Over the weekend, I put together this little image for Lively Productions, which is producing a 10-minute musical comedy short in Samuel French’s short play festival out in New York. Samuel French is one of the largest publishers of plays, so it’s kind of a big deal. The show is called Taking The Plunge, and the synopsis I was given is that it is “a dark comedy about a man who flees his wedding to jump off Big Ben, where he finds his fiance’s mother also looking to take a leap.” I’ve read several short plays by the playwright Greg Edwards in the past (my girlfriend founded Lively Productions when she lived in New York, and she produced one of Edwards’ plays in Chicago and used him as a playwright for another of her projects). His stuff is really funny.
When Samuel French asked Lively for a show image, Edwards requested that they reach out to me because he was really happy with a piece I had done for another one of his shows years ago called Episcus and Edendus. Because this project sounded like a good amount of fun, I did it for a reduced rate and used it to practice creating a cartoon using Adobe Illustrator, which is not my program of choice. When creating cartoons, I generally scan them into Photoshop to touch them up and add color. Btu since these folks didn’t know what size this image would end up being, vector seemed the way to go.
People are always asking me if I do all my drawing in the computer on my Wacom. The answer is a firm no. I do none of my drawing on the computer. I do it all by hand. Same goes for this project: I sketched it and inked it using pen and paper, as always, and then scanned it. Illustrator has an option called Live Trace which converts a bitmap scan into vector paths, but I wasn’t at all happy with how it converted my original drawing in this case, so I traced all of it by hand using the pen tool instead. It ended up being a little time consuming, but this process allowed me to do touch-ups as I went. In the end, it looks like a well-polished version of my own hand drawing, and the title treatment I think really adds that wedding feel to it (the fonts are Shelly Volante and Avenir).