Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Horror Story I Enjoy, and "Of The Scales"

I had another client to do an illustration for recently (for a whopping total of 2). I was excited; not only was this another paying gig, which felt amazing, less so for the money and more so for the feeling that my time and skills are worth something. A business partner put me in touch with my client, who's website I was creating an illustration for. I spoke to the client and asked if there was anything specific or any direction I should take for the image. I was told to use my creativity and start from scratch. Not an easy task as free drawing is very difficult but the content of the site as well as the client gave me some material to work with at least.

So I gave my client a rough sketch, spending a little under half the time allotted (I had an agreement with a developer as to the amount of time I was going to be paid for).  My client's response was "I like it, but..." with the but essentially changing the entire piece.  In addition to that, my client, after being sent the rough, was then giving me a ton of different pictures, poses, and images that I should be aware of as I was creating my image.  This was easily something that could've been sent to me before I even created a rough.  It was frustrating to say the least.  

Before going on too long with what is essentially a horror story, I worked much, much longer than I was paid for (something I'll ensure never happens again) and had to re-do and re-do my illustration many many times.  Even worse, I wasn't even happy with what I ended up with (not to mention, the client chose the sloppy-looking, second rough sketch, rather than a finalized one).  It was actually a horrible experience and I only felt slightly better with the fact that the website developer who was working with me and the client also agreed that it wasn't the easiest job he had taken for similar reasons.
But still, when I tell this story (and believe me, many of my friends have heard it), I try to have a smile on my face.  Why?  Because this is a great problem to have.  I never thought I be able to complain about a client so soon.  The fact that I have a client, a horror story, and something to complain about is something I wouldn't have imagined myself doing for at least another year (6 months at most).  It's a great feeling and if it comes to it, I wouldn't mind having a few more horror stories if it means getting more illustration work.  Speaking of, an illustration dissection is coming right up. 

Of the Scales
This was the first assignment I got for Bushwick Daily.  I was excited, fresh-faced, and eager to make an editorial illustration.  I get an email from my Art Director and I'm to work with a poem.  You can read the poem here.  As you know from my last blog post, I'm very wary when it comes to poetry but I did my best here.  Again, I let the words, specifically nouns direct me in my illustration.  The things that stood out to me most were "scales", and the fact the the person in question was some sort of fisherman.  Then, an image struck up, an angle, and I thought about looking out from under the water.  That way I could have both the fisherman and the scales, which seemed so important, take up the focus of the image.  I sketched and came out with this rough.

As you can see, the majority of the image was already present.  I liked the image but you can see I was a little bit unsure of the the positioning of the fishing line and if I wanted some kind of pillar to hold up the dock.  I decided to go into a bit of color before I was ready to send it to my AD.  Here is what the rough color ended up as.  

I kind of like this image as well, there is a watercolor-kind-of look to it.  My AD gave me great encouraging words and I went to final, adding detail to the sailor, and lightening up the image as a whole.  I also took out the pillar next to the fishing line because it looked awkardly like some kind of strange shadow.  The biggest change, however, between the colored rough and final was that I actually used a Photoshop technique beyond colors and brushing.  The final image, while having some direction in depicting an underwater image, didn't have enough of that push.  So I used the aptly named "Liquify" tool and made pushed around the image, making it wavy and wavering.  I was pretty happy with this image, from start to finish and I was also happy with the color scheme, something I'm always scared of. 

Thanks for reading.