Many False Starts
My desire to do something new, in a different style than previous years, always creates difficulties. I thought I had hit on it with these rough sketches, but they were just getting too complex. In talking with friends and thinking about the style I was hoping to work in, I decided that simpler was better. When I was first starting out as an illustrator, we used to get assignments we called, “Stupendous, all-encompassing, mega-epics” meaning basically, everything plus the kitchen sink. I wanted to avoid that this year. I have a soft spot for those kinds of images, but sometimes being direct has its place.
So, though I liked the direction these were heading, I decided to try capturing the best of what was going on here, in a more pared down way. And, in case you can’t tell what is going on here (my personal design sketches are very rough) this was a Mardi Gras parade in the French Quarter being lead by an alligator. (The Audubon Park Zoo in New Orleans is famous for its albino gators so I was also considering using one of them.) I was planning a second line Grand Marshall, a stilt walker, a waitress, and more, with a cubist line drawing of French Quarter balconies in the background. I even thought about doing a horizontal image for the first time until I realized that horizontal pictures take up even more wall space than vertical. People just don’t have enough wall space as it is.
In the end, these were rejected, as well as about five other designs. I rejected them. I am always the harshest critic of my work.