Thursday, January 31, 2008

ESPN "Fans" Issue

I have a full page in this week's ESPN Magazine. The 10x12” format is always a challenge, and only my second time tackling it.

ESPN sent the writer to the Martinsville Speedway with only a video camera and $20. His mission: acquire a ticket to the the $75 general-admission event.

He endured shockingly hospitable senior citizen race fans and hitchhiking misadventures before finding himself “mucking horse stalls” to earn his way into the race.

Though I didn't grow up on a farm, when I was 18 my Dad bought a house on a few acres in Winchester, Ca. and my step mom built some stables. I never was too keen on horses, but have spent enough time around them to know how disgusting, stinky and dusty the fly-filled air can get (especially while “mucking,” which to quote step mom means to “clean up the horse poop and pee”)

My primary focus on this illustration was to show some cool lighting effects while trying to evoke the unique pulverulent odor that shoveling shit in small spaces creates. Whether it comes across or not in the illustration I don't know; however, I can imagine it without much effort.

Some people have been asking to see my thumbnail sketches recently, and while I wanted to show them for this assignment, I have been unable to locate them. However, I will post my initial sketch submitted to the art director as well as a brief run-down of my process leading to the final artwork.

1) read the story, underlining or highlighting words and passages that give me visual ideas.
2) jot down immediate ideas for what might make a good visual to the piece, or doodle them if that makes more sense.
3) go online to sites like flickr, corbis, gettyimages or google to search for and collect jpgs of visual reference I might be able to use. Anything and everything helps.
4) relax and clear my mind by going for a walk or something
5) sketching small thumbs or 50% final sized ideas for general composition
6) submitting 2 or 3 sketches for approval.

I try to make the sketches I send in as clear as possible because I find that it saves time on the tail end and that I tend to have fewer changes to the sketches. I try not to fall too much in love with any sketch in particular because that one tends almost invariably to wind up killed.

Have a great week!



George Cwirko-Godycki said...

Awesome, it so steamy and i love the gloves, they feel really heavy and thick

the horse reminds me of a quote from moebius, where he made the distinction between his jean giraud work and his moebius work, he said something like "i can't draw a seven shooter or a red horse, but moebius can, but i'm not allowed to, there are rules"

anyway, nice

Jed said...

I like the way you've don the light, and given it the feeling that there's dust motes in the air.

Eli said...

Really nice work. Your work is becoming stronger and stronger over the years and has a lot more dimensional elements to it than even a few months ago. I really enjoy the way you work and thanks for posting that e-mail exchange too. It was a lot of great instructional feedback. Thanks Frank.

Joshua James said...

iLove all your new stuff!