Hello all my imaginary friends out there in blogville U.S.A!
It’s your ol’ pal Josh Latta here at Lattaland and I’m gonna tell all you peons what it’s like to be a real life professional artist! Don’t get the wrong idea, though. It’s not all bud lites, goodwill trousers and shiny 97 corollas. Yes sir, sometimes this chosen field can be a little less than glamorous.
Case in point: Here’s how art gets watered down and given to you, dear readers, for your consumption.
Usually, I get a call from some poor sap at some boring company that, chances are, you’ve never heard of and never will. Anyway, if I’m sober and or/don’t have the business end of a shotgun in my mouth, I answer and we discuss the art “needed” – and by “needed”, I mean begrudging commissioned on the whim of some muckety muck higher-up.
Once I have a little more of an idea of what hypothetical company is looking for, I roll up my sleeves and hit the drawing board and come up with some concept sketches to show ’em.
This is usually the point where I hear the word “cartoony” as a derogatory description. (Fortunately, not in the instance I’ll show you today. These guys actually wanted *gasp* a cartoon character!)
Once I find a design we can agree on, I finish up a concept sketch and send it to whatever cog I’m dealing with in the machine. The said cog sends the image to a middleman who, then proceeds to rip it to shreds. After all, how do middlemen prove their worth without poo-pooing the first draft, right?
Oh oh! I made a mistake. I used a UPA inspired “flat” graphic style. We gotta have more detail than that, right? Where’s the buttons? Where’s the brow sweat? After all, they’re paying the big bucks, they wanna see their money’s worth! More lines they want, and more lines they’ll get.
Hmm, better- here we have more detail, however, we all know skin isn’t yellow and eyes aren’t pink. We gotta fix that. Oh, and why does he look so goofy? This Professor is supposed to be cool! I have to cool him up by 67%. Did I mention the logo on his lapel is way to small? We need a giant logo that stands out more. The bigger the better when it comes to brand identity!
Well, if the yellow skin isn’t doing it for them, I’ll try every tasteful color combo in and outside of nature.
See one you like?
This is when the client ( who is, of course, always right) picks the color combos buffet style.
My client wanted a good ol’ safe caucasian and and a tasteful gray suit. We don’t want anyone to think it’s a lab coat, after all, it’s not!
…and there we have it!
This little guy will be helping folks learn Spanish by standing off on the corner of a page at a quarter inch high!