Here was a novel job. Thanks to Laurence Smith, who I first met at comic conventions and who works in insurance, I've done a variety of interesting art jobs. I've designed his family's Christmas cards, and drawn caricatures on a moving double decker bus, among other things.
This, though, must be the biggest job. A giant piece of paper, 6 feet tall by nine feet wide, on which I drew cartoons based on the suggestion of 150 members of the Chartered Insurance Institute. Across two days at their impressive offices in the City of London, while they were doing talks and presentations, they each took it in turns to spend two minutes with me, give me their idea of some sort of visual that captured an aspect of the future plans for the company and, by the end of a few hours, we had one big illustration, full of doodles, some of which I think look pretty nifty.
Then Laurence decided it would look better in colour. Which was easier said than done. But, eventually, I did it.
The line drawing having taken literally 8 hours, done at lightning speed in two four hour sessions, the colouring was a different matter. Have you ever tried colouring a piece of artwork that's 6 feet high and 9 feet wide, in Photoshop at 300dpi? On my laptop? No, you haven't. And it's not impossible, but it took a bit of working out how to do, what with having to keep quitting Photoshop and restarting it because the programme remembers every stage along the way, hogging Gigabytes of memory as it goes. Added to which it came during a busy couple of weeks so I didn't get it finished until we were in Venice, where I spent Monday and Tuesday at the table in our flat completing the job.
Hopefully Laurence, and the folks at the CII, like the finished piece. If I'm lucky, it'll be displayed in pride of place in their new offices. Where, for years to come, people will be wondering quite what the pictures of Dan Ackroyd and Thelma & Louise and a ringmaster herding squirrels have to do with insurance.