At the tail end of 2014 and into 2015, I had the good fortune to work with Alex Rinker at Rinker Design Co. on a wonderful project for the Laguna Beach House (LBH). The goal was to team up to create a limited edition print which would be displayed in the newly renovated rooms and sold exclusively by the LBH. Alex is a wizard with art direction and design so I was really excited for the opportunity to work with him.
On top of that, Laguna Beach holds a special place in my heart because its where I proposed to my wife 10+ years ago (I can't believe its been that long... wow...). I've spent a lot of time strolling the walkways and paths along the coast in Laguna so having the chance to illustrate some of its culture was a dream come true.
It took a few iterations to find the right direction. I explored different aspects of Laguna with my sketches but ultimately, the 2 sketches below landed closest to what the fine folks at the LBH were looking for:
Tasteful simplicity was definitely the way to go for this illustration so I developed two options: one where the focus is on the vintage era surfer and one where the focus is on a balance of the surfer and environment.
Sketch 2 ended up being the winner which was exciting because it meant I'd get to really focus on a strong composition, a detailing of select elements, and color to emphasize the sunset mood of the piece.
With the sketches in place, I moved to the next step of blocking in values and establishing my brushwork. I work exclusively in Adobe Photoshop for all of my steps and its usually at the black and white value stage that I work at the full scale needed for the final piece (which was poster size for this one).
For me, the black and white version of the piece is really where things started to come together. I couldn't wait to put color to the illustration because it was feeling just right. I developed 3 color options and left it to the client to determine which one they thought would pair the best with other interior design elements within the rooms.
The middle option was the clear winner for them so from there, it was off to the printer. Alex did an amazing job with handling the prints, ensuring colors were accurate and the best paper was chosen for the limited 75 print run.
Once the prints were completed, they were shipped to me to sign and number. It took a lot longer to sign 75 prints than I thought but seeing the prints uncut and in person was a true joy. Because I'm working with so many clients internationally, I rarely get to see my work in any physical format other than on my screen. Alex and the LBH folks were kind enough to let me keep one of the prints which I'm still waiting to get framed. Once I get it framed, I'll be sure to post it to my instagram account for you to see.
Or, if you're in California, be sure to stop by the Laguna Beach House to check out their newly renovated hotel! I know I plan to next time we're out in California because Laguna is as much a part of my past as I hope it is a part of my present and future.
Big thanks to Alex Rinker, The Laguna Beach House, and my wonderful agent Deborah Wolfe. I'm really excited for the things we were able to create and hope you enjoy! Thanks for viewing!