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.

10 comentarios:

Brett dijo...

Thanks for sharing your creative process with us. Very interesting. I love the duck, by the way. Hilarious!

Melissa dijo...

Brilliant! I love it, and I'm now sorely jealous of Neil. I wouldn't be surprised if soon a lot more of the blogosphere is playing host to your magnificent art... :)

Guru dijo...

"yes, IT IS great", she thought proudly.

kickpleat dijo...

it looks lovely! i too like to let ideas "marinate" and clearing your head by going for a walk or chopping up vegetables works for me too. i like reading about your recipes and stories, but reading about your process is just as wonderful!

Tanna dijo...

Thank you so much for the how it came together from you side. I really love the way Neil tied it all together with such wonderful meaning.
I think I write much like you did this project.
Great job.

Anónimo dijo...

I loooove it!

Congratulations to both, Ximena and Neil!


Sam dijo...

I predict a hoard of requests after this excellent piece of work!
fantastic stuff

lobstersquad dijo...

Thanks everyone, it was fun to do.
And Tanna, thanks especially for kickstarting everything!

vanessa dijo...

Very cool to see a bit of the process. Looks wonderful—you do great work. Looking at an illustration mid-day in the office is quite revitalizing :) Thanks for the perk up!

Scott at Real Epicurean dijo...

Every food blog in the land is going to have a header image designed by you soon!

Excellent work!