Interpreting art for a storywriter or copy writer

Inter­preting art for a story­writer or copy writer
Following up on the previous post, regarding the chal­lenges that artists (illus­tra­tors, designers or cartoonist must face) — artists often must read pages of descrip­tion and deter­mine how to present images that are as close as possible to the words presented.
In the past years, I have already shown artists that have this talent. Here are two more, John Larrecq and Joe Cleary. In 1963 John Larrecq had seven illus­tra­tions accepted the SFADA’s Four­teenth Annual Exhi­bi­tion. Most of these illus­tra­tions had been assigned to John by an art director — but John’s talent in inter­preting copy is evident in his illus­tra­tions for children’s’ books. This is where he shows a visual of the book’s char­acter as described by the writer.

A Single Speckled Egg” By Sonia Levitin, Illus­trated by John Larrecq, Parnassus Press, 1976
“Just the Thing for Geral­dine”  By Ellen Conford, Illus­trated by John Larrecq, Published, 1974
TOM SWIFTIES By Bill McDo­nough, Illus­trated by John Larrecq, Tom Swifties Publishing Company, 1963.
BRODERICK”, By Edward Ormon­droyd, Illus­trated by John Larrecq, Parnassus Press, 1969

Joe Cleary excelled in illus­tra­tion for commer­cial jobs. From the begin­ning, illus­trating “Boy’s Life” stories to illus­trating stories in major maga­zines; he caught the reader’s interest. Here are two images that were shown in the 1963 SFADA Exhi­bi­tion Annual.
They are the same two illus­tra­tions that I had clipped from maga­zines that year. This was a kind of illus­tra­tion that I could never even attempt — but I admired the work, so I saved Joe’s art in my artist’s “morgue” (my 2 drawer scrap-file of subject refer­ences and art styles). Because of the many years in the file, these samples were torn…but I show my clip­pings to show their detail and color.

Artist: Joe Cleary / Logan & Carey, Art Director: Asger Jerrild, Client: Saturday Evening Post, 1963

During my almost forty years as an inde­pen­dent contractor in San Fran­cisco, I was often required to illus­trate, following only copy for a variety of commer­cial assign­ments. Early assign­ments were to show just simple instructions.

Cali­fornia Casu­alty, double spread of 10 steps. 1967, Charles Matheny Advertising
Grade-Set, Self Indi­cating Color Grade Sticks. 1965, ADS Advertising

With cook­books, the art spots did not require much thought unless it described special tech­niques or various steps.

“The milk-free cook­book” Mull-Soy Liquid / Neo-Mull-Soy Liquid, Syntex. 1971, Klemptner Casey

If copy was describing an analysis or descrip­tion of a medical condi­tion — illus­tra­tions could be humorous as with “TAKING CARE OF YOUR ALLERGY”.
In other cases, detail and accu­racy needed to be very precise. There were 42 illus­tra­tions required for a 52 page 3 3/4”x 5½” pocket-sized booklet for LifeScan’s “ONE TOUCH”.
The require­ment was to use the largest type possible for some patients with poor eyesight. I was able to “spec” (design, size and place the type) and create the dummy layout with “fine-line felt marker” instruc­tional illus­tra­tions in place. When all was approved, the next step — the creation of very accu­rate finished art — demanded so many hours that I offered the assign­ment to illus­trator, Dick Moore, who took over executing the tedious ink line details that were needed.

TAKING CARE OF YOUR ALLERGY” Syntex Labo­ra­to­ries Inc. 1981, Vicom Associates
ONE TOUCH II” Instruc­tion Booklet. LifeScan, 1991, Rain­oldi, Kerzner & Radcliffe

Inter­preting assign­ments, following copy, demands more of the artist. I found the chal­lenge most rewarding since I had full control of the results. I also present this collec­tion, hoping to show ambi­tious artists that there are many needs for artwork.

Ann Thompson