I was contacted by Jennifer Heuer, who is currently Art Directing for the New York Times, on Friday afternoon for my first illustration job for the Times. I had 5 hours to illustrate a word, a challenge that I was excited to take on.
Below is the approved sketch that I sent. The lettering for the word irja is inspired by Islamic calligraphy, and the ornamentation a reference to the intricate arabesques and geometry seen in Islamic art.
After I was given approval to move forward, it was a mad dash to complete the final rendering in less than 3 hours. Pulling off an illustration this intricate in such a short time frame is tricky, but by keeping it relatively straight forward, I was able to meet the deadline. You can read the full article here, and below is the artwork that was printed this morning.