#40 WITH BEECH-NUT, I COULDN’T PUT A LID ON IT

Beechnut Illustrations

Beechnut Illustrations 2

A MEDLEY OF MY ILLUSTRATIONS FOR BEECHNUT BABY FOOD.

I wasn’t exactly sure what I would write about the project that was the most lucrative and largest of my art career.

Perhaps I did not share much about my illustrations on this project because I had not a single good example of any of it. For many years, I either shot a slide of my artwork or I went to a copy shop. If I had a special painting, it was a major expense of time and money to have a professional transparency made from my art.

I can share that whenever I’m in a supermarket – I enjoy passing the shelves where I see many of my illustrations displayed!

EXAMPLES OF PRINTED LABELS.

R Beech Nut Horiz

My project for Beech-Nut consisted of many different “phases” and probably amounted to almost a hundred paintings. Each painting was a miniature; a cluster of items that later on might be repeated and combined with other items. Since this project was at the beginning of the “digital age,” there was the awareness of the advantage of painting parts that could be “attached” to other paintings.

I diligently gathered and shot my own photo reference for every illustration, even though sometimes the size relationships were uneven. I used a nearby one-hour photo and most of my photos were quite rough. I share some examples with my finished paintings below:

R Bananas Beechnut

MY PAINTING WAS USUALLY FAITHFUL TO MY PHOTO-REFERENCE.

I have an extensive photo collection in my file cabinet torn from magazines. It was very helpful for many of the meat illustrations. I still don’t look at turkey drumsticks or lamb chops quite the same way anymore!

I shared a lot of my “photo-comp” reference with the art director. There were certainly a lot of possibilities for those chicken drumsticks and meat slabs. I spent a lot of time and money at my local copy store – everyone that worked there knew me well. I certainly appreciate the ability I have to now scan and create my layouts easily on my computer. Unfortunately, now I have no more illustration work because the Photoshop program eliminated the need for my illustrations!

A LOT OF POSSIBILITIES FOR THOSE DRUMSTICKS.

MY EXAMPLES OF MEAT REFERENCE SHARED WITH THE ART DIRECTOR.

MY SKETCHES FOR THE LAMB FLAVOR.

Beechnut Meat Illustrations

A MEDLEY OF MY BEECH-NUT MEAT ILLUSTRATIONS.

R Blueberries & Cream

A LATER FLAVOR THAT WAS INTERESTING. I DID A LOT OF “DESSERTS” AND USED A CERTAIN CUP WITH A STEM FOR EACH ONE.

Certainly, my working process became very streamlined and efficient with a project of this size. I did not hire any assistants and I loved working small. Technically, all of my paintings were done on watercolor paper. I used friskit to give clean, crisp edges to all of the elements.

ONE OF THE MANY LONG LISTS OF FLAVORS I WAS GIVEN.

ANOTHER LIST OF THE MANY FLAVORS THAT NEEDED ILLUSTRATIONS.

SKETCHES FOR BUTTERNUT SQUASH.

R butternut squash

 

I DID NOT PHOTOGRAPH THE HAM FOR THIS FLAVOR. I HAD EXISTING REFERENCE.

Ham Vegetable BN

SKETCH CHOICES FOR TURKEY DINNER – YUM!

Turkey Supreme BN

MY WORKING PROCESS – A-D SKETCHES TO CHOOSE FROM.

A COLOR COPY MADE OF MY PHOTOS TO SHOW THE ART DIRECTOR.

Vegetables & Beef BN

Because the Beech-Nut project encompassed over two years, I became very close to the two art directors I worked with. Both of the art directors were named Thomas, so sometimes that became confusing. The agency, SBG Partners is no longer in business, as are most of the design firms I used to work with.

I gave an original painting to Thomas Bond on his fiftieth birthday, because I had worked with him for many years before Beech-Nut.

Barb, my San Francisco representative, often discussed a fabulous idea – someday I would fly up to San Francisco to meet them;  we would all go sailing. That never did happen, but it would have been nice.

Barb made things go very smoothly, as she usually did. One of the things that was so impressive, was how easily she was able to get deposits. In no other time in my career was I ever able to bill for something ahead of time. It was truly helpful to have money coming in as I worked on so many illustrations.

I ENLARGED THE PART THAT BARB WROTE ABOUT MY HAVING CHILDREN. I LOVED THAT!

BARB’S INVOICE.

One of the more interesting parts of this project was when I was able to convince the client and art directors that I could paint an “impressionistic landscape,” which would be used on all of their fruit juice labels. I had already illustrated the juice pitcher and fruit; however, the background landscape was a very different style.

It was a lot of fun for me to create something different, and I did many “comps” first to show them different possibilities.

FOR MY LANDSCAPE, I USED A MARKER TECHNIQUE. I USED TRANSLUCENT PAPER AND PUT THIS SKETCH UNDERNEATH.

A PRELIMINARY COLOR LANDSCAPE SKETCH – WAS NOT THAT CLOSE TO THE VERSION THAT WAS USED.

ANOTHER LAYOUT FOR THE APPLE JUICE COMP.

A “PASTED UP” COMP FOR THE PEAR JUICE LABEL.

AN ACTUAL, PRINTED FRUIT JUICE LABEL.

A SCAN OF THE CURRENT, BEECHNUT APPLE JUICE LABEL.

Ten years after doing Beech-Nut, a small company asked for an illustration of pea pods similar to the one I did for Beechnut. The company name was “Munchkin Meals.” Below is an example of a digital version of my paintings. I don’t believe the company ever got off the ground and my painting was never printed. Just to show how my career changed, I was willing to do that illustration for $300. I worked with two moms locally, and wanted to help them as they started their new business.

When I illustrated all those paintings for Beechnut, the price for almost all of them was $1,500 each. The Toddler food was around $2,000-$2,500 each.

R Peapods BN

MY PEA POD ILLUSTRATION FOR BEECHNUT.

MY CHOICES FOR MUNCHKIN MEALS. I USED DIFFERENT PHOTOSHOP FILTERS.

When I did the toddler food later on for Beech-Nut, it was challenging. I had to design a pattern for each bowl and I disliked painting perfect ellipses. However, the worst part was rendering the product. I don’t want to say anything negative about the food, but similar to my “Quick Meal” project – it wasn’t easy rendering chunky mixtures in a beige color!

I DESIGNED MANY DIFFERENT PATTERNS FOR THE CEREAL BOWLS. SOME INCORPORATED RATTLES. THIS IS A COLOR COPY OF A MARKER COMP.

Oatmeal and Raisins BN

AN EXAMPLE OF A LAYOUT FOR THE TABLETIME PROJECT.

SOME ART DIRECTOR NOTES FOR THE TABLE-TIME PROJECT.

Tabletime Illustrations

Pasta Primivera BN

I TRIED MY BEST TO MAKE IT LOOK TASTY!!

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
This entry was posted in JOB EXAMPLES and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s