I just finished this assignment for Michael Schick at Adfero. He contacted me through my agent, Richard Solomon, to come up with concepts around the idea of Ulysses poking out the eye of the cyclops. The trick being the cyclops represents a single bank regulator.
My first go at the sketches were attempts at portraying him as a hero with the giant cyclops looming. I threw in a more direct analogy with office workers and suits since, at this point, the assignment was still pretty vague.
Turns out, in this case, the Ulysses character was portraying large banks, and the crowds of people, small banks. Large banks being sneaky and clever to avoid regulation as the small banks stay under scrutiny. Luckily, even without that information they liked what I was doing. They rearranged some elements and made a frankenstein for me to riff off. They had the idea for the labels, which, while I'm not in love with them, definitely help the idea.
My first pass didn't have the body language and deviousness in the Wall Streeters I wanted and the crowd of small bankers wasn't working great.
Thank Jebus for tracing paper. After sending this sketch the job was put on hold for a month and I figured it dead. But no!They had me refine the cyclops a bit more, drop in the labels (mad respect for those who handletter well. Photoshop saved me here), and make the cyclops scoop some victims. The client dug it and I set to paint.
Procrastination was helpful for the first time in my life. Before I had any paint down, I got a call last minute to have the foreground hand break the border. And boom goes the dynamite. This is how the illustration will run. Here's a free tip to young illustrators: If work is slow, plan a busy social calendar. Without fail, everything will bunch up on the same weekend and you'll get a deadline as well.
After staring at the finish for a while I tweaked some values and corrected some anatomy to help the image pop some more. I thank my buddies Frank Stockton and Gregory Manchess for the feedback.
And thank you Micheal Schick for the opportunity to draw a big green monster.