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Drones & Planes July 2nd, 2012

I’ve recently finished my book projects, which was a great but intense experience (the books should be out this fall), so it’s nice to now to get back to regular editorial work. So happy to get into the groove of things with this playful piece from Detroit’s DBusiness Magazine. Really fun to get to work with Megan DeKok again – she did such a smashing job with the layout. Originally this job was only supposed to be one page and a map spot but once she saw the linear she had the great idea to let the illustration bleed onto the facing page. Love working with an organic spread like this.

The story was about Detroit trying to position itself as one of the test beds for the US’s aviation program, adding drones and GPS guidance systems to the cockpits of commercial aircraft. Obviously there’s been a lot of controversy concerning the use of drones both in American cities and on the battlefield so I had to be careful to make this image positive and fun and focus on the benefits of using drones, such as gathering data about traffic conditions. Hope you like the final result.

Planes and Drones - illustration by Jacqui Oakley

Planes and Drones - illustration by Jacqui Oakley

Great type design by Megan. Love how bold it tuned out. For this illustration I inked sections of the illustration separately, placing the vehicles, cloud swirls and city on their respective layers. I then added the color digitally using swatches of my scanned-in paint textures. This gave me a lot more flexibility with such a detailed illustration and offered up some interesting translucent effects.

Clouds Title - illustration by Jacqui OakleyHere’s my inked line work and then below, the digitally added colour. After combining these elements, I then toned down some of the colours so they wouldn’t compete with the title too much. I had a lot of fun with these swirly organic shapes. Nice to have a business magazine give artists the flexibility to do something whimsical.

Pink Swirl Clouds by Jacqui Oakley

Pink Clouds - illustration by Jacqui OakleyHere are the linears I sent to the magazine along with the original layout which was tweaked later.

Planes and Drones - sketch by Jacqui Oakley

Planes and Drones - sketch by Jacqui OakleyFriendly planes and drones inked and awaiting colour.

Planes sketch by Jacqui Oakley

Planes - illustration by Jacqui Oakley

Drones Above the City - illustration by Jacqui Oakley

Pink Clouds by Jacqui Oakley

Here are the rest of the pages for the article, including a map I illustrated. Megan wanted me to tweak a few of the planes and drones used in the main illustration to sprinkle throughout the piece. I really like when art directors do this, as it makes for a cohesive fun look for the article. Great working with them again. I’ve always had such a good experience working with magazines in Detroit. I’ll have to visit one day especially since I am located so close to the border. I am dying to visit Hitsville USA. Maybe later this Summer if I’m lucky.

Detoit Map Layout - illustration by Jacqui Oakley

Detoit Map Layout - illustration by Jacqui Oakley

Planes and Drones - illustration by Jacqui Oakley

Detroit Map by Jacqui Oakley



5 Responses to Drones & Planes

  1. Pingback: Friendly Drones | Visual寿司

  2. emily b says:

    wow, phenomenal work! I loved reading about your experience with the magazine and seeing a bit of your process. Your textures make me weak in the knees!

    • admin says:

      Thank-you Emily! I’m really happy people are enjoying the process shots. I always appreciate that from artists I admire since It tends to give so much more insight into how one works.

  3. amy says:

    This is amazing, fun and full of cool color and whimsy…love it!

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