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Rote Nase Studio for Der Spiegel

BY: | October 21, 2011

Being one of the widest circulated publications in Europe, Der Spiegel, has been on my radar even before I saw the art director Stefan Kiefer speak at ICON2 over 10 years ago. Needless to say, getting a call to do the October 17th cover for them was an honor.

The cover story is about over-scheduled kids. Being a father of 3 I am aware of this and sometimes catch slack and odd glances from parents when they find out that my kids aren’t in 5 afterschool activities. I am a firm believer in kids having time to be kids. Some folks see downtime as wasted time, but for me when I see what the kids can do when their imaginations are allowed to roam, I dont see it as wasted time at all.

Stefan was upfront with me that the editors are tough to please, and he was right. I love a good challenge and am delighted to add this cover to my resume.

here are a few of the sketches and progress shots of the piece:

the initial concept sent from Mr Kiefer

these are my versions of the concept:

the girl with the backpack turned out to be very close to a cover on the same subject 10 years ago, only that time it was a boy.

so I proposed that we illustrate the piece without all the stuff and focus on what the kid doesn’t have time to do:

they liked the concept, but felt it too sophisticated for the cover, understandable.

so the girl with her face down was the one we decided to run with.

once the final was complete, the girl appeared too injured, which was the wrong message, so I was asked to revise her face and head so as to look burdened but not hurt and to make her slightly more ‘realistic’

so here is a revised sketch to show the girl not hurt, but burdened.

and after a couple more revisions, and the fact that the cover was bumped a week because of a timely news story… the piece ran earlier this week.

thanks to Barbara and Stefan for a memorable project.