Monday, October 13, 2008

SAINT FRANCIS - Conceptual Design For A Sculpture In The Late 90's

Another conceptual design today for a sculpture/figurine based on Saint Francis. I think it was to be a Porcelien figurine but I can't remember now. It was to have a base on it with a bunch of animals around him in the verbal concept that was talked about and so I drew it based on a checklist of what they wanted to see. From that I did three drawings of it and this was the final version. Just pencil and no color. This was done at a time when the layoffs at The Mint first started to happen in mid-'99 and people were panicking, and even the art seemed to reflect the inner turmoil of the company. The art directors would tells us that the pencil sketches were fine and no color was needed on a lot of stuff. The cheaper the art the better, in a sense that they'd just give the drawing to a sculptor and they'd make it into a prototype and worry about a color palette later on. A lot of stuff was designed completely from every aspect before it was even considered worthy to give it to a sculptor or artist. They were cutting back and if they could save money but not having me color it, it was to their favor so I just left it with some crosshatching.

I'd also like to note that on this art you can see that the doves are all touching in one way or another and they take off from the ground. For those who aren't familiar with sculpting, you always need to anchor everything to give it support. Delicate or flimsy sculptures will make it impossible to pack and ship worldwide. They would most likely add a super, thin wire that would run down the center of the doves somehow to give it an added support. It would also depend on the sculptor as well since they weren't told to mimick the drawing exactly. If something needed to be fixed design wise they did it, so in a lot of cases the final product only matched the conceptual design in minimal ways after it was produced. The rule of thumb at The Mint was "to first and foremost make a design as exciting and interesting to look at, and then you figure out how to manufacture it" and also how you'll pack and ship it to collectors. Since this was toward the end of The Mint's collectible manufacturing portion of the company, they went straight to the "How are we going to manufacture it?" stage. I still like it.

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