6 Jan 2010 By Teemu

Cell Phone Shark

I did this illustration awhile back. The idea of the campaign (that it was for) was to visually incorporate different animals’ defense mechanisms on cell phones. My animal was a shark. With the brief I got an image that illustrated the concept and which to me seemed like a stock image that someone else had done. So i was a little hesitant as to how to approach the assignment since I didn’t want to rip off or copy someone else’s work.

Well, with a little research it turned out that the image was actually a montage of two different images and it had probably been done at the ad agency that hired me, so I was free to do whatever I wanted with it. So, off to sketching I was.

First I googled a bunch of reference images of cell phones and sharks and drew a few quick sketches to get a grasp of how they looked and how I could mix them up.

First sketches

Since the image would be a single character on a basically blank background, the shape and design of the cell phone shark would have to be interesting enough to hold the image and composition together. So I started thinking in shapes.

Sketching shape and selected sketches More sketches (that I didn't like)

Above you can see the sketches that I thought were worthy of finalizing marked. They’re far from perfect but I now knew what I wanted and where I would take the final sketches. There were two different ideas: One for the traditional cell phone model (which was much like the image in the brief) and another one for the shell fish model. I finalized sketches for both:

Final Sketches

The first one was pretty much a cleaned up and refined version of the thumbnail. The second was a combination of two different sketches. I wanted both of the sketches to have a sort of a fake fish eye perspective. I added the mockup type, and sent the sketches to the client.

They went for the second one. The final had to be all vectors which was a challenge since I usually work with raster images – and the final would have to have a painterly, retro quality to it. So, after some emails back and forth with the client and tweaking things, I finished the piece:

Cell Phone Shark Final

Some extra space added around the edges for cropping and bleed.

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