A Peek Inside the Creative Business Issue

What do you think of when you look at the cover of HOW’s November 2014 Creative Business Issue? Maybe you identify with the designer in the treetops in that, as modern business evolves, you’ve carved out a space for yourself in which you can comfortably flourish. Or perhaps you aspire to be him and are still working to take greater control of your role as a member of the creative class.

500X500_Beyond-the-Color-Chart-BootcampWhatever the case may be, we hope you’ll find something of value within the pages of the issue, which delves into the different aspects of the business of design and aims to spotlight the new ways of working that many creatives are experiencing. Whether you’re a designer working (or wishing you could work) from a remote location, within a creative co-working community or in a small design firm, we’ve got you covered. Plus, take a quiz to find out whether your creative process is killing your creativity, and what steps you can take to avoid stifling your creative potential.


But let’s get back to that cover illustration for just a minute, shall we? Because it’s just mesmerizing, isn’t it? Okay, enough with the questions. Allow us to introduce illustrator Doug Chayka.

Chayka got started at Rochester Institute of Technology and then moved to Kansas City to study further under one of his illustration heroes, Mark English, his first big influence and an early mentor. After some freelancing and traveling, he landed in Berlin, where he studied painting and printmaking as a Fulbright scholar at The Berlin University of the Arts. He’s also spent some time teaching illustration in recent years at Ringling College of Design, Savannah College of Art and Design, Pratt Institute, City College of New York, Rochester Institute of Technology and The Illustration Academy.

“Many different people and places have helped shape my point of view as an artist,” Chayka says on his website. “It’s a process that is ongoing and grows with every new client and each unique challenge.”

The cover of HOW magazine was one of his latest challenges, and it’s one we’re thrilled he took on. “Art director Adam Ladd and the team gave me some great phrases to work with at the beginning of the project … and we eventually settled on the sketch you see here,” Chayka says.


The final cover sketch Chayka and HOW art director Adam Ladd settled on after looking at a few other rough ideas

“It wasn’t until I started the finish that I realized how much of the environment I had left unresolved, so the biggest challenge was designing the space, playing with the density of the elements and figuring out how all the parts would relate while accommodating the type,” he continues. “Practically every element was on its own layer, and for more complex elements, like the figure, each little part (hat, shoes, pants, bag, etc.) was separate so I could easily adjust them in the process. There was a lot of clicking layers on and off, shifting, resizing, adjusting as other things were added. The layers that didn’t get deleted I preserved right to the end to make sure everything was moveable for [Ladd’s] type. It was a jungle of layers.”


Figure progression: A look at how the figure element developed


A progress shot that Chayka shared with Ladd


A progress shot that Chayka shared with Ladd

Chayka sent several progress shots throughout the process for feedback from Ladd to ensure that he was still achieving the effect that the HOW team was hoping for. Clearly, he was right on the money. Each member of the HOW team fell in love with the cover for one reason or another. As for Chayka’s favorite part of the illustration:

“I like the idea that we as artists can just bring along a laptop and a few favorite books and art supplies and call anywhere home. So, the figure is my favorite part. I’d like to be that guy and would be very into having a studio like this.”

Designers, what’s your favorite part of the cover?


Final cover without type

1114_cover_300Get your hands on the November 2014 issue of HOW, our Creative Business issue. This issue delves into the different aspects of the business of design, whether you’re a designer working from a remote location or in a small design firm, we’ve got you covered. Plus, find out if your creative process is killing your creativity, and what steps you can take to avoid stifling your creative mojo.

And remember to enter HOW magazine’s Designer Sweepstakes for a chance to win products you’ll love that were featured in the Look column of this issue. 

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