These pieces became the fallout of one of those pesky paradigm shifts.
|Icons, Round 1, testing the waters …|
Driven by a consultant, the project was designed to arrive fully formed on the desks of decision makers, so few elements were sketched first. Most went directly to digital rendering.
The job, should I have chosen to accept (and I did!) asked:
|Icons, Round 2: Decision makers needed|
to see work in close-to-finished form, so
few sketches underpinned this series of work.
• Can I make a bunch of icons representing the many electrical power sources and conveyances, such as dams for hydroelectric power, pipes for geothermal power, windmills, transmission towers?
• Can I make a bunch more icons showing power users, such as homes and buildings?
• Can I make icons showing consumer/producer, such as electric vehicles — lots and lots of vehicles?
• Can I fit all these icons into diagrams showing how power flows between consumers and producers?
• Can I make more of the same icons, but in a different way, when a tiny paradigm shift (a foreshock?) requires a change?
• Can I come up with a whole new concept for the fluorescent bulb, when that concept crumbles in the paradigm shift?
• Can I turn the western states into giant puzzle pieces suggesting their dependence on one another for power creation and distribution?
• Can I turn California into a giant conference table, around which stakeholders decide power policy together?
• Can I render a giant map of California, dotting the landscape with all the kinds and sources of electrical power?
• Can I create a single panoramic landscape, showing the spectrum and variety of electrical production and consumption?
|Thoreau as art director: Simplify, simplify, simplify.|
|Still more and different icons …|
The initial project itself was a shift from previous projects I have been able to do for Cal ISO. The biggest difference from the start was that it didn't require keeping to a limited official Cal ISO color palette — a dark blue, a dark green, a yellow green, an aquamarine, an ochre and a brown.
Since it's a tough — though welcome — challenge to keep illustrations lively within the palette, being able to roam around the visible light spectrum felt freeing.
Off I went:
|One iteration of the state-shaped table …|
|… after another …|
|… after another …|
|The West became a colorful puzzle …|
The decision makers decided: Uh, no.
That sound you heard was the paradigm shifting.
Out went all the icons and with them, the color. Another illustrator was called in to create different icons. I was asked to create a couple of new cover concepts, just in case:
|Shout out to San Diego, Los Angeles(ish), Fresno and San Francisco …|
|I was still filling the night sky with all those huddled masses of light when this idea got nixed.|
This, from the first round of ideas, is still my favorite: