential changes until after work on Wednesday, and it was due the following morning. Fortunately, any feared changes didn't pan out – sans one minor detail – and I was able to craft a final submission after my Spanish dance class on Wednesday night. And by half-past midnight, it was complete.

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You might notice the final piece is a bit familiar: I borrowed heavily from this Illustration Friday submission of mine from last summer – again, that's because of the quick turnaround time. Under the circumstances, I had scant time to brainstorm – so, draw what you know, essentially. I had no qualms with that, and like how the final result turned out. In my rationale I described how the character of the publisher was shown as an obstacle and how I attempted to show the chaos and clutter of the newsroom. The background is made up of the photographed newspaper clippings (ones that best fit the plot of the excerpt I was given), a simple wash of colour to emulate faded newsprint and a few coffee stains – but I don't drink coffee so I had to use red wine instead.


Allan L. said...

Way to go, man! That's some killer turnaround.

devon said...

well, to the arch enemy that first told me about this project, left me hope and then snatched it away, i say "bravo." epotter was ASTOUNDED by the turnaround time. how do i know? b/c he called me to tell me. talk about twistin' the knife. :P i love it! you SHOULD freelance! it's good for the juices... get em' all flowin' n shiznit.

Princesa de Chocolate said...

You've done a fine job because it makes me want to read the article... fine job... :)

Melissa said...

You got some mad skillz there. Pretty sweet. I hope they compensated you well for all of your hard work! :) If they did, you can hire me to make you sandwiches. I hope you like liverwurst!

Mary said...

Looks GREAT Jeope. You should be published ALL OVA' da' place!

Dave said...

allrightallrightallright, I'll get writing before you get too busy for me!


Anonymous said...

yeah, but aren't all turnarounds that tight anyway all the time??? Its pretty rare to have lots of time. In any case, really nice work.

Ian T. said...

Nothing wrong with recycling your own stuff! Great work!

The dayjob versus home and artistic time is tricky. My "career" seems to want me to move upwards at times, but I'm always wary about the possible impact on drawing and creativity.

Bringing dayjob work home is one thing, but doing freelance illustration outside of that can be regarded as having a terrific hobby, that pays! That's easy enough to justify any way you want :).