Original Thanking

A few weeks ago, the Irish Times published their annual Christmas gifts supplement. They had contacted me previously about my web site, www.irishdailypaintings.com where I sell my small oils painting studies, with a suggestion to insert an article on it. 

It demonstrated to me why print is still vital for advertising. There’s something reassuring to buyers about a write up in a newspaper. You can pour all the searchable tags you like into a web site to drive people to your online presence but at the end of it, many people don’t see material published on the web as verifiable and authentic. We all know from the movies that a newspaper office is full of caffeine-fuelled editors and journalists, with sleeves all rolled up, endlessly fighting to find the truth. So we know that all the material has been researched by the hacks and verified by a growling cigar-chomping ed, don’t we? And that’s a good thing. On the internet, it has been said, nobody knows you’re a dog; any mutt could claim anything and they frequently do. The trouble is, we all suspect that the claims may be nothing more than piss up a lamp-post -even after evaporation, there’s a bad smell and you don’t want to park your bike there.
Subsequent to publication, I received many more enquiries [and sales] over two weeks than I had had in the entire year before. Print is not dead. You can’t sit in a café and browse comfortably through an old copy of the internet and you can’t hide anonymously behind the puff and flummery of a web site and expect people to have faith in you.
Of course, you are reading this on a blog -but I’ve been verified and passed as authentic by Citizen Kane. So, thank you.

Financial Report Illustration Project

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan organisation have just launched their new financial report, designed by Toronto-based design studio, The Works. The studio art director’s vision for the project used illustration to convey the central theme of this year’s report which is ‘balance’.
Although The Works had a clear idea of the principal image which is one of a high-wire unicyclist, they wished to use other characters throughout the design to focus on other activities of the OTPP.

Several rounds of sketches were made to present ideas for various aspects of the report. However, after consideration by the designers and the client, the concept was kept to one character.


You can see here, the development of the central character. The sketch at left was my first rough rendering which was changed according to the designers’ comments. The final illustration kept close to this last drawing, save for the objects being juggled. A nice idea was to show the reverse of the unicyclist on the back cover:

It was fun trying to get the model to balance just that little bit longer while I set up my easel on the other side of the line. A thorough dousing with fixative spray helped him to maintain the pose. The report is now in print and online on OTPP’s web site. and the model has finally been removed from the unicycle and returned to his family.