Monday, April 17, 2006
Today, one of my illustrations ran on the front page of my hometown newspaper — my full-time gig. By now, creating illustrations are no big deal — that’s what I do. But this one proved to be somewhat…special.
My assignment was simple: create an illustration/infographic that included a road with obstacles symbolizing the road legislators might encounter on their way to tax reform. Now, remember, the first love of my career is illustration for kids. The second love of my career is illustration for kids product licensing. So, illustrations to symbolize tax reform ranks down there with sweeping floors or cleaning toilets. Well, not really, but you get my meaning.
This assignment was really no different than others in terms of deadline and content. At least it started off that way. Because of it’s physically large size, I assumed — as did everyone involved — it would run somewhere deep inside the paper. So, you can imagine my shock when I learned it was running on the cover! Illustrations traditionally don’t run on the covers of newspapers, particularly dang-near full-page illustrations. Those are saved for Features fronts and occasionally Business or Sports. Problem is, once an illustration is bumped to the front of the newspaper, everyone involved is suddenly freaked out — you gotta make everyone look good, or everyone’s heads are gonna roll. And that ain’t no fun.
Since I wasn’t working the weekend shift, and the illustration was running on Monday, and I ddin’t want to get called in to work, I had to create sort of a modular illustration — you know, create individual illustrated pieces, plus a background which a designer could use to create their own thing. That’s kinda scary ‘cause my byline would be front and center no matter what the outcome.
As a writer, could you imagine choosing a select grouping of words and phrases, in which to give to me, that I might use to write a story — with your byline?!
But, all turned out fine, the front page looked nice.
*Note, the little vulture icon I created to represent lawyers was omitted in favor of a scale of justice, which is good. I have some law friends whom I hold in the highest esteem, so that would not have been fair.