No More Safety Net

I’ve heard/read other illustrators talk about how vacations seem to trigger work and my last 2 weeks proved this true. Days before I left I was finishing up projects so nothing would be hanging over me while I was in Alask, then I get an email from Carolyn Fath from Madison’s The Isthmus. She was asking about a cover job, which is always really exciting, dealing with those people who will be most affected by new legislation regarding welfare and medical expenses. I only had about 3 days from sketch to finish so I got to work.

The title dealt with the term “shredded safety net,” and I guess in an attempt to look less obvious I avoided the net imagery at all cost in my first batch of sketches.¬†Carolyn came back asking for some options dealing with the net, which actually yielded ideas I liked a lot better than the original sketch.

I also love seeing her initial layouts- I've never been sent these before!

We chose the sketch of the falling figure but removed the hands. Carolyn came back and suggested a disintegrating net patter/texture in the background which was a neat concept we ran with.

And here’s the final! There was a some last minute revising I had to do at a coffee place in the Philadelphia Airport, a little bit of anxious refreshing of the email waiting for final approval, but we got it done before I lost all contact with the outside world. All in all this was one of the more collaborative experiences that I’ve had with an art director. There was a great back and forth at every step of the illustration process that enhanced the image and, in the end, resulted in one of my recent favorite jobs.


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