I've been drawing since I could hold a crayon. By the time high school rolled around, I was the kid that constantly got in trouble for sketching at his desk. In college, I was a graphic design major with an emphasis on Illustration and I soon earned the title of "that guy who can draw whatever he sees." So, when I started doing commercial design, I always leaned on my drawing and rendering skills - no matter what design project I worked on.
I've led several art departments over the years, and I've always felt that the best designers come from a traditional art background. The fundamental skills you learn as a budding artist will carry over into ANY form of design. Perspective, proportions, composition balance, color theory and the basic understanding of how light works will influence anything a designer creates....no matter what the project. You can teach anyone how to use Photoshop. But, you can't just teach someone how to "see" the way an artist does.
Generally, I classify any Illustration into three categories. While there are an endless amount of styles that fall under each of these, this basic separation usually helps define the overall feel of the artwork:
Technical Illustration: Surprisingly enough, this is (at least for me) the most challenging and time consuming type of Illustration work. It usually involves a semi-realistic rendering of an object (usually a structure or mechanical device) with clean lines and basic colors. The overall concept is to show the dimensions and scale of the object and label specific parts for direction or explanation. A few examples would include a medical illustration of the heart or the interior of a room showing measurements.
Traditional & Realistic: This includes any type of portrait, still-life or landscape type artwork. The amount of detail can be basic for a more "painterly" look, or can be hyper-realistic (such as a renaissance painting). An easy way to categorize this type of artwork would be to think of most paintings people hang in their homes. A barn, or perhaps a child swinging outside....these would be traditional pieces using realistic forms.
Comic/Cartoon/Fantasy: This type of illustration work is pretty easy to spot. Realistic proportions and photographic detail are not the objective. Common examples would be any cartoon strip in your newspaper, an image on a toy box featuring animals and kids, or even the pages inside a comic book. Caricatures of people would also fall into this group.
Before I can even start to imagine doing any Illustration work for your project, we will need to have a conversation discussing the details. The style you're after - as well as the type of media it's being used for - will all factor into the time spent and my fee to make it. The size of the final media will also play a huge role. A small illustration that is used in the corner of a brochure will be vastly different than a large piece that fills a whole book cover. For most Illustrations, I stick with a Wacom tablet and Photoshop. For technical pieces, I usually end up creating art in Adobe Illustrator with the aid of perspective grids. For some projects, you may want me to bypass the computer altogether and use traditional media such as colored pencils or acrylic paint.
If you need this type of product, then head over to my contact area and tell me a little about your project. I can always do some quick sketches to rough out ideas and email the images to you. The more information you can provide (as well as show some examples of what you're looking for), the easier it will be to figure out the next step. I'm looking foward to the challenge, so let me know when you want to start!