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Case Study: SHAW Cable

Howdy partners! My name is Justin and today I'm going to share with you some artwork I drew. I don't think I should be ending a sentence with the verb 'drew' but you know what? I didn't want to spend the time to think of another way to end that sentence, so now I wasted more time explaining why I ended a sentence with--you get the point.

So, I've been doing these 'Case Studies' for awhile now and if you've been keeping up, the situations start out the same. A cool production studio calls me when they get a cool call from the cool client. I go in, I put the ghosts into the flux capacitors, I take the table cloth off of the table without moving the glassware, and then I leave. All very coolly.

The call this time came from BNS in Santa Monica. They got a call from 'Big Agency' in 'Some City' and those folks got the call from 'Shaw Cable' in Canada. Shaw wanted a re-brand. Complete re-brand to their identity. They wanted an illustrative approach.

I was brought in by BNS and told to DRAW SOME PEOPLE. How freaking awesome is that? Not all jobs are like that for me, but this one was, so I will focus on this one and thank you and good day. Oh wait, don't go anywhere, we're about to get to the art.

Here's one direction that I drew that the Creative Director at BNS liked, so it's the direction that I pursued.


I remembered back to my intern days at American Greetings in good ol' smelly and disgusting Cleveland, Ohio where I drew characters like this every day from 9 to 5. Kidding! Cleveland isn't smelly or disgusting. I liked it a lot quite actually, I did. Kidding, again! I liked it a little, not a lot.

For these characters' fashion I consulted American Apparel.com, Urban Outfitters and some other trendy fashion websites to get the right, age-appropriate looks down. Notice the girl's bra is showing. Hubba hubba! And one guy has a v-neck AND a cardigan on. Can you even believe it? I can! Notice the pencil skirt on the dark babe on the top row. Yowsa!

But this wasn't all I needed to draw! People were only the beginning to the re-brand! Now I needed to put these people into an environment. Their city, their town, their world. Here's that now:


I drew this entirely in Photoshop using my Wacom Tablet. It took one day for the line-work/value study and one day for the coloring. I'm proud of this piece as it's something that I've never done before. Technically, everything is something you've never done before even if you've done it before. You've not done it on this day, on this time, and in this moment. That much, is ALL NEW to you.

The drawing's perspective is decent, the linework is so-so, the colors are pleasant. I think I could put more time into it, but that would be meaningless, as the pieces was turned into Shaw Cable and ultimately they were rejected. 

This direction got beat out by one of BNS's competitors, good ol' Laika, the studio that brought you Paranorman and Corraline. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. Perhaps the client thought this approach, which was to be executed in painstakingly sluggish two-dimensional cel animation (24 drawings a second!) would be too time-consuming or costly, I don't know, I'm not in the know. If I was in the know, well then, that'd be a first.

At any rate, thanks for being on board for another delightful yet altogether unfulfilled installment of 'Case Studies.' 

I do hope you'll join me again next week when I'll share with you my newest fascination...'BARNS.' 

Justin Claus Harder2 Comments