Illustration made with inks on paper (210 x 297 mm) to commemorate the memory of Enzo Baldoni (October 8, 1948 – August 26, 2004) an italian journalist (but also a lot of things more than that!). To understand better this character tragically kidnapped and killed in Iraq, you can head to this Wikipedia page. It’s the August illustration inside a 12 months illustrated calendar by Venti d’Autore, cultural Association from Catanzaro (Italy), specifically designed to commemorate italian journalists killed by Italian Mafia or terrorism all around the globe. Calendar’s title is “Inviati dalla Memoria” (Reporters from Memory) and represent itself the meaning of this benefit operation. It’s the second calendar printed by Venti d’Autore, first one I’ve also participated with an illustration to commemorate the judge Antonio Scopelliti.
Process always start with a series of small thumbnail sketches to start visualizing fundamental elements of the composition itself.
After few really descriptive rough sketches that I wasn’t feeling enough, I’ve then studied Enzo’s history and came up with something more “allegoric”, he looks at us from the sky above with an happy smile, clouds are suggesting a whale shape (he had worked for the advertising agency Le balene colpiscono ancora / The whales strike again). In front of him a young arab kid is trying to repair a pair of broken glasses (in 2006, italian songwriter Samuele Bersani dedicated a song to Enzo Baldoni by the name of Occhiali Rotti / Broken Glasses inside his Aldiquà album). On the background the necropoli of Wadi-us-Salaam – an Islamic cemetery, located in the Shia holy city of Najaf – Iraq, one of the last places where Enzo was spotted alive. Meanwhile in front of the young kid some comic-books such as Batman Year One (translated in italian by Enzo) and Linus, a famous italian newsstands magazine with years of history that Enzo used to collaborate with.
After I’ve get the right thumbnail one, a non-photo blue lines rough concept layout made at Sketchbook Pro with my Wacom Intuos Pro is the next step to get better feeling of the piece and some few more details.
Rough digital sketch that sets composition straight
Then I print it on a nice heavyweight A4 size paper, thanks to my small Canon studio printer, and after few touches with my non-photo blue lead pencil, I start inking it with traditional tools such as Carbon Ink pen and a Pentel brushpen.
Even if it’s not that big enough to make me feel comfortable with inking mistakes, I can consider this a good way to print and scan easy portable files without even leaving my studio (expecially if you work late at night when all print/copy shops are closed!)…
Inked piece (A4 size)
Next step is to proceed with a flat scan at 600 DPI with not brightness neither contrast settings over it. I’ll clean it later on at Photoshop, enhancing contrast and making all black lines “full” getting rid of the blue-lines.
After that, since I’ve wanted an old-school feeling, I add some distressed halftones areas here and there, to make it look like an old strip that Enzo used to love and translate (he was also noted for the Italian translation of Doonesbury comic strips).
Distressed halftones added at Photoshop
Since this year we’ve tried to ask all the artists participating at this initiative to use a nice Red hue similar to Venti d’Autore logo one, I’ve set some dark red areas to bring some life to the final piece.
Last step’s putting the file inside the main layout with Adobe InDesign. This year I’ve also curated calendar graphic layout, using a nice old feeling ITC Bookman font to make it look like a newspaper title and article, as you can see 26th of August is in red to remember that sad day Enzo’s passed away.
Final layout page
Following Instagram post