Chris Kasch.Illustration

Charles Schwab Annual Report / April 11th, 2008

I was contacted by the Unboundary design studio as early as November 2007 with regards to the Charles Schwab job. With work to begin at the start of December a conference call was organised to work out the best way to proceed.
The idea was to use six double page spreads within the Charles Schwab Annual Report and have them all link together as though they were one long piece of work. The backdrop for the illustration was to start in the city and slowly work its way out to the suburbs with many different characters involved within the landscape to represent a variety of different Schwab clientele.
My conversations with Unboundary were productive and we quickly realised that it wouldn’t be the best use of time for me to start looking for reference myself and then have the to and fro of getting it cleared by both Unboundary and Schwab. The design studio knew exactly what was required, and taking me out of this initial process was going to speed things up considerably and I just needed to trust that I was going to be happy with what was put in front of me. My experience with the Radio Times covers meant that I could say exactly what I needed to aid the process and the people at the studio seemed to have a good feel for my work.
As it turned out I didn’t need to worry and the reference for the buildings and backdrop was excellent, I couldn’t have done a better job myself. Getting reference for all of the figures however was proving problematic (demographics apparently!) and time was starting to tick along. Around the 15th December I did a little bit of working out and some time management. I realised that if I was to hit the deadline of the 8th February then work needed to start pretty quickly.
The figures weren’t anywhere near getting clearance and so we worked out that if I started work on the backdrop (which had been approved) first then that would give extra time to get the people sorted out and at least id be up and running with something to work on. Things were tight though and painting the figures at a later date meant a bit of extra work as the people had to be dropped in during post production. Work on the backgrounds started on the 17th December and some seriously late nights were in order to keep the job on schedule. This actually turned out to be a good call as a clearance for the people was only given in January.
Work on both backgrounds and people went well and to schedule (just!) and I’m happy with how everything turned out, and even a little surprised at the level of consistency I achieved given the level of fatigue that was beginning to creep in towards the end. Three portraits of executives were also commissioned and with a few amendments, work finished on the 20th February.
I’ve enjoyed doing this project and I must thank Julie Stewart and Blake Tannery at Unboundary for the fantastic work they did with all the reference and their patience and understanding of my work. I couldn’t have done it without them. The hardest part of the job was the hours (pretty much 14 hours a day for three months and only 4 days off in that time) but now that it’s over I’m very much looking forward to seeing how the whole thing came out in print.