Monday, December 8, 2008
More ink line art from the '60's
A cover of a brochure for Plymouth. I only have a black and white reproduction of this piece, it was an ink line drawing with flat colors added. In Detroit at the time, it was not uncommon for some artists to be doing work for Plymouth, Ford, Chevrolet or other automotive accounts at the same time.
A pretty loose line drawing done for Ford. Most automotive accounts would not accept a drawing this free as their product engineers count every chrome strip in the grill and examine every detail in the drawing. I can't remember the art director's name or I would thank him for letting me get away with this loose rendition of the Mustang, which somehow slipped by the product engineers.
Art done for another Ford ad while working at Al Hutt Studios. Automotive illustrator Terry Smith (drums and trumpet) and reps John Spencer (trumpet) and Tom Lyons (trombone) were used as models for this illustration.
A sample scratchboard illustration done for my reps to present to art directors. To do new samples was very important as your competitors were always producing new art to show. It was really a pretty healthy situation, it made you think and work extra hard.
When I first began freelancing after leaving Campbell Ewald, I went to New York with some new illustration samples to present to ad agencies. My first appointment was at Kenyon and Eckhardt, Chauncey Korten, an old friend that I had worked with years before, was the Creative Director. We recalled old times and I was also introduced to the CEO who immediately offered me a job, they knew of my experience as art director on the Chevrolet account and were looking for new people. I declined as I was determined to be a freelance illustrator.
They were all very impressed with my new samples and I ended up walking out of the agency with seventeen ads for Lincoln Mercury. The illustrations were ink line art to be used as backgrounds behind outlined photos of the cars. As I passed through the lobby when leaving the agency I saw a salesman from McNamara Brothers studio in Detroit, he was there to pick up the work that I was leaving with.
Needless to say, I cut my trip short and headed home to get started as I had a few deadlines to meet. Talk about luck, the importance of new samples and being at the right place at the right time !
I can't remember if this drawing was an assignment or not, it may have been just a sample. As I mentioned, when we weren't busy with actual assignments we were usually producing samples to show potential clients. It was imperative to supply the reps with new work so that the agency art directors were aware of your latest creations. Often we would do sample illustrations that would be directed at specific clients in agencies that we were trying to break into. As you can imagine, Detroit was a very competitive market abounding with great talent and aggressive art reps, all presenting new samples to the art directors, and all after the same business. Even though there was plenty of work around during the busy catalog season it was important to prepare ahead for the slower months as well.
If I recall correctly, this art was done for a Chevrolet sales promotion piece, the art director was probably Tom Clarke. It's sometimes difficult to remember these details after forty or fifty years have gone by. I do remember it being a fun illustration to do, however.
A drawing done for my book, "Art & Illustration Techniques", depicting a an ancient door in Carcassone, France, which I photographed while visiting that amazing place.
Carcassone is a fortified, walled city right out of the Prince Valiant comic strip.
I adapted the door drawing recently for one of my comic book cover parodies. The line art was scanned into the computer, after which the color, type and other details were added.