Harry Campbell
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October 2011
Branching out, literally. Two recent assignments that allowed me to play around with a different line quality, more organic shapes, and "gasp" human forms. I'm so removed from hand drawn imagery, and way too reliant on just using my Wacom board and stylus to approach my work. I'll do thumbnails to nail down an idea, sometimes. 
So I'm going back to hand drawn elements. I've had real trouble addressing people in my work, a couple pieces were okay but lots of uncomfortable fumbling, and quite simply drawing people with vector tools just doesn't feel right. Houses and circuit boards, great! Still doing my vector line but drawing and scanning other elements then redrawing them. Of course I'm also using the new powerful tools within illustrator to manipulate my line.
This head of veins piece was done for a Chronicle book, the Art of Science, a collaboration between artists and scientists. Julia Rothman was the art director on this. They were very open on how I was allowed to interpret the theory, What is the Structure of water?  I had seen an image of the vascular system and wanted to do that, then fit my concept around it. I figure we are the structure of water, right?
This piece with the burning woman was for the University of Chicago alumni magazine, art directed by Guido Mendez. The story was on microfinancing, a well meaning program intended to lift people out of poverty, specifically in India. Tiny loans would be made with reasonable repayment terms. As things go the program went bad, people couldn't repay and many women set themselves on fire. I don't get many humanistic problems to solve, but I like it. I gave this assignment to my students and explained this is not a story about money, it's about people.
One of my roughs. vector lines over sketch.
Another rough. The lenders had become wolves at the door.
I still want to finish this one. I imagined an intertwining of the fire and the beautiful ornate detail of the sari. The AD stressed showing good and bad-their alum was the creator of microfinancing.
Here's a piece I did last week for the weekend Wall Street Journal. I didn't pick up the paper but I believe it was a large section cover. This kind of stuff is pretty easy for me however I am now more than usual trying to take a close look at what I do and how I do it. Meaning how I come to concepts, what I present to art directors, and whether I feel challenged or not.
I'm pretty sure the teaching is helping me to reflect on all this. I have to believe what I'm telling these kids, and so in effect I try to be honest with myself, constantly reevaluating my solutions. I also do a keynote for them every week and so do a lot of reference searching which opens my eyes to new things, or re-opens them.
I've also been going back over 5 years of work and compiling what I want to re-sell as stock, yah I know we all have different views on stock , not sure where I stand entirely, but I have a kid nearing college and one in a private middle school. Looking back on all these images, 500 and counting, the ones I'm offering as stock are mostly tech and money related. I had to ask myself, is all my work financial and technical? Maybe 40tech, 40 financial, and 20 other more specific subject, op-ed political etc. I like the work but clearly there is room for me to branch out, areas I want to explore.
There are a few images from recent weeks that I want to show because they mark a departure of sorts from what I usually do, at least I think they do. I'll be able to post them soon.
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