Fortune Teller Illustration for a Hotel Magazine

lodging_predictiveinsights_detailMy illustration for this month’s Lodging Magazine accompanies an article on predictive maintenance. Because hotel profits depend on providing comfort and convenience day-in and day-out to their many customers, it is all-important to maintain room amenities and essential machinery, such as heating, air-conditioning, door locks and washing equipment. The maintenance staff must therefore know when to replace worn fixtures or parts before they break down, to keep equipment at top performance with no interruptions.

The editor suggested a fortune teller theme, so I sketched a medium and some maintenance workers peering over a crystal ball. Inside the sphere I drew various hotel equipment and repair pieces floating around –

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The editor approved it as is, so I traced it onto cold press illustration board, drew in the characters in prisma pencil and painted it with acrylic washes. The finished seance, calling forth the spirits of departed hotel machinery, is below.

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My Latest Illustration for a Hotel Magazine

I was assigned to illustrate a Lodging magazine article that explained strategies for hotel staff to recognize signs of disruptive or nefarious activity among room renters, and head it off before it becomes a problem. The process is called Behavioral Detection and Analysis, or BDA.

The editor suggested the idea of a toolbox, since terms like intuition, visibility, closed circuit TV and signage represent ‘tools’ that hotel staff can use to be aware of disruptive activity. But tools enclosed in a box would not make the best illustration, so I decided to draw them on a pegboard to open the scene up. I sketched a hotel employee handing out the tools to other staff members.

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With a few suggestions from the editor, I went directly to the finished illustration, using prisma pencil and acrylic washes on cold press illustration board –

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My Illustration for Cultivating a Culture

My latest illustration for Lodging magazine deals with ways to keep hotel work environments positive and free of harassment for employees. The editor did not send me the full article but read me the gist of it and its keywords, and she suggested ‘building’ a culture with employees stacking blocks; I sketched that quickly and also tried a sketch of employees growing a garden, which they liked better.

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Lucky I’ve done a lot of work for Burpee Seed company! I’ve drawn plenty of garden scenes for their catalogs over the years, that’s why I thought the ‘teepee’ structure, made with poles and runner bean plants, would work in this scene. I tightened up the drawing and sent them a rough color sketch –

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And then transferred it to illustration board, drew it with prisma pencil and painted in with acrylic paint washes.

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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.

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

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– 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!

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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.)

Lobby Carpet Test Lab

My latest art for an article in Lodging magazine is another scene of controlled chaos, somewhat like my Rube Goldberg drawing and the human gameboard art I drew a while back.  This article detailed how hotel managers must carefully examine all new furnishings when shopping for upgrades, to determine which new purchases will wear well and provide the best return on investment for them.

My editor said this illustration could be kind of humorous, and she suggested something like a lab where scientists ‘test’ carpets with outrageous means, like using a jackhammer on them.  I loved that idea and so sketched that and a few other ideas in pencil.  I added some researchers looking at a sample carpet under a microscope, another examining damaged carpets, and one trying to wear down the carpet on a treadmill. At first I put her character in stilettos, but they didn’t read well in a small size, so I switched them to heavy boots for the final.lodging_lookinggood_sk1

The editor approved, so I did put quick color on a copy of the sketch, in colored pencil. I had to research drawing several items I don’t draw often, like the jackhammer, microscope, acetylene torch and fire extinguisher –

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then I transferred the drawing to illustration board, outlined in prisma pencil and painted it in with acrylic paint washes.  The finished art:

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Illustration for a Hotel’s First-String

My latest illustration for Lodging Magazine is for an article titled “The A-Team, ” and discusses how strict training for a hotel’s front-desk personnel is of prime importance, since that staff is mainly the first point of contact for customers.

The article describes tips for making the front desk staff the best they can possibly be, one of the tips being a hotel manager’s constant presence and communication on what the staff does right and wrong.  I had two ideas for the illustration, the first being a depiction of the TV characters from The A Team as a front desk staff , with a  manager hovering in the background –

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and the second showing some managers judging a front desk’s performance numerically a la Dancing with the Stars –

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I thought it would be pretty funny to put Mr. T into hotel staff uniform, with his bling spilling out, but the editor said her office mates laughed more at the judging illustration, so we went with that.  I redrew the groups of figures separately a bit tighter –

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lodging_ateam_sketchtighterI did a very rough color sketch with colored pencils on a small printout of the line drawing, to get my colors balanced.

Then I transferred the drawing to illustration board, outlined in prisma pencil, and painted it with acrylic paint washes. I always vary the skin and hair tones in groups like this to get a good mix of types.

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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:

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

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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 –

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

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Latest illustration for a trade magazine

The most recent article I illustrated for Lodging Magazine deals with a much more serious subject than usual: human trafficking. Unfortunately the hotel industry sometimes becomes inadvertently connected with this crime because traffickers use the anonymity of room rental to escape law enforcement. The article suggests ways to make hotel staff conscious of suspicious behavior by room renters, while staying within regulations of privacy.

1lodging_traffickingtypes_sk1One such suggestion is inviting local law enforcement to present information personally to the staff, so questions can be answered directly. I tried going with this angle for the illustration – my initial pencil sketch:

The editor approved it and I did a rough color sketch in colored pencil, also approved.  1lodging_traffickingtypes_colorsk1The editor did make the comment that everyone looked ‘too happy in my sketches for such a serious subject, with which I agreed. So I gave everyone more thoughtful expressions in the finished art.

This illustration, like most of my others for these assignments, is drawn in black prisma pencil then painted with acrylic paint washes, like watercolor.

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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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