Wednesday, October 22, 2008
What does an 80 year old illustrator do ?
NO MORE STORYBOARDS !!!!
For one thing, I've had over forty years of tough storyboard deadlines and I'm happy to leave this part of the ad biz to all of you younger artists ! In the last year that I did storyboards, every assignment was an overnighter. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed doing this type of work, it's just that the deadlines were getting to be impossible. Actually, I work very well under pressure and for me to throw in the towel, you know how ridiculous it was getting.
I know of many illustrators that just would not do storyboards because there are a lot of negatives connected to this type of work. There's not only the pressure, frequently you must work when you least feel like it, and that might even include working on Thanksgiving Day. Your work must also be very consistent, it's not acceptable to start out rendering a series of frames very detailed and tight, then end up working very loose on the last frames. This can be a real problem when facing a very tight deadline. Also, you NEVER miss a deadline or you are through with that client. On certain assignments you may be required to dig up a great deal of reference material which will take precious time away from rendering frames. When doing work for certain automotive accounts I would often rent the specific car model and then photograph all of the necessary reference material which the clients rarely supplied.
At times you may even wonder how the agency's client ever approved the idea, some scripts can be downright weird.
The positives are that this type of work pays very well. Often my work used to come in on the weekends, leaving me the whole week to paint and pursue my fine art interests.
This series of frames were done for Delphi, a client of McCann Erickson in Detroit. The art director was Wayne Graydon. He's an excellent AD and was always a pleasure to work with.
All of my renderings are done using markers on high quality layout paper. This is very important as on certain papers the markers will not blend well. I found the best paper to be Beinfang Graphics 360. I always flip the paper over, the markers work much better on the reverse side, try it, you'll be amazed at the difference. Incidentally, I prefer using Chartpak AD Markers for all of my renderings.
I know that some artists do storyboards on the computer. I've tried it a few times, but for me it just takes too long, I guess I just love those squeaky markers. As an artist, if you love doing watercolors like I do, rendering with markers would be a medium that you would be quite comfortable with.
The renderings below were done for an ad campaign for Y & R in New York, but I'm not sure of the client. I believe the art director was Michael Brennecke, another top notch AD that I did a lot of work for over the years.
I enjoyed rendering these ads very much, it was a fun campaign. There were a least a dozen of these and I did them all about 15" x 15" in size. They were all delivered over the internet at 150 dpi. I had slow dial-up at the time and it took a LONG time for these to go through.
My advice to budding storyboard artists is to keep your renderings fresh and clean, don't overwork them as they will just get muddy. Try to develop a fast, loose style, and in between assignments, do a lot of watercolors !
Thanks for viewing my blog. I will most likely post at least two or three times a week, probably Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Next time I'll be showing you some of my most recent illustration work, some illustration experiments as well as a few new logos that I've designed.