Monday, February 10, 2014

This Is How It's Done

Just a little more whining about Star Tribune illustrator-in-name-only Eddie Thomas. In the last month or so, the Strib gave us a nice example of the contrast between Thomas's work and that of an actual illustrator, Eric Hanson.

Hanson doesn't work for the Strib, but was commissioned specifically to do this art. Hanson's and Thomas's two sets of illustrations make a nice case study of the difference in artistic abilities, because both articles are about seasonal topics that newspapers run and try to refresh year after year, and both include a front page illustration and smaller, secondary illustrations that accompany the article jump.

Thomas's pictures ran with an article about hangovers just before New Year's:

As usual, he gives us a painfully ugly and badly drawn disaster in pseudo-3D.

While Hanson was asked to jazz up a food article about Superbowl parties:

Hanson's style is loose, playful, and expressive. He uses flat color to good effect.

Each illustrator was also tasked with multiple secondary illustrations:

Thomas attempts humor (mostly inappropriately) but doesn't succeed. And he switches to one of his other inept styles, which I have come to call bad flat cartoon.

While Hanson's individual food items exude charm and a sense of unified variety (a tough combination).

Which art would you rather look at? Which one has a style that's coherent between the primary and secondary art? Which one adds an appropriate sensibility to the article?

Whoever hired Hanson for the Superbowl article clearly knows how it should be done.

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