Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hooray for Tamalewood

One of the more interesting things about being an illustrator is that you never know when your going to get the call to do a job.

Last Friday afternoon I received a message from Angela Moore at the Santa Fe Reporter. She wanted to know if I was available to illustrate a cover on a a feature about the film industry in New Mexico, or as they call it, Tamalewood.

It was a cover, so without thinking too much about it I said yes.

The story touched on how the state had passed a loan program for the film industry and how the biggest beneficiaries of it weren't local filmmakers, but the big Hollywood studios. As a result, the state hasn't generated any real permanent or good paying jobs related to the movie industry and instead has become a labor colony for the studios. The whole story is here, if you would like to read it

Of course there was a catch. She needed the final art on Monday. Luckily, I have a very understanding fiance when it comes to things like this.

So I spent a good part of my Friday evening generating ideas and sketches and fired them off. I chose to play with the idea that New Mexico was doing a lot heavy lifting by subsidizing the big Hollywood studios

Sketch 1. Like Sisyphus pushing a rock up the hill.

Sketch 2. Hollywood as a burden on the backs of New Mexico.

Sketch 3. The star-struck day laborer.

Saturday morning I received a couple of emails from Angela. She seemed happy with the ideas I sent, but was leaning toward sketch number two, but needed to run them by the editors first.

About an hour an a half later I received another message saying the editor liked number 3 because the state being star struck was part of the problem. She had one request though, make the reel bigger and look more like a burden.

So with that request in mind, I proceeded to final and fired off the finished project first thing Monday morning. Happily, Angela thought the work looked fabulous so there was no need to make any changes.

There is a great deal of satisfaction in turning around something quickly like this, enough to make working for the weekend enjoyable.


  1. Great work!

    You remember Nate and Emily from RIT? They are living in Albequerque now and Emily has been doing a lot of the work on those films. Not sure exactly what her position is; I think she's the one pointing a camera but not 100% sure. Crazy hours, either way.

    Hopefully they'll spread your name around as somebody that's reliable and you'll see more work coming your way.

  2. Very nice. When you're offered a cover, you take it. Or you make it work.