Charles Chaisson is currently a brooklyn based freelance illustrator, but was born in New Orleans, Louisiana where he lived until moving to Florida for college. While in Florida he studied at the Ringling College of Art and Design, where he received his B.F.A. in Illustration. Upon completion of college, he moved to NY to further his education at the School of Visual Arts. He enrolled in the Illustration as Visual Essay Graduate Program, where he received an M.F.A.
My process starts with an idea, maybe some sort of visual metaphor or direct image stemming from whatever type of project I’m working on at the moment. If the project is based on an article, short story, or even a well known person, I’ll read the material given to me and figure out if there are any themes, metaphors, and imagery that I can draw inspiration from.
From there, I will flesh out about three to five thumbnails (or however many it takes to get to a good image) and work with an art director to choose whichever image best represents the topic at hand. My process for choosing colors for the image falls along the same lines… where I’ll digitally paint the chosen thumbnail a few different times, and with the art director, choose the one that works best.
After that, I usually move on to gathering reference materials and moving on to the final sketch. Once the sketch is finalized, I transfer the image to whatever type of paper I’m using at the moment and start rendering the image. The main mediums I use are wax pencils and acrylic paints, but once I’ve completed rendering everything I’ll usually scan the image in and edit colors and finesse the image digitally, and voila! Once it’s finished, I send it off.