Sunday, May 10, 2009

Errol Morris

Rummaging through my work, picking out a piece about which to post, I happened upon Errol Morris.

He is perhaps best known as a filmmaker, with works including Gates of Heaven, The Thin Blue Line, and The Fog of War, which won Mr. Morris the Academy Award for Documentary Feature in 2004.

In 2007, I was lucky enough to illustrate him for the Wall Street Journal.

It was my second piece for the WSJ, and coincidentally enough, was a phone call received on my birthday.

The turnaround time for this piece was 4 days from initial phone call to final art delivery.

The client provided some reference and I did a little research to scour up a few more images with which to use.

The format of this piece was to fit a very narrow space, with roughly 3/4 of the body requested.

With all this in mind, it was time to get started.

"But, who is that handsome devil from the neck down?" I can hear you thinking.

Dusting off my sports coat and semi-dressy attire, I set up my camera and shot myself for the torso.

My photo shoots are all about taking lots of photos from many angles and leaving some to chance. I prefer overkill, weeding the shots down, later, allowing room for those unexpected "accidents," and coming back for a follow-up shoot, if necessary.

I sent off 3 sketches, with the rectangle designating the trim area.




The client chose #3, but with a camera in-hand, rather than the film reel.

New sketch, and with approval, I was now at Tuesday, and off to complete the final art with 2 days left.

Tuesday night and Wednesday are spent completing the art and uploading the final for retrieval first thing Thursday morning.

The WSJ uses a portion of the color work for their website and the work in black and white for the newspaper.

It was a fun project as well as a very nice birthday gift.

Visit Errol Morris' website»

Allan Burch is an award-winning illustrator and portrait artist, providing solutions for editorial, book, advertising, and institutional projects.
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