2nd Attempt: US economy grows by 2%
I decided to take some things I learned from Plant Power and make amends in a new illustration.
Unfortunately I have lost my initial thumbnail sketches.
I made a list of all the things in the article and ways i could represent them
•US Map • Notes & Coins • Jobs Market • Old Glory (Stars and Stripes) • Booming economy • 2% increase.
I re-arranged many of these into about 6 or seven sketches but really liked how something as simple as putting the flag on an 2% angle, could suggest an idea. It was a good reminder that to get an original composition, you can start with a skeleton idea and expand it.
Eventually the composition I liked the best was people catching the stars and stripes to work. It felt nice and dynamic in the layout (something that was good to test so I new I needed to adjust in certain places for headline legibility.
See sketch below and the final piece. All up 2 hours for thumbnail concepts, 1 for sketch, and about 5 hours for final (Done with watercolour, then scanning and assembling in photoshop for final colour)
First Attempt: Plant Power
So I made a few sketches. (I should upload them.)
One I really liked was a very simple feedback-loop idea. Where the sunflower plant was powering a lamp that shone into the face of the sunflower. A kind of perpetual motion idea.
I liked this route, it communicated the concept succinctly and curiously enigmatic, but it felt too removed from what the article's intention was, which was to make this techology seem relatable and useful.
And since the editorial was written this way, I too gravitated to the familar context and scenario, the bedside lamp situation outlined in the copy.
I still liked the perpetual motion sunflower vs lamp idea. Kind of like drinking your own piss. The flower beckons after the light like a maternal sun, alas it is night. So the flower's God is really itself. There's a subtle, kinda fucked up Nietzschean subtext to this otherwise serene and peaceful image of some chap reading a book.
I built all the elements out using my base sketch under each sheet. before piecing everything together in photoshop. Here's some of the elements below. Some obviously were tests or trials but I just scan in everything. Sometimes a badly drawn hand makes a good moon etc.
This is the final image. (Below in context)
Overall, I think I could have better used the space. Especially the extra vertical space on the right.
In any case, thought it would be interesting to try a profile bed given the format. It is quite a dark image, and in newsprint this would probably suffer terribly, but for a glossy magazine, I like including little secrets. The suitcase under the bed, the whiskers on the cat, etc.
I really pushed to get this done in a single day, concept to finished art. Nice to work to a deadline though.