Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sweetly twisted

Best tattoo parlor
Drawing for The News & Review (Sacramento, Chico and Reno) has always been a celebration of integrating editorial art and design. I've worked mostly with art director David Jayne, and it has never been about me just dropping off art and waiting to see how it turned out in print. David has always been interested in making sure everything fits aesthetically, so frequent conversations during from thumbnail to final are the norm. The freedom of the N&R assignments have also taken me out on the shaky branches of my "usual" work.

Case in point: A series of illustrations for one of The Reno News & Review's Best of Northern Nevada issues. David's idea was to make the awards resemble collectible figurines, which evolved from a kind of Precious Moments™ look to something that still retained the cloying kitsch without getting too close to the parody bone. Some of these figures, after all, were going to get dragged through the Reno grit. Ten or so figurines were needed. First came an "eye test:"

Can you say "trademark infringement?"
Bob's Big Boy's stepchild?

Then came some sketches, for many more awards than the newspaper had room for, like these for the best bowling alley and "Ugly Coyote"-type bar :

Most of the final art followed the sketches closely, which was nice, given tight deadlines:
Sen. Harry Reid

"Folsom Prison Blues" was just too perfect for this illustration

Best outdoor venue, I think …
The cover was the challenge. We went back and forth over several ideas:

Though I liked the simplicity of the cowgirl, the showgirl version won out. The sun gave way to the giant Burning Man effigy.

But a funny thing happened on the way to final. The showgirl got less showy. Watch as she disappears behind the blue ribbon:

Capped off with a sugary type treatment, though, this was a lot of fun packed into a very short turnaround:

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