I got a call Friday from Mike Weber, a charming guy and the art director at NY Press asking if I'd illustrate the cover for next weeks edition. They weren't paying much and the cover was due Monday morning. I turned it down. An hour later, Mike calls raising the pay and lowering the standards. I really wanted a weekend off with SBX but my knee's busted, taxes are due, and I was looking at a $900 root canal on Weds. [today]. So, I said yes, learned about the cover story, and banged out a bunch of concepts including one derived by my buddy digitante.
Ideas went back and forth until we finally settled on one which got greenlit late Saturday afternoon. Come Sunday afternoon, I sat down to draw the damn thing and I couldn't. I was blocked. I made four full attempts. Garbage. I changed the angle. Crap. I cancelled my evening social engagement w/SBX and put the screws on. I'm hating life. This hardly ever happens. Sure, freelance brings deadline pressure but it's rare that I can't wrestle a job down to the ground and make it my bitch.
[original cover concept turned interior illustration]
Ultimately, the gig made me its bitch and I turned in something that was professional yet not to my satisfaction. I felt bad about it but the art director was happy enough and so it goes. I don't usually apologize for my work but my work is rarely circulated throughout the five boroughs of Manhattan for free on every other street corner and coffee shop. That's the way the ball bounces. Next time I'll stick to my guns and lose the opportunity for good exposure and cash. I need a break, bad. Hell, I just bought some comix and I think I'm gonna take one right now.
NY Press article by Jim Knipfel: