I do like this job. Every year, a man in a Big Company hires me to make illustrations to punch up his Power Point Presentation. He gives me wild complicated ideas, sends me one small front-view face of each person to be drawn (each one with a little smile or a deadpan expression), and I have to jump in and make it happen. I have to imagine how the bodies would pose and how the face would change with different expressions. I even have to imagine what their bodies and clothes would be because my client only sends me a little picture of their faces. I draw them alone in my Studio (and everywhere else for the duration of the project ~ Offhand, I remember taking it to Starbucks this year. And while waiting for my car at the mechanic). I use paper and markers, PhotoShop on my Computer, and ArtStudio on my IPad. I feel especially thrilled to see how my skills developed on the IPad. Yay IPad! Yay ArtStudio!
UPDATE 2017: Egads ~ When I remember how crude it felt to use those old styluses on the IPads, I feel thrilled about our New Technology. These days I've switched to the White Pencil and the ProCreate App, and I would never consider working with the Supplies that I had when I made these CARICATURES.
Here are my client's instructions for the first picture: One of our key hires was to bring in a person who formerly left our firm to work for ---------, but after a couple of years there, decided to return home - to 'mamma' so to speak. And that is exactly what I'd like to slide to show. The person who came back, Mr. A (you had drawn him in an earlier year) essentially leaping over the Atlantic into the arms of Ms. B, the head of our group (you have drawn her several times). So the slide can show Mr A leaping, big arms spread and shouting "Mamma"!! and on the other side is Ms. B, a slighter person in stature with her arms open, maybe wincing as she prepares herself to catch this big man leaping at her. One side can show a building, ------ where Mr. A left and the other side behind Ms. B should be our Company's building with the words -----------. Since Mr. A left --------'s London location to come to Asia, the side he is leaping from should indicate some signs that it is London and the side where Ms. B is on should have some indications that it is Asia, other than the name on the building.
Whew - Here's what I condensed these instructions down to. After discussing it on the phone with him and clarifying that he didn't really mean the Atlantic ~ because the Atlantic is not between England and Asia. Here's what I condensed these instructions down to:
Mr. A leaping over Europe into the arms of Ms B.
Mr A: big arms spread shouting "Mamma!! yes bonnet and diaper (as client said on the phone) maybe even a bib showing other company's building. Indicate this is England.
Ms B: slighter in stature arms open maybe wincing (as client said on phone) as she prepares to catch this big man leaping at her. The Client's Company Building with the words ----------- (covered up for my blog). Indicate that this is Asia.
Here is the picture I came up with. To tell his story and have impact during his presentation. I was absolutely thrilled that I figured out how to import my line-drawing into ArtPad AND MAKE IT TRANSPARENT. So I could work in layers beneath the linework. That's one of the best features of digital art equipment (Remember ~ you can click on some pictures in this blog to see them Bigger):
Finished. I was pleased to get a note from my client saying "As always, brilliant designs!" That made me feel good.
Here are my client's instructions for the second picture:
This picture is about 'Growth doesn't come without consequences." Quality Control. Mr. E was holding the leash in the picture you drew last year. And you drew Lady C previously ~ she was the one who was doing tug-of-war with the Gorilla). Lady C has long hair.
Lady C and Lady D are about ready to toss Mr E off the top of the Client's Company's building in NY which should have the name and address of the building in small print but noticeable. There should be a view down to the street where there sits a safety net to catch him. He has a scared look on his face, the ladies should have a devilish type of look I'm thinking. Of course, I covered up the name and address of building for posting this picture on this blog
Lady C and Lady D are on top of our tall building. Street below. "Failure is not an option." Depth perception ~ seeing the little people on the bottom. Safety net at bottom.
Here's the picture I came up with. To tell his story and have impact during his presentation. Please make sure you click on the picture, as on other pictures here, to see it larger. I was particularly thrilled with how I handled the transparencies of the lightrays that I added to the scene:
Update ~ written the following night: Oh dear. Overnight revisions needed. Client said that Mr E doesn't look like him. I guess it's a mystery to me :-) Mr E. Mystery. Get it? Anyway, all I had to go by was this little reference picture and the instructions to make him look 'scared'. I felt like I handled it quite well based on the information that I had. But if it doesn't work, well.... I'm glad my client said that I could just reuse the picture I drew of this guy last year. And now he tells me that the man has blonde hair. How was I to know? Some spots on the photograph-hair actually look Black.
And here are my client's instructions for the 3rd picture:
At end of presentation, he will end with The Most Valuable Player. Ms F transcended problems. She runs the Sarbanes-Oxley. That's SOX. It's legislation that was put into effect after the Enron fiasco which required financial stuff to maintain a level of control..... Ms F helped them continue through all that stuff. Show her with MVP award. It is a 14" statue of a woman body builder standing on top of heavy weights oooh ~ I see that I forgot the heavy weights. I didn't catch it because my client had a pretty quick deadline for these complicated pictures and and....... well, I didn't draw the heavy weights, but the picture feels like it tells the story that my client wants to tell. Pregnant Mom with another baby attached to her foot following behind her (4-year-old girl has brown hair). Belly and muscles. She is holding a Globe. Multitasking. One arm really muscular holding up the world. MVP means Most Valuable Player. She's on the SOX team. Can manage it all.
and on the phone, my Client also said that he wants the words AB SOX and SSAE on the Globe.
Here is the picture I came up with. To tell his story and have impact during his presentation. Whew. Finished a day earlier than his absolute deadline. To give him time to put it together into his Presentation before he flies overseas.
Whew. Whew. Here it is 3:40 a.m. and I am done. Whew. I have been swimming in this stuff for weeks. My head ~ as I go to sleep, first thing upon waking up, while driving and while shopping. Papers all over my desk, all over my car. Notes every which where. Wow.
Update the next day: But Wait! Client wants revisions on picture 3 also. He said that my picture of Ms F looks weird (ummm.... I'm a Caricature Artist? We exaggerate?) Anyway, he asked that I eliminate the buck teeth and crossed eyes. Okay. I want to do what will work for my client. Even though my response to the only reference photo of her was to see her as an absolute bunny. Very very cute. I might have even lifted the nose a bit and added bunny ears, but it didn't fit with the strong weight lifter idea. And I thought the wild eyes, one eye on the child and the other eye on the world, depicted what we feel like when we're 'multi-tasking'. It's more than a word. It's a crazy feeling of how much a person might have to handle. Soooo, I redid the face as my client wanted. And while I was at it, I added in those weights that I had forgotten the first time.
Good Night again. Stayed up late drawing pictures the 2nd night in a row to do the revisions. Communication can be difficult. A picture is worth a thousand words. But I'm the one who has to come up with those pictures. When it's just Someone Else's words. I have compassion for my clients. I do like to do this. Yes. But perhaps I'll have to take up weight lifting with my eyelids.
CLIENT'S RESPONSE UPON RECEIPT OF THE COMPLETED PICTURES: THESE ARE EXCELLENT ALISON. THANK YOU!
alRiiiight. That's what I like to hear. Best Wishes to You on your Successful Presentation, Dear Client!
CLIENT CONTACTED ME AGAIN ~ RIGHT AFTER GIVING HIS PRESENTATION: HI ALISON, JUST WANTED TO WRITE YOU AND THANK YOU AGAIN FOR THE FABULOUS ART WORK THIS YEAR. MY SLIDE PRESENTATION WENT VERY WELL AND CAPTURED THE RIGHT BALANCE OF BUSINESS NEEDS WITH HUMOR.
Oh I feel good. My job gives me so many opportunities to feel so Joyful.
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To Hire Caricature Artist Alison Gelbman: