I was going to make this a pretty detailed post about art directing at a magazine and how it’s not about hiring 12 individual illustrations—it’s about how all of the artwork relates to one another as a reading experience but I don’t think I’m up for an educational post. I don’t feel like I have the authority to remind other illustrators of this when I forget about it myself.
You see, most illustrators are working in a vacuum… even though their artwork won’t be. The rare art director will share a layout with you, the illustrator, and work collaboratively. That is great– really great. Still, illustrators have no idea what comes before and after their illustration in a 70 page magazine. Usually, that’s not something the freelance artist has to worry about… unless of course if what comes before or after your artwork looks similar to your sketches. It’s these very special moments when that art director inexplicably rules out your *favorite idea* for another sketch. Whatabitch.
Such was the case the other week for Businesweek’s Stay at home Dad feature story. Originally, I created a series of detailed characters I was rather excited about. Normally, I don’t get so detailed and this new set of icons had a lot of personality. Unfortunately, BusinessWeek was also running other small ornate drawings on the previous pages. So, in an effort to create more contrast between these two features my tiny illustrations were reduced to something more bold, graphic and designerly: ICONS. Not to be confused with tiny drawings.
In the end, the graphic icons are much better but I still mourn the loss of the detailed man sewing.