Thursday, April 9, 2009

now thats a concept!

I use to do illustrations for business week. Usually they were quite interesting assignments. Usually they had to do with the stock market or hedge funds, things of that nature. But once and a while they threw me a curved 'illustration' ball. For example; Alan Greenspan in a speedo jumping into an empty swimming pool from a great height (the art directors concept not mine) later they decided not to use it on the grounds that Alan Greenspan looked to disgusting in a speedo, DUH!!!. Yes, I was paid anyway. I could give you a huge list of amazingly bad ideas that usually came from the minds of editors (not known for there great visual thinking) I always knew when it was a bad idea, the first clue was when the art director would apologize before telling me about the assignment, It would go something like this 'I'm really sorry about what I'm about to tell you, its not my idea , really! its not!!!' and then go on for about 20 minutes saying things like 'do you hate this as much as me?' or 'I'll try to get you more money for this one' I have had editors tell me not to use a certain colour because the publishers wife doesnt like green or could you make 3 versions and we will pick one. The truth is I always did what they wanted. I would always put my spin on it of course but basically they would get what they asked for every time. Which brings me to the illustration above.I think everyone knows that creative people do there best work when they have the freedom to create. No horrible guidelines , no colour restraints, no speedos.So when this wonderful magazine calls me 4 times a year, to create a cover for there tech section, I cant help but smile. Its a joy to make these illustrations. Freedom of design and colour and expression. I always put my heart into these illustrations, they are basically fun.I have had many wonderful assignments over the years and here is hoping more come my way. Did I ever tell you about the snake giving birth to a turtle illustration? Time magazine, and no! it never ran, because it was killed before I ever put pencil to paper, and no! I wasn't paid.

P.S. Nobody should wear speedo's


Anonymous said...

Lucky you, you actually MEET art directors!
In Paris AD's are ghosts, most of them don't have a clue about what they want and can't even hold a good old HB
You deliver your work and suddenly anybody hanging out in the magazine's corridors scratching their b. on their way to the coffee machine has an opinion about it
Well, if an opinion can be summed up to :"ouais", "bon", "bof", "hmm"...

Anonymous said...

Not at all the 'washing dishes' illo....your joy is back in this one!

You can see the smile in the work.


Tim said...

To say "nobody should wear Speedo" is very much like saying "nobody should be naked" -- when I was on a co-ed swimming team in high school, it was a high point of my day, I gotta tell you! But no I don't think I'd want to see any of those gals in the same getup, today, 30 years later...
Tim Henderson