I was recently commissioned by the New York based children’s toy and accessories company Skip Hop to produce an eight page comic book for use as a fun way to advertise their products at an upcoming trade fair. I jumped at the opportunity of working with the company whose celebrity fans include Selma Blair, Ricky Martin and Joel Madden, but there was one catch, I had two weeks to complete it!
The comic was also to include two additional cover illustrations for the proposed Issue #2 and the Holiday Special, Toddlers Take Manhattan. I knew two weeks was a tight deadline, considering this was a new client whose products I had to familiarise myself with and a completely new project with no base to start from. From my point of view as the Illustrator and Graphic Designer, this meant that the overall look of the book had to be agreed upon, all the characters had to be developed, the story written and the artwork penciled, inked, coloured, lettered and arranged by myself in that short time. Thankfully a video call and several emails with the company directors Ellen and Michael Diamant set me off with the story brief, and after a few quickly approved sketches to develop the visual style of the book (a mixture of Archie, Peanuts and Hanna Barbera) the project was well underway.
So, after some very long days and late nights at the drawing table, the book was delivered with even a few days to spare and then sent straight off to the printers. It sort of all went by in a blink really, and it would have been nice to have a week or so to refine some of the artwork, but as a commercial illustrator you work with the time a job gives you and looking back at it now with fresh eyes (a month on) i’m immensely satisfied with how it turned out. Hopefully the toddlers will be taking Manhattan very soon.