I want to warn you ahead of time that I don’t have the finished illustration that would normally follow the series of sketches below. I must have gotten rid of it, or else it’s boxed away somewhere in my attic (I moved last November and am still unpacking).
A while back I got an assignment to illustrate a cover for a summer issue of StoryWorks magazine. The art director asked for fireflies reading books. Sounds like a fun idea—I went to work drawing variations of it.
The first one works, but it’s kind of the obvious solution:
I like this next one in spite of its being a little weird. To make it work I’d need to really play up the lighting effects:
Fireflies reading books in a bookstore after hours:
Fireflies combining their individual lights to read a book:
Firefly using a flashlight, with a farm in the background:
And here are fireflies using each other’s butts to read by:
Those were the ideas I came up with. The AD liked the last two, couldn’t decide which one to use—and asked me to combine them in one sketch:
I wasn’t happy with it. Too many elements, too difficult to read the idea. I would have loved to paint any of the other sketches, but it wasn’t meant to be. Nobody’s fault; the art director and I just had different tastes. That’s the way it goes sometimes. You do your work, get your paycheck, and move on.