Friday, September 3, 2010

Oh, Sweet Revisions

Every once in a while, try as I might to avoid it. There comes a client who whether through fuzzy vision of their own concept or fuzzy communication of such, turns the studio upside down. In yesterday's post, I mentioned that getting the character of the farmer right on one particular box was, let's say a bit of a challenge. No worries, I am always up for an adventure, right? Or so I tell myself. When it boils right down to it, changes are a nuisance at best and at times degenerate in to a full blown nightmare. But the client is always right. After all, they hold the purse strings and I am not about to not get paid for my blood and sweat.

George next to a "Frankensteined" comp using pieces of several old paintings
No need to do a portrait, just a passing resemblance...

As John Ball of BDG put it, the concept was simple enough- create an illustration depicting a strong, iconic farmer that had an "oh so slight" passing resemblance to the owner of the company. Basically, we were looking for a rough caricature of the owner so that when people who knew "George" (we'll call him that because, well, that's his name) would think, wow, that looks a little like George
well, can you take out some wrinkles and make the nose smaller?

I took the photos I was given and came up with what I thought was a fair resemblance, not concerning myself much with a likeness, because that wasn't the objective.

First version of the painted face with new sketches and George for comparison

Yea, but can you change the angle of the face and make it look more like him?

Things were going great until others started putting their fingers in the pie and you all know how messy a pie can get when too many fingers are in it. Personally I prefer my pie with only my fingers in it. Sometimes I let a good creative director or designer stick in a thumb if they ask nice, but this situation quickly spiraled into a pie fight. I ended up doing several sketches and two full painted revisions of the face before finally satisfying the client- PHEW!.

2nd to last and final versions of the face
In the end, I took one of the actual photos  and painted over the top in Photoshop so that there would be little margin of error in the likeness (minus a few wrinkles and a slight rhinoplasty). I think deep down they wanted more George Clooney than the actual George, but in the end, everyone was happy because they got what they wanted and I got paid. And got paid again, and oh yea, again- I asked for a bit more dinero on each round of revisions because the portrait likeness was not part of the original agreement. Just goes to show you never get what you don't ask for and money makes those annoying changes feel oh so much better.

1 comment:

sean said...

Fascinating! I am a collector of fruit cartons ( in Australia), and love hearing any stories about the genesis of designs. My website is :) I also have a blog (link on website) cheers!