New Illustration for Lodging Magazine

When my husband and I used to visit our son at his college in Washington, DC, the hotel we always stayed at had a courtesy van to take lodgers to the metro stop. We always thought it funny that we never once were able to catch that van at the times it ran, we were always too early or too late. We thought, when did they run it, like 2 hours a day?

I think the latest article I illustrated for Lodging Magazine explained the reason for this. The piece is about courtesy vans and what an enormous liability they are for hotels – most have a high center of gravity so they can unfortunately roll over easily, and if involved in an accident, there could be multiple injuries since they usually seat 10 or more people. The article suggests some strategies to make the vans less hazardous for hotels to offer, but the general message of the article seems to be, vans really are too expensive to keep safe, so hotels should consider discontinuing this amenity.

The editor gave me a good suggestion for the illustration: to show passengers about to board a hotel van, but each is protected by a big bubble. I took it a bit farther, wrapping the passengers in bubble wrap, wearing helmets, and the van has all sorts of Caution Tape and flashing lights to make it unmissable to other traffic. I made a rough sketch –




Then I tightened that up, and made a rough color sketch from a printout of it –

And then drew it with black prisma pencil and painted it with acrylic washes for the finish.

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 –

Business Birthday Card

Every year I am requested to illustrate a birthday card that Kohlhepp Investment Advisors sends to their clients on the client’s birthday. This year the idea of a hot air balloon ride was suggested, and as always I draw the five principals at Kohlhepp involved in the scene.

I started with a rough pencil sketch –

and when approved, tightened up the likenesses in another sketch

And penciled in a rough color sketch

before painting the finish, below, in acrylic washes on illustration board, with a charming birthday wish inside the card.

Illustration for a Data Security Article

My latest illustration for Lodging magazine, which focuses on the hotel industry, was about recent changes in the European Union’s laws that could affect US hotel regulations in the future. In Europe if someone stays at a hotel, that guest’s information, by law,  cannot be used for marketing purposes or disseminated to third parties without that guest’s written approval. A guest must opt-in to have their personal  data used, or even held past their stay at the hotel. This is different from the policies of US hotels, but because guests often come from abroad, US hotels have to be aware of these legal restrictions.

My illustration started as a sketch of a line of people checking in, each with some kind of  luggage that ‘held’ their secure data.

lodging_sensitiveinfo_sk1

The editor approved this concept, so I tightened up the drawing a bit and blocked in some color with colored pencils –

lodging_sensitiveinfo_skcolor

– and then transferred the drawing to illustration board, drew in the line in prisma pencil, and painted it in with acrylic paint washes. This one went fast compared to the last few illustrations, which had lots of moving parts!

lodging_sensitiveinfo_finish1

and I’ll add a brief plug – I now have my St. Patrick’s Day cards on my Etsy page, if you click right HERE . They have my illustration of a quaint Irish cottage in the spring – so please take a look if you have a special person to send a lovely Irish wish to on St. Patrick’s Day. (And as always I have my Eagle Scout congratulations cards, and panda piano notecards too.)

Board Game for Hoteliers

The latest article I’ve illustrated for Lodging Magazine explains the dilemma some hoteliers have when presented with a PIP – that’s a Property Improvement Plan – which can be expensive and time-consuming. Some hotel owners opt to sell or ‘flip’ their property to a new flag (hotel brand) or sell it at this point, processes which have their own issues. The editor wanted me to illustrate the quandary of choosing between these options.

Two fun ideas quickly came to mind and I sketched them roughly in pencil – a game show harkening back to Let’s Make A Deal, with Curtain Number 1, 2 and 3, with an agonized hotel owner on the spot:

1lodging_piporflip_sk1

– and also a board game idea, with owners losing a turn or skipping ahead to win at their dizzying run at Pip or Flip:

1lodging_piporflip_sk2

The editor liked the game board and so I drew it up a bit tighter, with quotes and tips from the article:

1lodging_piporflip_sk3With some suggestions from the editor, I drew it on illustration board in prisma pencil, and started painting in bright gameboard colors in acrylic washes –

1lodging_piporflip_wp11lodging_piporflip_wp2

 

 

 

 

 

 

and splashed in a loose color background for the finished art –

1lodging_piporflip_finish1_wp

 

 

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.

1lodging_housespecialty_sk2

1lodging_housespecialty_sk1

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

1lodging_housespecialty_line

and sent her a color sketch, which she approved –

1lodging_housespecialty_colorsk1

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

1lodging_housespecialty_finish1

 

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.

lodging_badapples_sk1

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.

lodging_badapples_finish