Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This isn't as easy as it looks

First off, I'm not venting. I'm simply highlighting a recent project that proved difficult. Everything isn't always ice cream and bubble gum here. It's not always easy. Sometimes it's work. Here's how it went:

They basically provided me with this photograph, and asked me to render it in a loose, painterly style.

Here's a portion of my sketch and the final painting:

They didn't like it. They thought the girl looked older in the painting than in the photo (which, I agree, she does), and they thought, not very attractive.

So, I created this new sketch, with a focus on making her more attractive.

They didn't like the revision, and I didn't like the idea of trying to make her more attractive. More attractive to who? I also felt the sketch no longer looked like the girl in the photo.

So, I sent this revised sketch, making her eyes bigger. I thought it worked. They didn't like it.

So I sent this new sketch. They didn't like it.

So I sent another sketch. They didn't like it.

So they sent this new photo, which they felt was more attractive, and asked me to render it instead.

And I created this sketch.

The project was canceled. Not because of my work, they said. But because both photos are of a famous person, and there are copyright issues that weren't considered. On to my next project.

Again, I'm not complaining. I got paid fairly for my work. The publisher is one of the best, and the art director was absolutely fabulous, one of the sweetest people I've ever worked with.


jesse joshua watson said...

i FEEEEL your pain.

jesse joshua watson said...

..."Marketing feels that if you were to shift the angle of the left eye 14 degrees counter clockwise, we may hit a broader demographic."


Mark Mitchell said...

This is such a good lesson in flexibility, stamina, drawing lots and lots of good sketches, maintaining detachment -- and being a total pro.

Mighty Kwan said...

I recently had to do a Brett Favre image for a tee. The number of revisions on that thing were ridiculous! I ended up just tracing the photograph in Photoshop and you know what...they still thought it didn't look like him. The hardest part isn't gettng the drawing to look like the photo, it's getting the drawing to look the way the client sees the photo, both emotionally and physically. Which is gosh-darn hard to do!!

I caution most of my friends in regards to doing portraits or caricatures of people. Big people think they are really skinny. Older People want you to draw them looking like they did in high school and on and on. Self perception on the clients parts on those types of projects is tough.

And to Mark even with all the fexibility, stamina, and great sketches sometmes they still just won't like it. So make sure you have a kill fee in your contract. ;)