Disneyland for Truckers

Disneyland for Truckers digital illustration Erika Schnatz

Getting my master’s degree in book publishing made me realize how much I missed illustration (what I got a degree in the first time around). Now that grad school is over (woo!) there is a bit of downtime while I search for full-time work, so I’ve been emailing art directors looking for illustration jobs.

As a result, I snagged an opportunity to work with art director Julie Showers at the Willamette Week, creating an image to go along with a piece about Jubitz truck stops.

Sketch (very similar to the concept sketch Julie sent me):

Disneyland for Truckers sketch Erika schnatz

The digital illustration I submitted (colored completely in Photoshop, which was a new process for me):

Disneyland for Truckers digital illustration  Erika Schnatz

How it looked in print:

Disneyland for Truckers in print Erika Schnatz

They added a bit more red to the illustration (understandably so, as I was probably pushing the limit for the amount of pink in a truck-related image), and messed about with the clouds a bit, but otherwise it looks pretty close to the original.

I was initially told that the text would run above the piece instead of below it, which partly explains the awkward crop at the bottom. Chalk that up to a learning opportunity. In any case, I look forward to working with the Willamette Week again. Editorial pieces are fun because I wind up drawing stuff that I wouldn’t otherwise (like a teeny tiny poster of Brooks & Dunn).

Jazz Guy

Jazz Guy Erika Schnatz

The project manager of the upcoming Ooligan Press jazz book requested that I draw a jazz guy. So I drew a jazz guy.

Next week I will post the cover I designed for the book. It is pretty cool. *snaps*

Here Be Dragons!

For my Book Design class this term, I had to design an entire book (it was awesome!) so here are the cover comps I came up with:

This first one had some nice elements, but it looked a bit old for the target audience of this book (middle-grade level readers).

I really liked this design as well, but it looks like an adult book.

This one was the clear favorite of my peers. It was by far the most age appropriate, and since it’s a book for younger audiences, I could get away with having an image-based back cover. The author photo and bio is much more of an adult book element anyway.

Here’s the final! I made some suggested improvements, like handlettering the text on the cover and adding the dragon’s arms to hold the banner. I obviously redrew the front and back illustrations as well, and added some cracks around the dragon butt to add to the illusion of the dragon breaking through the back of the book cover. My classmates liked where the colors bled outside the lines in the comp, so I replicated that in the final. I moved the ISBN box to a more sensible place as well.

I had some trouble finding reference images for the dragon’s butt, but as multiple people reminded me, dragons aren’t real so I could draw it however I liked.