An Illustration for Gamification

My latest article for Lodging magazine, a trade journal for the hotel industry, involved a new method being employed for training housekeeping and other hotel services: video games.

To keep employees engaged and improve their business, hoteliers are starting to use interactive games to teach skills – a kind of soft training that creates less stress than task-oriented drills. The example given to me was: workers are shown a picture of a spotless room and one with noticeable imperfections, and are asked to pick out what’s wrong with the second photo. Prizes are awarded for correct answers. In the process, staff members learn, in a fun and interactive way, what to watch for when they clean rooms for real. 

I sent three very rough pencil sketches with ideas. The first was pretty much an illustration of that example –

In the second I imagined pinball games with funny hotel-related names –

And in the third, a video game screen with employees acting like Mario Brothers characters –

They liked the last one, so I tightened up the little character drawings –

And then borrowed colors and actions from classic video games. Here is the finish –

Newest Illustration for Lodging Magazine

The most recent article I was sent from the editor at Lodging Magazine was once more a rather nebulous topic to depict concretely. It detailed that when mergers occur in the hotel industry, a not uncommon phenomenon I gather, the transition period is very important and if mishandled can result in a lot of staff disruptions. The hotel’s general manager and HR department are key in steadying the ship, and the article advises that they prioritize onboarding, data system upgrades, compliance and operational efficiency.

Quite a jumble of complex ideas! I came up with two simpler versions of this situation and sent them as pencil sketches. The first was the proverbial tangled ball of twine, with a general manager directing staff how to de-tangle.

The second, which I liked better, was a Rubik’s cube turning, with people climbing, clutching and interacting on it as it twisted. I thought this pictured a number of the things the article touched on: the churn of the merger, how staff feel displaced, the uncertainty, and the need to keep communicating.

The editors liked this one too, so I traced it onto illustration board, tightened up the people, and painted it in with those bright Rubik’s cube colors.

My Latest Illustration for a Hotel Magazine

My latest assignment from Lodging magazine was an article about the difficulty in finding good employees in the hotel industry, and tips for holding onto those dependable and conscientious ones. I personally found the article lacking in solid solutions for these problems, which made finding an idea to illustrate more challenging.

I did think of two scenes leading up to the hiring of an employee, so I sketched them roughly in pencil. The first showed an interviewee being coaxed by other employees as well as the personnel manager to accept the new job.

The second showed a woman passing a lot of Help Wanted signs on a hotel, with a manager leaning out the door to tap her on the shoulder, and hopefully to tap her skills too.

The editor liked the second idea more, and asked me to switch the people so a female manager was leaning out to tap a male hire on the shoulder. I sent a revised pencil sketch.

I made a quick color sketch using colored pencils on a photocopy of the sketch.

I drew this onto cold press illustration board in black prisma pencil, then painted it with acrylic washes. The finish is below.

New Illustration for a Trade Magazine

The latest article given to me by the editor of Lodging Magazine involves manager tips for making a workplace a good environment for employee mental health. The key was offering support to workers in terms of acknowledging outstanding work, explaining employee goals in a clear way and setting an example for employees to model. I came up with an arched bridge as being the means of support, with the recommended action points spelled out on the pillars.

First I drew a pencil sketch with loose tones blocked in –

With the idea approved, I traced the drawing onto illustration board, outlined in prisma pencil and painted it with acrylic washes, using the sketch as reference to keep the values consistent.

Illustration for Lodging Magazine

My latest illustration for an instructive article for the hotel industry’s Lodging Magazine involved rating the entire guest experience at a hotel – at least that’s my understanding, since I did not get to read this article. The editorial staff was running behind on deadlines, so they just gave me an idea to draw & I did it! Sometimes that’s how publishing goes.

They asked for a drawing showing the process of a hotel customer booking a room through her smartphone, receiving confirmation, arriving at the front desk, chatting with hotel staff in the room, and then writing a review of her experience. I started with a rough pencil sketch –

and tightened it up to show the editor –

She approved this and I drew it on coldpress illustration board in prisma pencil, then painted it with acrylic washes. The finished art is below.

Next Illustration for ‘Lodging’ magazine

My newest illustration for Lodging magazine is for an article advising hotel owners who are interested in selling their property to ‘tell the story’ of the opportunity their hotel creates for investors. The editor of the magazine suggested a ‘story time’ scene, although she didn’t want it to make the adults look too silly. I did a pencil sketch for that idea and also tried a version where the hotel’s ‘story’ is a huge storybook –

 

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She liked the big storybook better, so I tightened up the sketch a bit –

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And sent the editor a quick color sketch with colored pencils, which she approved –

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I drew the final art in prisma pencil on illustration board, and painted it in acrylic washes:

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Illustration for Hotel Restaurant Article

Every month I receive an article to illustrate for the trade magazine Lodging, which deals with the hotel & hospitality industry. This month’s article was about hotels with restaurants in them, and how to make those restaurants economically viable by appealing to the public as well as patrons of the hotel.

Usually these articles have quotes from specific hotel managers giving their locale’s individual experience with a topic, which helps me come up with a more customized pictorial idea.  This article did not have any quotes, it was more general in tone, so my ideas had to be more generic as well.  I like it better when there are specifics, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way!

I sent two rough pencil sketches first, showing guests checking into the hotel but distracted by fragrant food being transported to the restaurant, and a group of businesspeople at a hotel restaurant being ‘served’ the suggestions recommended in the article for a successful hotel restaurant.

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The editor went with the businesspeople idea, and so I tightened up the line drawing

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and sent her a color sketch, which she approved –

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ad then drew the finish first in black Prisma pencil and then painted it in washes of acrylic paint, on illustration board.

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