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.