There is a broad and blurry swath these days between pure illustration, photo retouching, and layout. With tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Painter and others, sometimes its difficult to know what started as a photo, as hand created art, or as a pure digital creation.
For many creatives, this no longer matters. Use the right tool for the right job, and shoot for the best results you can under the deadline and restrictions you are working within. Only three of the images below use photos, and two of them might not be what you think they are.
ESPN Company Priorites 2008
In 2008, ESPN Internal Communications asked me to illustrate the company priorities for the upcoming year. These would live on every employee's computer as a screen saver and be seen all year. I chose to make them subtle, so as not to overextend their welcome, using monochromatic backgrounds and foreground elements, but keeping the content itself in full color.
NorthStar Planning Group: Posters & Ads
NorthStar Planning Group's key message was to "Look to the NorthStar..." which meant that its main visual element was the North Star itself, Polaris, the star at the end of the Little Dipper, and most easily seen at night. Which left a bit of a challenge for their ads.
So, shooting for brightly lit evening or night images, it became very apparent that it would be easier to start with stock twilight images and adjust them into night images allowing the reflected light of the sun to seem to come from the star.