Thursday, September 27, 2007

Diggin' Through The Vault: Pt. 2 "Saved by a Toilet!"... oh, just read the post!

For this installment of the apparently quarterly feature "Diggin' Through The Vaults" I thought I'd showcase a couple of failed approaches to a spot illustration job.

About four years ago I was asked by a long-time governmental client to illustrate eight spot illos for an advertising campaign encouraging safe alternatives to the disposing of household chemicals, paints, pesticides, medications and other harmful substances into the wastewater system ( ie: down the toilet, sink, storm drain etc. ). The good news for me ( despite the tight deadline ) was that I could show the bad behavior that the client wanted to discourage. Bad behavior is always more fun to draw than good. So what you see below was my fist stab at the "Chronic Chemical User".


This enthusiastic fellow was supposed to embody the sort of person who overuses harsh household chemicals when cleaning the kitchen or bathroom. I had hit on the idea of the 1950's scandal / crime magazine-style black bar across the eyes for all the characters, and simply posed him in front of his bathroom sink madly poring cleaners down the sink. Although I liked the "caught in the act" look on Mr. CCC he looked more like he was engaged in cooking up a sink full of highly volatile drugs than cleaning his powder room, so I tried again....

This revised version made it clearer that he was in a bathroom and that proper cleaning products were being overused, but it just didn't convey the feeling of someone actually cleaning. Back to the drawing board ( literally! ).....


...Bingo! Simply switching from the sink to the toilet and adding rubber gloves changed the entire feeling of the illo. Add a few more cleaners, a roll of paper towels and the ol' stand-by tongue sticking out of side of mouth ( denoting concentration or effort don'tcha know! ) and I was set. The client approved the sketch, I slapped on some ink, threw in a few colours and this was the final result. The campaign worked well enough that a couple years ago I was asked to illustrate the now reformed characters for a new round of ads ( like this one! ).

2 comments:

kiwi-d said...

Good posting. It's good to see how the illustration development process works.

Glen Mullaly said...

Thanks Dave. I always enjoy a look at other illustrator's processes, so I thought I'd share this example of my own.