Friday, January 4, 2008

Performance Art

As a freelance commercial artist, I get to be involved in a wide variety of jobs. And I find new business avenues all the time. For example, one of the jobs I get contracted to do a few times a month is that of a live business illustrator.
This is how it works: A company that is interested in creating or refining a plan gets all the principle stakeholders together in a collaborative venture with a facilitator, a documenter and me. My job is to sit in on this meeting and create artwork based on the live discussions and planning. Sounds easy right?
Wrong. The group can be 10 to 300 or more people. While they are working on various exercises I am listening and drawing on a giant rolling white board. It is about 6' x 4' of drawing surface. I will fill up 5-7 of these in an 8 hour session. And every event brings in a different set of goals. Sometimes it is a large corporation, or a small company, or a college or university, sometimes it is a non-profit. Each group needing something different. This work is created for state and local government, local and national businesses, non-profits and back in October of 2007, I was flown to Washington DC to work a 3 day Job Corps event with over 800 people participating from all over the U.S. That was exhausting.
As the artist, I have to draw quick. White boards are not the best medium and there is no time to rough out something and not one piece can be precious. When I am drawing one thing I am already thinking about the next thing I hear and the one after it. It's challenging and fun too. I do this in a state of the art facility. When I am not working on the rolling boards, I can work on the boards surrounding the meeting room. There are three large rooms. At the end of the day, I have to present my work to the clients. I try to make the whole thing fun and amusing because these people are tired from working hard all day on their end of the project. I usually create one big piece that fills up a 6' x 4' board at the end. They have seen everything I have done during the course of the day, so I try to keep this one under wraps until the big reveal at the end. The piece will encompass the entire day, both the work and some of the silly jokes and things said. This is usually the piece that gets everyone excited. Most of the time they request posters of it, which the facilitator does provide. The artwork shown here was created today at a half day event for a local college and university who are putting together a partnership to supply international help. The top people from both schools were there. About 20 people total. This is only a small sample of what I completed. These pictures were taken with my iPhone, no flash, and to get an idea of size, the top image with the boat is 6' wide.

No comments: