Check this out.
Isn´t it great?
Neil´s blog, Food for thought, is now At my table. Part of the phoenix-from-the-ashes thing was to change the look, and he asked me for a drawing to put in the header.
I was very flattered, and of course delighted to work on such a lovely project. It´s been great workng with Neil, easy and fun and completely unfussy. I could only wish all clients were like that!
For a start, he knew very well what he wanted, and gave me a detailed brief. I love that. There´s nothing more irritating than a difuse, vague idea thrown at your head, in the expectation that you´ll come up with something brilliant and clear the fog in the client´s mind. That type always thinks they can get away with a jumble of words like "fresh" and "young". Once, I was told to make a piece on perfume for a fashion magazine "noiseless". Of all the...
There´s quite a lot going on here, as you can see, but I´ll leave Neil to explain all that. All I do is put the client´s wish on paper.
I will give you a little peek into my working method, for a change from food.
The first thing I do is read a brief through a few times. Then I usually try to put it at the back of my mind. Sometimes I can´t, if the work is urgent, but I beleive in "marinating" stuff.
I really think that not thinking about it makes ideas bubble up. And if I´m stuck, or anxious, I find that there´s nothing better than to go for a walk, or better yet, into the kitchen. It´s the sort of mindless activity that really clears my head.
At that point, I go to the drawing board, and do a quick layout sketch in pencil. Then I take a clean sheet of paper, and start drawing. I use an old fashioned pen with a nib, and a pot of waterproof Indian ink.
The trick here is not to stop, so if I don´t like something, I just go on, and do it differently on the side. If you look closely, you´ll see bodies without heads, and surplus heads floating around. Also lots of lines that are subsequently cleaned up.
Photoshop allows me to keep things fresh ( great for the "fresh" clients). I send that line, corrected and with new heads on cleaned up shoulders. This is the best time to make changes, if any, as at this stage it´s all pretty simple.
The client has to be imaginative, and see in his mind how it will look in colour. Not everyone can do this, but luckily most people are game.
Then I colour, and that´s it. Simple, no? Thanks to the magic of the web, everything goes from Madrid to Victoria in seconds.
As for the material rewards, well, I do enjoy getting checks in the mail, but it doesn´t compare to the box of goodies that made its way all over the world.