Happy Holidays guys.... It's been a fast year full of surprises. My family all gathered together this Christmas, all 48 of them. Wait, I thought there were only 45 but I am guessing a few girl friends of Nephews drove the number up. We'll be 47 soon, Two more babies in the pot.
Looking forward to 2014. and all it has to bring. Babies and booze, I am thinking ample amounts of both will help me through 2014 ....This Series of little gouache and digital sketches have been fun to play with but I am feeling an urgency to get serious with trying to work on some stronger ideas, do some real painting......Good bye 2013...
This article was about how large funds don't have the same risks as small funds. I started out all over the place with ideas, not sure where they were all going. Sent them off but before I heard back I had already thought the concept was so obvious. An image where the prey seemed unconcerned about the predator. I was really thinking a wolf-vs-rabbit kind of thing. The hunter and hunted was a second thought, I liked the small defenceless prey but SooJIn said she just couldn't see representing these large companies as some mouse or bunny. She said "How about a lion." I guess I was still stuck on the small defenceless thing so I persisted with a tighter sketch of a quail vs hunter.... She didn't respond..... I sent the sketch of the lion. She said "Thank you." SooJin always knows best, she's just so damn intuative...
Sketches of the "Prey" idea...Rabbit vs Wolf...Cat vs Mouse....
Quail vs Hunter. SooJin said make the hunter much smaller....
The final was more difficult than I had thought it would be. Just couldn't seem to make it work the way I wanted. Maybe it was the shape of the lion. I guess I had been stuck on a simple shape like an Elephant or even the Quail or Turkey... The shape was just a little awkward to me. I made the hunters small but stuck them on the back of elephants. I know they don't hunt Lions on the backs of Elephants... Lee and I went around and around about this. They probably run around in a Range Rover, and probably shoot while sipping tea in the back seat... I still liked it that way. I was being stubborn again.
I got it to a point where it seemed like it was working and shot a screen capture off to SooJin to get feed back. She liked it, didn't have any suggestions. I added some trees under the lion and a few birds in the distance. I think they helped a bit.
Details of the hunter on the back of an Elephant
Detail of the trees I added after the screen shot I sent SooJin.
Big thanks to SooJin Buzelli and Asset International for trusting me again and not giving up on me, Always a joy working with you.
Alway a treat to work with Minh. The Dealbook cover was a collection of articles about innovation in finance. Some good, some bad. a generic illustration kind of made sense.
The ideas are flying all over the place as usual. Hoping somthing will land close to the mark. I don't hear back so I keep drawing.. Tried a second batch of abstract concepts.... Finally he responds. He likes 9, 10, 13. I think the machine-like robot was hitting close for Minh. He stressed he wanted to find a way to make the machine/robot in a way where something was being put in and money was coming out. I tried a bunch of variations of this, trying to figure how to make it work. I mean, without showing his internal digestive system. I liked the idea of people walking in with briefcases and walking out with money but noone else does so I stay on the robot thingy...
I try some variations of the Robot thing... I liked the pulps-like brain, little skinny arms. I try some variations and combinations. The final robot seem like he will work. I liked the idea of him free standing... Tried to see if that variation would pan out.
I try some variations of the Robot thing... I liked the pulps like brain, little skinny arms. I ty some variations and combinations. The final robot seem like he wil work.
Two small variations, boiler like robot on the left and the towering huge standing one on the right.
I was trying to give Minh an alternative to the one putting things in its head with kind of a Frankenstein version. Lightning making it light up. I think this was not obvious enough for him, but I liked the lightning so kept that in also.
Minh doesn't like the wreckage going into his head. Wants light bulbs and lightning bolts. wants to add two inches to each side. I am thinking this is so much extra work... We write him to try to get an exact size so we can minimize the extra area around the illustration.
Much thanks to Minh at the Times for calling me with this fun project. Always such a blast working on these. A collaboration is always a little giving and taking, tryiing to find the right image that will get the idea across. I thought this one worked pretty well.
Last minute change, Minh wants to put the headline on the bottom of the art so we ditch the lake and most of the trees to simplify. I don't think they're really necessary, and the piece still works. Big thanks to Minh at the New York Times for making me look so good. Always a treat working with you.
Treasure Hunters of The Financial Crisis; New York Times
Minh called me Monday with another little rush job. I am guessing because all of you were partying at AI . Oh, wish I hadn't procastinated, that is always such a good party and great seeing all of our friends in New York. But lucky for me you are all busy so I get to do another piece for the Times. Minh joked "we'll have to start calling it the Bill Mayer Times."
Most of the time, my first idea is the strongest, but I always feel it's important to give art directors alternative ideas. Just in case I stumble on to something better. Sometimes it's just fun exploring. Minh gets back to me, he wants to know if we can add the element of having fear. The other investors running away, maybe a long vertical with a storm, and boats fleeing the area. I am totally puzzled on how to make this come off. I thought of having the little boats on the suface might get the idea across without it getting too complicated. I did a few more thumbnails and sent them off.
I thought about trying to sell this idea a little harder, so I put together a little comp to show how it might work. Some time ago I had done a little piece on Hurricane Sandy, so I took and adapted it quickly by turning off the main part of the visual.
The addition of the buildings rather than ships on the bottom really made the concept work a lot better so I decided to keep them in; seemed to make more sense. Minh liked this idea but wanted to change the buildings to "Wall Street." I liked the idea of the narrow, cavern-like streets of lower New York.
Minh sold the idea. They made one more request; he asked if i thought it would work to put the guy in a suit, He said we could get rid of all of the other elements, if I could put him in a suit. He thought it was a good trade-off. My original dive bell comp was round so my first sketch of the guy was big and round. Mihn thought it seemed like we were making fun of the guy, wanted it to be less humorous. My second take on the guy was still bulky, but now more "Super Hero Like." This really was a collaboration with Minh. He is a really smart art director, and I think his suggestions made this piece work that much better.
Ny first sketch of the fat bulbous diver in a suit... Okay I get it...looks like "Wimpy" scuba diving....And the treasure chest.
the two revised options "super Hero" like guy . We all like the a version.
The final piece turned out pretty cool, I sent off a screen capture to run it by Minh. He suggests lightening it up a bit so it won't go too dark in the paper. Pulled back on some of the darkness.
It always feels great to get a thank you note back from a client. Minh sent me a couple of notes.
"Our executive editor... She thought your art for SundayBiz was "conceptually smart".
Thanks Bill, for making me look "smart".
Actually Minh, I should thank you for making me look so smart . You are a genius. Thanks again to Minh Uong and The folks at the Times.