First, about two hours after I posted my blog last week, I got word and–YES!–my elephant piece made it into the Phillustration 2011 Show. Hooray! MS did too, only he got three pieces in (show-off). 😉 It opens at the Philadelphia Sketch Club on Friday and there’s an artist reception on Sunday from 2-4. The show will be up until July 17th.

I was reminded at work today about how I have to play detective sometimes to design a job for a client. Often we design quite blind. There are little instructions about what the client might want for his/her CD packaging. Today I got: “Content is storytelling…mood is mellow and warm…want it to look like something from Maine…make me look great!” Now, that’s actually not very much to go on. Sometimes they’ll give examples of designs they like, but this time, he didn’t. So it’s up to me to infer many things from what little I have. So what do I have? The key words like: “make me look great” makes me assume that he is pretty open to what we might come up with. He has no myspace or website for me to look at to see some design or fonts or colors, etc. that he already probably likes. Now, here’s a photo of the client (mind you, this isn’t the actual photo, but a surprisingly similar royalty free photo I found to show as an example):

This is Jeff Jameson here (I changed his name too). Now. What does Jeff Jameson like? Well, he likes blue. He’s not a flashy guy and probably wouldn’t want anything really colorful or bold. I’d say he’s conservative. He prefers classic typefaces. Simple design. Maybe a nice texture here and there for that Maine feel. He sent in photos of boats and a couple other photos of himself for me to choose from. One of the boat photos is to go on the cover and one of him goes on the back. Not wanting himself on the cover means he doesn’t have much of an ego, so I can get away with putting his photo fairly small. By the look of that smile (and the fact that he likes to tell stories), I’d bet he’s a nice fella, too. And that, my friends is how I rolled with it today and many days before for many clients and jobs just like this one. And you know, as crazy as this sounds, with this “detective work” I’d say 75% of the time the client is happy with the results almost immediately. It’s quite surprising!

On a very different note, here is my gypsy painting in progress. Here are a bunch of pages of photo reference I’ve gathered…that I really haven’t used yet…

Here are a couple looks at the outside frame taking shape.

I had a busy week/weekend, so I didn’t get too far with it–just a fairly rough once over. Enough to think that I probably need to enlarge my sketch to get all the detail in there. Which means a larger painting…which means I have to consult MS about mounting the paper onto the board. Normally he might just transfer the drawing to the board with a grid and a pencil if it’s a large painting, but, um…ain’t no way I’m re-drawing this thing after I’m done if I don’t have to. I’ll most likely already have drawn it a couple times in the process of figuring things out. Sigh. Hopefully it won’t come to that, though.

Well, that’s all for now. Back to work for me! Have a great weekend!