The illustration project starts with the client and ends with the finished artwork. Below is a quick summary of how a typical illustration project occurs, from start to finish.
The query and the brief
Projects either begin as a query or as a brief. Potential clients will contact me asking for a rate / quote and time estimate. The project details are discussed and finalised, and I am sent a brief from the client specifying what needs to be created, by when. Ideally the brief contains enough information about the project for me to start work, but is not so rigid in description that it hinders creativity.
The rough and the sketch
Most projects require me to create some kind of rough sketch to help me capture any visual ideas I may have. Most of my initial sketches are very loose and vague, and I do not usually show these to clients. I normally choose 2 or 3 roughs that I think work, and develop these into sketches. The sketches I do are black and white, and are usually quite neat and easy to view. The sketches are emailed over to the client for approval.
Clients will approve the sketches they want, and from there I usually take the art to final.
My medium of choice is either Illustrator, Photoshop or Flash I usually create most of the artwork in these programs. I will export the artwork and import it in Photoshop for final color tweaks and additional touchups if needed. Sometimes however, a project may specifically want the art to be only done in Illustrator for technical reasons.
When the artwork is finished, I email a low-res Jpg of the art to the client for final approval. Once the artwork is approved, the high resolution file is uploaded via FTP for the client to download.