posted 5.3.13 at 12:00 am
I was recently filmed for a segment on the Katie Couric show. Neat!
The setup was this: Katie was doing a show based on the show Mad Men, with cast interviews and show clips. Then the setup was, Katie wanted to show what it was like to work at a modern day Manhattan ad agency. That's where I come in.
The gig was involving Katie going into an ad agency and effectively working up a mock pitch for a 'new' product campaign (in this case, Fabreez), and she would be the Creative Director working with a group of various staffers at the agency (in this case, Grey Advertising, who I work for occasionally as a freelancer). I was to be the illustrator who helped flesh out ideas that were thrown about during the course of the brainstorming meeting, and subesequently, the actual pitch with the clients. Yes, those are actual Fabreez big wigs in that board room.
Here's the segment...
This was filmed in mid April, and of course there was something like 3 hours of video shot, including lots of B reel footage of me actually drawing, and everything got pared down to just under 4 minutes.
I've gotten asked a few times if this is how things are really done. The answer is yes and no. It's very seldom that I'd be included in the initial brainstorming session, but it does happen occasionally. The biggest glaring error is that I would never be included in the actual pitch to the client. Plus, in a setting like this, the majority of my drawing is digital, on my laptop with the Cintiq, just because it's saves so much time. But, they wanted me to draw on the big tablet- it looks cooler on TV.
Katie and her staff were actaully very nice, and the whole experience was fun. Plus, it was a regular work day, so I got the same amount as I would any other in-house advertising illustration job!
posted 3.27.13 at 12:00 am
The NCS has announced their list of 2012 Reuben nominees, and low and behold, I'm one of the nominees in the Advertising Illustration division! It's my first nomination. Cool! I'd like to congradulate the other two in my catagory, as no doubt one of them for sure will be taking home the trophy. Way to go, guys!
Art by Tom Richmond
Here's the entire list of nominees, from the NCS website:
Todd Kauffman, Executive Producer, “Sidekick”
Alberto Mielgo, Production Design, “Tron: Uprising”
posted 2.25.13 at 12:00 am
The 3rd annual Success in Comics Seminar has come and gone, and my speaking there didn't send as many as I thought rushing to the exits demanding their money back. That's probably because I was the last speaker.
Following the likes of Jeffy Keane, Steve Silver, Tom Richmond and Mark Anderson and others is no easy task, and I only hope I came across as knowing what I was talking about. Somewhat.
There's a nice rundown of everybody's seminars over at The Daily Cartoonist.
My talk was about how I went from drawing caricatures in a theme park to working in the advertising industry in NYC.
The main point I was trying to make is the same skills needed to be able to draw live in a theme park setting, with people looking over your shoulder are basically the same skills that are required to be a successful freelance advertising illustrator.
Some notes directly from The Daily Cartoonist (The one guy who was listening!):
Requirements for anyone wanting to be successful in commercial art...
-Learn by practice, practice, practice
-Draw fast and efficiently. No sketching. Practice turns to ability and ability into confidence. One of the reasons I get work, in addition (I hope) to my drawing ability, is that I'm a very fast artist. That's a must.
-Draw under pressure. If you can't work with people looking over your shoulder and making comments you may not necessarily agree with, commercial art isn't for you.
-Keep your ego in check. Not everything drawing is going to be perfect.
I showed alot of slides that, frankly, were pretty painful to show. The type of work I often get hired to do (and was the point of this seminar) is oftentimes rough and sketchy, drawn under the gun, with very little planning or time available, and that's not the type of work you want to show off, especially to other artists. But, in this case, it was a room full of working artists, most of whom understand the necessity for pre production sketches like these and how they are necessary to achieve final successful outcome further down the road. Work like this is created for a reason (pre-production), and many of these drawings are discarded as soon as they're shown, and others are used to build on ideas further in whatever campaign you're working on.
One of the more intersesting parts of my talk (for me at least) was walking through a long day on the job, and all the drawings I had to bang out in the course of a few hours. This particular set, done sometime in January, was roughly 20 drawings, all done in 20 minutes or so, used to help the creatives at an agency flesh out a new ad campaign, in this case it was a new allergy drug.
An idea is thrown out, I draw it. An idea is thrown out, I draw it. An idea is thrown out, I draw it. An idea is thrown out, I draw it. For hours. What happens when working like this, besides the great practice I get in working out figures and compositions on the spot, is some real wacky images.
Here's a few of them from this example:
Agency: Ok, we're pitching ideas to find a direction we want to take this new, as yet unreleased drug, *bleeep*. Here's a few ideas we came up with.
1) A bunch of boomerangs being TNT'd, to symbolise the end of the patient's repetitive trips to the Drs office:
A line of people all the same, doing the same thing, with allergies, and one person breaking away from the pack:
Kleenex box as a cage people can now escape from:
People as a parts of a revolving carousel (going with the back and forth theme) and one woman finally getting away:
A line of people in decending era's dress, all with allergy faces, to symbolise that people have always had allergies. Guy in front is from the modern day, and he's the happy one, presumably because of his new medication.
Guy tearing out of his grass suit, presumably becuase his allergy medication allows him to:
Kids playing in the park, nearly missing the allergy tornado:
Revolving sidewalk, one side with a park scene, the other with a guy at the Drs office:
Allergy wallpaper, man with matching robe, about to change out of his robe, since his allergy medication has kicked in:
Those are a few from one long day of drawing. Like I said, it was personally difficult to show these, as they're simply roughs. But in hindsight, given the circumstances, I do like how some of these turned out, especially since the average time limit for each was roughly 20 minutes, so I really need to get over it. (also, after the presentation, many of my fellow artists told me the same thing, and that helped. It's hard to not be self conscious sometimes.)
The fun part came when I showed some of the other stuff I do.
Off to Reuben Award Weekend! http://t.co/Gcnnobc4JQ May 22 at 6:39 PM
I think it's very telling @weathernyc has followed me. Those rain dances I've been doing are starting to catch up to me... May 20 at 11:07 PM