E-mail conversion with Rod Hunt

On my pursue to teach myself how to create isometric graphics for my Facebook game in the very small amount of time I have I contacted one of the best artists of isometric art in the UK: Rod Hunt. and contacted with him on Linkedin. Fortunately his response was very thorough and informative.

On 04/02/2012 03:02, Kaloyan Yankulov wrote:
Hi Rod,
First off all let me tell you that I was amazed when I saw your art, really spectacular work but I guess you’ve heard that a lot before 🙂 I’m a web and interactive designer myself. Now I’ve been working on a concept for a Facebook game and also I’m designing the game graphics. I found that images in isometric projection are the natural choice to go. As a very beginner I’ve started to explore isometric illustration and so far I’m quite satisfied with the results (I’ve attached a screenshot in case you want to check) Anyway back to the topic I’d love if you can answer a couple of questions about your workflow or reference me to a place or article where I can read it 🙂 I was interested do you use isometric graphics in most of the cases or that vary? As well, do you use Illustrator? And how long roughly takes to produce an image. As I noted I’m glad with the result but takes me ages to produce everything manually in Illustrator…well, the fact that I’m very beginner with Illustrator is a factor inevitably but still I feel the process it’s kinda too slow…

Would be great if you find time to answer these 🙂

Thank you!
And all the best. Keep making great art!

Regards,
Kaloyan

—————
His answer:

Hi Kaloyan,
Hope all is well with you. Glad you’re enjoying my work.

Not all of my work is isometric, but a lot has been recently. All my work is vector & produced in Adobe Illustrator. Depending on how complicated a piece is, they can take between 2-4 weeks each from rough to final artwork. Often it depends on the deadline from the client, so might not have as long as I would like.

Here’s a snippet from a recent interview on my working process

How do you approach a new project? What’s your creative process like?

Once I’ve read the brief, maybe I’ll have a chat with the Art Director & start formulating ideas. There’s often a lot of research that has to go in to each piece, especially for something as complex as a theme park map. I always start by doodling ideas and compositions in an A5 sketchbook with a pencil or biro. These are very quick and throwaway. I don’t get stuck into the detail at this stage & purposely draw with a biro so that I can’t erase anything, keeping away from detail to keep the ideas flowing.

Compositionally it’s important to have flow through the piece, leading the eye on a journey. The piece has to work as a whole & not look like the sum of it’s parts or be disjointed. It’s important not to be seduced into the detail too soon & lose sight of the the overall goal. I also need to give myself enough thinking & doodling time at the beginning of a project before producing a finished rough drawing. That’s where the real hard work is done & is the foundation of a great piece of work.

After I’m happy with the very rough spread compositions, I moved onto creating a detailed fully finished pencil rough, drawing with a 2B pencil on heavyweight cartridge paper. It’s at this point I work out the amount of detail in the piece.

The roughs are then scanned & used as a guide in a background layer in Adobe Illustrator to produce the final artwork. After using a normal Wacom tablet for quite a long time I decided to invest in a Wacom Cintiq to help with the work flow & speed things up. It was a pretty wise investment as drawing directly onto the screen made things much more natural & intuitive. I tend to use Illustrator as a straight drawing tool & use effects sparingly, aiming to keep the hands on feel with my work, despite producing the final artwork on the computer. At the end of the day the computer should just be seen another way of making a mark on a page. Everything is broken down into many layers to I can keep track of all the detail & make things easily editable for myself

A lot of your questions about my working process are probably covered in these interviews too.

http://escapefromillustrationisland.com/2011/02/01/efii-podcast-episode-69-rod-hunt/
http://www.thunderchunky.co.uk/articles/rod-hunt-catch-up-interview/
http://www.illustrationpages.com/2010/11/interview-with-london-based-illustrator.html
http://sixcrayons.com/2009/10/01/rod-hunt-talks-about-work-and-his-new-book-wheres-stig/
http://creativeoverflow.net/creative-interview-with-illustrator-rod-hunt/
http://d-lists.co.uk/2010/01/28/interview-with-a-pro-rod-hunt/
http://vectips.com/inspiration/interview-with-rod-hunt/
http://the99percent.com/articles/5674/rod-hunt-keeping-it-fresh
http://vector.tutsplus.com/articles/interviews/interview-with-rod-hunt/
http://designinspiration.blogspot.com/2007/09/rod-hunt.html
http://www.designtavern.com/2008/12/17/rod-hunt-freelance-illustrator-and-artist-behind-change-the-world-9-to-5/

Hope that’s some help!

All the best,
Rod

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