We had a visiting illustrator, Nicholas Stevenson come visit our college and talk to us about his transition between being a recently graduated student and a professional illustrator. Nicholas gave us a short brief very similar to your everyday editorial illustration commission.He gave us an article surrounding the superstitions of red bull fire finches
Start To Work
The first thing I did to kick start this brief was to note down all the important visual metaphors and noteworthy points about the article. I then used these notes to sketch out some initial ideas for the illustration.
Once I got some ideas down on paper I picked out my best two ideas and made slightly larger sketches of them, experimenting further with them.T these were the ideas I put forward to Nicholas. I also included a postcard I have to illustrate the color palette and style I was going for.
Feedback from Nicholas
Nicholas really liked the idea of symbolizing all the different troubles you can send the bird away with, but thought the tears were the most striking image. He asked for the bird in hand but with its wings full of tears. He also really liked the postcard I sent along with it for inspiration.
Doing the Illustration and The Final Piece
I chose to use this printing medium because last time I tried it out it turned out really well, and gave a very rustic, folk artsy feel to it, which is what I was after. I originally sent two versions, one colored in with pencils and one being just the print.He prefers the print without the added color, the one you see below here. I quite like how a couple of the prints came out. I did experiment a little with the not so great prints by adding color drawing on top of them, only one of these turned out any well.