Archive for November, 2010

30 Covers / 30 Days – Day 7

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It’s difficult to overstate the amount of design talent involved in the 30 Days / 30 Covers component of National Novel Writing Month this year, (the full list of participating designers is here), so there was no small bit of honor and slackening of the jaw when I was invited to take part. Despite having navigated any number of rush assignments in the past, this felt to me like an intimidating project—largely on account of having to show my own results alongside the results of the outsized talent featured on that list.

Therefore, after a 24 hour scramble, including an impromptu visit to the florist, my submission for Chasia Eidson’s The Impersonal Business of Death was posted along with her manuscript’s essential plot points over the weekend. Mucho thanks to Chasia for providing me with such a juicy premise to pick apart and to John Gall for putting me in the game.

The Addiction Solution – Rodale

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This cover is my first ever foray into the Science and/or Self-Help sections of Barnes and Noble. The brief which was given to me had one very specific stipulation: the cover must, must, must feature a brain.

I’ve never had a comp approved so quickly. It almost felt like I was cheating. Almost.

Art direction: Amy King

GOOD: Work vs. Play vs. Play vs. Work

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GOOD “Work”

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GOOD “Play”

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As guest art director for GOOD Magazine’s upcoming ‘WORK’ issue, the gleefully profane, indefatigable Jennifer Daniel rounded up the Pencil Factory‘s illustration titans for the magazine’s opening graphic statement for a two-page collaborative drawing and then invited me to crash the party. Here’s the complete cast of contributors (besides myself):

Kim Bost

Josh Cochran

Gilbert Ford

Jessica Hische

Caroline Hwang

Grady McFerrin

Ted McGrath

Alex Eben Meyer

Chris Silas Neal

Leif Parsons

Rachel Salomon

Joel Speasmaker

Neil Swaab

Jillian Tamaki

and Sam Weber

This being an issue devoted to the minutiae of work, Jennifer wanted to go after a broader suggestion of how work and play are terminally linked to each other. To do this, she provided us two very basic spreads: one of an office and the other of a playground. The only direction we received was to populate the office landscape with ‘play’ based images and draw elements of ‘work’ for the playground.

From there, each illustrator had a day to work on both spreads before passing them on to the next person. The process for these pieces proved very liberating as they didn’t fail or succeed by any one person’s contribution. You can see much larger versions of the final drawings over this-a-way.

There’s a better, stronger word other than ‘flattered’ to suggest how I regard such an invitation to collaborate with such a crew but I haven’t landed on it yet. What’s more, the central concept was/is particularly close to my heart when taking into account the front and back covers of my (outdated) portfolio:

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Thank you, madam Daniel.

Social Sifting

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I recently wrapped up working with art director Patricia Kim on a feature illustration for Bloomberg Business Week which looks at a new breed of startup that builds applications which crunch and interpret data (read: comments) on Facebook, Twitter and the remaining social networking ilk to better inform corporations how their products are faring in the marketplace. The success of such applications is contingent on speed as well as the ability to parse sarcastic speech (which, as it turns out, is a little tricky).

The breakdown of the varying degrees to which these applications work is naturally tech heavy, so behaving as true contrarians, Patricia and I decided upon collaging antique machinery and old engravings to depict a distinctly of-the-moment process of parsing ones and zeroes and profiteering.

I was grateful to get this assignment when I did, as I was (and to some degree still am), playing over so many great moments from what is quite possibly the only movie that ever need broach the subject of social networking.