Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I did it all for the 'Nouky

Every once in a while you get a call from a potential client and from the very first words they utter you just know it's going to be a nightmare.... Especially when those words are:"Do you work on a 'no cure no pay' bases?"

This time it was EMI (remember them, from when you had to buy music from a shop). It concerned the artwork for the upcoming release by Anouk, one of Holland's biggest selling artists. They were obviously shopping around for cheap and eager designers. As it turned out the only two they were trying to snare were the guy who I share a studio space with (Shamrocking.com) and me. And unlucky for them we are neither cheap nor eager (not eager to work for the major music-industry anyway). To cut a long and for EMI somewhat embarassing story short, we decided to do it together (Shamrock took the job and I would help him out as he didn't have too much time).

HRH Anouk's manager (a nice guy, it has to be said) came by to tell us about the feel they were looking for. He was talking about religious (catholic-) imagery used in southern Californian and Mexican Latino cultures and we, quite entheusiastically, jumped in with all kind of ideas fo ourselves...

First priority was the artwork for the first single "Good God". EMI kept insisting we show them 5 different completely worked out proposals for them to pick and choose from... well we told them that that's just not the way we (or any other designer we know) work. So we gave them two proposals plus a presentation of collages (or mood-boards if you will) to show what kind of feel we had in mind for the rest of the campaign (album, posters, dvd etc.) Anyway this is what we did... keep in mind all this was of course on the tightest of deadlines.. (3 weeks ago).

This was Shamrock proposal for the single art...

This was mine...

And these were some of the collages for the rest of the campaign...

They picked my design and really liked the ideas we had for the rest of the stuff....
So I started on finalising the art-work for the single. The only thing they wanted me to change for the finals was the color of her face... I thought the silvery look was kinda cool (remeniscent of old silver statues in catholic prosessions), but they wanted her face to look as young as it could... (she is in her forties so I understand her insecurity).

Made the required ammendments, made the deadline, job's a good'un.

Or so I thought...
The day after the deadline. We get word from EMI (Shamrock had all the client contact go through his agent at this point because we didn't want to deal with the bullshit anymore): "She want's her hair to be more visible. Could I move the picture over a bit?" O...K.... I had to make the type a bit smaller for that too:

So that's surely it...isn't it? Oh no it ain't!
"Don't like the logo touching my face... and it's covering too much of my hood" This is seriously what she said.
Anyway (I was getting on my hourly rate by now, let me assure you):

And upon seeing this, HRH found those ornaments too distracting and why not take them out all together..
Well I stopped caring two versions ago so I just started the clock again...

So finally that was it... the bitch was happy and I was done. During all this she also decided that she wasn't going to (ab)use us for the other artwork. I didn't care really because these types of jobs give me flashback of the years I used to work for a boss and I hated those years...

So a few weeks go by and I start to wonder when this thing is finally going to be released upon the populace... so I checked her site and to my ashtonishment:

So here's a call to all budding young designers: Don't let them screw you around. They are used to people jumping at the chance to design something 'high-profile' and this is why record companies aren't used to paying decent fees. So make sure you do get paid right (which luckely I did) because it's not like they don't have the cash... they just don't want to spend it on you.... the bastards

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sketchbook exhibition

On de 2nd of November there will be an exhibition hosted by my agency Shop Around. They asked all the illustrators to scan some pages from their sketchbooks and send them in. They'll be printed and then shown at Kunstcafe Gommers.
I send in 5 scans, some of which have already featured on this blog.
Read the flyer below for more details. (if you can't read it... click the thing for a closer look...duh)

Thursday, October 11, 2007


As my website and new corporate identity design is nearing completion, I'm also working on some new t-shirt design to accompany the beg launch of it all (no date set as of yet, but will be soon enough). And I know this isn't very professional, but I want to ask you, my trusty blog lurker, to help me pick the one that will be actually go to print and up for sale in my online shop.

I've got three different design for you to choose from. Just leave a comment and let me know which one you'd pick or wear or hate and (if you have the time) why...
I'll get you bastards to comment yet!.. or not... please...?

Anyway here you go.

Number one:

Number two:

And number three:

happy picking... and commenting.

Monday, October 01, 2007


Hey kids,
A quick post of a sketch I did in my sketch book.
Usually i start every fresh doodle on a blank page... and in the spirit of environmental awareness I thought I would stop that and fill the pages to the brim. I also dusted off my little watercolor compact and added some color this time, besides the usual red and blue.