Seems I've been on a Wall Street Journal binge lately, thanks to WSJ AD Orlie Kraus, who, along with the editors, insists on making each assignment a barrel of fun for me. Here's the latest front page opener for yesterday's edition. A few of the steps along the way to arriving at this are shown below.
These were very fast roughs done while Orlie and I spoke on the phone. Although it looks more like a sunrise here, I imagined a setting sun denoting a time near the end of a career. I usually try to weasel my way out of doing a lot of quick thumbnails, worrying that the client will pick the weakest idea (which I think this one is). When this happens, you can sometimes find you've created a monster of a problem!
Thiis one's getting there. I like the confrontational situation between the couple, which gives them personality -- an ingredient that creates characters instead of just drawings. A touch of the animator in me, I guess.
This one brings a ton of energy to the image, and it's interesting how close to the final solution it is. The "clock" has turned into some sort of Age-O-Meter, and the couple are really going at it. As I developed a tighter drawing, it quickly occurred to me that the meter should show retirement-age possibilities rather than years.
An example of my laboriously rendered presentation pencil drawings. I can't explain why I work this way, but an upside is that it helps editors easily visualize what they're getting.
The pencil drawing placed in Orlie's supplied layout. I've emphasized the circular meter with some quick dark tones to make it obvious that the circle is the frame that will be holding all the other elements together. The computer makes such touches fast and easy. I was pretty sure about the motion lines, but finally decided they were just too much and had to go.
Speaking of computers, here's the front page of the iPad edition of yesterday's Journal. Editorial art... not exactly your father's Oldsmobile anymore.