I was contacted by BET at the last minute to create illustrations to promote the announcement of the 2016 BET Awards nominees. The thought of being apart of this program as an illustrator excited me but came with both pros and cons.
- I get to put my new techniques/style to the test
- My work will be part of a promotion that will possibly be seen by hundreds of thousands of people
- I had creative freedom to build this how I saw fit
- The money was right 😉
- Extremely short time frame – three days
- Large number of illustrations – 20+
- Full-time day job means I’d be working a second full-time job at night
The main objective was to create a system that would allow fast production of the artwork while still maintaining the quality of the work. Seeing how I’ve drawn quite a few illustrations in this manner put me in a place of confidence, too much so. In order to start the project proper I needed to gather/research the long list of subjects that would be turned into illustrations. I was so sure I had a handle on my ability to be able to knock out the artwork in time I didn’t factor in time to design the layouts.
The design of each illustration went through many iterations over the course of the project. Even though is adhered to the BET Awards guidelines, I had to figure out how to make it work with these portrait illustrations which wasn’t easy. It took 2-3 different layout ideas before I landed on the final one.
Once the layout was sorted out the only thing left was doing the actual Illustrations. Which ended up taking about 2-3 hours a piece. This included gathering reference, creating the outlines, color and layout. What I did and didn’t account for was the “Best Group” category which had multiple members. With time running out I narrowed it down to only two members per group. Luckily some of the performers were nominated in other categories and I was able to double up their Illustrations for one or two of the pieces.
In the end I was happy with the final outcome of this project and hope to perfect drawing like these under tight deadlines. I’ll post my thoughts on how to speed up your workflow in a Future post. Get it?! Ok, I’ll show myself out…