Christoph Hitz
Sketch to Final
NYT Biz Section
I've been illustrating the "Haggler" in the Business section of the New York Times for a few month now, the subject of this consumer advocate column reflects the times we live in. Consumers being chipped out of there moneys by means of dubious small print in service contracts, shady extended warranties, endless delayed support call centers, and booby trapped websites, you get the picture. I usually try to submit a wide range of sketches some being more conceptual and some with that focus on the human side of the story.

Todays illustration is about a women who unsuccessfully tried to cancel her internet provider.
I had great fun creating last weekend's CITY section cover for the New York Times.The story is about neighborhood blogs that bring out the worst and the best in people. Just like here on Drawger, choices needed to be made; should disruptive negative commentators be curbed? Or should they be permitted to spew repeat negative and sometimes racist remarks?
Here is the full story.
The first set of sketches where based on log images. Because blogging is adding text in small increments, and the cross sections of trees are a living record of time and history, it seemed like a good idea at the time to play with log visuals.
For the second round I decided to play with comic strip elements such as speech bubbles gone wild to illustrate the bloggers dialogs.

I used the translator widget for the Chinese lettering.
Gathering signatures to reroute traffic.
Green site roll out
Peter Hauser from VisionPilots called me after I had sent him an editorial illustration on a whim, one that I had created for Michael Gigante for the trade magazine Corporate Meeting & Incentive in late Spring.
Peter asked me to redesign the site for VisionPilots based on that illustration.
The site needed to appeal to young executives, explain the creative work flow of the company, and help his costumers to implement green ideas, thus reducing their carbon footprint in the wasteful convention industry.
I was thrilled about the design and illustration potential of the project, at the same time I was terrified about the Flash implementation and the underlying programming required for a site like this.
Luckily for me, Peter had introduced me to  the animator Mark Greene about year ago.
I did a preliminary animation layout with Photoshop.  The corporate comic book, speech bubbles and bold green colors would set the tone for the entire site.
After the successful approval, I sketched out each section frame of the entire site. Then, after a meeting of the minds with Mark, we decided to split the work load into different tasks.  Mark would be the producer/animator and I  would wear the hat of designer/illustrator.  The final coding would be done by an external programmer in Kingston NY.
We decided to have no sound for the site unless it would be part of an existing movie clip. Personally, I hate logging onto a site and the first thing one has to do is to adjust the sound volume.
One early issue was the frame size of the site.  Some elements, like movie clips, can't be scaled up and have to stay fixed.  One only needs to drag the browser window open and closed to find all the fixed and scalable elements. 
With that in mind I started inking each element separately,  scanning and placing them in Illustrator CS3.
I converted the scans to a vector drawing in illustrator and set the colors in a separate layer. I then labelled everything and added instructions for the animation before handing off to Mark.
Soon the first .swf files started coming back to me by e-mail.  Each section of the site is an independent animated frame that sits nestled into the sites navigation frame.
Some elements and events are timed randomly and others are triggered by the visitors cursor. Since building an interactive site isn't linear story telling like a movie we had a few debates about pulldown panels and the usage.
Could the site be navigated without any pulldown panels?  Well, at the end a compromise prevailed.
By the time the first test site was up and running, it became apparent what timing adjustments needed to be made and what elements needed tweaking.
Most of my work is published in print and I usually control what the final looks like, but it was fun and inspiring for me to work with a team.
It was exciting to see my drawings come to life in this interactive site.  My partner in crime, Mark Greene, did an amazing job.

Please take a look here.
Walk cycle test
Die Robot die...
Robot with a bow tie?

How to manage your inbox with filters, automation and a few folders, that was the topic for this MacWorld assignment. Personally I get a lot junk mail, so I proposed a spam sorting pig robot just to widen the gap of spam to important e-mail. At the end my spam sorting pig robot got nixed and the magazine choose a more classy idea. Nothing wrong with that.

I'm getting ready to go to New York for Icon5, hope to see you there. 
The illustration was published in the Globes printed edition, unfortunately for the Globe online readers, the Starbucks coffee advertisement takes up the space of my illustration.

