Monday, April 09, 2012

An Unusual Project

Last month, I was commissioned by Zeit Magazin to do a feature project for them. The subject? Drawings of cool contemporary furniture set in unusual natural environments.

The challenge of doing a piece with no humans was something I would have been reluctant to suggest to an art director, and I've never really felt like environments were my strong suit, but the fact Zeit was tossing the prospect of 9 illustrations fitting this description seemed too crazy to not say "yes" to. Working outside my comfort zone on a cover and 8 full-page images with a tight deadline seemed to have "disaster" written all over it. Sign me up!

I knew I would have to simplify the images and focus on loose drawings if I was to get the job done on time, which was the fun part. Typically I like to do a very tight drawing if I'm going to be working with a subject I am uncomfortable with, but for these, there was no time, and it seemed like the better solution would be to do a much looser sketch, and basically do the drawing on the fly with ink and brush.

The ironic part about this is that it's how I prefer to draw, but years of trying to be a better designer of images has gotten me into the habit of being meticulous about my compositions. I am 100% certain that the drawings wouldn't have been nearly as successful, though, if I had gone a different route.

Here are all 9 images, including the cover with type, sketches, and some progress work. I hope you enjoy it!

Happy Monday,



Andy Christofi Illustration said...

Brilliant work! A cover image and 9 interior illustrations that are all environments on a tight deadline sounds terrifying to me.

puppetvector said...

wow, you've done all this in a month? with full process work, you're really something frank! :)

Frank said...

Thanks Andy, Puppetvector! Actually from the thumbnails to the final it was about two and a half weeks for all of these. A very stressful two and a half weeks.

Katherine Lim said...

i've been following your blog for sometime and it's always so inspiring to see how diverse your range of illustrative expression transforms from piece to piece!! these are amazing!

Jori Bolton said...

This is an awesome series! For someone who doesn't feel environments are their strong suit, you sure nailed these. I love seeing exciting illustrations of what I would normally consider boring subject matter. That's real skill!

Martin Plsko said...

Wow, U have managed to go a step further and rise above the comfort zone anxiety. I like especially the lava piece, the aligator piece and the waterfall piece.
Judging from your former work, even though you don´t draw a lot of enviroments, u r pretty good with them.

willborough said...

absolutely gorgeous!


Tororo said...

Simply brilliant! Both stylish and humorous. I can positively hear this darth armchair screaming: "Luke! I AM your armchair!"

dreaminglatte said...

Those works are amazing. really.
I like color, composition, and story in them.
Line weight is gorgeous.

dreaminglatte said...

gorgeous pieces, I like story, composition as well as color!