Heh, I’d imagine so. So then do art directors hire you based on a specific look?
Well, when you’re communicating an idea you have composition, you have subject matter, color, and each style is another one of those tools I can use. So when I can pick the style I use one that’s related to what the idea is. Like Quicksand, it’s kind of rough, very aggressive; that’s why I did this style for this piece.
Some art directors have things in mind before they call me and usually they do the same thing, picking a style that matches the article. It allows me to do more of a range of illustrations and I don’t feel like I’m ever torturing a style into something it doesn’t fit in, like I’m not trying to make the aggressive thing look happy and relaxed. I’d just use a different style for that.
It looks like you really have fun doing this, it shows in the work.
Yeah, when I’m not having fun doing a project I feel like it totally shows. Of course there are some times when I work really hard on a project and get frustrated, but if it’s a project and I’m not having fun, I guarantee it will not be as good an outcome.
It seems like such an obvious thing, that we should enjoy the work, but it’s always there.
I know, and sometimes when there is a tight deadline or a really big client I have to kind of put that out of my mind and just focus on making it look good and not freak out. Because when you freak out and panic it’ll turn out stiff.
Well, your work is great, always interesting and quite inspiring. I’m looking forward to getting a Quicksand print at the show. Thanks for taking the time to chat, I really appreciate it!
Links: Melinda Beck | Quicksand – This poster available at the merch table if you were lucky enough to score tickets for this tour. Another Quicksand/Melinda Beck poster from 2012 is available here.