Posted: January 21, 2011 in art,John_Dyess

Rolls Royce

Yesterday I featured  two of my illustrations that were accepted for publication in a magazine called The Art Annual 1977. Today’s post features another illustration that was accepted in this magazine. This illustration was created for Rolls Royce for use in a sales program promotion. This illustration led to an assignment for Lear Jet after an owner of a Wichita ,Kansas design firm saw this illustration in The Art Annual 77.

This period was a major transition in my life and career. In the summer of  1977 I had attended the second Illustrators Workshop held in Tarrytown ,New York  which was taught by five nationally recognized illustrators.  My employer Maritz Motivation had paid for this month long workshop. Two of my illustrations had been accepted in a national art annual and when I returned home I was contacted to illustrate a bruchure for Lear Jet. I accepted the assignment and flew to Wichita to talk about the assignment. The art director and I flew to Tucson to take photo reference of a mock up of the jet that was to be shown in the brochure. When I flew home my life changed. My wife at this time decided she wanted a divorce and left the house leaving me and our three children for a short time. To make a long sad story short many things distracted me from focusing on the illustrations for Lear Jet. As I was finishing the tight pencil drawings the power in my house went out and I had to work by candle light. When I flew with the finished art to deliver them to the client in Witchita, I got separated from the art at the St.Louis airport. The art was placed on a different plane. I arrived in Witciha without the art,which arrived several hours later. I flew back to St.Louis in a major rainstorm,which ended up being like a scene from a movie. I had a layover in Kansas City and after boarding the plane the airline decided to delay takeoff due to the storm. Sitting next to me was a young lady that worked for Southwestern Bell. After about six hours getting on and off the plane in Kansas City we had become friends. The important thing was I felt a woman,a stranger, liked me. This helped my self esteem. The job was completed and delivered and was accepted by the client. I hated the results. This assignment did provide seed money to start my freelance business in 1980. I was divorced in 1978 and my current wife and I became friends one month before the divorce was final. We were married in 1980 and are still married after thirty years and my business managed to survive,barely at times,through economic downturns and technology advancements. Below are two details from this brochure. I haven’t always liked the final results of some of my assignments,but they always were finished and accepted.

Detail of Lear Jet illustration

Second detail from Lear Jet brochure.

Final thoughts: I tried to blend both techniques of the art accepted in The Art Annual. I should have used less opaque painting in the illustrations and focused more on the line work. Many distractions,short deadline but I should have done better.

  1. We all have had years like John’s 1977, but let’s pray we don’t have many!!!

  2. Glenn Myers says:

    This story is the making of a screen play, John. To be able to complete something so well while in the eye of a major personal storm speaks to your professionalism, I believe.

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