Thursday, October 14, 2010

MORE FUN WITH MY ILLUSTRATOR

It was a complete pain trying to get Antonio to send me things on time.  And by on time, I mean at least one a week.  Initially with our determined deadline I was aiming at 2-3 a week, which after several weeks of not hitting that demand, escaladed to 5-6 week.  It would vary between getting a complete illustration without need of any further editing to ones that were bad pen drawings that needed to be traced and completely re-done.  It was really getting on my nerves.  Either he would send me an amazing sketch...but a sketch and nothing more.  It was 72dpi (not 300) and 3" x 3" (not 8"x8") and it was an obvious scan and not a finished digital illustration.  Plus, to make matters worse, they were also all flattened images, most of which had distinct borders. 
 
To clarify, I needed the backgrounds to be transparent (non-existent) but many of the images he sent me were off-white, which would show up when printed.  This meant that the majority of images sent to me I had to zoom in 400% and trace them, then delete the background.  This became even more problematic when I wanted to use the background, but needed to edited both the background and subject - but since they were flattened, it turned it into a timely editing challenege.
 
I also requested that the illustrations be borderless, which means that they would be free floating on the page vs. something that was cut off by a border.  Below are some of the many furstrations I dealt with when preparing the illustrations I received verse the final rpoduct after hours of editing.
 
 
PROBLEMS WITH OFF-WHITE BACKGROUNDS
(with ALL PICS, please click to enlarge)
 
 
 
PROBLEMS WITH LOW-RESOLUTION FILES
 
 
 
 
 
PENCIL SKETCHES VS FINAL DIGITAL IMAGES
 
 
 
 
 

PROBLEMS WITH BORDERS
 



 
OVERALL PROBLEMS IN MOST ILLUSTRATIONS

 
 
 
 
Lastly, I want to point out one of my last frustrations - wasting my time with pointless humor.  While I don't regret for one second Antonio doing these illustrations, he really pissed me off, and this final pointless act really tested my patience - adding stuff as gags and for his own amusement, knowing that they could not be used in the book.



While some were funny, some where not.  In fact, some were damaging, which might be funny if they didn't take an hour of detailed design to carry out.  So while adding a McCain Palin sticker to the hillbilly farmers outfit was a funny gag (and only took me 5 minutes to delete) he decided to add somepletely insane crapthat not only took him a long time to do, but took me even a longer time to erase.  And it only got worse when he didn't follow my directions to begin with and after me asking him to go back and get me what I originally wanted, came back even worse. 





 While I could go through each of the 37 pictures and explain what additional work I had to do to complete them, I think the above sums up my frustrations.  I truly think I spent more time cleaning up the pictures than he spent making them.  ON THE OTHER HAND, yes... it was worth it.  I am SO HAPPY with the illustrations in this book.  Antonio is a true talent and while I have plenty of things to complain about, I have more things to rave about:
1 - He did this for very little money upfront
2 - His illustrations look amazing
3 - His illustrations gave my book exactly what I needed and will surely help it sell
4 - Any other artist would not have produced such neat illustrations and surely would have cost a LOT MORE

Going in to this process, I knew it would be a struggle to get things in on time.  I did NOT think I would have to heavily edit 25+ of the 37 illustrations.  I knew the entire time it was worth it, and it was.  Amazing Stuff.

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