Tuesday, February 9, 2010

ANATOMY of an IDEA:

Here's a peek at a recent job I really enjoyed. I was honored that Gibbs Smith Publishers asked me to produce their latest holiday card! It was a dream job: they offered me a blank canvas with no restrictions and they even paid me for it!! I knew the card had to appeal to the masses and make people think of both the holiday season & Gibbs Smith books. Below are some of the roughs I sent them (remember these are just roughs):
The above rough is my ARTSY/FUN APPROACH. I had just created Pocketdoodles for Boys for this publisher, so I thought this card would reproduce some of the fun of the book. And I think it says that the holidays can make anyone, even business people, jolly!


The above rough is my INSANE APPROACH. I just love this cartoon and I thought it would convey the chaos of the holidays in a fun way!


The above color rough is my LOW TECH/HIGH TECH APPROACH. Snow lady reading a traditional book and robot reading a Kindle type of device. Good books can bring everyone together during the holidays!


The above color rough is my WARM & FUZZY APPROACH . Books will light up your holidays and warm your insides!


I have no idea what to call the approach I used in the color rough above. I was trying to show the joy & ideas books bring...especially at the holidays! That's the Gibbs Smith logo on the cover.


Above is my FAMILY FUN APPROACH. My favorite subject to draw is crazy characters. I think this said family, books & holidays...I think this would have looked cool in color!


Above is my EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK APPROACH. I threw everything into this one: crazy characters, parodies of five Gibbs Smith book series, a bus and a horse! This was my favorite, I had a great time creating it. 
I sent all these ideas to Gibbs Smith because they had the final choice of design. And the winner was...
They picked my favorite which was very brave of them because it is a bit bizarre. Although they were going to produce these in full color, we agreed to just go black & white with the border and their logo in red so it would really stand out.
I'd love to hear what people thought of the roughs and the final design choice. Thanks!
If you enjoy the creative process, check out amazing artist Renee Kurilla's current blog post taking you through the character design process for her latest book series at kurillastration.blogspot.com!



15 comments:

David said...

Hey Chris, I like the "warm and fuzzy" one!

Chris Sabatino said...

Thanks for responding, David! Warm & Fuzzy was my wife's favorite as well.

The Jerk said...

These are all pretty fun, and the final one looks great, but i really liked the snow-girl/robot one too, i think that was a clever idea, visually, and works well on several levels.

Chris Sabatino said...

Thanks, Gene! I love drawing robots so I'm glad you like it. I hope you're going to update your blog soon, you have some cool stuff there!

David DeGrand said...

Wow these are all a ton of fun! My favorite is the snow-woman/robot drawing also, love the minimal colors. I gotta say though that the final card is a blast to look at, great stuff all around Chris!

Chris Sabatino said...

Thanks so much, David, these were a ton of fun to do. The client had no idea what they wanted so I could go in any direction! So tht's 1 vote for Warm & Fuzzy and 2 votes for Ms. Snow & Mr. Roboto!

Bill White said...

What a fun assignment to get! All of them were fun, but I am partial to the robots, myself. Nothing says "Christmas" like androids.

dj said...

I like the "Savor the holidays" one. Don't we all have moments when we feel like that inside? (Not a good idea to make that face when out in public!)

Chris Sabatino said...

Thanks for responding, Bill. Another vote for the Snow Gal & Mechanical Man design! But I disagree, androids have always said "Arbor Day" to me.
Glad you could visit today, Diana! Although I love the face from the "Savor" design (I've displayed it in the upper right corner of this blog), I KNOW it's not a good idea to make that face in public (my mom always said my face would freeze like that)!
Thanks for the comments!

Jason Curtis said...

Well you certainly gave them a lot to choose from Chris. I really love the look of the snow-lady/robot one. I like the simplicity of the black & white drawing with just a basic colour background. It looks great!

I also think the family reading "How to enjoy the holidays" is pretty darn funny as well.

I like 'em all though in their own way. Well done.

Chris Sabatino said...

Thanks, Jason!! I did give the client many ideas to choose from because I wasn't sure what direction they wanted to go in. I had a gazillion back up thumbnail ideas if they didn't like any of these. I really like the family design too, but this was more of a business to business holiday card and i can see why they didn't consider the family approach.

sweidenaar said...

If you were designing a card for me, I'd choose the one you called warm and fuzzy. It's pretty, and it just makes me happy to look at it!

Chris Sabatino said...

Thanks so much for stopping by and for your comments, Sweidenaar! Come again soon!

Abz said...

Hey man,

Thank you so much for such an amazing, flattering comment! You've got an incredible blog here, with alot accomplished. I'll be checking back for sure. Hope to hear more from you.

:)

-Abz

Chris Sabatino said...

Thanks for checking out my blog and the nice comment, Abz!