'Corkcicle' Case Study

Hey there...guy...dude. I don't know your name, so you're just going to get the ol' 'ambiguous hello.' I'm sorry.

Recently I was asked by PUSH in Orlando and Creative Director/Partner Mark Unger to do a print illustration, and more specifically, a print illustration for the product 'Corkcicle.' It's new to the market and it works like this: freeze it in your freezer, open a bottle of wine, take Corkcicle out of the freezer and put it into your opened wine bottle, to keep it chill. It doesn't melt. It's magic. Magic things don't melt.

So, I took the job on and was excited to do an illustration for a print ad, as most times I work in the world of moving pictures. You've got one shot with a print illustration. You've got multiple shots with motion graphics. What am I talking about, you've got multiple shots with most everything in life. Besides actual LIFE. Only got one shot with that one.

Mark gave me the direction, the photo of the Corkcicle, and away I went. He and the client wanted to see a 'party' coming from the Corkcicle. Just a real swell time exploding from the Corkcicle, insinuating that the Corkcicle provides a festive time. I imagine if I drank white wine, and cared about keeping it cold, and the Corkcicle kept it cold, then I'd probably throw a party, too.

Below are my initial sketches.

You see the layout we're going for. Party explodes from the Corkcicle, which is in the wine. Wellp, Mark and the client dug #1, the top one, and  I can see why, I spent the most time on it. 

Next step was to flesh it out, give them a sense of how it would actually LOOK. Because that sketch, it's rough. I like my sketches rough. I can see it in my head, I know how I'll execute it, I don't like wasting time dicking around with a 'final' sketch. Grip it and rip it. I once saw another artist doing a 'final' sketch and I grabbed him by the collar and threw him through a plate-glass window. Oh stop it. I'm not a bully, that never happened, I make believe almost 80% of my life, let me have it, please let me just have that.

Here's my WIP, all done in a program called Adobe Illustrator, which you basically create shapes using vector points. The great thing about Illustrator, is that you can then take your 'vectored' art and blow it up as large as a billboard, and not lose clarity. As opposed to Photoshop, where you're always worried about inches and DPI and if something is pixelated if it's blow up too large. Illustrator takes all those worries out back and bends 'em over.

Check it out.

Now we're getting somewhere. Getting some flowey action, crazy drippies, splatteries, happy little trees, I feel like Bob Ross. I'm going for an 80's vibe meets today, art-noveau, smack-you-in-the-face color explosion. Also, I didn't have to worry about completing the party on top, because Mark was using it for a very specifically measured out ad space. And that Ad-space didn't call for the top to be shown. So why show it? It's the same reason I'm in my undies for all the close-up shots on my online HIT SENSATION WEBISODE SERIES, 'Hangin' with Justins!' (I mentioned the 'make believe' stuff already, right?  Good.)

BUT, this illustration is nowhere near where we need to be yet! There's no texture, no humanity, no life. Just a rainbow party in West Hollywood, really. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I took all those shapes into Photoshop (exported them, actually) and began to apply the sexy to it. Textures, shading, DEPTH! Need to see depth! This party needs to feel like a four alarm, call-the-cops bender! 

Let's try this one out:

There we go. Depth is added, the little drippies have dimension, this is where we need to be. Mark and client were happy with this, so in turn, I was happy! Being happy is the place where I like people to be after looking at my art! 
BUT, and there's always a but, right? There was one tiny problem. The party still didn't feel like it was 'coming' from the top of the Corkcicle. This had been a concern earlier, but Mark had a secret weapon that he had ready for this very moment. And that weapon's name is Sid Watters, and he runs a studio called 'Dark Arts.' He's a retoucher/compositor/image maker and an expert in the Shop of Photos and in the Realm of Patience. Also, Mark and I went to art college with him, and he's one of the nicest, most genuine men I've ever met. I was excited to see what he would do to the illustration.

So, I passed my illustration over to him and he blended the photo-real Corkcicle and my Rainbow Grape Party into one!
Here's the final:

And that's that! Sid rocked the 3-D looking splats growing from the top of the cork, and he blended into my work beautifully. The overall color looks slightly more washed out, but that could from the PDF conversion Mark sent me, or could be to try and match the actual colors of the Corkcicle closer, I know not.

The evolution of a print ad, in a few, easy steps. This job went smoothly, mainly for the clear direction from the Creative Director, a vision from the Client, and me not screwing anything up. Oh, and having a secret weapon doesn't hurt, either, in our case, Sid with Dark Arts. 

Until next time! Time to feed the chipmunk in my pocket.