Radio Times Two Page Spread!

This was a piece commissioned a couple of weeks ago for one of the lead articles in the Radio Times. I was excited by the prospect of working on this piece, but it was also one of the most exhausting pieces I've worked on. This was a tight deadline, with lots of alterations needed to the sketch. After the sketch had been approved, I had less than two days to render it. It was also to be rendered in acrylics, which meant I had my work cut out to finish on time and with a quality I would be happy with. The sketch was approved, but then they wanted to change Morrisey to the younger, lankier version.

By the end of the painting, and after a sleepless night, I had run out of time. The version of Morrisey I had painted was rushed and looked more like Jimmy Carr, and there were lots of severely rushed sections of the illustration. Thankfully I was given another couple of hours, although I could have done with another day at least to rework areas (including the likeness of Sting). I had just enough time to repaint Morrisey using a new reference, which I did in one hour.
Then there was delivering the artwork. The Radio Times' offices are in Shepherd's Bush, and by coincidence, I was booked to draw at an event in Chelsea the same evening. So having had no sleep, we drove the artwork from east Kent to North London ('we' being Ruth, Lucy and myself as Ruth wanted to come along, Lucy is a baby so she had no choice). It took 2.5 hours to drive about 4 miles across London (a bus had crashed into traffic lights on Islington high street, causing mayhem!!) and with the deadline for going to press at 4pm, we weren't going to make it. In the end, they managed to hold on until the artwork finally arrived at 5.30pm.

So the moral of this story is, digital is an absolute godsend when it comes to illustrations with tight deadlines. I don't know how we managed before now! At the same time, I enjoyed the challenge, and learned a lot from the process. I look forward to hearing what you think of the finished piece. :)


Sadami said…
Dear Paul,
Great work in rush!! Not only appearences, also, each player's body language, eye contact and used colors are very interesting and spot on.
Sorry for the tough story on a tight deadline. A great lesson for me and...I want to learn digital. Wish I could join your class.
Cheers & Best wishes to Ruth&Lucy
Toby Kinread said…
Awesome Paul, great paintings and well done for meeting the deadline, thanks for your comment on my speed painting, I really appreciate it:)
Chris said…
Wow Paul! That's an amazing story. I'm glad you were able to get it done in time. I think you did a great job. I love the expressions.
em... said…
I saw it in RT and it looked great.

Considering that Morrisey was done in a hour, you did a superlative job on him.
Craig said…
Top job Paul, Glad it came good in the end for you. Why were they so set on having an acrylic piece though? Hope all's well with you guys!!
Nice one Paul!
SEILER said…
Turned out Paul, but I agree, the first Morrisey was great! Why did you do it in acrylics? Not enough time bro, and not worth the $ most times . . . I hope they paid you well? Good work . . . and cute kid you have there!
Paul Moyse said…
Thanks everyone, this was a tough piece to work on. Acrylics was specifically requested when I was given the job, they paid well, and were happy with the end result, so I'm happy too!
SEILER said…
That's good . . .
Ped Millichamp said…
Hi all
I'm Ped, who commissioned this piece for the Radio Times. I've been using Paul for a few years now, I'm a big fan and it was great to finally offer him a 'front of the mag' big feature commission (as opposed to the radio section at the back of the mag).
Firstly, timings were tight to start off with - I think I put the call in on Monday morning with a Thursday morning deadline. I personally favour hand rendered painted illos - nothing against digitally rendered works - but I grew up watching my dad painstakingly painting ornate signs by hand so I guess I have a certain appreciation engrained into me? Anyway, I think we got confused over the phone with oils and acrylics and Paul was happy to go with the acrylics so thats what we settled on. Oils would had taken longer to dry given our deadline. So, after everyone's 50 cents worth of 'who would make the Radio Times Fantasy Band' the brief was given and Paul duely emailed over his first rough. This is when the 'changes' and 'tweaks' started from fellow editorial members and before we knew it, it was Tuesday evening. Argh!!! So now we were half way through our time schedule and no brush has been dipped! But by Thursday morning, and several gallons of caffeine, Paul emailed over his final artwork. It was 11am and the magazine goes to press at 6pm. It wasn't quite there and a couple of things that were briefed in weren't correct so we agreed to Paul having a couple more hours. By coincidence, Paul was set to drive to London that day so, although it was cutting it fine, he finished around 2pm and revved the engine up (with Ruth and baby Lucy onboard!). It was plain sailing until they hit the London traffic and I think it was around 5pm when Paul finally turned up! It was a mad dash to get the artwork scanned in, repro'ed and put on page ready to be sent. PHEW!
Taking on editorial commissions can either run relatively smoothly or they can turn into complete nightmares (as this one did). I guess what you as the artists don't see is the 'background tinkering' made -not by the commissioner - but the 'non-designer' editorial clan so it can be very frustrating for both parties. BUT this is the reality of editorial commissions (especially on weekly mags such as the Radio Times!) and it's why I always look to the likes of Paul Moyse for these types of commissions as not only is he an absolute genius when it comes to his artwork, but he is a consumate professional and not once did he let his frustrations known to me and it didn't affect the end product. Had he had the extra day and a half that was eaten into with changes to the roughs, this piece would had looked even better.
Well done Paul and I look forward to seeing your next piece in the magazine (Tony Adams I think?!)
Paul Moyse said…
Thanks for clarifying that one Ped, and for the kind words too! Yes, Tony Adams got delivered just before midday today (email:)). Jacob loved it, I was pretty happy with it too. Looking forward to the next one.

Talk soon! Best wishes, Paul.

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