Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hypno-Punch

JAMES - my lastest gig is with Bold Life magazine, a WNC monthly mag. they're very cool people and the magazine is very neat and supportive of local arts and culture.
so my assignment was to re-design the Bold Life logo and illustrate a cool cover, all within a week before going to press. i handled the logo first (egg before the chicken), which process i won't detail here. long story short, i handed in about 9 design ideas, they loved one, and i refined it, back and forth back and forth, till it was perfect. it's the one you see on the final cover up top.


.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
the lead article was about the local Roller Girl team, and i felt like someone just handed me the keys to a Ferrari, cuz i knew this would be a fun and exciting cover to do. i handed in some rough sketches (above) and they liked the first two the most, then finally settled on the second one.

i worked big, about 150% of the print size. i wanted a tight illo with an open background where i could drop a big color swirl and have room for text and the logo. but i wanted lots of action, so trusty speed lines and lots of wavy hair and stuff. i kept the pencils tighter than usual - i wanted the inks to loosen it up, but really not too much. and i laid off using templates for things like the wheels and stuff cuz i wanted them to look wobbly from the speed of her.
inks were the usual trusty #3 brush (actually not so trusty, it's starting to split), "Dr. Martin's Black Star" ink, a Tachikawa No. 99 pen nib for the speed lines, and a Sakura Graphic 1 marker for the punch-burst and lettering on her jersey. finally a little white FW Acrylic Ink for touch-ups and it was time to scan.
coloring was all done in Photoshop (still rockin version 6.0!) - tons of layers. the final version is 1200dpi, but i laid out the basic colors in 400dpi to make it faster, then up-sampled and spruced it up (the linework was always 1200dpi to keep it perfect). my intentions were clear from the get-go, i wanted her to be mostly purple/pink/fushia and the background to be golden yellow. the blue in her eyes and the reds in her hair, shirt and wheels break it up nicely and help the eyes move with the action. (my favorite part originally was a mistake - i was going to make the speed lines have either white or nothing at all between them, but i accidentally had some red from the wheels bleed into them, and it looked so cool i decided to just have the speed lines drag out whatever color they were coming from.) after all that, i added the logo and text, optimized the overall color, did some back and forth with the publishers to make it perfect, and it was done - two days before deadline.
i just got the call this morning that they were delivered and i picked up some copies - the final print is perfect, all the colors, blends and effects transferred exactly how i intended. everyone's psyched with it. i've seen the possible lead articles for next month, and looks to be more fun - stay tuned.

3 comments:

H. Stewart said...

That cover looks great, can you send me a copy? What a super gig...do they need a NY film correspondent?

james flames said...

yeah, i'll definitely send you a copy. it's a cool magazine and yeah, what a gig. i'll ask them about the film correspondent thing, good idea.

thomas pitilli said...

Ilove it! I know i just sound like yr fan boy on all these posts, but i think i really am, and for good reason. I think the silkscreening has really changed yr sense of color in a much better direction. And it's good to see that your clors, even though photoshoped, doesn't come off too photoshoppy. It looks very natural and has a real old school comic book look to it, something i'm trying to get in my work. The line quality is really great as well. Very different, like the moaners poster a little. I love the hair, i think it's my favorite part. Great subtle attention to deatil. The roller skate itself looks like a reall rollerskate without being overly rendered. And the skull high socks are bad ass! Send me a copy!