Good morning! I can't believe I'm up...
But gimme coffee! on any rainy day makes me feel better...
Here's a project that I did for Annabelle, which is a magazine in Zurich, Switzerland. One reason why I enjoy working with them is that although they suggest a direction for me to pursue creatively, they also allow me a lot of creative input. This one called "Why I Think Soccer Is Silly," is the most recent project that I worked on with Annette Keller, at Annabelle.
Above, is the first sketch that I came up with. The story describes how the author dislikes soccer. Apparently in Zurich, many people are fanatics of the sport, and so was the author until a few years ago when his love for it diminished. It was a cheeky article with lots of funny anecdotes. This sketch in particular was inspired by a moment when he describes rollerskating past a group of soccer fans - feeling somewhat annoyed and out of place. This was a very straight forward solution to the story in that I basically extracted and (re)presented a strong visual from the text. However, in most cases, the way in which I conceive ideas for (editorial) illustration projects is by summarizing the article in about 1 or 2 sentences (many thanks to Paul Dallas who was my instructor who taught me how to do this in my senior year in art college, and then to Soojin Buzelli, who reinforces that way of thinking within her art direction) and then creating a drawing based on that. By doing this, I illustrate the essence of story, instead of some extraneous detail within it. Fortunately in this case, the article was summarized within the title. Below are a couple of other ideas based on this method of brainstorming.
Through a lot of sketching I came up with the idea that the soccer ball, if tweaked, could resemble a ball of yarn. I often do this in my work, figure out what the main component of the illustration will be, and then if possible, try to see if there are other things in life that resembles it in terms of shape, colour, and/or function. The reason is that objects around us are imbued with meaning and so this can be extremely helpful when trying to come up with illustration concepts. In this case, since I decided to go with the yarn-soccer ball, then I had to figure out how to destroy, or show "dislike" towards that object.
But, even before moving forward in conceiving the sketch, I had to make sure that I would be able to convincingly drawing a ball of yarn that looked like a soccer ball (Yuko! where were you when I needed you :-)
Hence, what you see above was my attempt on being a magician.
I tried sketching out a soccer ball pattern and then super imposing that on top of my ball of yarn. But then decided (in order to speed things up -- what if I grabbed a soccer ball off of the internet, reduced it to a black and white graphic using a "Threshold Filter," and then applied it as a "Multiplied" layer onto this ball of yarn.)
Thankfully, it worked... phewf!
Above are the two additional sketches which employ the ball of yarn as the soccer ball. The sketch on top, shows a person carrying a stick of moths which are feeding on these balls of yarn, and the sketch on the bottom is the author lighting them on fire.
This is a tightened version of the sketch that the art director chose (which was fortunately the one that I liked the most as well). The character was drawn in Photoshop, while the soccer balls were drawn with ink and brush, and then scanned into the computer and layered to form a pile (of balls).
I've begun more and more to use Photoshop like a printmaking device, separating my line from colour; my foreground from my background; and the figure(s) from his/her environment. Having said that it's not always so linear, but being able to deconstruct my image into parts wherein which I can rework or revise them can be extremely helpful, and can save a lot time.