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« SXSW Interactive 2010 Sketchnotes | Main | 7 Years Blogging »

Illustrating REWORK (Part 1 of 2)

I'm thrilled to share with you an opportunity I've had to write a guest post for the 37signals company blog, Signal vs Noise.

Jason Fried of 37signals invited me to write the post Illustrating REWORK about the process of illustrating their new business book, REWORK.

I went into detail about how we started the book illustration process, worked with Crown Publishing, generated illustration concepts and prepared pencil sketches for review, approval and final production.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

Pencils vs. Inking
Initially I’d planned on inking each illustration in a Moleskine sketchbook, making the reviewable artwork as close to final artwork as possible. But after thinking about what would best suit the review and feedback process, I decided it would be smart to review uninked pencil sketches instead.

Pencil concept sketch for “Everyone on the Front Lines”. –Photo by Brian Artka

This proved to be a time-saving decision. Had I inked pieces as near-final art, I would have lost time re-inking multiple illustrations to accommodate changes.

Because I invested up-front time in solving the illustrations as pencils, I only had to ink once before moving to Photoshop for final artwork.

Writing Part 1 of 2 was great fun to do, because I've learned over the years here that people are fascinated by the design process. You can also read Illustrating REWORK (Part 2 of 2) for the full story.

Many thanks to Brian Artka for shooting my sketchbooks for the articles, and to Gabe Wollenburg for proofreading and editing tips on the pieces.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also listen to the latest 37signals Podcast. At 28:43 into the podcast, Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson and Matt Linderman talk about why they hired me for the illustrations and their perspective on the illustration process. Here's the MP3 file.

Review 5 Chapters

Check out Scribd to read 5 chapters of the book, including my illustrations.


I'm very excited now that REWORK has been released. It became a New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller only a week after release! If you pick up a copy, please leave a comment here about the illustrations.

Order REWORK at Amazon

Reader Comments (3)

Really nice work dude. Will have to order another book now :)
March 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRoss
Thanks Ross, I really appreciate your kind words! Tot ziens! :-)
March 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
If I had realized you illustrated the book, I would have bought a paper copy instead of an audiobook. Congrats!
March 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScott Isaacs

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