One of my first jobs this year was to create these A2 ink-filled illustrations for the LA Times’ Festival of Books, and its sister festival After Dark.
The job of the images was to help the organisers promote the sunny April event with a set of word-driven illustrations. They’re on the site, on posters, in national newspapers and on t-shirts and all manner of other souvenir and promotional things.
They’d seen the image I’d done for Family Circle on my B&A folio page, and loved the organic colour, the pen-to-paper authenticity, if you like, of a piece done ‘in one take’. There’s a certain energy in pieces which are done quickly like that, with as little faffing about* as possible (*British term), which retains the spontaneity of whatever rough you did to start off with.
I asked for a list of terms to compile (stressing that you can never have too many) and I went right ahead and pencilled out the roughs at a large size. The first piece, 'Hail the Written Word,' was approved pretty much right away, with a fine tune here and there where the open book meets the heading.
The "Inspire Your Fire” piece took a bit longer as the headline needed three versions before it was signed off as ‘right' – and the burst of words actually went though four incarnations. Spontaneity can be very difficult to manufacture, and sometimes, it’s better to just stop torturing the piece you started with and start afresh.
Studio assistant, Graham helped with the Festival After Dark microphone. It was good to have a team of two on this to get everything in on time (it was a fierce deadline), and we swapped tips on digital ink (his tips) and using Illustrator (my tips).
I really enjoyed using ALL THE COLOURS IN THE INK BOX (nearly) and slaving over a hot sheet of A2. We hadn’t started time lapsing at this point, but if we had, it would have been a great one to capture! Yep, the back of my head, for eight hours...