I’ve always found it interesting how a finished product develops from a sketch through the lengthy and often tedious collaboration between graphic designer, client and illustrator. On the heels of that, inevitably comes the conclusion of; “Why the hell would anyone want to be an illustrator?” And… “Are you nutz?”
Anyway, late last summer I worked on a label (Poor Robert Hall Vineyards, (Paso Robles, CA.) Through the development of this project, as with most wine labels, a great many changes took place. I spoke to the marketing guy. The idea here is a sort of Bartles & Jaymes, porch-potato character, whose continence is, dignified, twinkly-eyed and with an earthy, old-timey, modest style of dress… but not too modest… hey, we don’t want him to look… well you know, “poor.” Heavens, no!
This was the first sketch (I posed for it but added a beard, glasses and about 15-20 years and used my friend’s dog “Fin” as a sidekick. They liked the idea of the dog but didn’t care for that particular one and thought the guy was good… but too Colonel Sandy. I agreed and felt much the same way but didn’t say.
This was the second sketch. I never got a chance to show it though, as a meeting had taken place between the owner and marketing department and the direction for the label had changed.
Bummer… I really liked this one too. I used my friend Richard as the model and again, changed the face. I drew the from reference photos (Sorry Fin).
The elements now were; An old , an old barn and an old . I decided to throw caution to the wind and go for a quick vector-like image. Hoping they might get the hint and move in a sort of ‘wood-cut’ direction; that could be fun and iconic… a sort of Aaron Copland, Fanfare for the Common Wine kinda-thing. Anyway, either it wasn’t wood-cutty enough or was too much of a departure from the pencil, I got my hand slapped for it.
And voila! That, ‘ladies an joims’ is how we do it in . My initial response in seeing the final layout was “Hoo Doggie! I wanna ‘git me some ‘O dat Red.” The bottom line is that you make clients happy and get paid for doing what you love… And ‘dat ain’t so bad. Even if you get dragged through the mud sometimes.
Anyway, I hear the wine is slated for east coast distribution. If anybody out there’s seen it… or bought it, let me know.
By the way, this is my first attempt at blogging, so be gentle with me.