Recently, I had the pleasure of working with client Donnalee Lozeau of Southern NH Services. She was looking for an illustrator who would be interested in, on a very short schedule, creating an illustration that would be printed and gifted to National Community Action Foundation (NCAF) co-founder and CEO David Bradley. They wanted to thank David for all of his hard work in helping fight against poverty.
Instead of creating the usual commemorative plaque, Donnalee wanted to do something special. She conjured up this idea of creating a baseball themed illustration showcasing the “stats” (accomplishments) of David’s along with other bits of information. You see, David is a big baseball fan. She came up with the idea on a Monday, and started reaching out to see if anyone could help. She wanted the final product delivered by that Friday.
Quickly, Donnalee and I started coming together with some ideas. I came up with a plan to incorporate all of the information she wanted. We would have David up to bat, a ball coming at him, with the White House or Capitol Building in the background, the crowd cheering him on. Then, I would put that image on an old school baseball card. On the back of the card would be all his “stats”, and then some other decorative memorabilia around it such as pins, pennants, and other things that may have logos or otherwise pertaining to what they did.
She loved this idea, so I ran with it. We would make the items “pop” so they were three dimensional and realistic, much like a shadow box. We kept working; the White House became the Capitol Building, we added and subtracted things, and ended up with the final work:
Off we went to the printers! I had a tough time finding a printer that would do it on such short notice, especially because it was during massive nor’easters and snowstorms. I ended up with a big box retailer who took the print order.
When I made it up to the big box retailer, I was handed the print, and when I say it looked like garbage, I mean it looked like garbage. The blacks were matte while the rest was glossy. The paper was cheap stock. The colors were oversaturated and very green, and the overall picture was too dark. The letters were not crisp, and there was smudges and smears on the page. When I asked the worker, of course I was blamed. Are my screens calibrated? Well, yeah. Are you sure? Yes, I’m sure! I do this all the time! Anyway I paid and left with the print but didn’t want to deliver it.
I called around, and last minute, 30 minutes before they closed, Print NH was able to do it for me. They printed it on a gorgeous pearl stock and it came out mounds and mounds better — definitely worth delivering then! With barely two minutes left to spare, I got it into the hands of Donnalee.
After that, it got framed and gifted. The framer did an excellent job and I hope David loves his unconventional thank you gift!