I'm going be honest with you, when it comes to drawing I've always been a little weak on mechanical and man-made structural objects, more commonly known as "cars and buildings". So when I first began freelancing, guess what one of my first big storyboard jobs was? Yup. Visualizing Olympia & York's redevelopment plans for Canary Wharf in London.
Cars and buildings, buildings and cars, followed by some more drawings of buildings. And cars.
Remember, this was around... 1990, I think. No computers, no computer models, no Google Earth. All I had was a couple of helicopter shots of the un-redeveloped site and a couple of architectural concept drawings to use as a guide. The client was very particular about everything being extremely accurate, because investors would be scrutinizing specific sites in these drawings as potental locations for multi-million dollar construction projects.
At the time I was working at Ogilvy & Mather in Toronto on a 'full-time freelance' basis, meaning that they liked having me on location if they needed me, and I liked having a 'free' office and all the amenities in a fabulous big-city ad agency, but I was on my own to get outside work when the studio didn't have anything for me to do. So turning down a job - even a job as hellacious as this one - was not an option.
These are just a few of the multitude of frames I drew. Revisions piled on revisions, the same streetscape shown from various angles as new sightlines suddenly became important to the client. I can recall staring at the scant reference they supplied and sweating as I tried to imagine what that street would look like with the same buildings, but from 35 feet up ... or while standing on the opposite sidewalk... then from a fifth floor window looking down and to the left... and on and on it went - yeesh!
I still cringe at how awful my boxy little cars look. Like I said, automotive drawings have never been a strong point for me. Luckily the client was only focused on the buildings looking right. I bow down and once more thank John Buscema's perspective lessons in 'How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way" for getting me through this nightmare!
In the end, I remember the client being quite happy with these, so that plus the paycheque make it all worthwhile! And like all difficult tasks, you come out (hopefully) having learned something.
But I still can't draw cars worth a damn.
* Got a 'job-from-hell' you'd like to share with us? Send me an email and I'll send you a guest author invitation. My address is in the sidebar.