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.

Cows & Waffles

lodging_badapples_wpdetailMy latest illustration for Lodging Magazine is for an article about hotels keeping their dining areas germ-free. It delves into some of the nastier problems that hotel managers have to deal with – foodborne illnesses, sanitation laws and damage control responses. Not a lot of pretty images came to mind for my illustration, so I decided to go wacky with it.

The article begins by stating how people often like to get away to hotels where there are lovely bucolic scenes out the window, cows grazing and sheep frolicking nearby – but the visitors don’t realize that the flies around livestock are one of the most common ways for germs to spread. While flies buzzing around a dining area seemed off-putting to me, I thought some barnyard animals would be funnier and less openly icky. I sketched a cow and sheep in line at a hotel breakfast buffet.

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Whenever I’ve been at a hotel for breakfast, the most entertaining thing is watching people use the waffle machine, so I drew the cow using that. The editor asked me to include a bowl of apples in the drawing, since the article’s title is ‘Bad Apples.’ She approved the sketch so I painted it – acrylic paints, prisma pencil on illustration board.

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George & Martha’s Wallpaper

blastfrompast_detailwpMy illustration for next month’s Lodging magazine was a fun one to draw. The editor at the magazine, which focuses on the hotel and hospitality industry, sent me an article “Blast from the Past,” about some hotel developers choosing to renovate historic buildings into hotels, instead of building new structures.

Sometimes in doing editorial art (art that accompanies written articles) illustrators are requested to create images that strictly adhere to the story line, and sometimes we are given freedom to come up with an image that makes a playful riff on the theme. The editor didn’t mind at all when I pitched an illustration of some historical characters participating in the renovation of a hotel room, while keeping the other workers in modern-day attire.

To make the historical characters recognizably different from the present-day workers, I decided to go with Revolutionary war costumed people – powdered wigs, long dresses, etc. I thought about having a George Washington type holding blueprints, directing contractors in kind of a statuesque pose –

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But then it occurred to me that it would be funnier if it were a George and Martha Washington-type couple, doing what couples always do – arguing over what type of, say, wallpaper to use –

lodging_blastfromthepast_sk1– and that’s the one the editor liked too. I drew it up a little tighter and added some wallpaper books and more samples –

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and painted in the finished art –

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Poodle Posse Picture Book: a few more pics

The new picture book I’m illustrating for easy readers is progressing – Once upon a Poodle, by Chrysa Smith, and it should be ready for publication sometime in the early fall.  A few bits & pieces –

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I’ll post more updates as we go along.

 

Magazine Illustration: Hotels & College Towns

My newest illustration assignment for Lodging Magazine accompanies an article aimed at developers in the hospitality industry, about some key points to keep in mind when choosing locations for new hotel.

The article explains that many chains realize the value of bringing hotels to college towns, since the football season brings so many out-of-towners that need accommodations; but there are other considerations before the developer should seal the deal, which the article describes more in depth. For the illustration I pitched a few ideas to the editor, involving cheerleaders, graduates in caps and gowns, and college fairs. Then I was talking to my son Tom, who does improv comedy several nights a week in NYC at Reckless Theatre, about the topic and asked him if there was some funnier angle to it – and he quickly hit on the best image of all – college football team mascots.

When I suggested this to the editor she immediately liked it, so I got onto the sketch.  I googled images of college mascots and chose several that looked distinctly different, then sketched them barging into a hotel developers’ office, begging her to pick their town.

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and a color markered sketch, where I added in a pennant & megaphone to reinforce the college idea:

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The editor approved it with a few gestural changes, and so I painted the final:

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I sincerely thank my son for his idea! By doing improv he has developed skills that lead him to generate really fast, funny, visual scenarios!

 

 

 

New Illustration for Lodging Magazine

My latest illustration for hospitality industry magazine Lodging involved one of those vague ideas that’s a bit hard to picture at first: delegating. The editor sent me parts of the article but it was not complete – it explained how hotels should focus foremost on their ‘hoteling’ responsibilities (great service and amenities for their customers) and hand off lesser duties if at all possible to businesses that specialize in those particular services. This delegating can help hotels accomplish key tasks without overwhelming their current systems and still providing excellent customer service.

I jotted down a few metaphors for delegating and sent them to the editor: I thought of a traffic cop directing traffic in a hotel lobby; a truck driver unloading packages to waiting deliverymen; and a football coach explaining a play to the team.  The editor liked the football idea, so I sketched it out roughly.

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The editor approve this and suggested a few more props in the hands of the players, and to have everyone in golf shirts instead of padding, which I added in the color marker sketch.

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This met with approval, so I traced the drawing onto illustration board and drew it in prisma pencil, then painted with acrylic paints, watered down to washes. The finished art:

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Data Mining Illustration

My monthly illustration for Lodging Magazine was for an article about ‘data mining’ – how those in the hospitality industry can learn to better track and interpret social media referring to their brand, in order to improve their services to their targeted audiences. I pitched a few written ideas to the editor, involving visual imagery of hunting down information, and she liked one with miners in a cave.

I’m certainly no expert on mining procedures so I researched photos online to see uniforms and props. I sketched a very loose pencil rough of coworkers finding gold among the rocks, with one worker recording the info on a laptop –

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and then tightened it up before sending it in, adding the good & bad social media topics the editor suggested –

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After approval I did a quick color pencil sketch to work from for the finish, then retraced it on illustration board and started painting.

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The finished art:

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