Wednesday, September 12, 2012

2013 Festival Image: The Making of the Bottle

I think it was March when it came to me. I had been thinking about what we were going to do with the bottle, which was designed in typography and contained the jumbled up letters and numbers actually contained the 2012 date so it needed to change. I was thinking that we kept wanting the image to have a more artistic feel to it, after all we are a Festival that benefits the arts. So I was thinking, and thinking....and then it came to me...why not have an artist paint the bottle and then we could turn that into the create a mixed media graphic that would combine an old world master style oil painting merged with a modern graphic design. I thought that would be a relatively easy process... well, easy is not the descriptor that I would use today, but a process it was for sure. 

I had an image in my head of what this bottle should look like and the challenge now was to find an artist that  see that vision and turn it into a painting. 

Enter Tony Iadicicco, Artist and Executive Director of Albany Center Gallery. I knew and loved Tony's work, so we sat down to talk. He  sketched, as I talked asking a thousand questions. I think he knew where I was going with it. So the process had begun.

One of the unique challenges that I gave Tony was that the new bottle had to have the exact proportions as the old bottle so that it could be incorporated into the website and other marketing materials. Next there was the issue of style, to me it had to be a green glass bottle and it needed to have an old master feel. I wanted to see brush stroking that was like some of the later Monet's, and the use of vibrant color to give it depth and dimension. So Tony would paint and send me an image, and I would give feed back and he would paint some more. He was AMAZING to work with, and seriously has the patience of a saint to deal with my perfectionism. And then one day, there it was the bottle was done, it looked like the bottle in my head. 

And now came the tricky do we get the painting into the computer. No one had a scanner big enough, the painting is over 3 feet in length and too wide. And then I had the crazy people at Kinko's suggest that we take it off the stretchers. So I did a hail Mary and called David Carroll over at the Albany Institute of History & Art , I figured if they can put stuff on exhibit into a brochure the must be able to do it. It turns out the have the fantastic woman on staff, Allison Munsell who is a digitization specialist. She was fantastic in about an hour she had the painting scanned and put into vector format and sent up to our graphic designer. Now we were cooking!

Next on the scene, enter WSG's Danielle McMahon. She is a kick ass, fabulous designer. For real this woman gets in my head. So I know she was a little nervous, because she has literally hit a home run with every project I have ever given her, and this was probably the most important one to date. I mean imagine that you're dealing with me (yeah I know, that in itself is enough to make someone need a drink) saying, "ok I need you to take this painting, create a wine label that includes the Festival logo, that is simple and clean, that can be iconic enough to last for years but has the flexibility to change slightly each year..oh and I need it yesterday. "

Danielle sent me four images, all were fantastic. They went before our Festival BOD and the final was selected. It was seven months in the making, but the image was compete and introduced yesterday. I was a tremendous collaboration and I can not thank Tony, Allison, and Danielle enough for making the vision come to life.

Tony's Painting will be up for the Live Auction at the Grand Gala Dinner of this year's Albany Chefs' Food & Wine Festival. Tickets for Festival go on sale October 1. 

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