From the Freelance Files- 3M Calendar

September 25th, 2014 | Posted in Freelancing

qdef_finalClicky any to embiggen…

This was an odd job from early last year. A design company was doing a calendar for some client and one of the months they wanted a comic book “superhero” designed that would represent a color process or technology from 3M called “Q-Def”. They wanted a little humorous look to it, rather than a more serious comic book look… that’s why they called me.

We needed to explore some ideas of the look of the character, so I gave them 4 different concepts. Three human characters and a robot:

Qdef1 Qdef2 Qdef3 Qdef4

Then I worked a bit on the “Q-Def” logo. I really hate doing logos, but this was not too taxing:

QDef Emblems

They liked the robot, but were not sure if they wanted something more obviously robotic ala “Iron Giant” or something that might be more of an “Iron Man” look. So I did a couple of robot concept sketches:

Robot 2

Robot 1

Ultimately, we combined a couple of different elements from the two robots, simplified the cityscape and ditched the logo for a simple title on the breastplate. Final pencil rough here, color final at top of post:

Qdef pencil

A lot of concept work here, and these are just the sketches I showed to the client… I probably did three times this many drawings noodling around trying to come up with different ideas. This is a good example of why you need to consider how much work you will spend on the concept stages of a job when pricing it. I did and was paid for that concept work as well as the final.


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I am close to adding a second caricature workshop in January in Orlando. Details here:

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