I liked this story about true and false memoirs by Con Chapman that ends by offering a test to the readers as to his or her memory regarding memoirs. His parody investigates the widening blurry line between fake memoir and a true memoir.  I'm glad Josue Evilla from the Boston Globe thought of me for the illustration since I love nothing more than a witty intellectual story. Great copy with a twist is what I call a tasty morsel for an illustrator.
Alien obduction inspired ....
A nice touch from the chef, distraction with parsley

Abrill Eins from Food magazine called me out of the blue. She gave me roughly 24 hours for this express job.The assignment was about a Wall Street restaurant that has seen an increase in businesses serving organ meat every Thursday for lunch.
The restaurant had promoted the fact that organ meats contains vitamins B12, D, A and C that enhance mathematical thinking. Unfortunately for me, Abrill asked me to stay on the conceptual side for this job. Who would have thought that big Wall Street mortgage bankers are pigging out on a pig heart for lunch?

What's your most outrageous topic?
St. Paddy Day Atlanta Style.
The animated gif is a combinaton of the sketches, tests and the final illustration.

I got this assignment a few weeks back from Atlanta Magazine. "Could you do a a drawing of the St. Patrick's Day parade?" the art director asked. "Sure," I said.  I've been to a few parades in the last few years, just to get a glimpse of my wife's nephews Paul and John playing the bagpipes while marching up Fifth Avenue. All the big piper marching bands train for this televised spectacle in New York. In the old days I would try to find a reference in my own books, or perhaps go over to Borders and try to find a book about Atlanta's architecture and culture. For some reason I just couldn't picture an Irish St. Patrick's Day parade to be like the one in New York or Boston. I wanted to give Atlanta Magazine an illustration that matched their parade. With a bit of luck I found this video clip on YouTube and started sketching from it. Heck, if all the bagpipers must play in the Big Apple, send in the clowns with cars.

Happy St. Paddy day everyone.
I have to admit I've been at O'Hare airport twice, but never in Chicago. Whenever I get an assignment from Chicago magazine I find myself doing a bit of research with books and on the internet with google. Here is the story: The writer would start walking "Clark" Street in the morning and pit stop all the way to Wrigley Field. With google map I found myself retracing the writers steps and realized that Clark cuts through Chicago like Broadway  does in New York. This set the tone for this "on the go" food story. I found the "Crispy Chow-Mein Noodles" board in my collection  and submitted two sketches incorporating the cardboards design. While inking the illustration I started to think, man this guy....hmm... he looks familiar. Ah, Yes! He is a fellow Drawger and he is originally from Chicago! It happens once in a while, I would sketch and subconsciously incorporate friends and family into my drawings. I think I even draw more beagles since we bought  Daisy.

This story coincides with my 1 year anniversary here at Drawger.
Thanks again for Inviting me to Drawger mystery man.
2nd sketch
Online Bully
The editor had an idea "A bully coming out of the monitor" she said. Marla called me for the first time from Atlanta Magazine. Since she was a new client and I figured I'd just throw in a few smart ideas and the "monitor idea" will be shelved, so I thought. I ended up sending two final versions, the magazine chose the card board version.
I'm off to jury duty this week, the fun never ends.

The Story excerpt:
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”Nothing could be further from the truth for the nation’s 13 million victims of cyberbullying—the act of intimidating, humiliating, or threatening others via email, instant messaging, chatrooms, online networking sites, or text messaging. In this age of communication and connectedness, escaping the onslaught of cruelty is not as easy as outrunning some tough guy looking to
steal your milk money.
A greener Wal-Mart.
This Business Week illustration did run about 2 weeks ago. I wanted the colors to look like a a sun bleached color photo print.

Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world, unveiled a new store that could revolutionize how the company builds and powers their stores. The experimental design combines a host of renewable energy technologies including numerous solar PV arrays, wind turbines, a bio-fuel boiler to recycle and burn recovered oil from store operations.
Mother Load.
Eco Traveler Dilemma.
Over the last couple of years Mother Jones Magazine has become
one of my favorite magazines to work for. The nonprofit magazine  covers a wide range of political, economical and environmental stories.
Since what will be said and what will be left out is in the hand of stock holders and advertisers for so many of our national publications,
Mother Jones Magazine has managed to stay a strong independant voice. The Magazine ise a haven for great journalists, photographers and
Illustrators who are finding their articles and images published where the big magazines simply had to decline the topic.
Mother Jones won a 2001 National Magazine Award for General Excellence.
I love working for this publication and above all I love great articles.
The art director liked the loose sketches and I had extra time to play. I love photography and collage. I can't stand copyright issues that tag along with solutions like this.
IF FRIENDS DONíT let friends drive drunk, should cars?
Here is a recent Business Week spot assignment.
Cars with build in alcohol breathalyzer!
Turn around time can be extremely fast.
I was lucky  the Art Director picked my favorite
for the final.
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