Working with the people at Burt’s Bees began in a small way. I started doing portraits of Burt for their website. They were pleased with the results, and I soon began working on images of plants and exotic fruits for a variety of their products. The product illustration has a very different set of challenges from the portrait work. While the portraits can be very detailed, the images for the packaging must be simplified to enable them to be reduced very small. The art in both cases must retain the wood-cut or scratchboard look they use throughout their product line. The approach for each assignment is similar, however. There is usually an art director and a creative director and several corporate level people involved in the decision making process.
The A/D will make the request, sending along any images for existing packages as well as reference photos and a detailed description of what they want to see. I will usually collect my own visual reference as well, then draw up a number of sketches for them to critique. I simply scan and attach them to an e-mail, they discuss the roughs, and we focus on one or two final ideas to be drawn as tight sketches. The final image is chosen, and I proceed to finished art. The final art is sent to them as a high-rez Tiff file via We Transfer. If necessary, say if it’s a buy-out, I ship the original art. Sometimes the process takes more back-and-forth communication and sketches, but I have worked with many different people at Burt’s Bees, and the process always seems to run smoothly.