The Beauty of Detail

People

Some of the most meticulous and highly skilled creatives working in the car industry are seldom name checked.

They are the technical illustrators, the draughtsmen who detail the minute specifics of a vehicle’s structure through every phase of its design, development and production.

Beau Daniels is typically brilliant at evoking the literal nuts and bolts of what makes cars move, and in the brilliant FJ Cruiser print campaign for Toyota, the tough brief of making mechanical detail sexy was pulled off with the sort of panache, that in our opinion qualifies Beau’s work as High Art.

When great design collides with passion for detail and true aesthetic sensibilities, great things happen. We think you will agree.

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Influx Magazine: What was the commissioning process for the FJ cruiser series?

Beau Daniels: The ad agency was looking for somebody to do an old school series of illustrations. The art buyer had worked with us before, but the art director was concerned because we do all our work digitally. He was a great art director to work with, but we had to do a fair amount of preliminary work to prove that we could make it look hand drawn. The strange thing is the way we work with digital media is exactly as we would have done on the drawing board, there is still this strange misconception that the computer does some of it for you. Once we had got over this problem it was a great project to work on. The art director, art buyer, accounts execs. let us do what we do. We would be given a brief to each ad, a shopping list of illustrations, ie. The main image and the supporting spots. They would then shoot reference photos for us and let us loose. Changes to the illustrations were very minor for a campaign of this size. I think for once all the elements came together right, great copy, great art direction, great photography and a very happy illustrator. It was one of those jobs that you just wish went on and on, not only because of the money, but there was a certain something there that does not come along that often. But stopping it before it became tired was good timing too.

IM: What inspired you to become a technical illustrator?

BD: We had a lot of work in the field of science fiction through agencies in London, but we started to get itchy feet. We left England and came to the US to work on movies. Blade Runner was the first, we did a lot of matting for it, but we needed to find less egotistical forms of expression for our talent and were extremely fortunate to meet people who would help us redirect out careers. Between the two of us we can bring engineering architectural and medical knowledge to an assignment, we both have a passion and ability when it comes to a technical challenges. The advantage we have is that we do not approach the assignments from a purely technical view point, we try to make something aesthetic and artistic that is also technical.

IM: What fine art (if any) influences your work?

BD:All forms of art influence us, it is difficult to isolate that which you think is important because it is often the subtle sly influences that are the most important. It usually takes someone distanced from the work to see what those influences are.

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