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Commissioned drawing

I attended the fantastic Podcasters Across Borders which went above and beyond my wildest expectations. I’ll blog about it later but for now I want to tell you a story about an artwork I was commissioned to do.

Eden Spodek, the Bargainista, has a nice white laptop bag for her, well, laptop. She walked up to me with Sharpie markers in her hand and asked if I would like to draw something on one side of her bag. I was touched that she had entrusted in me to draw directly on her laptop bag and immediately got to work during the break between Saturday’s sessions and the boat cruise.

Eden’s plan was to ask everyone to sign the back (and sides) of her bag. Of course, being the blogger and Flickr freak I am, I photographed each stage as I progressed.

This was an art challenge I enjoyed; I had a limited number of colours (black, blue, purple, pink, yellow and I think orange), a set amount of time (I insisted on having it finished for the cruise) and total creative authority on what I’d draw (dangerous!).

I admit, that last part worried me a little. What if Eden ends up not liking what I drew? Or worse, what if I made an untouchupable mistake in drawing? The horror.

To ease my anxiety, I began with a very quick (and very light) pencil sketch. Followed by the outlines and shading. As I shaded, I added more colours to give the drawing a little style. In order to prevent everything from disappearing into each other and looking like one big purple blob, I made sure the outlines were thick and visible. That’s one thing to look out for; the outlines for separation of foreground and background.

My creative mission did have one rule: it must have pink to match the Bargainista website. That was a challenge because I kept using the violet by mistake instead of pink without realizing it! The clock was ticking and the stakes were high. Will I get the pink? WILL I GET THE PINK?

In the meantime, my roommate, Shane Shennan, witnessed the historic moment as he read up on the silly Bill C-61 across the room.

"The outlines aren’t showing up"

"Maybe it’s best I colour in her face"

"AUGH! THIS ISN’T PINK!"

"uh-oh"

In the end, the girl I drew wasn’t as pink as I had expected it to be. So I thought of adding glitter and stars for the representation. After all, I said aloud in between Shane’s fury over the bill, web design does tend to change so I thought this would be a great way to future proof Eden’s laptop bag just in case. Adding the glitter and stars would make the laptop bag not too pink and not too unpink at the same time.

However, I have the habit of neverending my touching up of a drawing. It’s one of my weaknesses and I honestly had to stop myself before I made some serious errors (which happened before). Once I start drawing, I just can’t stop! It’s too much fun.

"Hm… maybe I should colour the background"

Now it was definitely time for me to put the sharpies down and step away from the laptop bag. That particular temptation was certain for disaster.

"No, really. I should colour the background"

I looked at the clock. I had the time. But did I have the guts?

I knew it wouldn’t work because I didn’t have the proper colour sharpie to pull it off right. Thank goodness for common sense! The Bargainista‘s laptop bag is saved!

Self-control wins!

3 Comments

  1. Eden Spodek
    Eden Spodek June, 2008

    Daniele, Thanks! You did an amazing job and certainly did save the laptop bag. I feel so honoured to have it adorned with an illustration from an artist. I love it and have another story to tell about the PAB community. Stay tuned!

  2. Connie Crosby
    Connie Crosby June, 2008

    Your artwork is fantastic! And we had a lot of fun signing the bag. :-)

  3. zoe
    zoe July, 2008

    Eden was telling me about the bag but I never got a chance to see it. What a cool story to go with that amazing drawing. Beautiful!

    I might commission you to do something about my cardinal story :)

    z

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