Computer Arts: Tell us about the client: how did you get the gig, what was your brief and how did you approach it?
Jonny Wan: I was contacted by Northstar, who are a multi -hannel content agency and handle all the editorial and publishing content for Audi. I've worked with the art director numerous times before and was thrilled to be able to jump on board with this project. The brief was to initially create seven spot illustrations that would sit within a feature showcasing the new SUV range of Audi's "Q" model of cars.
The brilliant thing about working with Northstar, and editorial work in general, is that you have a lot of creative freedom to explore so I wasn't confined to deliver a certain style or aesthetic and instead just concentrated on communicating the relevant ideas. Dan, the art director had very clear visions of how he saw the illustrations looking and through a process of feedback and collaboration the final illustrations turned out really well.
The creative director and art director suggested taking these illustrations and pushing for a fully illustrated cover. That was nice as it's something they haven't done before, and something that's a bit different for Audi as they're quite a photographically led brand. We quickly mocked up a proposal, the feedback from Audi was great and the cover was green-lit.
CA: Who or what influenced the project, and wow would you describe the overall aesthetic?
JW: There was a very clear direction from the outset and that was to pair an illustration with the relevant feature of the car that was being showcased. This was good as it allowed me to explore my personal style more, illustrating objects I wouldn't normally illustrate. For me, ideas usually just come from numerous thumbnail sketches I create after reading and rereading the brief.
I try and explore as much as possible before settling on one or two ideas, which will then be more fully realised digitally. I would describe the style as very graphic, with, hopefully, a very playful and fun attitude. The feature was to showcase the car with a very family friendly image and I really think that the illustrations do the job in complimenting that.
CA: How long did the project take to complete? Describe your workflow ...
JW: The initial seven spots took about a 10 days to realise and finish. The cover we worked on separately, as that has to be mocked up, proposed to the client and there was no guarantee they'd accept it as it was something very different to what they were used to. Luckily, they did.
I'd say, all in all, the cover, from proposal to final files, took another week. So the project as a whole took just over two weeks. I think the most challenging thing with this particular project was balancing the brand's image and my personal style. I had to create work that was suitable and reflective of Audi whilst also letting what I had to offer shine through a little without being too dominating.
Check out more from Jonny Wan at jonnywan.com.