Tuneup for Bay Area Transit

This illustration was created for a story about possible fixes for the S.F. Bay Area transit system in the years and decades to come. The article was written by the excellent Mercury News transportation reporter Erin Baldassari and you can read Erin's story here.

Drawn in Clip Studio Paint EX and Photoshop. Open in a new window for a fairly huge image.

There was a late change of direction as to how to present the story in the print edition, so I had less than one shift to put this together. That's not a terrible thing – nor is it completely unusual – but it certainly isn't ideal. That being said, illustration opportunities have been rare lately, and I have been hoping for something fun to work on; I flinched at the frighteningly imminent deadline, but quickly found myself lost in the joy of drawing.

This is the initial rough, using screenshots, doodles
and a converted-from-Illustrator map, created in Photoshop.

I doodled an idea, consulted with my graphics partners during our afternoon meeting, implemented their suggestions, and produced the rough above for editorial approval. While it was going through the approval process, I started the final; that's standing operating procedure in the shadow of a falling deadline. In that situation, you have to hope that it gets a pass, but always be thinking about other solutions while you work, because it's never a given. Made it this time, tho.

It's not a great little cartoon but I had fun doing it. I ran smack into the end of my day and sent the illustration to the page designers without much time (or energy) for tidying it up. Of course, the story held for a few days, but I had a some time off and was out of the loop, so I couldn't do any polishing. 

Here is how it looked it print.

The End!