The people who work diligently at Kohlhepp Investment Advisors, carefully planning their clients’ savings, retirements and investment portfolios, like to kick back every year and go a little crazy with their New Year’s greeting to their colleagues & customers.
This year I think they outdid themselves.
When Mary Beth Kohlhepp calls me to suggest ideas for their New Year’s company greeting card, it is always a fun conversation – she tries each year to tie the illustration I draw on the front of the card to something going on in the financial world at present. But she also puts a wink into the idea somehow, usually in the form of inserting the whole Kohlhepp team into the art as well. So in the past we’ve had Kohlhepps riding roller coasters, hanging by their fingernails off the Fiscal Cliff, and holding up the debt ceiling; this year had to surpass their illustrious past.
Mary Beth came up with the wonderful idea of tying the art to the ever present buzz about the new Star Wars movie opening. She asked for something like their team, as Jedi knights, fighting the Bear Market with light sabers – I sketched this roughly –
I also thought I’d give an alternative idea, simpler but still with Star Wars overtones –
The team liked the battle scene best, and suggested I keep the villain looking like the current nemesis, Kylo Ren, instead of an actual bear. I resketched it to follow their direction, added some droids and a wounded storm trooper to fill in the battle a bit more, and tightened up the likenesses of the team.
I then made a color sketch with markers & colored pencils. I found that the most effective way to get the light sabers & their glow, when the rest of the background was so dark, was to put them in through the computer – no white paint could get the raw whiteness as well.
It worked out well that Ren’s lightsaber glows red – in financial terms, red is the signal for evil!
I used the same computer-assisted lightsabers in the finished art, but the rest of the art is done in acrylic paint, with water added so they flow like watercolors, some gouache and prisma pencil, on illustration board. Mary Beth added the perfect tagline as a caption.