I had the privilege of doing some editorial illustrations for Spirit Magazine, Southwest Airline's in-flight magazine, thanks to designer Britta Hazel. This was one of the best editorial illustration experiences I've had thanks to Britta, an interesting article, and a challenging illustration! Its also the biggest amount of real estate my illustrations have appeared in a magazine - which was really exciting to see once it was printed.
First up, the main illustration for the article. Not only was I pleased with how the illustration turned out, I really loved the layout of the article (you'll have to pick up the magazine to see that - but its well worth it!). Illustration + good design (thanks to Britta) is always something I appreciate.
Next up is the spot illustration. This piece actually turned out to be one of my favorites even though its a very straight forward shot. Sometimes those are the best solutions to the challenge!
These are the initial sketches I started out with. I typically don't do this many sketches for an editorial assignment, but I was really enjoying the exploration and wanted to push myself to find a solution I was satisfied with. Its a good lesson to learn: not every illustration comes easy!
Next up was the spot illustration. You can see the first option I came up with was the one we ended up going with. Another good lesson for me: sometimes exploration shows you what you started with was strong enough to stick with.
Once we picked the basic camera angle, composition, and idea, it was time to move forward. These were the rough sketches I developed just to make sure the placement was correct and all the elements requested in the brief were present and accounted for.
From there I opted to move to blocking in values. Blocking color in is part of my process and I enjoy working in Black and White. It helps me focus on making strong shapes, solid lighting, and hopefully leads to a good finished piece. I've always believed if you can make it work in black and white, that increases your chances of making it work in color.
And here is a color variation I presented as an alternative to the colors which were chosen. The benefit of my working method is its fairly easy to change colors. Every shape and object is on its own layer and gets its own color treatment. This allows me to change all the colors at once with layer adjustments or go in and change specific objects to colors of my choice. It can be time consuming, but it'll save time if I'm anticipating a lot of changes or back and forth with my clients.