Thursday, December 17, 2009

In the belly of the beast...

Many years ago I had a Civil Service job and worked inside the belly of a giant building known as Quarry House -- it is memorable to most denizens of Leeds as it cuts quite a swarthy silhouette on the horizon. There are many rumours about the building, my favourite being that, had he won the war, Hitler planned to use it as his base, no doubt tying up his zeppelin on the giant protruding spike.

Anyway, I still keep in touch with a couple of people I worked with and a few weeks ago I was contacted, in hushed and conspiratal tones, regarding a fiendish idea... The head of the department I formerly worked for was leaving and they wanted to commission some sort of ART as a leaving gift, something which would provide a memorable snapshot of time spent working there.

Quick as a flash, we established a budget, timescales, and a plan of action.

My idea was actually sparked off the poster I did for The Hold Steady, where I tried to fit in as many references to the band's songs as I could. A meeting in a pub provided the perfect starting point, and a few sketches later the idea was taking shape. The plan was for me to create the scenery backdrop and a couple of characters to provide scale within the week, while the client came up with all the ideas for things each character could be doing. We would meet again in a week's time, and then I would have a further week to populate the backdrop with all the little folks doing various things.

Half way through the second week I thought to myself, "This is actually quite weird -- I'm being paid to draw pictures of everyone I used to work with."

Thankfully, everything was completed before "CRUNCH TIME", the A2 Giclee print arrived on time (which looks gorgeous), and my old work colleagues are all very happy with the final illustration:



Click here to slightly bigginize.

This was painted digitally, using my Wacom, and I managed to take snapshots of the piece as it took shape. These I will duly post at some point soon.

Overall, a unique and enjoyable project.

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