Monday, April 07, 2008

Fashion Sketches and Looming Deadlines

I'm really excited about this project, because it's pushing me out of my normal zone. I'm creating a line of characters with fuller, luscious figures. My girls tend to be glorified sweethearts of the toothpick variety. These new illustrations are different. Here are a few of the very early development sketches I did a month or so ago. As I've been sketching it's become clear that the end result will be very serious. I like bubbly and happy, but it's a seriously sexy world. My client wants a clean pout. I guess it's OK to be brooding and cute at the same time, right?

I'm learning about myself on this project. One of the main things I've learned is that I'm totally a deadline oriented kind of girl. If something is due on Saturday morning I'll stay up Thursday and Friday night and work myself into the ground in order to deliver on time. This client is by far the most laid back of any I've ever had. Surprisingly it's thrown me off! I've always known that I'm comfortable with deadlines and high stress situations, but I didn't think that working without them would be so hard! I thought working without them would be nice! Instead of relaxing I fell off the wagon. I'm back on track now. I hadn't made a date sheet for this client, now that I have one everything can keep rolling smoothly. I keep date sheets for my own good. I have one for each gig or client and I put them all on the wall in my studio next to my computers. Here's a peek at an old one I created for a client that I had last winter-
For starters I block out any vacation I'm giving myself. In December I scheduled a week off from the 21st to the 26th for days that I would in no way lift a pencil. Of course I lifted a pencil for my own projects, but that's because I can't go a day without doodling. I get to be selfish with that time. I color code the boxes with the start date, the sketch deadline and the box with the final line art deadline so they all work together. Sometimes I actually deliver calendars to my clients. Other times I only use date sheets for myself. When they're only for me I make them a few days ahead of the delivery date. That's the most comfortable way for me to work. That way when I've promised something it's already sitting in a clean pile in my outbox and I'm not sweating trying to get it finished. I create a date sheet for every client who has a deadline. I have a template I've created for every month of the year. The deadline calendars live in a comfy place on my desktop. As things change or bulk up I print out a current HC of a client calendar to replace the other. I have these great little square document hangers on my wall that I picked up at the Container Store.
check them out here:
Cute Little Document Hangers
I'm working with six clients in a month, I have six calendars in a vertical row next to my computer. If a client's project bleeds into the next month I place that date sheet behind the month we're in and hang them together, one on top of the other, that way I can just lift a page to see where I'm going. The color coding helps me extremely, if I see a blue preliminary box and can't find the blue final art box, I know that I've got to think ahead. I also try to hang the most recent version of the artwork up near the calendar it belongs to, that way my brain keeps thinking about it, even if a final deadline isn't coming up for a week or two.


Anonymous said...

That's a great 'wiggle in her walk' that the first one has!

Anonymous said...

Love the curvy girl....I am one of those....she looks great!


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