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Saving Big Data from Itself

AUGUST 25, 2014
All Art © Bill Mayer 2014
This was a fun job for Jason Mischka at Scientific American about things companies could do to make their "Big Data" more secure. My initial ideas were based on the needle in a hay stack cliché. l think where we ended up was a much more powerful and compelling image. I wanted to give it a kind of strong Deco feeling, a giant tower with tiny figures trying to hold it all together. 
I decided to make the tower alive and give it a face, something to imply a sense of intelligence. Naturally they seemed to take on kind of an easter island feeling. In my thumbnail i had a bunch of towers going of into the distance, In the final I scrapped these extras because they seemmed distracting from the core of the idea. Intially I had thought about paiting this illustration, but now that it moved in this tower direction iseemed better to to an airbrush and digital variation. I ended up painting the little figures small in gouach and stripped them together in Photoshop.. Tillted the tower over to make it appear more dramatic.
 Jason wanted to make sure some of the people were women and that they looked like they were holding it together, not tearing the tower down. I had really thought about that but the figures were so small i didn't think it was that important. Small adjustments and on to the final.
I liked the moody monochromatic background and pushing the figures into the shadow of the tower. More cracks.. Bigger pieces falling down. Last minute I tried larger mouth... I think it worked better...Maybe.. anyway, small change.
Beautiful type is always a joy to see.Here it is all put together. Beautiful design...
So much fun working with Jason Mischka , Scientific American. Truly a great collaberation. Big thanks for a chance to work on a really fun prodject.