Client reached out to an illustrator on Facebook and I submitted my info for consideration. I am very familiar with Adobe Illustrator, so familiar in fact, I teach at General Assembly Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator plus I run the Adobe User Group in ATL.
So when I submitted my info, I knew the only discussion would be to establish the style of the illustration.
The client provided the pencil drawing and my job was to help bring it to life!
But in what style would the illustration serve best? The intention was to make t-shirts, but as all illustrators know, once the design is finished, the client will come up with other ideas on how to use the illustration beyond the original intention; that's why we create in vector: scalability.
As I studied the details in the sketch, I realized that any FireFighter who saw the finished product ought to be able to make out details of the mask and recognize the different parts. I imagined a cartoon version: thick lines and lots of color, would not give it justice to the intended use nor the hard work FireFighters put in daily to keep us safe.
The only answer was to make this illustration as realistic as possible while still keeping the fantasy aspect the skull brought into the design. Fighting Fires is not for the weak.
I spent a few extra hours than intended on this illustration but the client is happy and I am satisfied.
Below you can see the resulting anchors, handles, paths, layers and vectors.