Monday, May 2, 2011

Baseball, audiobooks, Spectrum and lots of coffee.

A little while back I had the luxury of a nice two week deadline for Library Journal. A fun crowd scene requiring a variety of faces in a theater enjoying audiobooks that was just complex enough to let me flex some rendering muscles and take my time.

With two days left to work up the final, I had to throw my relaxed pace out the window to jump into a overnighter for Wall Street Journal.

WSJ's illustration was on the growing lack of interest in baseball among America's youth. My goal was to show that disinterest through several generations. Having done all my rollovers, this actually came relatively naturally. I love the idea of one part of an image remaining constant while things evolve around it. (Speaking of... I found out that my Ada Lovelace Day rollover was also accepted into Spectrum 18! Pretty much the same idea-> Image below). 
    Having been what some would call "indoorsy" as a child, I had to do a fair amount of research about various sports equipment, uniforms, and heroes that would end up on posters. (Full disclosure: the extent of my baseball experience is signing up for tee ball as a child, going to games, hitting the ball, refusing to run, and sitting back down.)
50s/70's/90's/00's.  None of the above had a part in my own childhood.
Luckily Derick Gonzalez at the Journal was a bit more knowledgable and helped me out. I will take credit for the ever-so-subtle upgrade from old school to new school skateboard in the last two panels.
Again... replace all sports paraphernalia with Batman: The Animated Series/ make the boy chubby and pale.
Lots of fun working this one up.  Looking back, I kinda wish I used hot-press paper to calm the texture down. Still, I'm pretty stoked on how it turned out. Even better, it printed in full color (a gamble at WSJ) and by far the largest piece I've had in their paper.

So, one overnighter follows another now that my time was nearly up for Library Journal. I should say now that I know it's not exactly uncommon for an illustrator to do back to back overnighters, but hey, this was my first.

final approved sketch
Final and in context.
Even though I was dead-man painting at this point, I think it still stands up. Tried a lil something new keeping the headphones and media players unaffected by the darkness of the theater to pop a bit more. 

And here is the Ada Lovelace rollover I mentioned that was also accepted to Spectrum 18.