5-24-2011 - Phone Phobia
This spot was done for The Weekly Standard to illustrate a short humor piece about a guy with a serious phone phobia. He hates the phone and the very thought of answering it is crippling.
Philip Chalk is the art director at TWS, and a very easy guy to work with. He told me that rough sketches should be just that - ROUGH. He said, "if you spend more than 5 minutes on a rough for me, you're taking too much time."
I love that.
So, the first sketch, considerably less than the 5 minute limit!
What do you do when you're afraid of something? You hide. Or you face it. Or both.
Too straight on. So, I decided to push the perspective.
Although I liked the perspective, I didn't like having so much of the guy hidden. I think this would have worked for a full page, but for a small spot, I felt like I needed more.
While bringing more of the guy around the chair, I played with a caricatured look, less cartoony, but decided that I didn't like that.
I didn't want anyone getting caught up in thinking it was supposed to be anyone specific, so I decided to go more cartoony.
I don't have the sketch, but here's the inking, done with a Pelikan 150 fountain pen on matte acetate. I like working on acetate because I can slip-sheet my sketch beneath the translucent sheet and avoid any need for erasing the sketch:
The sketch was scanned into Photoshop & colored in another layer.
Since I used to do all my color cartooning on Multi Media Art Board, I've been in search of how to achieve a similar grainy texture and recently came across a method in another illustrator's blog, using a layer with filters: noise, spatter brush & a bit of blur. It gives a really close approximation to the MMAB texture.
As for the details in the finished drawing. I figured he'd probably not have the latest technology (or furniture) and chose a 70's style push button phone in avocado green. His dog also added to the situation with a sense of eagerness & anticipation. If he could, I think the hound would have answered the phone for they guy.
Ken Westphal is an illustrator/designer who lives in the Kansas City metro area. He is best known for his humorous illustration & cartooning. For a good number of years he worked with Brad Morgan (DDB Needham, Chicago), the creator of Chester Cheetah, on ads for Cheetos, which ran in a variety of publications and network TV.
Having freelanced since the early 80's, in 2003 Ken took a job with Kid Stuff Marketing as Senior Product Designer. During his 6 1/2 years with KSM, he designed character based toys for kids meals. Kid Stuff remains one of his clients.
Over the past decade, Ken has become more involved in creating art for the music industry, exploring another side of his creativity, tapping into his love of SciFi & fantasy.
Ken's clients include Frito-Lay, American Airlines, Logitech, Betty Crocker, Sports Illustrated & SI for Kids, Golf World, Citicorp, Southwest Airlines, Saatchi & Saatchi, Bozell Jacobs, Time Magazine & Nike, among others.