Indiana Jones and the Office Party




(Indiana Jones is copyright © Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved.)

I stopped doing “realistic” illustration a few years ago and focus primarily on illustrating in a very cartoony style. I enjoy it more, it’s what I’m best at, and it’s much faster which means I can usually earn more per hour. I still do life drawings and portrait studies in my sketchbooks but rarely for clients.

Every once in a while I make an exception.

Last October I was hired by Fig Street Marketing to work on a project for a large corporate client in the computer industry (not sure if I can share the company’s name so I won’t, but it’s one you would recognize). Apparently every year this client hosts a big corporate event themed after a Hollywood franchise. Last year they did James Bond, this year it was Indiana Jones. The client rented the “Indiana Jones Adventure” ride at Disneyland as their locale and hired Fig Street to develop the theme. They even put together a short video spoofing the Indy movies. Fig Street filmed executives dressed as Indiana Jones characters and then digitally inserted them into actual footage from the films.

To decorate the event they produced a giant mural and life-size cardboard standees depicting some of the executives dressed in Indy garb (great for gag photos). My friend Charlie Griak was hired to illustrate the mural and I was hired to illustrate the standees. The male executives were dressed as Indy or as Indy’s father. For the female executives I was asked to invent characters wearing safari-style costumes circa 1930. For reference I was provided with a couple of head shots of each executive and a few clips of the green screen footage. The rest I culled from DVD stills of the movies.

Because the artwork was going to be blown up eight feet tall working in Photoshop would have made the files about a zillion megabytes each, way too large to be practical. So I did the illustrations as vector art in Illustrator. It was a fun project and I was pleased with how it turned out. Soon the client will be sending me pictures from the event. If I get their permission I’ll post those photos as well.

Charlie’s mural really looked fantastic. If and when he posts it online I’ll be sure to link to it.

UPDATE: Here’s two of the final standees sent to me by the client. The photos were taken by the printer. Unfortunately the motorcycle standee was packed up before they could photograph it.