Saturday, February 13, 2010

Union Atlantic... Drawing (?)

My previous illustration for Ordinary Thunderstorms did not run in the NY Times Book Review due to a crossed-line communication error, on my part, with the amazing art director Nicholas Blechman (tight deadline and lost e-mail!) That assignment had come to me at the end of several back-to-back and more detail-oriented magazine illustrations– so actually, I was happy to get a loose, expressive drawing that I really liked out of all the scramble.

A few days later, Nicholas was more than generous and extended me this Union Atlantic assignment and I thought I'd continue with the same loose drawing approach. Although self-editing is no strength of mine, the further I got into the drawing, the more I realized that some of the preliminary reference photos I took, when assembled in the composition, were much more dynamic than the artwork I was preparing– illustration fatigue maybe? Nicholas agreed so this is the one we ran.

It is terrific to have an art director who entertains your instincts, even when you present him/her with something that is 180° from what they might expect of you. This wouldn't fly in many situations (and in this industry, having one categorically defined style seems to make good business sense) but part of my joy in working with Nicholas over the years- at the New York Times and on Nozone- is that I always feel compelled to try something new while staying on topic. Based on the trust he extends me, I think he enjoys (expects?) the occasional surprise! Whew.

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