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Vector work: Rocket Park

NOVEMBER 17, 2006
Rocket Park
This project won't be public for a year or so but I can share a few draft images now. These are illustrations that will appear on information panels at a new exhibit at The New York Hall of Science in Queens near the World's Fair site. The staff is cooking up a mini-golf park  that teaches physics-related concepts of space flight. I've worked with this architecture firm (Skolnick) on museums in Miami and Bridgehampton, Long Island.

LEFT: "Breaking the bonds of gravity: This one went through many revisions during the sketch phase. The client was searching. It's amazing, and difficult to convey to clients, that often the job comes into focus only when the artist is given license to render the final. They loved it.
In addition to the illustration type above, each panel will have a "diagram" that shows the basic concept of each hole. We settled on this Scottish astronaut golfer as a "mascot".

RIGHT: The ball has to be hit with the right amount of force (but not too much) to land in the hidden trench. This will trigger  the rocket to move up the gantry platform on the right.

BELOW: This illustration exists in that slippery ground between the top-down intellectual committee approach to hashing things out and the solitary artistic fishing trip turned desperate "give me the wheel" moment. We were all on the same page about the feeling we wanted the illustration to convey but it only came together when it had to. That's my job: I make the ideal, real!
The gravitational field of Mars gives the speeding ship a slingshot, jai-alai boost sending it on its way to Jupiter.
I deliberately use as few gradients as possible in my work these days. Much of my museum work is output on vinyl or other odd substrates and the colors are all spot PMS colors. The gradients and blends just get strange. Ditto for lense effects and transparency; they seem to causes unpredictable problems when we go to production. So to achieve "shading, I've been using blends between lines with different stroke widths and dashes. I like the effect.

 BELOW: Space junk. Yeah, this was fun; just a bunch of junk. Some of these bits were created with Dimensions and pasted into Freehand MX. I love Freehand, I hate that it is going down the tubes and appears to be unsupported by Adobe. Gee, why is that?
At the end of the Space Junk hole is a rotating disk with obstacles attached to it. You have to time and steer your ball through them.

BELOW: This hole was difficult to visualize. I started out with a written description. Then I had access to plan and elevation drawings provided by the architect. That was better. I think I finally figured out how the paths criss-cross. Looks fun to play at least.
Topical: work